Action Zones 

TLC visit to the Eden Project 

tlc visit 2014bringing TLC to the heart of the community

Four of the TLC team travelled to Manchester to spend the day with the Eden Bus team, which is an outreach project of The Message Trust. We were blessed to have free accommodation due to friends who had migrated from Gorleston!

I don’t think any of us were prepared for what we were to witness. An amazing outreach project that unashamedly preaches Jesus everywhere they go.  Our day started at 8am with an hours drive to arrive to meet the team promptly at 9am

They promised us a tour of the ministries later in the day but first a time of Eden bus team prayer. They told us that everyday but Wednesday (the day we were visiting) the teams all come together for prayer. We then all piled on the bus and were driven to Merseybank to offer a parent and toddler drop-in on the bus. The bus had blackened windows so I had no idea where we were going, but we soon arrived in the middle of a housing estate. I was told this was once an estate of gun and drug culture, but was now changing due to Christians moving in and starting an Eden Community. I asked why such an outreach was needed, and why Christians weren’t naturally outreaching in their community. Sid (bus manager) told me that when Christians come to know Jesus they strive to move up the social ladder and often move off housing estates. The bus pulled up, opened the doors and chairs were set up outside and the lads grabbed a ball for a kick around. Inside the bus there were many activities on offer - hot drinks, nail painting, computer games, and a knitting group!

Our tour of their ministries during the afternoon were so encouraging – they showed us round their hair and beauty salon, bike recycling shop and a café, all run by ex-offenders who have come into a relationship with Jesus through The Message ministry.  They also told us about a church plant that had over a hundred new Christians. There are numerous teams outreaching for Jesus through schools workers teaching healthy sexual relationships, men and women’s prison ministries, drama, youth, music, photography, dance – they preach Jesus any and every way they can!

But our day didn’t stop there. At 6.30pm we got back on the bus and travelled to Old Trafford where the bus team were supporting a local church by helping them launch a youth group, using the bus as a banner to draw the young people to them

Amazing, amazing, amazing is all I can say. The TLC team returned to Norfolk excited about the coming of our Hope Bus 2 because we had glimpsed how effective it can be in reaching out to the community with the love of Jesus