SERVING BEYOND: Al McDonald - Berkel, Netherlands



At the core of what Redeemer is about is that we are ALL ‘SENT ONES’ - the reason Jesus has not taken us to glory is that we GO to those who do not yet know him so that they to can one day join him and us in glory! We love to invest in and celebrate what God is doing ‘beyond’ us through our members.

Alastair McDonald

Al is one of the Elders at Redeemer and is a full time secondary school teacher. He lives with a great passion to see everyone enjoy the fullness of life Jesus offers - to experience healing in every way and never to ‘settle’ in our pursuit of breakthrough and healing. Here is his recap of his time away

It was with a great sense of adventure that I headed off to Berkel, Netherlands on Friday 5th April 2019 for the ‘Training in the Supernatural’ week-end with Grantley & Floss Watkins. It was a joy to be part of the ‘Ministry Team’ alongside others, there to serve our ‘Relational Mission’ family of churches in this great nation.

The Friday night session consisted of faith building stories of Jesus’ healing power at work in people’s lives.

The Saturday sessions looked at the ‘Apostolic Foundation of Signs & Wonders’ followed by ‘The Baptism with the Holy Spirit’ with a tremendous response from those gathered desiring more of His power to touch their lives. The final session of the day was on ‘Dealing with Disappointment’ which was really helpful in encouraging us to live with the mystery while pressing in for more of God’s power to be released in signs, wonders & miracles. The Saturday evening provided us with an opportunity to have a meal together followed by a fun quiz for all the family.

The final session on Sunday morning was on ‘Becoming a Faith Filled Community’.

Over the week-end I was so encouraged to have words for people to build them up, to bring restoration to situations & to help some encounter the Holy Spirit afresh.

Thanks to my Redeemer Church family for their financial support, their prayers & their encouragement. Thanks to Bas & Carline Visser & family for providing accommodation for me and for being great hosts. Thanks to God for a beautiful opportunity to work together with His people to see more of His kingdom come & His will be done in the Netherlands as it is in heaven. ❤🇳🇱




Who Cares? is an initiative birthed by Rob Tervet out of a Relational Mission church in Attleborough. It is an inter-church initiative asking the community ‘What hurts the most?’ and responding as local churches, bringing the hope of Jesus to the hurts of people, and growing in awareness of how our communities are hurting. The ‘togetherness’ helps raise the profile of the initiative across the region, but each church responds as they see fit - which may well be partnering with other churches!

In simple terms there are three phases to the initiative and the timing we are doing them;

  1. The LISTENING Phase (SEPT - OCT 2019) - getting into the community and asking a simple, anonymous question: ‘What hurts the most?’

    • This could be ‘high street’ questionnaires, door knocking and/or asking the question in your current ‘spheres of influence’ - e.g. Toddler groups, colleagues, sports clubs, neighbours etc

  2. The RESPONSE PREPARATION Phase ( NOV 2019 JAN 2020) - Gathering the responses and preparing how we will respond and bring the hope of Jesus to the main challenges.

    • Assess the responses and decide what to address and how

  3. The RESPONDING Phase (JAN - MARCH 2020) - addressing the key challenges.

    • For example: Sermon series? A Guest speaker in the toddler group who has found peace and hope in Jesus for her ‘Mother Guilt’? Personal Testimonies….



—> WEDNESDAY 27th MARCH 2019 - VISION EVENING - 7:30pm at Plume Ave Church (directions)

  • VISION EVENING for all church leaders and Christians interested in engaging in the event.

  • SPEAKER: Rob Tervet - Founder of Who Cares?

  • HOSTED by Plume Ave Church

  • WORSHIP by Redeemer Church Colchester


  • VISION EVENING for all church leaders and Christian interested in engaging with Who Cares?


  • Engagement/Surveys/Questionnaires


  • Bringing the hope of Jesus to the main hurts raised





CATCHING UP… is a series of blog posts ‘catching up’ with current or former Redeemer members who are now elsewhere. Please continue to pray for them! Some are studying for a year and coming back, others have moved on permanently.


Zama Moyo was part of Redeemer from the very early days and left us in September 2016 to return to his home in South Africa. Below he gives us an update on what’s been going on in his life.

Redeemer gang, hello from Johannesburg!

Although my time with you guys was relatively short, I consider you all an important and beautiful part of my journey and, more importantly, such a clear picture of how God’s kingdom traverses cultural, national, and denominational boundaries.

So what have I been up to since leaving Colchester in September 2016?

I must admit that the question is a bit difficult to answer because it feels like I’ve had my fingers in many a cookie jar. The main thing vocationally- and this is how I’m actually earning a living- is that I’ve been doing a lot of writing. Particularly, I’ve been ghost-writing for a woman who’s an executive in one of the big mining companies. This crazy opportunity came about when I spoke to a man at church about exploring the career opportunities available to me. I wanted to pick his brain about what I was thinking, and how I could use my qualification and interests. He in turn introduced me to his colleague, with whom I spoke about my writing. As it turns out, she had been looking for a ghost-writer for her memoir, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I’ve also been in touch for some months- probably approaching a year- with a publisher in Cape Town which has expressed interest in publishing my debut novel. That’s been a long process filled with all sorts of emotions, but mostly very encouraging. I’m in the final stages of reworking the intial manuscript, and then will send it off and once again cross fingers.

On the policy stuff, which is what my academic background is in, I’ve written my first full length feature article which was a published in a quarterly magazine called The Thinker. Other than that, I’m still exploring avenues of being involved in the policymaking space. It’s turning out to need a lot of patience.

Another development, as some of you may have seen from my social media, is that I’ve developed a keen interest in ‘wellness’, particularly the movement and nutrition side of things. It was born initially from my struggles with insomnia. As I was working on improving my sleep quality, it became clear that this was related a lot of other areas, including stress management, exercise, and the whats and whens of my eating. I’m currently working towards a certification in Nutrition Coaching, and am planning to start seeing clients in March. Of late, though, I’ve been battling with eczema, which I’ve had on and off from when I was a toddler. If I’m honest it’s been a humbling experience; I think I’d gotten to a point where I think I knew it all!


I continue to play piano and/or drums in the worship team at my church, Lyndhurst Baptist. However my involvement is minimal, and I play mostly to give some of the other musicians a break or if there’s a shortage of personnel. For a time I was co-leading the Young Adults ministry as well with my good friend Justice Mahlatji. At the moment the youth structure is in transition, and I’ve sensed that it was time to pull back and attend to some other things God has been doing/calling me to.

What takes up most of my time and energy is an interdenominational, nation-wide programme called Journey (formerly known as Living Waters). It’s a discipleship setup that deals with issues of addiction and relational brokenness. I had been involved as a participant in 2014, then kind of lost contact with the people after I’d finished my courses. When I got back to SA, I got involved on team via a friend who was still involved in the leadership. So for the whole of last year, that’s what I’ve been busy with, and God has been doing reconstructive surgery on my heart week after week. It’s also been a great (and somewhat intense) honour to walk with other men in their own journeys through crisis and to be trusted with their stories. The sense of community there has blessed me in ways I can’t quite speak, and it’s the most authentic and raw thing I’ve ever been a part of.

I will continue my involvement with Journey this year and the foreseeable future.

So that’s me in a snapshot, gang. The thought of you guys still brings a smile to my face. God be with you as you continue to fulfil His mandate in Colchester.




Calling all students and twenties!

Sent is our yearly conference for students and twenties across Relational Mission to worship God and to receive fresh equipping for the mission ahead.

We are sent. Will you come with us?

Tickets include tea and coffee, three meals and entry to the entire programme (including two seminars and after-hours events!) and what’s more – our first #ThriftyFifty tickets cost just £35 (students) and £50 (regular)!





CATCHING UP… is a series of blog posts ‘catching up’ with current or former Redeemer members who are now elsewhere. Please continue to pray for them! Some are studying for a year and coming back, others have moved on permanently.


Hi, I’m Alice and I am currently on my study year abroad in Mexico! I am a 3rd year student studying International Relations at the University of Essex. I am almost half way through my time here in Mexico and it has been a completely new, unexpected and life-changing experience so far.

I found it extremely difficult choosing the ‘perfect’ place to go for this year abroad but decided on a Spanish-speaking country to improve my very basic Spanish. I was stuck between Spain and Mexico, but after prayers and weighing up the pros and cons; I went for Mexico. I don’t really know why I chose to go here as the cons definitely did outweigh the pros. Far away, an 8 hour time difference and expensive flights. Regardless, I kept feeling drawn to Guadalajara and I couldn’t let the idea go.

I had always wanted to visit Mexico and imagined it to be an amazing place to visit. I even had a ‘Mexican’ themed birthday party for my 18th which, of course, featured sombreros, maracas and fake moustaches. Although I thought I had a great idea of what Mexican life would be like through this Mexican fiesta; upon arrival, it was far from how I had expected.

These first 4 months have definitely not gone as I would have planned. Being an optimist, I had imagined my same life in Colchester but just… in Mexico. This wasn’t the case. I knew it would be hard but I really didn’t actually think it would be this hard.


Although people had tried to prepare me by saying ‘wow that will be so tough’ ‘oh that’s so far away’ ‘Mexico is very dangerous, right?’ I still felt it was where I should be. Due to language barriers and unfamiliarity, things seemed quite stagnant at first, sometimes at the weekends all my plans would fall through and I would spend this time just sitting in my room feeling discouraged as to why my plans were not working. However, I knew God was still calling me and had a plan for me here.

One of the reasons I found things difficult in the first few months of being here was finding a church community. I realise how much Redeemer had blessed me and how I LOVE church community! I was craving fellowship but the only churches I could find at first were Spanish speaking. As my Spanish is not at an advanced level yet, I found this extremely challenging to connect with people in Churches. After praying and searching for a church, an international church had just started in the city and I decided to get involved. After just a few weeks, I felt so welcomed and I am excited to see how God will use this church to bless the city. I also found a campus mission outreach group that have an open house on a Wednesday for any student at the university to eat, hang-out and play games which is so much fun! Top tip- if you plan to study abroad, check for international churches if you are not super great at the language yet. It will help you feel more settled and connected more quickly as I don’t think it’s so great sitting in a service you don’t understand!


Even though this has been a complete change in life ‘tempo’ and being over 5,000 miles from home, God’s love remains. As always, whether I could see it or not, He has being doing great things. I have grown through ways where I thought I had no growing room left and God has been teaching me great things. I have learnt that it isn’t always through doing and doing that we succeed in life, but simply it is when we are obedient to Him and trust in his perfect plan.

As I approach the end of my first semester here with just one week left until I return to the UK for Christmas, I look forward to returning in January 2019 and seeing what God has instore. I am grateful for the way that He knows just what we need when we need it even when we may think otherwise. He always knows better!