“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10
We have held on this verse over 2020 as we changed gears to slow down from the busy year we were going into. We were well into our year and a half of being open, with a fuller booking calendar, about to welcome our first primary school for their school residential with us when things came to a standstill with COVID-19. We were disappointed. But we needed to be still and see God exalted at Gowanbank and in Ayrshire.
And so the story goes with us seeing the centre being used in ways that we could not have anticipated.
- SU families & friends staying in the summer when self-catering options were opened up.
- Welcoming the local Council in September for a series of meetings, as their council buildings were closed. We were grateful not only for them being able to use Gowanbank, but also for the relationship that we could build with them and the opportunities that have opened up.
- Besides hosting a missionary family at Gowanbank in October, we were able to work with a youth group from Ayr, running outdoor activities for them and the children really appreciated being together and learn about God’s love and what He could do for them. These activity days gave opportunities for the young people to take part in activities and we witnessed the young people’s confidence return and their resilience rise. They were able to “enjoy life again and be young people again which is so important” as quoted by their Youth Worker.
- We ran various Day Camps in the Autumn term. Junction12 joined us for a day and we had a couple of activity days for our own children in Ayrshire with Bible teaching from Carol & the team. We also had a couple of local churches who visited us in December. It has been encouraging to see how God continued to use Gowanbank for his purpose.
Apart from above, we were delighted to have Laura start her Gap Year in Ayrshire & at Gowanbank – not quite the Gap Year she had signed up for. But God was making a way in the wilderness. Laura was able to work with some of the groups in the Autumn term. We hope that in time, she would have more opportunities to work with groups at Gowanbank.
Prayer has been a key part of last year. We have been continually encouraged by the support of our volunteers in our fortnightly prayer meetings for SU Ayrshire & Gowanbank. We hosted a Day of Prayer at Gowanbank in September and later on online when restrictions changed. These prayer meetings & events have proved to be a huge source of strength and encouragement to us.
As we look ahead, we are reminded that God will make a way and we hold on to the promises of God.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14
Sylvia Campbell, Joint Gowanbank Centre Manager