My Year as a Reach Trainee
On the outside, Reach would seem to be about colourful hoodies, cross-cultural training and endless free Chinese meals cooked by loving students. It is all these things, but so much more.
My year in Newcastle has seen me doing activities from basketball in the park to training courses near London, visiting our former international students as far apart as Cardiff and St Andrews, and building lasting friendship with so many students through the simple two-word phrase: “English Practice”.
As well as learning how to study the Bible with Iranian and Japanese students, we learnt how to rest and how to reflect. Our study books have taught us the value of self-forgetfulness and how to read the Bible as a whole. Things which, after three years of intense lectures and CU evangelism, have really brought a confidence and a depth to my faith. Perhaps the best thing about Reach is that it’s so flexible. Apart from Globe Cafés, matching hoodies and a love for international students, each Reach trainee’s year could look quite different.
For me it’s meant a greater focus on reading God’s Word than I’ve ever had since becoming a Christian at uni. It’s also meant a very helpful exposure to Mandarin ministry which has given focus to guide my future planning for now. Finally, it’s given me a long list of books and activities which I can’t wait to (attempt to) get through during my second Reach year!
Matthew Brindley, Reach Trainee, Newcastle