I’m Bryony, originally from Slough, more recently from Central London and currently living in lovely Watford. I’m spending a year with Soul Survivor doing Soul61, their leadership course.

It’s a 10 month course involving teaching on leadership, theology and a whole range of other things. We will also serve at Soul Survivor Watford (the church) and work on a placement.

It’s going to be a year full of encouragements, learning curves, forming of relationships and I’m sure, a lot of other things I don’t even know about yet!

So, it looks like, as part of my placement with Soul Action, I’m going to write a blog every once in a while to talk about my Soul61 Journey.  The whole thing is a bit of a surprise really – the placement, the blog, the lot; however, I am so happy to be here and excited this is going to be part of my year, but honestly, I never really intended to be sitting here writing this…

The truth is, as I sometimes do, I’d set my heart on something and had become very excited about how I was going to get involved in a church plant placement; how I could make a difference and how we could see utter transformation in this church in just 10 months! Apart from the potentially unrealistic expectations I put on myself and the poor team I would have been working alongside, this excitement was really built around something that interested me and I thought would have been ‘good’ to have got involved in for the year. In fairness, it does still interest me and it is definitely good. Actually, I think it’s great and I’m really looking forward to seeing what God is going to do through the 61s who are part of that placement over the year.

But I realise now it’s not where God wanted me.

As I should have learnt by now, His plans are worth listening to; in a teaching session last week with Mike Pilav, I was prompted to do just that. Pilav was talking about leadership and made the point that “our calling is where our heart has been broken.” This got me thinking; where has my heart had been broken? What might this mean for me over the coming year?

It occurred to me that the times I can honestly say my heart had been broken had been during the Slum Survivor Weekend I took part in with my youth group in February 2009 and the time I’d spent in Uganda in the summer of 2011. Both of these pointed me towards Soul Action and what they’re trying to do. So, after a lot of prayer (and a quick phone call to mum to check I wasn’t going completely crazy away from home!) I filled in the form and popped Soul Action at the top with the Church regeneration following in a close second, with the “well, the Soul Action placement was only for one person so it’s good to have a decent second choice” mentality. I prayed that I would see the placement I ended up in as His perfect plan, whether that was with Soul Action, a Church plant, or something completely different I hadn’t even looked at.

As it happened, I was allocated the Soul Action placement at the beginning of this week and am convinced I have been a complete nightmare to be around ever since because of the excitement that has been mounting ahead of my first day with them today!

These 10 months are going to be stretching, challenging and encouraging; on placement, in the teaching sessions we have 2 days a week and the time I’ll spend with my roommate, housemates, other 61s and people in the church.

It is a hugely exciting time and I cannot wait to let you all know what goes on over the year and the incredible things God is doing, and will continue to do over my time here.

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