I would like to introduce Wesley and Alison Downs from the Wythenshawe assembly in Manchester. Wesley and Alison serve the Lord full time in a number of different areas. Wesley has given me an introductory note and some prayer points which I will post later.
The work of the Mill was started in 2005 when we began to rent a unit in an old textile mill so that we could respond compassionately to the needs of a group of lads who came from difficult backgrounds including problems of unemployment, addiction, lack of education and opportunity. Each day we had a Bible time and then provided work experience in the refurbishment and sale of computers and furniture.
We thank God for His faithfulness to us in this work as it has grown from a loft space in the Gospel Hall in Wythenshawe to approximately 14000 sq feet in the mill. The Lord has graciously met the needs as they arose and we have been able to help more and more people including ex-offenders coming directly from prison, the homeless coming from the streets of Manchester and homeless hostels as well as individuals who had never worked.
Today we are firmly based on Christian principals and providing teaching from God’s Word each day as well as work experience in the refurbishment of furniture, computers and appliances as well as customer service, delivery logistics and catering through the small café that we have.
It has been a joy to see some whose lives had involved drug addiction, bank robbery, witchcraft, alcoholism and homelessness today serving Christ as they work at the mill day by day with a new hope through Jesus Christ! The work at the mill operates under a charity called Renewal North West.
City Centre Street Work
We thank God that a team of people continue to go out each week to the streets of Manchester including Mark, Robbie, Steve, Sam, Ben and others from time to time. They seek to go to where homeless people are sleeping rough and provide them with spiritual and practical help in the form of hot drinks, food, sleeping bags and other items such as clothing and hygiene packs provided by the saints. We do thank the Lord for this kind of support. Many good conversations are had on the streets and the Gospel message is the priority as this is their only true hope.
Manchester City Centre Drop-in
Preaching the good news of the Gospel to the homeless and needy in Manchester City Centre. We are looking to the Lord to run a ‘Little Rescue Shop within a Yard of Hell’. Please pray as we seek to establish the work in the city.
We provide accommodation for those who need it in a separate area in our home. We have those trusting Christ from prison and addictive backgrounds who need a fresh start or just a break away. People who stay also attend the Mill. Semi-independent accommodation is also available in house that is being purchased, near to where we live.
Preaching and Assembly Outreach
Wesley goes out preaching in the North West and Alison is involved with the Drop-in at the Gospel hall as well as a mother and toddler group along with other saints from the assembly. Many good contacts are made with our neighbours this way.