It only seems like yesterday that I was sat writing my last blog and yet here I am again and we’re already well into 2015! The last month or so seems to have absolutely flown by, but it’s nice to be back and letting you all know what I’ve been up to!
Unlike my other blogs however, this one will probably be a lot shorter and less than 1000 words due to the fact that a large part of the last month was the Christmas period and so more than half of it was spent back home in Herefordshire! Nonetheless, Nomad have still been out and about and there are a few things that we have managed to squeeze in!
The first of these occurred just before the Christmas break and involved us spending the day at Longdon Hall School just outside of Lichfield that specialised in education for those who had been excluded from mainstream schools. The day was run as a taster day for the school and involved us setting up the cage and having a kick about with the students when they came out and just getting to know them. It was a great day where we got the chance to share what we do with some kids that may otherwise not get the opportunity, as well as see the amazing work that the staff do to give them a second chance at education.
The ever-anticipated Christmas holidays were the next event in the calendar and having dropped Jonny off at Birmingham Airport at 5:30am, (dedicated team right there) the day before, the rest of us headed back home on the 18th. It was lovely to get back home and see family and friends as well as spending time letting people at church know that I was actually doing something in my gap year and catching up with the general news back home!
Christmas day was incredibly chilled out for the Welford family this year; whereas there’s normally a whole host of us, this year it was just myself, my youngest brother and the rents. It was great to be able to relax and spend the day together with the added bonus of present giving and a delightful Christmas dinner!
New Year was spent up in Scarborough visiting two of my brothers and their families and was again a really relaxing time which enabled me to catch up with my family and just chill out before I returned to Lichfield. Of course the main highlight of the New Year had to be the countless games of FIFA and beating my youngest brother 7-1 two nights running. Not that I’m boasting or anything…(you still owe me a Facebook apology.)
With Christmas festivities and New Year chilling over, I returned to Lichfield on the 4th (with bags heavier and stomach fuller…) for around 14 hours before heading to the Britannia Hotel in Manchester for the annual YFC Conference. The week involved anyone who was involved within YFC; whether through gap years, local centres, National Team, all coming together and spending the week catching up with each other, worshipping God and preparing ourselves for the year ahead. It was a really great week with some incredible speakers over all the sessions who all brought incredible stories and messages as well as some great worship lead by Pete James, concluding with worship through the ages on the final night which was amazing!
Alongside the meetings there were also several seminars and events on during the week, ranging from seminars on Sharing Your Faith to Marriage Myth-Busters as well as a day of Equip Training for those of us on YFC One. Now being on a touring team, it wasn’t likely that we were going to get away without doing what we do for a whole week and thus on the Wednesday Night, ourselves and Stance ran the After-hours Session, giving those within YFC a taste of what we both do on mission and how they fare when playing a game of football in a cage for 2 minutes inside an incredibly warm and sweaty nightclub – it was delightful! It was great to see people get involved and be able to spread the word of Nomad and Stance to those there, as well as play some football! Sadly all good things have to come to an end and after a truly incredible week hanging out with some absolute legends and worshipping God, it was time to head back home.
With conference over and done with, we had the weekend to rest and recuperate from many early mornings and late nights before heading to Cheltenham on the Monday for some Personality Training. It was a great couple of days that enabled us to look at how we, as a team, could use our individual giftings and personalities to benefit our work as Nomad and how we best work together, as well as getting the chance to tag along to Monday Night Football and also see some of the great work that Cheltenham YFC do in the local schools and surrounding area.
The next date in the diary involved myself, Jonny and Ed returning to Whitemoor Lakes for the weekend as part of the Ignite Youth Weekend Away. Again, it was another really great weekend, where we were able to get to know the youth a lot more and have some great fun with them. It was packed full of different activities and sessions, with rock-climbing, zip-wire and team games being put on by the instructors at the centre as well as us, Anthony and Selina each putting on Bible Studies that helped the youth look at certain Bible characters and their lives. As aforementioned, it was another amazing weekend and despite feeling absolutely wiped out afterwards, it was really great to be able to spend that time with the Ignite guys and see them grow in faith.
With one day off, we were back on the road again shortly, however this time only a short way, to Stoke, where we, alongside Stance and a few of the YFC staff paid a visit to UCB media for the day. It was a lovely day where we were welcomed with tea and coffee and the magic t – table tennis! It was a very relaxed day in which we were each individually filmed answering a few questions about our faith as well as getting a tour around their studios and listening in on a live radio show!
So that brings us to now and I appear to have accidentally run over 1000 words…oops. At least I’m consistent eh? So that’s what has happened over the last month and things are only going to get busier as we progress into the year! I am incredibly excited about the missions that we have lined up and as soon as this blog is posted, I will start packing for one next week!
A huge thank you to everyone that has and continues to support me in what I am doing this year, both financially and through prayer, I cannot express how much I appreciate all your support! See you all in a month with another ‘short’ update!
Christmas Day with Paul the ‘poo pillow’
Small part of the huge conference photo!
Some of the Ignite Youth on the Weekend Away!