Thursday, 26 September 2013

Silky Skills in Southall

Nomad hit the ground running on our first mission week in Southall, London. After reflecting on; 2 Timothy 1 v 7 “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” it was time to jump in the van and head on down to London town. Upon arrival, we set up the cage for the first time as a team on Golf Links estate. The first panna of the year quickly followed, successfully carried out by Jack against Michael! There were some great conversations with the young people. Of note was a conversation we had with a young Muslim lad which quickly evolved from Arsenal potentially winning the league to an in depth discussion of faith, the work of YFC and why we were in Southall. Throughout the week we worked with Calum Burke, a youth worker at St Johns church on a number of different estates in Southall. Whilst working with the young people, we also had time to experience Southall's vast religious diversity. Much of Southall is Muslim, Sikh or Hindu and so we had opportunities to visit the largest Gurdwara (the Sikh place of worship) outside of India and a tour of a Mosque. This included a Q and A session with the Imam who Calum has established a good relationship with.

For the team, it was both a fantastic and challenging experience. Mark and Jack could not get enough of the free food at the Gurdwara and the team enhanced their knowledge of other faiths in the process, leading to a better understanding of how to engage with the young people we were working with. On Wednesday we found ourselves in our first school surrounding, which involved leading a series of sessions as a team on Respect. Using football skills and the cage we demonstrated the need for respect both in and outside of a sporting environment. As the week progressed, the team bonded closer together as friends and as the new Nomad team. As first weeks go it was a pleasure to be a part of and we are all very much excited and looking forward to seeing what God does this year with us all!

Please pray for:
 Calum and St Johns church as they continue the work started in the areas and estates that were visited
 Financial support for Calum as they finalise the details to employ a sports ministry worker of their own to work with their own cage as of January 2014

God bless,


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Lovin' life in leafy Lichfield

Hello again everybody,

Nomad have just returned to Lichfield after a week off in their respective hometowns. We have undoubtedly known God's blessing in the last few months. During our weeks in Dundee and Queensferry, a great rapport was built with both staff and pupils alike as we delivered RE and PE lessons in schools. One lad informed us after our final night in Queensferry that it had been the best week of school 'ever' and that the lessons he received had given him a better understanding of the Christian faith. That's what it's all about!

Our week in Crawley with Street 360 and Nomad NI was a great example of God being able to use human frailty for his own good. Despite myriad trailer issues, we had the privilege of seeing spiritual fruit, with many incredible conversations about Jesus had around the cage and elsewhere. On the final day of term before Easter, every pupil at the school attended a 'Big Gig' where the good news of Jesus was explained (and sung!) in a relevant way.

Please pray for Neil Campbell and Gavin Berry in Dundee, as they tell young people there about God's love on a daily basis. Drew and Michael do likewise in Queensferry, as does Sarah Davis with Street 360 in Crawley. One of the great aspects of Nomad is meeting so many people who have a heart to share Jesus with those young people in their locality. While the football cage is an amazing tool, it is not one that all these great workers have available every week of the year. We pray that Nomad can be a catalyst for their work.

The main event this week is the Wade Street Church away day on Saturday, at which we will be running the youth programme. As well as evangelism, an important part of what Nomad can do is to assist in the discipleship of Christian young people. We had the wonderful opportunity to do some of this kind of work at Spring Harvest (Skegness) a fortnight ago and are looking forward to investing in the young people of our host town, not just on Saturday, but for the remainder of the year.

Thanks again so much for your continued prayers. Please pray that we would continue to look to God's strength, and not our own, as we enter the home straight of the 2012/13 season.

Romans 15v30: I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Day 2 in Crawley

Hello again,

Day 2 of the Holy Trinity School mission week.

The day began with a reminder from Paul's letter to the Ephesian church that... "we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10).  God has created us for a purpose, he has gone before us and he is with us in the here and now.  This is obviously not only true of the work that will go on in Holy Trinity this week but is true for all of us in whatever we have been doing today and will be doing in the days, weeks and months ahead.  What an encouragement to know that whatever situation we go into God has already been before us and prepared the way for us to do good works!  This verse also serves as an apt reminder that it is in Christ Jesus that we do that which has been prepared for us.  It is in His strength and not our own that we carry out the mission of Nomad, Nomad NI and Street360 this week.

Today in the school we delivered 6 RE lessons, 1 music lesson and 2 PE lessons.  There was a great lunchtime session in the playground with tunes pumping and nutmegs a plenty.  The team also enjoyed spending time and sharing in fellowship with sixth formers from the CU. Let's pray for these sixth formers who lead the CU.  Pray that this week would serve to encourage and equip them as their lives serve as a witness to their classmates and fellow pupils.  Pray that as they live out their lives the students of Holy Trinity school will see Jesus in their words and actions.  Thank God for the unity and the way in which the two Nomad teams have gelled this week.  Thank God for the positive feedback received from staff and the positive engagement we have had with the young people.  Pray for a renewing of energy and strength for the remaining two days of mission in school.  Pray that we would take every opportunity to share the good news of Jesus with the young people we encounter.  Pray that we will see lives transformed and young people making commitments to follow Jesus for themselves!



Monday, 25 March 2013

A full first day and a full life


This week, the Nomad teams from England and Northern Ireland are both partnering with Street 360 (Crawley YFC) for a mission week in Holy Trinity School. We are truly appreciative of the prayers of so many supporters, and will endeavour to update this blog each day of the mission.

Many thanks to everyone for your prayers during yesterday's travel chaos and logistical nightmare. God was good and both teams (and a cage!) arrived in Crawley by midnight. After a few hours' kip, we hit the ground running for the first day of the mission today. The theme of the week is 'living life to the full' from John 10:10 and today we were able to take three RE classroom lessons and three PE lessons on this topic. Students were encouraged to think about their ideas of an abundant life, and we had the opportunity to tell them of the way in which our relationship with Jesus has given us life to the full. In addition, the lunchtime cage session was well attended, and led to several excellent conversations. There was also a 'Grill a Christian' session with a local minister, during which students were invited to pose any query about Christianity. This will be repeated each lunchtime this week.

Please pray for:

- Continued energy for everyone on the mission week team
- Conversations around school to be focused on God
- Christians at the school to be built up in their faith as a result of the week

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

There and back again...A Nomad tale (Jan and Feb)

Hi everyone,

Apologies for not posting a blog in such a long time. The weeks since the turn of the year have been somewhat manic, but we have really known God's blessing in various locations, and have had wonderfully diverse opportunities to share the gospel.

After a great week of teaching and spiritual refreshment at YFC conference, it was straight to Crawley for the first mission of the calendar year. We had a brilliant week, based in Holy Trinity school, which was only slightly disrupted by the heavy snowfall. A highlight of this mission was its’ variety. As well as taking PE lessons with the football cage about ‘living life to the full’, we also took part in classroom RE teaching, three youth clubs, a school music group, assemblies and a youth event called 'Ignite’. It was a privilege to work with the Street 360 team at YFC Crawley and we pray that God will enable us to develop the relationships built there when we return for another week at the end of March.

An exciting new opportunity presented itself in our base town of Lichfield from January 21-25 as we were invited to take RE lessons in Nether Stowe High School. We were integrated into the teaching syllabus, and took classes on the themes of ‘The Power and Influence of Jesus’ and ‘Religious Tolerance’. Through this, and particularly the question times at the end of the lessons, we had some great conversations about what it means to be a Christian. Please pray for ex-Nomad Anthony Narain (the youth worker at our base church in Lichfield) who has established good links in the school, and will return to take more RE lessons in the near future – an exciting development!

During the last week of January, Thomas Aquinas School in Birmingham were having a mission week on the theme of ‘Encountering Jesus’, and invited Nomad, Stance (YFC’s street dance team) and Guvna B (YFC’s rap ambassador) to participate. We took over 300 pupils for lessons with the cage on the theme of ‘Sacrifice’ and told of how Jesus’ sacrifice can make all the difference in our lives. Some in depth conversations took place with older students around the cage during the course of the week. Please pray for the students we spoke to, that God would show them the need for a personal relationship with Him.

We continued our travels into February by heading down to Oxfordshire for a week’s mission partnering with Abingdon Community Church. We saw the benefit of going into the same school (Larkmead High) each day, as we built up a great rapport with the pupils and teachers, who really interacted with our lessons. A particular highlight was taking a full school assembly about Christ’s sacrifice to over 1000 people, where we felt a clear sense of God’s presence with us. This opened the door for many excellent conversations and around fifty teenagers came along to a football tournament on the Friday night. They listened intently as Jenna and James shared their testimonies – please pray that God would use the ‘Desire’ group of youth workers in their planned follow-up activities.

After Abingdon, we made our way to York, where we worked in conjunction with the Elim church. We went into Archbishop Holgate’s CoE school each day and took classroom RE lessons on ‘Life to the full’ and ‘Morality’, assemblies and lunchtime and after school cage sessions. In addition, we took the cage along to two youth events. A real highlight of the week was seeing eight of the boys we met at the school at church on Sunday morning. York Elim have a great relationship with unchurched teenagers at their youth club – please pray that God would water this seed and encourage the workers there, including Nomad legend Rob Newton.

We have also had the opportunity to take part in some one-off events. On Monday 18th February, we ran a half-term sports event in Walsall, while last Sunday David and Erik had the opportunity to return to Abingdon. There, they spoke about 'the vine and the branches' at a 'Desire' event for the combined youth groups of Abingdon.

So, there's been a blog drought followed by the longest one in history! Thanks again so much for all your prayers, we continue to cherish them, particularly as we head on the road for four weeks straight in March. We will be going to Dundee, Queensferry, Crawley and Spring Harvest at Skegness.

God bless.

Joke of the week: My doctor told me recently that I should watch what I eat. So I've bought a ticket to the Grand National!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Epic Epping

Nomad have just returned from a fantastic week partnering with Epping Forest YFC in Essex. Working primarily with the legendary Jamie Bennett, we had the opportunity to speak to roughly 500 primary school children during the mission, as we took lessons on the themes of 'Fair Play', 'Living life to the full' and 'Respect'. Through these, we had the chance to tell all these children the good news of Jesus - a wonderful experience! In addition, we went along to youth groups at St Mary's and All Saints Churches of England, where we took a session on being Ambassadors for the gospel. This was a blessing both to us and the young people present. On our return last night, we set the cage up at The Mob youth group in Lichfield, before going home exhausted, but happy! Please pray for the work we did in Epping Forest, that God would water the seed which was planted in so many hearts. Please pray also for all of the heroes at Epping Forest YFC who do an amazing job all-year round in local schools and churches.

God bless and we shall write again after Christmas! Have a good one.

Joke of the week: There's a documentary on tonight about shipbuilding. Should be riveting.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Local and Notts so local work

The last week or so has been very varied for our intrepid Nomad team. Following two days at the Explore residential at Whitmoor Lakes, we headed for Nottingham - home city of the delightful team member that is Mr. James Girling. A great night was had with the cage at Cornerstone Church (James' home church) and it was extremely encouraging to see how much God has blessed the work there. It was a blessing to be able to share about our work with James' mates, and to give them a practical demonstration of what we do! Last week, David and James undertook the Football Association Level 1 coaching course in Derby while Erik and Jenna were at work back in Lichfield, where they had the opportunity to go into the CU group at Netherstowe School. Once the whole team was reunited, we were privileged to be able to take 'The Mob' youth group at Wade Street Church (our base when in Lichfield). Various games and challenges took place, which were related to Jesus' Parable of the Lost Sheep. Please pray that God will bless The Mob - we attend it and help out whenever we are around in Lichfield. Yesterday was another busy day, as the team headed into King Edward's School in the town for a full day's lessons. Some great conversations were had around the cage, particularly at lunchtime when around 150 pupils attended the session and created a sensational atmosphere. Pray that God would have sown a seed. The week continues apace with Hub training tomorrow and a day of lessons in Grace Academy, Coventry on Thursday 22nd.

Blessings and thank you all for your ongoing support. God is good.

Joke of the week: Garfield was spotted in Trafalgar Square recently. That really put the cat amongst the pigeons.