When Paul moved to Bolton having retired, his desire to work with people stayed with him. He contacted Manchester City Mission and in 2014, project 4 Site came into being.
We’ll let Paul himself explain …
One result of voluntary work on the streets of London in the late 1980’s was meeting Irish Travelling people. Over time a ministry developed visiting Traveller and Gypsy sites. When Jesus met the blind men as recorded in Matthew 20 He asked, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus was capable of meeting any immediate need; as outreach workers we are more limited!
Many adults have limited literacy due to the former nomadic lifestyle. Filling out forms is a vital need. My wife, Angie, trained as a Nursery Nurse and volunteered in a school close to our local Gypsy site in London, eventually helping to run a Homework Club on the site itself.
It was in the early 2000’s that many in the community asked for practical help in filling out forms to apply for passports. It was a significant need for those who had travelled freely to and from Ireland for many years but after 9/11, things changed. The difference for me was that I was now able to gain access to every home on traveller sites in Hackney. In 2002 I was introduced to lady who had lost her husband in a car accident. In the middle of filling out the forms for passports for her and her young son she asked me if I thought her husband had gone to Heaven.
Out of all this came many requests for prayer, opportunities to distribute Bibles and the awareness that God was doing a deep work amongst some of the families we visited.
Having moved to the Greater Manchester area and now beginning to establish a similar work through Manchester City Mission, I would value prayer for the means of building relationships on sites in Greater Manchester; please pray that God would show me what the immediate needs are and that families may get to know Him better as a result.
It will take time, so please pray for patience and endurance in these coming months.