Amanda Wolfram is an incredibly gifted worship leader at Kerith Community Church. Last Friday she took a team of musicians to lead worship at Yeldall Manor. For more information about Yeldall Manor, click here. Here’s what she thought:
I’m a bit of a restless soul by nature and can’t get to sleep at night because I’m too busy counting lost sheep! (Boom boom!) But in all honesty, many of us feel the tug at the heart strings to get the gospel of hope ‘out there’ by whatever means, to broken and hurting people. And for this reason I leapt at the chance to take a few members of my band to Yeldall Manor last Friday. (For those who don’t know much about it, Yeldall Manor is a rather special place, hidden in the middle of nowhere, offering residential rehabilitation for men with drug and alcohol addictions.)
As we pulled up, a crisp, crescent-shaped moon covered by wispy, watery clouds just gave enough light to see a slightly imposing but beautiful country estate; it felt as though we had arrived at a Harry Potter film set!
Andy Partington, who heads up the work there, warmly greeted us and made us feel both welcome and at ease and as people started to arrive in their droves, you could feel a buzz of expectation growing in the room. The purpose of the evening was to celebrate the graduation of two heroes – Gary and Taff – who had successfully completed the Yeldall Course and had personally overcome huge battles for freedom in their own lives. From the moment we struck up the first chord, the place took off and we all felt that we were joining in with a party that had been initiated in heaven well before we had arrived.
It was one of those special times that you can hardly put into words but God was there powerfully and Andy did such a brilliant job of getting the balance between the wonder of the transforming work of Jesus in people’s lives alongside the tremendous effort it takes on a daily basis to overcome different temptations that each of us face.
I loved the rawness of the occasion, the brutal honesty, the sense of God’s smile and favour and the passionate revelling we all enjoyed at the wonderful message of hope. I once remember John Wimber sharing that as a young Christian he regularly used to ask his pastor, ‘So when do we get to do the stuff?’ Last Friday, we did the stuff and it felt really, really good.