Claire Povey manages resources for the Festive team, and writes, “Ten years ago, an eclectic mix of people with a heart for Further Education Colleges and Sixth Forms (FE), sat around a table and prayed for God to take what they had and multiply it. There was a retired doctor, some UCCF staff workers, a college manager, two former missionaries, a secretary, a minister and a vicar. They were a motley crew who were united in three things:
• Students in further education are some of the most unreached young people in the UK.
• Christian students, staff and chaplains in FE are under resourced, and lacking in support to be effective ambassadors where they are based.
• God loves the unreached. He is bigger than the colossal need before us, and will empower His children to bring light to over 2 million people in FE.
With the backing of Scripture Union and UCCF, the Festive ministry was born seeking to bridge the gap between schools work and university mission. A launch service was held in North Wales during August 2007. By 2016 over 1,600 books and tracts had been given away; 600+ resources on ‘How to start a CU’ were downloaded from their website; Festive has developed partnership links in 141 colleges; advice & prayer support was provided to 64 staff and chaplains working in FE; a new Director, Pete Carrington, was appointed in May 2016. Now the team is surging ahead with its mission to inspire, resource, pray and reach out to people in FE.
Roger Carswell from the Association of Evangelists, says, “I cannot commend more highly the work of Festive and the young people who are reaching this neglected section of our society. One of the people groups in the UK being overlooked as far as the gospel is concerned, is young people in Sixth Forms and Further Education Colleges. Festive is plugging that gap by working among young people and encouraging Christians to take a stand and reach out to their friends.
Source: Evangelicals Now; festive.org.uk
Bible Study: 1 Thessalonians 2:8
DECEMBER PRAISE God for the crew who felt burdened to pray and begin this work. Give thanks for answered prayer over the last ten years. PRAY for the team and its outreach ministry to people working in further education.