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Cliff Year House Fellowship

Having taken part in the first House Fellowship Cohort in Autumn 2021/Spring 2022 Matt and I were enthused to begin facilitating our own house fellowship. As the cohort was progressing we thought about a few combinations of people we could invite to take part in an experimental house fellowship with us. Each time we prepared to approach someone it became very clear to us that they weren’t the right people. In the end through some links with a local Bible college we were asked if we could ‘do something’ with a group of gap year students who were part way through their year but in need of some discipleship training. 

House fellowship seemed a perfect fit. As students who had just moved away from home, into a christian community, living on site at the college they appreciated the chance to be in a family home with all its quirks and foibles. They loved engaging with our daughter who joined in with the table fellowship before going to bed. We then went on to have amazing conversations structured around the four parts of the way of life. The students were experiencing a lot of new things but recognised they didn’t have time to reflect on their experiences and learn from them. They commented that house fellowship forced them to spend some time in the week reflecting on what had happened that week and in conversations shared with each other that God was really present and was clearly there with them.

The thing that surprised me the most wasn’t all of that -I expected all of that! God being present and doing great things is always encouraging but also fairly common when it comes to intentionally setting time aside for God! The thing that surprised me most was how life changing it was for me!! I had gone into it thinking it would be Matt and I facilitating this house fellowship. That would mean we ‘had it altogether’ and had all the answers and we would be chugging it along and keeping them on track. We knew it would be a privilege to be part of these young people’s journeys but we thought we would be leaving the impact, not them. I was humbled by some of their wisdom, I marvelled at how deeply some of them thought, I was stopped in my tracks by how bold in their faith some of them were and I was reminded again and again how simple things can be and yet how complicated we can make them. Most of all Matt and I are amazed at how God has provided for us through that amazing little group. 

During the few months that we were meeting, Matt and I found out we needed to move house and relatively quickly. We didn’t share any detail of our situation with the group but they knew we were house hunting and being turned down by multiple landlords because the rental market in England right now is crazy!! Every house we applied for had 8 or 9 other applicants. As we were praying one week, one of the group mentioned a house that some mission partners were living in. She said she thought they would be moving out soon and what about renting their house. We contacted a few people and asked a few questions and pushed the door. It was a bit stiff so we stopped pushing but kept it on the back burner. A few weeks after we finished house fellowship with that group we heard from the landlord of the house. He basically said it was ours if we wanted it because of our connections with the college and our faith. We are moving into the new house soon and can’t help but think of the young lady who sheepishly said “I don’t know if this is from God or not but what about B and R’s house?”

House fellowship is an amazing place for sharing faith and God sightings but also a safe space to practice spiritual gifts and test things. Through this house fellowship we have been provided for in amazing ways and we have made some amazing friends who are going on to do wonderfully exciting things. What could happen for you if you stepped out and started a house fellowship with a few friends? The only way to find out is to give it a go!!

Rachel, Inspire Missioner, GB, August 2022

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