Dear praying friends,

Exciting times! Our two biggest prayer requests in the last few years have been answered amazingly – not only do we now have keys to the building, but we have our new Youth Worker…only better than that! As you know we have been aiming to get an Irish youth worker, as we wanted someone who understands Irish culture and also will be able to stay around for a while to build relationships.
So God has sent us an American! – whom we have known for some time. Our first encounters were many years ago working with him on worship nights with young people in a local school. James has lived in Ireland for most of twenty years and plans to be around for a while yet, and we are blessed to have his lovely Irish wife Rachel onboard too. Both they and the KCC Board believe God’s hand is on their appointment to jointly carry out the role not just of Youth Worker, but also that of Centre Manager, which will involve working with us to share the vision and develop the reality.
We are thrilled to have a couple of such maturity and experience, both have been working as pastors and have been involved with planting churches, training and discipling. They start officially next year, but are already rounding up potential leaders. Here’s a potted bio:

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After many years of searching and difficulties in securing a building, we finally have keys to our new premises! Thank you so much for your prayers! The building is to be a home for the Rock Youth drop-in, and for enabling the vision for a Christian community centre in Kilkenny where the light of the Gospel can shine out. We will share more detail in the coming weeks.
• praise God for this major milestone!
Now we can launch into major refurbishments, funds permitting! We have been able to get this far through some generous loans, but we will need approximately €500,000 to repay all loans and complete the refurbishment plan. The first job is to replace the asbestos roof which is in poor repair.
• please pray that cashflow would allow us to proceed without delay
We believe we are close to appointing new leaders for our youth work and for development of the Christian Centre community project – more news soon!
• pray as we consider engagement of leader(s) for the youth work that God’s will may be clear to all concerned

After many years of searching and trying to secure a building, we are moving to close a sale in the next few weeks! It is to be a home for the Rock Youth drop-in, and for enabling the vision for a Christian community centre in Kilkenny. We are finally over the last major hurdle of securing Land Registry documents, the deposit is paid and the contract of sale is signed by us. More news soon, but in the meantime please:
• praise God for significant progress!
• pray that closure of sale will go smoothly
• pray as we consider engagement of leader(s) for the youth work

The last few months have involved lots of planning and preparation for when we have our new building, and we have agreed a date with the seller to try to close at the end of May! This is an encouragement and an affirmation of the commitment on both sides, though we still await crucial land registry clearance. Further consultation with architect and engineer have affirmed the wisdom of replacing the asbestos roof from the start, as even though it is safe, it is in poor condition and it would be very disruptive to replace in a few years’ time.

We advertised to a selected audience for a centre manager/youth worker (or a couple) to be employed to run thecentre, with particular focus on youth, but are so far disappointed not to have yet had a suitable applicant. Further targetted enquiries are being made for this critical appointment.

At the moment it feels rather like digging over the soil and planting, which can be heavy going at times, but we anticipate flourishing times ahead with a vibrant community centre and youth drop-in!