When I last left off we had had a fairly quiet first month, however this last month has been totally the opposite!
Unfortunately for us, our first mission week of the year to Swansea ended up being cancelled thus leaving us with a half term week free! We were devastated that the week had been cancelled, as it had been such an amazing week last year!
I took the opportunity and had a few days rest and recuperation back in the Ford, before heading back to Nottingham where we spent a couple of days doing some local work alongside Nottingham YFC. The first of these days was as part of a local football camp for school kids and the next two we set the cage up outside a pub! An environment that I can personally say that I’ve never set the cage up in before, however it worked out really well! We had about 10 kids who came over the two days and it attracted a lot of interest from those in the pub!
Following a quieter half term than anticipated we then packed our bags for the first mission week of the year to Great Yarmouth! After a long drive over on the Sunday, we spent the week in the local high school taking PE lessons and holding open cage sessions during lunchtimes. Although a very busy week with some early starts, it was a great way to start the year! It was something that was new for all of us; even myself and James, as it was somewhere we hadn’t been last year. A large part of the week was spent getting familiar with lesson formats for the lads, as well as trying out some of our new lesson styles that we had created.
For us it was the perfect start to the year! We spent the week working with Ali from East Norfolk YFC and we were able to really connect with not only the kids but the staff as well. The cage was a hit with everyone and even the PE teachers were getting involved in the lessons and having a go in the cage, something that we as Nomad find incredibly valuable to our work with the young people. It definitely helps the students to get more involved themselves, as well as building some great relationships! I think so often it is easy for us to forget that the work we do can so easily impact the teachers as well as the students, so it was great to look at that side of things!
It was such a great first week of the year and it was so good to be able to get stuck back into doing what I love, having not been on mission for a couple of months.
I have to admit the highlight of the week was the joyous moment in which the rest of the kit finally came! As poor Oscar, Joel and George had applied slightly later, their kit didn’t arrive at the same time and so they had been waiting patiently for a couple of months. Having being told that the kit would arrive on the Tuesday, Wednesday break time came with no avail! With a short prayer and fingers crossed we checked reception one last time and there it was! This was a particular relief to George, who had been sweating in the same shirt since the Monday!
Following on from a top week in Great Yarmouth, we had the weekend to wash our kit and grab a bit of sleep, before packing our bags again and heading away on mission; this time to Coventry for the return of the Grace Academy’s. Grace Academy for those of you who don’t know, are three schools located in Coventry, Darlaston and Solihull that are based around a Christian Ethos that the teachers try and instil into the students during their time there. We visited all 3 of the Academy’s last year and so I was very pleased to have the opportunity to be re-visiting them and reconnecting with some of the young people we had seen previously.
As with the previous year, this was a massive week for the school; it was a week in which they had booked Nomad, Stance (the touring street dance team), The Sense (the touring band) and Happi (a YFC affiliated artist) to lead lessons and assemblies sharing our faith and values and ultimately giving the students a chance to learn and experience how faith impacts others and how they are using it in their lives. Each day started with an 8:30am assembly in which The Sense and Happi performed – showcasing their talents – and we plugged Space; the big event that the week was leading up to on the Friday evening.
Typically during mission weeks we will stay in host homes – with people in the area who kindly allow us into there home for the week. This week, accommodation was very different and Nomad and Stance spent the week in a nearby scout hut; not the most glamorous of places! However there were beds, heating and even wifi! It definitely added to the week and allow a little different, made for some great evenings! I even ended up cooking one evening…
We had some great lessons throughout the whole week, seeing Year 7s all the way up to Year 13s with a mix of boys and girls, including every single Year 8 on the Tuesday, in which we took part in a Value’s Day and each looked at one one of the British Values. As previously mentioned, the week led up to an event called Space on the Friday evening, with the idea being that the students would have connected with us during the week and enjoyed the lessons and that they would maybe more curious about the Christian faith. With performances from The Sense and Happi and a football tournament from us Nomads, there was plenty of fun to be had as well as a short excerpt through the means of James’ spoken word and a local youth worker, sharing why we do what we do and how the students could find out more for themselves. The night went incredibly well from all points of view and through getting feedback from the young people, we discovered that 20 of them wanted to further their interests in the Christian faith and find out more which was such great news to all of us! It added a nice ending to an ace week and as though our work that week had definitely been worth it!
That concludes month two(ish) of Nomad! It was so great to be able to get back on mission and remind myself of the joys of sharing my faith with some great young people, as well as getting to see the guys get stuck into their first weeks of the year!
As per usual, thank you so, so much to all those who support me in every way, shape and form, I cannot put into words how much I appreciate you all! We have an exciting few months up ahead with a return to Darlaston Grace Academy as well as the Lichfield Christmas Schools Week where I get to reprise my role as Mary – how exciting…
But here’s to the next month or so!
God Bless 🙂
The team looking fresh in the new kit in Great Yarmouth!
l-r James, George, Jake, Me, Oscar and Joel
The local Tesco feel the presence of Nomad, The Sense and Stance
(other Supermarkets are available)
Chefs for the evening! (Yes, it was edible and no, no one died…)
Nomad and The Sense end the week with a McDonalds!