Stories

The power of language

Date posted: 16/05/18

Jos Edwards 

Welcome to part eight of the Internship blog as Jos Edwards shares how he's been using his passion for the Welsh language. Jos plays rugby for KCS Old Boys RFC and is based in London where he is part of Dundonald Church.

From South East England to North West Wales, it is safe to say my Internship year has been hugely varied - and I have loved every second of it!

Over the course of the year I have been primarily based in London at Dundonald Church in Raynes Park. Here I have enjoyed getting stuck in to a variety of facets of church life, and have revelled in being part of a church that is seeing new disciples being made and new churches being planted regularly. From a Christians in Sport perspective, I have been involved in university work across London and the South East - meeting with university students one-to-one, as well as organising and speaking at a few guest events.

Jos Edwards

Meeting fellow Christians in sport at the London Partner Evening

Yet, whilst it has been great spending the year in London serving the work of Christians in Sport and Dundonald Church, the big smoke has never felt like home. Anyone who knows me will testify of my passion for Wales, specifically of Welsh-speaking North Wales. I long to return there and work full-time taking the gospel to its towns and villages because, as beautiful as the natural landscape may be, its spiritual landscape is desolate. And while there are, of course, bright lights of encouragement as a few churches seek to take the gospel to the region, there is much work to be done.

One particular area of opportunity is in the world of sport. Sport is the heartbeat of many small-town communities across North Wales. My hometown of Bala is one such example - the rugby club is of central importance to the wider town. Given this, I believe a huge part of reaching Wales as a nation is in reaching the world of sport in Wales specifically.

Consequently, this year, I have loved returning to Wales on occasion to serve the work there. It has been particularly exciting to see, first hand, the initial steps being taken towards establishing long-term sports mission in North Wales.

Jos Edwards

 

This involved me joining Heather Lewis and Lloyd Thomas (Christians in Sport staff workers in Wales, pictured above) for the final few days of their two week mission across the country. During this time we ran training events in Bangor and Bala called “The Changing Room”. At these evenings we sought to envision local Christian sports players to see their sporting world as a huge mission field - a harvest to be won for Christ!

The Bala changing room event was particularly special to me. Being my home town, I was asked to gather a group of Christian sports players who lived around the area for the evening. I was overjoyed to see so many come for the first time to a Christians in Sport event and engage with the idea of sports mission. I was especially encouraged by one girl who had 'never seen how Jesus and her passion for football fitted together’.

But the real standout feature of the evening for me was that it was run entirely in Welsh. From the “Born to Play” films, to the Bible passages and the wider training - every facet of the evening was in Welsh. Now, at face value this may seem insignificant, but I believe it could have lasting consequences.

 


Bala resides within Gwynedd which as a county is over 80% Welsh speaking. The language of Bala and the surrounding towns and villages is Welsh, meaning the language of schools, churches and sport is also Welsh. By giving the training in Welsh, we were giving those in attendance the tools that will speak to the people in the world of sport of North Wales.

Jos EdwardsFor there to be sustainable sports mission in this part of the country, it is imperative that Christian sports players are able to understand the vision and communicate it in their own language! I cannot wait to see gospel talks given at dodgeball tournaments and sports quizzes in Welsh in the near future.

Since this first evening, I have been able to return to Bala and deliver another night of training and, as I write, I am meeting with a key group of leaders in the town to organise our first ever Sports Quiz. I am expectant that God will use it to reach lost sportspeople in the town.

All in all, the Internship has been an incredible year. From leafy suburban London to rugged North Wales - it has been a joy to be part of God’s work in the world of sport.

I Dduw bo’r gogoniant! To God be the glory!

 

To read the rest of the Internship blog series, click here 


back pages - Spring 2016
 

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