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stories @ jesus house Renike Suleiman is a Banqueting Coordinator and a part-time student (Masters in Events Management). She has been a member of Jesus House for five years, and she shares her views on... ...Jesus House membership Truth be told, convenience [brought me here]. The church was close to home, my brother was a member and he invited me. Before Jesus House, I used to attend another RCCG church in Old Street.

up till 3am organising them. I started researching courses in events and decided to apply for a Masters in it. ...having people support her It helps to have someone that believes in you but you also need to be able to voice your ideas. If you never open up, you will never know what could be. I opened up to people and always presented my ideas. Even if I got shut down, I would go back again and express myself in another way. Everything I got involved in at school was to advance the school or support a charity, so I got support because there wasn’t a personal agenda.

discovering purpose

...the origins of her interest in Events Management I have always liked organising things. I remember organising a black history month celebration in secondary school. Although the school [already] acknowledged the day, we didn’t have an event to commemorate it. My friends and I pitched the idea to our head teacher and we were allowed to organise the first-ever black history event for our school; since graduating, the school has kept the tradition. It was a major project; we held the events in two halls simultaneously and were given the responsibility of planning the timetable for the entire day. We had poetry readings, rap, drama and a fashion show incorporated into the day. It was very successful and we gained the respect of our teachers and peers. I didn’t think anything of it at the time [but now] I’m amazed; it was like second nature. I now see that it was a massive project for a 16 year-old [but] the skills were already in me: organisation, teamwork, delegation, advertising, marketing and managing a budget.

...developing that interest I was 18 and studying law at university when my brother had an idea to run an event for young people in our previous church. We organised a ball themed “Teens & Queens” at the Holiday Inn in Kings Cross [which] was well received. Soon after, my brother and his friends launched a business called Next Level Events to run alternative events for young Christians. We found that most Christian events were essentially the same; run in a church and featuring a selection of gospel artistes. We wanted atypical events, something different. We’ve since hosted a Jazz night, comedy nights, athletic events and a theatre production. ...a decision to go into events After my law degree I took a year out and worked in the [ Jesus House] church office as Pastor Bajo’s Personal Assistant. Whilst working with him, we talked a lot about what I wanted to do in the future and liked doing [then]. Whilst working with him, I ran events (like the [church’s] youth retreat, RUC Sunday and talent show) and they were the only things I did without complaining. I’d happily stay 18

...whether she’s discovered her purpose I have discovered a part of it [because] discovering your purpose is a journey. I think there are stages to it and at this stage, this is what I believe God wants me to accomplish.

...the difference purpose has made When you know your purpose, there’s a sense of peace [in knowing] that you have God’s support. Even though there are rough times, because you are walking with God, you have His backing. I’m hopeful and excited about the future. I feel I’m just laying a foundation now and there’s a lot more to come, more to do and more to give. I’ve taken a step in faith and believe the rest will unfold as I continue to walk in it. ...the part Jesus House has played in helping her discover her purpose Pastor Agu is always talking about discovering purpose. That the vision of the church is to do what God has called us to do helps me translate that to my personal life. It also means you are surrounded by people who are on a similar journey, in terms of discovering who they are in God. ...advice to someone on this journey Pray about it and then speak to someone about it. Act in faith; start taking actions to support it. It helps to seek wise counsel. Not necessarily because you need a second opinion but sometimes you need advice on how to get there. Talking to someone might provide the kick you need to help take that bold step. It’s because I spoke to people that I found the courage to move away from Law and into Events. [Stepping out in faith has been] hasn’t been easy but it has been very insightful and rewarding. It doesn’t always look like I imagined it would be but when I push a bit further and trust God, it works out. Since I’ve been studying, I’ve had opportunities to work within the industry on major projects and have expanded my knowledge. I’m also getting closer to God as a result because I have stepped out of my comfort zone and have no choice but to rely on God.

Outflow March 2012  
Outflow March 2012  

Outflow magazine March edition