I returned to Heathrow from Hong Kong and after breakfast at Kings Cross, I caught the train to Newcastle (and slept most of the way). I was met by the Revd Elaine Lindridge who is the district Evangelism Enabler and is married to the District Chair, Stephen. After the long flight, and something to eat I was ready for a bath and should have gone to bed but I was so excited to be in the District at this time of the "Together Mission", I couldn't sleep and went with Elaine to a mission centre for youth outreach. I got talking with one of the mothers, who had been reading from the Letter of the Ephesians that morning. I was able to lead her to Christ and pray with her. She took a cross and smiled a lot. I then went back to the Lindridge's house and slept for three hours. Each day I was blessed to lead someone to Christ and the mission was so varied I spoke after dinner, in two places, I was
interviewed for Premier Radio, saw how one team had shown practical love to tenants of a rundown housing estate and cleared people's gardens into a skip. There was a football mission with a young Christian footballer who met a gang of lads each morning for football and gospel. I was impressed to join Methodists doing street evangelism even in the pouring rain and whilst in Stanley, doing my own prayer walk - in dog collar - a couple of young people asked me what I was doing and there began a fascinating conversation about prayer and faith on the pavement.
I had never been to Seahouses before, former Vice-President, Mrs Gill Dascombe, knew this place very well, her father was minister here and she was born and baptised here. It was wonderful to see her and Michael. I joined in with Messy Church and even had my face painted. It was great to see ministers from different circuits working together for mission, one of them said to me "my circuit has freed me up to come and work with our friends in the next circuit, I am loving being on mission, this is what ministry is all about".
Methodism is alive and well in the Newcastle upon Tyne district, where I discovered mission to be at the heart of their work.