The vision for Focus is a ‘family on a mission’ (or as we like to say, “Family Of Churches Up to Something") and to help make Focus an inclusive event, we cover costs for teams to volunteer their time to serve at Focus and offer discounted tickets for those who would otherwise be unable to come. Here are stories of some of those people who've been able to come to Focus because of your generosity.
From work struggles to Kids Team volunteer
In 2017, John (27), was struggling to find work and a place to live. His church, St Peter & St Paul Church in Buckingham, offered him a bursary to come to Focus. At one of Focus’s worship sessions, he had what he describes as his first ‘God-incident’: ‘I went flat out on my back and what I experienced was better than any drug or drink.’
When the Kids Team was short-handed, John pitched in as a volunteer, which he really enjoyed. This year, John has two part-time-jobs: he does the cleaning and visuals at Buckingham Parish Church and has a second job cleaning buses. He came back to Focus as a volunteer with the Kids Team helping with the 7–8-year-olds, and received a discounted ticket for volunteering. ‘Focus is amazing,’ he says. ‘Before Focus I didn’t really have an interest in working with kids, but now I really enjoy it. I get to see them having visions and writing down their prayers; you can really see the Spirit moving – it’s amazing.’
A First for St Luke’s Family
Barry, Sophie and their kids, Afie (8), Abbie (6) and Teddie (3) were at Focus for the first time after being baptised as a family at St Luke’s Kentish Town on Pentecost Sunday. Sophie said, ‘We decided to come because of the amazing feedback from people that had been in previous years, and the discounted kids’ rates were really helpful. We’ve really enjoyed getting to know our church community better. The children running free was also amazing, as we don’t have the space for it in London.’
Barry shared, ‘I had had a rough six weeks and had been diagnosed with depression. Hearing Amy Orr-Ewing speak really helped me and now, after Focus, I feel 95% better.’ The kids loved Focus too. Alfie loved ‘exploring with my friends, playing volleyball and football and being in my groups.’ Sophie reported, ‘The kids groups were my favourite part!’ And Teddie (who is not usually keen on going to church) was very taken by the family worship. ‘He looked up at me and said, “I love this!”’ said Sophie, ‘it was really special.’
Alpha, Friendships and Family
Karen and her two daughters came to Focus for the first time this year with discounted tickets and a bursary from St John’s Hampton Wick. Karen had just completed Morning Alpha and was baptised a couple weeks before. The family absolutely loved Focus, despite getting flooded out of their tent! They had lots of highlights but particularly loved the community/family aspect – making new friends and deepening existing friendships. They've already met up with people they got to know at Focus.
Karen also had some moments where she felt God really spoke to her. Karen's teenage daughter especially loved the worship and Focus Youth. She couldn't wait to join the youth back at St John’s when they returned and even brought a friend with her on Sunday.