Getting to know Gavin Bateman

Gavin has formally joined the church staff at Open Door in St Neots and works closely with Martin. I was honoured to interview Gavin and came away very inspired by him and totally blessed.
Gavin Bateman
M.M: Tell me something of your background?
G.B: I was born near Portsmouth into a Catholic family. I left home at the age of 16 to join the air force where I was an apprentice for 3 years before becoming an engineer in the air force. At age 20, I was independent and spent the next 6 years going around the world. After some time, I moved to Peterborough and that’s where I met my wife Fiona. We married and have a miracle daughter Maisie who is a blessing. I was self-centered; career oriented but God radically changed my life. Fiona and I moved to Swindon for 6 months which I’d call Foundational time before attending Open Door Church– and we haven’t moved since. I have joined the church staff full time and Fiona started an International Women’s group 18 months ago with 5 people and now there are 85 women attending.

M.M: Praise God. This is really exciting! How best would you describe your family life?
G.B: It’s an amazing blessing. I am excited for our daughter Maisie as she was prophesied over. I want her to see Zimbabwe and the ostriches. There is so much more to see in the world than what is back home. I have rediscovered the importance of family and God keeps on showing me just how blessed I am.

M.M: Fantastic Gavin. Is this your first time in Zimbabwe? If so, what are your first impressions?
G.B: Yes it is my first time in Zimbabwe and I am just blown away. Since coming out here, I have been at a loss for words. It feels so much like home, natural and comfortable. My head is spinning.

M.M: What do you think of Ebenezer and the vision?
G.B: Ebenezer – I didn’t know what to expect. I came with a British, European view of things which has changed in 24 hours. Walking the field and seeing the apprentice eyes, you just catch the vision. The dam is impressive.

M.M: You taught spiritual lessons to the apprentices. What was your experience with them?
G.B: Amazing! Seeing the apprentices sitting with notebooks and a Bible in their work clothes is like such a contradiction. They have so little and yet so much. They listened to what we were saying and were applying to their lives before asking questions. There is lots of Ebenezer to catch and take back home. The apprentices were inspirational.

M.M: Great. What has been the highlight of your visit to Ebenezer?
G.B: Combined Cell. It was incredibly strong and easy to connect with God.

M.M: How best would you describe your visit in the community?
G.B: It was a privilege and very humbling. I was given a chance to understand rural life here.

M.M: What caught your attention at the Crossroads site?
G.B: Crossroads. I watched the children. The poor children were smiling and it was a beautiful sight. Crossroads is surrounded by beautiful kopjes and when Stephen shared the vision, I could actually see it. The word I had for you was to “Build a tall church”. It’s not so much in the physical building but about a church that stands tall – that’s resolute in the word and can be seen for what it is.

M.M: Truly inspirational. Any last comments?
G.B: I have a real sense that Crossroads Community Church – the purpose, vision, position is for a stronger community. It’s the greatest Church planting lesson. What is modeled through Crossroads will be impressive. It’s the final piece. You and Stephen have been prepared for this work. It’s Crossroads you have been coming to all this time.

I am now at a loss for words. Be blessed Gavin as you continue to be salt and light wherever you go.
A lighter moment: Gavin at the computer with Paul looking on….
By Molly Manhanga

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