Amanda Marenger

Serving IN WADEBRIDGE, UK

My journey with the United Kingdom first began six years ago when I attended Calvary Chapel Bible College to finish my last semester of school in York, England. I had always hoped to visit the U.K. and when I arrived there, my heart for England only grew stronger. After waiting four years, I was finally able to return, but this time to a town called Wadebridge, a small community in Cornwall, to serve for two weeks at Creation Fest. The next year, I was given the opportunity to serve as an intern with Creation Fest and live in Wadebridge the entire summer. During that time, I made connections and relationships with a local church that I attended. I’ve now been given the opportunity to live and serve in the U.K. long term, working with the church as their children’s and youth liaison and project coordinator for all of their involvement with Creation Fest. I am so excited to live within this community to build relationships inside and out of the church and share the hope of Jesus with all that I come in contact with!

UPDATE FEBRUARY 7, 2019

Hey all! Thanks for being patient as I catch up on a long awaited update from my first month living in Wadebridge, Cornwall. It's hard to know where to begin... I'm working at a local church called Wadebridge Christian Centre as their children, youth, and family intern, so that means I am essentially over most things that fall under that umbrella. 

I'm leading and planning lessons for the children's ministry, Kingdom Kids, twice a month. This has been a fun challenge because we have one room and one lesson for kids ranging from ages 5-11, that's a pretty big gap! We have around 10-15 kids every week and its been really sweet to start getting to know the kids and pray through how I can serve them best while I'm here. The Lord gave me Matthew 19:14 for my time here, "But Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.'" It's easy to feel like you're not doing much when working in children's ministry because there isn't always fruit that you can see right away, but being reminded that I came here to simply bring the little children to Jesus and He will do a work in the heart of these little ones as I'm faithful to that calling.     

Another ministry that we have here that I am now coordinating and heading up is called Messy Church, which is a whole family service one Sunday evening a month that has crafts, games, dinner and a short message/discussion, all in hopes to reach unchurched families in our community and to help encourage them to do things and have discussions together as a family. And ultimately that they would also come to see that church isn't about a stuffy, religious building, but that there is a God who loves them and died for them and wants relationship with them! It's a really fun and relaxed time, and a huge investment into the lives of these families. From this we are hopeful to put on an event once a month separate from Messy Church, to invite and continue to build relationships with these families who come to these "fringe events" but aren't quite ready to come to Sunday morning services yet.     

This past week I was able to go to our local primary school with my line manager Drew, who is one of the pastor's here, for an assembly that we get to put on once a month. The school has allowed WCC to come in do whatever we would like, and that includes sharing the Gospel with them, in a public school! So Drew just introduced me and did a quick interview with me, I told them about where I'm from, why I moved out here and how my faith in Jesus has helped me to adjust to all the big changes that have just happened in my life. It was so sweet to see all those kids (especially because they are all in uniform and look like they are in a Harry Potter film, so cute), but God is continuing to remind me that they are the reason He brought me here, to make him know to these kids and everyone I come in contact with.

It was a huge adjustment moving out here and to be honest my first few weeks were very overwhelming. I felt like I made a huge mistake moving away from everything I knew. I missed my family, my friends, my church community as well as my boyfriend Josh who lives four hours away by train. It all felt very lonely and isolating and I just didn't feel equipped for the job I came out here to do... I really didn't think I would have that hard of a time coming out here, so I was a bit surprised with myself and really just felt mentally, emotionally and spiritually tapped out. But God, two of the sweetest words, met me where I was, and so graciously reminded me of His goodness, and that He had sent me here at this time in this place and that I could trust that His plans are good even though I was feeling anything but good. As He's changes my perspective and reminds me of His goodness, I'm able to draw on Him for strength and joy daily. Some days its a very conscience choice when its a bit harder because I am homesick or feel overwhelmed with some of the work thats ahead of me, and others I am so happy to be here and serving where I am. But at the end of it all, I am learning more of His goodness and grace in this season and am praying that He would be glorified because of it in the end! Miss you all and thank you so much for your prayers, I could tell so much more but I'll spare you the novel of information update I could write!

Some things to be praying for:

  • My heart and mind on the days when I struggle with fear or loneliness of missing my family, Josh and my friends; to continue to believe and trust God's goodness. 

  • That He would equip me and give all I need for work and to best serve WCC

  • Pray for the families that come to Messy Church, its every second Sunday of the month, that they would come to know Jesus and takes steps of faith to seek more of Him

  • The school assemblies we will be doing once a month

  • My wrist and ankle have been in a lot of pain as I've strained them both, healing for them

  • That the Lord would provide a car for my time here, its not a necessity but it can feel a bit isolating not being able to leave Wadebridge at all because I can only walk, so would be a nice gift to have to use to travel a bit more to surrounding communities and meet up with people in them 

Until next time, cheers!