With Solihull done and the team rested over the weekend, we were back on the road again the following Monday for our longest mission week yet; a two weeker in the lovely city of Cambridge. The first of these two weeks was almost unknown to us as it happened to be in half term and so wasn’t a schools week! As it turned out, we were taking part in an outreach week that was being run in partnership with Cambridge and District YFC, YWAM Cambridge, local churches and Hope Revolution, called Be The Change. There were around 60 of us that had come to the week with people such us as being leaders as well as several young people that had come along to serve the community. We were split into 3 groups around the area – Arbury, Barnwell and Cherry Hinton and in each place there was a kids club and football going on for the young people that lived there, as well as Youth Cafes in the evenings. The days started off with worship and Bible teachings in the mornings, before we headed out to the areas we were working in. We were placed in the Arbury area for the first two days, in which we set up in a local school carpark and waited for young people to walk past! We managed to get a couple of local kids involved and it was great to see them enjoying themselves and taking part in something that they had never done before. Once the afternoon was over, we then set the cage up again back at Arbury Baptist Church for the youth cafe in the evening in which the kids could just come and relax, play some cage football, table tennis, take part in some messy games and hear a couple of testimonies. The final day has us setting up in the Barnwell area, where as well as the cage we also had the facilities to play 5aside football and of course, we jumped at the chance! It was great to be able to get a good kick about going, with YFC versus, and engage with the young people in the area.
The weekend sadly saw us lose the ever so important fifth member of the team as Nathan had sadly finished his two week placement and so headed back to Cheltenham. It was sad for us to lose what had been a solid member of the team, but we can only hope he takes up cage football again one day!
The next week in Cambridge was one that was back to a more ‘normal’ routine for us as we were working in a local school. This week was the turn of St. Bedes, in which Stance, Guvna B and ourselves were part of the Festival of Faith that the school were running. It enabled the students to get an insight into all the work that we do as part of Youth For Christ, as well as be able to familiarise themselves with some of the local youth workers and Cambridge YFC workers who would be continuing our work when we left.
It was an absolutely incredible week for us all and although we were shattered from the previous weeks work, thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of it! The week ran in a similar way to the others I have already mentioned with 5 lessons each day, building up to a big event at the end of the week. In addition to this, we were also given the chance to present a couple of assemblies along the way; something that we, as Nomad had not really had the chance to do before and it was great! Myself and Jonny took an assembly on the theme of Contentment and Ed and James took one of Value, and they both went down incredibly well! The kids really responded and it was amazing to see how well something that we had planned, from scratch came together! As I said, the whole week led up to the event on the Friday and I can honestly say it was amazing and over 250 kids attended! It was an incredible night with some amazing performances from the likes of Guvna B, Stance and Rebecca James, as well as an intense cage football tournament that over 50 kids entered! All in all, it was an incredible way to end such an amazing and inspiring two weeks! For me personally, I found Cambridge to be one of the best mission weeks of the year as we were able to see so much happen over two very different weeks, and it was great to see not only how the kids responded to everything, but how they were excited to see it continue!
Upon returning from Cambridge, we then had a quick weekend to unpack and repack before we were back on the road again! This time however was not for a mission week, as we were headed up to Keswick for the YFC One Mid Year Retreat, in which all of those on the gap year and missions team staff got together to just rest and recuperate in God’s presence! It was amazing! Although ever so slightly chilly, it was a week that really blessed us all, giving us the time out of our busy schedules to recover and refocus our minds on God and the work we are doing. The week was still packed full of fun however with a Pub Quiz and team games happening over two days and a lovely formal dinner to round the week off. Now for those of you who know me well, you will have seen the words ‘formal dinner’ and wondered what on earth I will have worn – “surely she won’t have gone in jeans…?!”. No ladies and gentlemen. You are correct. I, for the fourth time ever(!) in my life, wore a dress. Here is the picture, now let us move on…
(Although one point, how do people wear these things on a regular basis?!?)
Upon returning from Keswick, it was time for a bit more rest and relaxation as we had a couple of days off! I took this opportunity to return home for 5 days and use it to well, essentially sleep…and buy bon bons. That happened… However it was great to be back home again (and as much as John didn’t seem convinced, he loved it!), catch up with people that I haven’t seen in a while and fully recover from what seemed like a whirlwhind month and a half on the road!
Well that pretty much leads us up to now! This last week has been another fairly quiet one; I returned back to Lichfield on Tuesday, before heading to London on Wednesday for YFC One training day! It was a top-notch day led by Chris Sinkinson from Moorlands college, in which we learnt a lot and had some very funny times! We are currently in Scotland where we shall be or the next two weeks before our – early – Easter Holiday! So people of Hereford, I’m sorry, but I’ll be back again before you know it on the 28th March! Plan your holidays now!
As always, I cannot put into words how much I appreciate all of your support, to those of you who kindly gave me money, those who keep me in prayers and just those of you who take the time to read my waffle! I really do appreciate you all and cannot begin to thank you enough! God Bless! 🙂
The team plus Nathan in Cambridge!
Some of the guys who took part in Be The Change!
YFC One in Keswick!