Summer 2009

 The summer indeed has been an exciting time full of mission and ministry. 

Joanna and Lydia Baines reports

Joanna:This summer has been a busy one for us as youth, we started off the holiday in July by taking part in ncounter which was from the 20th -25th July. The first two mornings (Monday and Tuesday) we met with all the teams, which consisted of 120 people from churches all over the county. We spent our time worshipping together and receiving teaching to prepare us for the days ahead. We were encouraged to keep a “God book”, which we were to note down answers to prayer and what God had been doing throughout the week. It has been such a blessing to re-read what I wrote and to be reminded of God’s power. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings we (the 120) split off to work in 3 different teams in Leicester. Our church was working in Netherhall estate with a team of about 30 people, the other teams were in Eyres Monsell and Braunstone. While on Netherhall we did a variety of social action projects; including litter picking on the local park, gardening (facing 6ft stinging nettles!) and also inviting the residents to a free café held at Laburnum Road Community Church where we were based. Then in the evenings all week we came back and worked on St Matthews. We made lots of good contacts on the estate and the residents received us warmly, people were interested and encouraged by what we were doing. The activities we did included a free football tournament and car wash. We also gave away free food (cakes) and did some gardening. The car wash proved very popular and we were able to tell many people about why we were doing it and they seemed very interested. God was really present throughout the week. He gave strength to physically continue and He also took away my fears about talking to people and replaced them with courage. We serve a mighty God

 

The day we finished Ncounter, most of us went to Soul Survivor at Stafford Showground. Despite the weather; heavy rain we managed to put our tents up in 2 hours! Throughout the 5 days we had a lot of fun, more rain and killed a lot of wasps! The main meetings – twice daily- were amazing, we worshipped with about 5000 other people. On the first night alone 103 people came to Christ. We also attended many other seminars throughout the day. Other activities we did included watching live bands in concert, going to café’s and drinking many hot chocolate mountains (hot chocolate, mini marshmallows and a peak of squirty cream) We all had an amazing time. God really met with me, He spoke to me clearly and answered my prayers. I felt His warm embrace and He gave me a sense of peace. He also showed me how I am uniquely created and He loves me so much, all of this gave me much more confidence in myself. But one of the main things He challenged me on was surrendering every part of my life to Him, I did and haven’t looked back. God changed the way I look at myself and my future.

Harby Camp was from the 9th - 14th August and another part of my amazing summer. I made lots of new friends and was able to share my problems with a leader. We did many fun activities including playing lots of card games, team volleyball matches, staying up till 3am and playing capture the “large vegetarian sausage” (otherwise known as a draft excluder). We received lots of teaching and again God really spoke to me. He reinforced the fact that I need to be surrendering all my life to Him daily as a sacrifice. He also gave me peace about my AS level results. One line of a song really spoke to me,

"Love so amazing, so divine,Demands my soul my life my all”

I have learnt so much over this summer and God has really spoken to me, and though I cannot see what lies ahead in the future I am going to take Jesus’ hand and I know that He will guide my way.”

 

Lydia: “Ncounter Summer 2009 was an exciting week of serving God, reaching out to communities with his love and seeing much answered prayer. The week started with training days on subjects such as sharing your testimony, answering tough questions and the Holy Spirit. Over the week we did work on the Netherhall estate in the morning and the St Matthews estate in the evening. God incredibly blessed us in the evenings on St Matthews and answered so many of our prayers. On Monday evening we handed out free food and leaflets inviting people to later events in the week, for a few of us, myself included, this was quite a daunting task as we would be approaching strangers and we weren’t sure how well we would be received. However God answered prayer and I found my nerves were gone, we were also able to speak to a young man who attended SonShine Hour as a child, God put us in the right place at the right time to remind the man of the church and potentially what he learnt as a child. Another way God answered prayer was by providing good weather. On Tuesday we had a free carwash and so we prayed for good weather. God answered and the evening was dry. When talking to the other teams the next day we discovered that St Matthews was one of the only dry places! We were also able to give away some Carley magazines to our ‘customers’ and talk to people in The Lounge. Thursday was our last evening of outreach on the estate and we had organised a football competition for the youth on the estate. As we did not know whether people would turn up and participate, we prayed about all the practicalities and God’s hand was over the proceedings. We had quite a few children come from the estate and managed to have girls only football matches also. The majority of children were Muslim, including all the girls. I enjoyed the week greatly as we were able to serve God and bring glory to His Name. It taught me that I can and must depend on God for everything, and seeing so many prayers answered strengthened my faith.

 

 

Soul Survivor was a week of amazing teaching, worship, fellowship and lots of fun! I enjoyed it immensely and it was a time when I heard God’s voice and grew in my faith. Throughout the week in the main meetings, seminars and times of worship, I felt God was asking for my all, for me to give Him every part of my life, every little detail no matter how great or small. Whilst I knew and had prayed about this before I felt God was reminding me that this needed to be daily in giving it all to Him.

One of my favourite parts of the day during the week was the late night worship sessions; this was an hour from 10:30 – 11:30 pm where we had a time of singing praises to God. Though this meant late nights and losing my voice at the end of the week, (due to so much singing!) I thoroughly enjoyed ending the day by worshipping God through singing. 

Once again the Harby faith mission camp was an incredible week of learning more about God, increasing in faith and meeting with other Christians. The main teaching was based on the Parable of the prodigal son. One evening what particularly stood out for me was when the meeting ended by coming back to the cross. This spoke to many people in the room myself included about how important it is to daily think upon the cross and not to forget the immensity of what was done on the cross. After this we had a time of testimony and it was encouraging to hear of how God has helped others recently or during the year. We also had a time to share plans for the future and then to pray for each other, it was a great time of encouragement.

 

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