Summer 2010 Report

Ncounter: Our summer ncounter team was based at Netherhall with Laburnum Church. During the course of the week we took part in social action projects including: litter picking, questionnaires, a children's cafe, sports and much more. In the evenings we came back to the St Matthews estate and ran a car wash, gave out free donuts and cookies, did gardening and a ran a youth cafe. One of the most important things I (Raphaelina) learnt from doing ncounter is how much God really wants us to reach out into the Muslim community and tell them the Gospel, in particular the children on the estate. The Lord blessed us with so much this year through ncounter and we have truly began to see the growth of the seeds we planted when we first took part in ncounter a few years ago.

 

UBM: On the 26th-30th July I (Joanna) travelled down to Falmouth with two friends from YL (Young life) to join the United Beach team. It was my first time down at Falmouth and my first beach team in 3 years, so I was a little nervous. We had a small team of 16 but we had two professional chefs on our team so we got fed very well, pudding every night! Falmouth was opened as a new centre last year, so they only ran a pilot week in which I’m told it rained a lot. This year they were doing two weeks mission in Falmouth, although I was only staying for the first week. The Baptist Church in Falmouth was very supportive of the team. They had been praying for a few years for a beach team to come to Falmouth before UBM decided to open a centre there last year. The church was small but they were greatly encouraged to have us worshiping with them and working down on the beach. 

There were a lot of families on the beach despite the beach being very powdery and more like builders’ sand! We had a good number of children along to the daily activities which included; soak the Dunce, quizzes, games and Bible stories told through the eyes of Professor Brain and his time machine. The tug of war attracted much attention on the beach especially when we moved it down to the waters edge facing all the families.  Both our smugglers trail (during which I was dressed up as a pirate) and our family Olympics (my game was welly wangling!) were well attended and all stayed to hear the Gospel message. Four tracts were given out as a result of the message and we were able to have many good conversations with the families.

During the week we also branched out and some team members started to play volleyball with the teenagers in the mornings while the rest of us continued with the children’s programme. We especially made contact with 4 boys from Bristol and a Canadian girl who stayed on the next week as well. Pray for the conversations that were held, the Canadian girl was very open and willing to talk as well as teaching us how to improve our volleyball skills! 

I had a great week, the team really gelled together and we shared many laughs. The team was led by Tim Howlett and Craig Knight. I was a bit nervous at the start of the week in talking to families on the beach but God gave me the confidence I needed. It was an awesome week and it has made me want to do more than just one week next year. 

Faith Mission Camp, Monday 26th – Friday 30th July:  Leading at Harby Youth Camp was an amazing experience. I (Raphael) helped lead on the 9-11 year olds camp and assigned 6 kids with another leader. I found myself with a particularly difficult group in terms of behaviour and unfortunately health-wise as well. It was a trialling and often incredibly tiring week, however the week proved to be another reminder of how God answers prayer and is a good God! Several of the campers came to know Jesus and those that didn’t at least had some questions answered and hopefully some seeds have been sown. Praise God!

Poland: From the 2nd - 9th August I (Joanna) travelled to Poland, (my first time there) with three other team members - Tom, Jemimah and Mark Paton from Laburnum Road Community Church. We arrived in one piece with all luggage after long flights and leaving Leicester at 4am! In Poland we were driven about 110km outside of the capital Warsaw in to the heart of rural Poland to a little village called Piatków. We were greeted by the 24 children on our arrival, their ages ranged from 5 to 15 years old. We also met the other camp leaders, Pastor Boleslaw and his wife Ella (who was our cook!), his son Peter, his daughter Anyah (the translator), Boleslaw’s nephew David and a family friend Matthew.

Throughout the week we taught the children through the use of our puppets - a monkey, a toucan, a dog and an ostrich! We started with the basics such as the message of the Gospel, Jesus the bread of life and the story of the good Shepherd. We also did a mime one evening which simply told the children that God loves them no matter what they do. We taught them the English song “God’s love is the best love” and then struggled to sing along with the two polish songs they learnt! During the week 8 of the children gave their lives to Jesus, which was an answer to prayer. I just wanted to share how God answers prayer, one morning as we were praying before our planning meeting, Mark felt the need to pray for a particular boy on the camp. We didn’t even know his name, he was one of the older boys who sat at the back, pretended not to listen and was a bit naughty. But nevertheless we committed him to the Lord. About an hour later, Anyah came upstairs and told us that the boy has given his life to the Lord. It was such a blessing to really see how prayer works.

The week was quite busy, we played Uno a lot everyday with the kids and other games such as volleyball (They even got a professional coach to come in and score the games). We all went in the swimming pool, when it was clean-ish, it was so hot that we needed to cool down! In our luggage we took over some simple beads and pompoms and both boys and girls enjoyed making necklaces, bracelets and pompom animals/monsters! It was amazing to see how simple items such as beads could really make the children smile. We also had a talent show one night and everyone did something - whether singing, magic tricks and sketches, which due to the language barrier we couldn’t understand, so we just laughed along with the children. The children were really friendly, some of them spoke a little English but not many.

While we were over there we had a Polish storm and half the house lost power so it was showers by candle light, a new experience for me! All of the leaders got on really well, we were often up till midnight drinking tea and talking. On the last night we also had a midnight worship session which was amazing. Coincidently while we were praising the Lord, the children had a toothpaste fight! Some were covered in it from head to toe! For the week I was the butt of many Polish practical jokes that involved me to become wet or having ketchup put in to my cup of tea, or being laughed at. When asked why they were playing the jokes on me the response was “because it’s funny!”

The children were given the hats scarves and gloves in a goody bag they received for attending the camp, which was given out at the end of the camp. The bags were overflowing with other items ranging from dolls and teddies to games and drawing implements. They also got some new clothes, the church had been given huge boxes of second hand clothes and the children were allowed to take as many items as they wanted. It was such a blessing to see their faces as we chose new items of clothes. One memory that will stay with me was of one of the older boys called Jacob. He had taken his bag of prizes and was playing with a gift, it was a simple puzzle yet he was enthralled by it.

The whole week was amazing, I shared so many laughs and really enjoyed working with Mark, Tom, Jemimah and the puppets. Pastor Boleslaw and the leaders were so welcoming to us and I am so glad that the Lord gave me this opportunity to go and serve Him in Poland. Yes it was hard with the language barrier but I really want to go back to see my friends in Poland, even the cheeky leaders who played jokes on me! If I could book my ticket now I would, it was an awesome experience with many memories, it was well worth going. God willing I hope to return again next year.

I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who supported me in prayer for both UBM and Poland. Thank you also to everyone who gave both financially to the Poland trip and who made the hats scarves and gloves. The knit wear will be well used, I was told that winters out there can go down to as low as -25C. Thank you once again for giving me the opportunity to go to Poland.

 

Faith Mission Camp (age 15+), Sunday 8th - Friday 13th August:  Going to Harby Camp has become a well loved tradition for many of the youth group and for most is a definite highlight of the summer holidays. This year was no exception, we had an amazing week!

The main purpose of the week at camp is to learn more about God and grow closer to Him through teaching, worship and reflection upon His word. This year one talk that stood out for me (Lydia) was one about hell. I think the main reason it stood out for me was because I did not know much about hell, during the talk we were clearly taught about the Bible’s teachings on hell and I think everyone learnt a lot. In our discussion groups we talked about the two main responses to this talk, the first was thankfulness that we have received forgiveness of sins and therefore do not have to go to hell, and the second was a passion or heart for the lost. As we learnt what the Bible has to say about hell and what it is like there it stirred up in us the thought that we do not want anyone to go there. The discussion groups were really useful as we could raise any questions we had and discuss what the teaching had meant to us. During the week we also did some really great activities. Mid-week we went to Rutland water where two activities were on offer. The first was raft building, this involved small teams being given barrels, rope and planks of wood, from this they had to make a water worthy vessel to race in. It is fair to say that some of the rafts failed in a rather spectacular manner, much to the amusement of us dry spectators! In the afternoon we had the option of cycling around the reservoir, it was recommended that we took the 17 mile route as we only had 2 hours to complete the ride; however I and few others managed to get lost! By taking the extended 23 mile route, eventually being rescued after 20 miles by leaders with cars - a tiring yet fun adventure! Another highlight was the Céilidh or Kaylee, an Irish Barn dance, we spent a few entertaining and happy hours learning the art of dancing. Some dances had a more complex nature swapping partners by the end I think we were all rather good dancers! On the final night as a celebration we went onto the field with lots of glow sticks, released Chinese lanterns and worshipped God well into the night! All in all the week was really incredible we had a lot of fun but mainly we learnt lots about God and drew closer to Him.

 

Girls Camp, Saturday 14th - Thursday 19th August: The theme for Girls Camp was ‘First Love’. I (Grace) based my sessions around the fact that being a Christian is being in a relationship with God. I was glad to have had the senior group this year as the girls participated well in my sessions, and by the end of the week were in love with Jesus! I also particularly enjoyed the question and answer sessions where the girls had some very interesting questions on spiritual matters.

Other activities included water sports, sports, bbq, treasure hunt, crafts, a trip out bowling and a talent show. Overall it was a really enjoyable week. Thank you for all your prayers, they were of much value as I was pretty exhausted by the end of the week and can testify to God’s strength helping me through.

 

Soul Survivor, Monday 16th - Friday 20th August: Soul Survivor was one of the main highlights of my (Taurai) summer; it taught me so much of what God wants me to do. During the first night God blessed me with the knowledge of what worship should be like he told me that it should be selfless, meaning that no matter how I feel or what mood I am in I should rejoice in the Lord because worship is not about us it’s about God and God alone. Later on through the week God built on this knowledge by making clear that the whole of our Christian life should be selfless because that’s what it means  to truly ‘Forget yourself and carry your Cross’; to abandon your needs and live for the needs of the kingdom of heaven, to ‘cast our crowns’. I was completely amazed by how much I’ve missed and how much wisdom I lack, in fact God spoke and instructed me to not waste any opportunity and make the best of it, Colossians 4:5-6, and to do this by getting into his word and learning about how we as saints should act. The most important thing I learnt at Soul Survivor is that God’s word has so much to teach us that if we read it, with His spirit of wisdom, He will reveal so much that we didn’t know was in there...and there is a lot!

 

Family Camp, Friday 27th - Monday 30th August: It was great  to be back at Family Camp again this year and being a part of the ministry there. I (Grace) was leading the youth sessions as well as the worship during the main meetings. On the Sunday we had a reunion where there were over 30 day visitors. We were able to meet with old friends and make new ones. The weather was a miracle - sunny skies and we were able to have a camp fire.

The theme this year was ‘Jesus is the Light of the world’. Please pray that everyone who came will act upon the messages that they heard.

 

 

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