So it’s been a while since I wrote one of these and I thought I had better let you guys know what an end of the year it has been!
I left off last time having just returned from Cliff Fest and returning home for a week off, something that came just in time for a week of rest and recovery! Before long though, we were back on the road, this time to Ed’s home town of Cheltenham!
This was a week slightly different to others we had done before, in that we were working alongside an already present YFC centre, as well as the fact we spent the week in local primary schools. Although a lot of our work is predominantly in secondary schools, it was great to see just how well the cage worked within a different environment!
The next 7 days was an absolute whirlwind and had us working hard! Monday-Friday saw our return to Southall; a place that is incredibly different to anywhere we have been this year! With the white population being around only 7% and the largest Gudwara outside of India just over the road, it was a week in which religion was very present, but not in the same way we knew. Despite this huge cultural difference however, this for me, proved to be one of our best weeks of the year! We did a large amount of detached work; setting up on various estates in the area as well as two of the most manic lunchtime sessions in a secondary school ever! The school had around 2000 pupils, thus meaning there were 3 lunchtimes and I’ve never seen the cage so packed! Again though, these were the times in which we were able to have some of the best conversations and really get alongside the kids!
Sunday saw us headed off on our penultimate mission week of the year to North Breckland in Norwich and fell on the hottest week of the year! Working alongside North Breckland YFC, we visited around 12 primary schools, setting the cage up a good 2-3 times each day! Although one of our more tiring weeks of the year, it was one of the most intentional weeks, in which we were really able to strengthen the pre-existing links and share our faith with them.
With one day to recover, we were soon on the way to Nottingham for our final week of the year! With this being James home town, we all stayed in his house, finishing the year as next year would start as Nottingham is to be the new base for Nomad next year!
For us, this was the perfect end to the year, it was a fairly chilled week and we really able to stick the Nomad mark on the area for the start of September. We spent the days doing a bit of local work in the area and then from 4-9 each afternoon, set up in the Meadows, one of the estates in the area, playing cage football and really getting to know the kids in the area. As with some of the previous detached sessions, this was actually one of the best weeks of the year, as the kids were so much more open and up for talking, meaning we were able to have some really great conversations about our faith and why we do what we do!
Leading on from Nottingham was the yfcone End of Year Bash, where everyone from the gap year got together in London and spent a few days together reminiscing of memories made and stories shared, before finishing it all off with a party down the Thames and lunch in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s house! Very surreal!
Sadly though, that brings me right up to the end of my year with Youth for Christ and Nomad and what a year it has been! It truly has been one of the best years of my life and I’ve made some great friendships and memories to last forever! I truly wouldn’t have been able to do this year without the huge amount of support given by everyone and words cannot explain my huge amounts of appreciation for each and everyone of you, so thank you!
For those of you who do follow me on social media, you may have seen that I have actually chosen to take a second year with YFC on an Academy Year.
An Academy year is the second of two years with Youth for Christ on their gap year programme where they offer wider support and training in areas that you feel called to personally, pushing you and challenging yourself even more than the first year.
As with my first year, I again need to raise around £3,000 in order to carry out this second year and would really appreciate any bit of support you guys can give, whether financially, prayerfully or in any other form! You guys mean the world to me!
God Bless and thank you! 🙂
A packed lunchtime session in Southall!
Final Night in North Breckland.
Nuns in London for End of Year Bash!
Final team photo!