So Year 3 begins! I can’t quite believe that I am now entering into a third year with Nomad and still loving what I do! It’s crazy to think that I started my first year not planning to do much more than that single year, yet here I am! As always, it’s been a manic start to the year with a few down weeks here and there, but here is some of the fun stuff we’ve been up to as Nomad!
ETC (3rd-12th September)
As with every other year, this year started with ETC – the training week before everyone gets sent out to placement. This year was slightly different for me as I was attending as a member of staff and after packing up all my stuff, I was off for the third year running! It was an absolutely top time getting to know all the new volunteers and spend time in community as a group of like-minded Christians. As well as all the various training and seminars, there were times for fun and games with a bonfire one night and a round of Foot Golf on the Saturday and it was awesome to see people bond and worship together as part of the YFC family!
Nailsea – (18th-23rd September)
This was our first mission of the year and it started off with a bang! We spent the week working in the local secondary school and taking the normal lessons and it was a top first week. The students we worked with were all incredible and I would say it’s probably one of the best schools I’ve worked in during my time with Nomad! One of my highlights was the Tuesday night where we set up at the local Boys/Girls Brigade for the evening. We were able to share the cage with them as well as encourage and have fun with a great group of kids and even though they were aged between 5-9, they all seemed to grasp everything we said to them! Another great night was definitely the Thursday evening; it was the schools open evening and so we set the cage up in front of the school for students and visitors to take part in. The best part of this for me was just seeing kids we’d got to know during the week come outside and want to spend time with us!
Salisbury (25th September)
This was a one off day for the team and I think we probably spent more time travelling than we did set up! We were there as a small part of a church outreach/fun day and simply opened the cage for families to try. Initially it was pretty quiet, but we soon built up a crowd and had several kids who could quite easily have stayed in the cage all day!
Prestatyn (28th-30th September)
Prestatyn was the next stop in our busy first month and it was great to return a year later. Even though we didn’t take that many lessons, we had some great chats with some of the students during various lunchtime and after school sessions. The best part of the few days had to be the event we helped at on the Friday evening called Ignite; they rented out a screen in the local cinema and had performances from various artists and bands as well as a few testimony slots interspersed throughout. One really cool thing to come from the evening was the fact that Shaun and Josh both had some great chats with a few of the young people off the back of one of the testimonies and were able to really encourage them in their faith.
Explore (5th-6th October)
With a few days off for the team, I was asked to help out at Explore; a schools residential at Whitemoor Lakes. We’ve done a few of these in the past and I have always absolutely loved them so it was great to get asked to help with another. The way the residential works is that a school come along and the sessions are split into two groups; one does the activities at the centre and the other has a session with us on a certain theme. This is possibly one of my favourite forms of youth work because although you don’t get to spend that long with the young people, you get to really input into them, share stories and hear their ideas and thoughts on certain subjects. My highlight from the few days came shortly after the first session we led; I had been interviewed during the talk about what I do and why I do it and mentioned how my faith played a part in it. After the session had finished, one of the teachers came up and said how they would like the next talks to also be more faith based! It was amazing to see how some schools are still so open to the concept of faith and Christianity, to the extent that they wanted the students to hear more about it!
St Johns (14th October)
This was another one off date and was slightly more of a local visit than Salisbury! St Johns are a church in the Harbourne area who run a youth group every Friday evening for around 80 young people and we were asked to bring the cage along for the evening. Although slightly mental, it was a top evening full of some great football and testimony from the other guys on team. Off the back of one of the talks, I was able to have some good chats with a few of the girls about their faith and it was really encouraging to see them asking the questions and wanting to find out a little bit more about what being a Christian is.
And that’s pretty much it for now! The first month, as you can see, was fairly full on and we’ve had a few weeks of rest and training before we get a little busier soon in the coming weeks. As some of you may know, as a staff member I am required to raise half of my salary so thank you so much to all of you who have supported me, both financially and prayerfully, it really does mean a lot! If you would like to know any more about the work we do as Nomad or even my personal journey, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and ask!
Personal Support Page – https://yfc.uk/team/bethwelford/support/