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.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Excellent Exeter, exciting Explore

Nomad continue their frantic pace of bringing the good news relevantly to young people! Last week, after a few days of beneficial Hub training, the team hit the road again. We were bound for Exeter and two days working with the indomitable James Grier who heads up Unlimited Church in the city centre. A half-term programme of events took place, which included a youth cafe, a converted double-decker bus, an opec mic night and volleyball, as well as our cage. The vision of Unlimited Church is to reach young people who are unchurched, and they regularly go around the streets of Exeter trying to chat to these young people about God. They also aim to make church more accesible for teenagers and throw off some of the negative shackles and perceptions of 'religion'. Nomad were truly blessed to be able to be a part of this work for a few days, as many young people were reached during the mission. Please pray for James and his wife Liz as they continue this fantastic work, developing existing relationships and nurturing new ones formed over half-term.

While in the sun-kissed (?!) south, we also took the opportunity to go to Plymouth for a day. There, we partnered with Plymouth Christian Centre as they launched their football youth ministry. A large number of new contacts were made around the cage (including getting to know two Nepalese lads who only moved to the UK a month ago). Please pray for the guys at PCC who strive to develop these relationships and integrate these young people into their existing youth work.

Currently, we are assisting Sarah Hockley, Nathan Iles, Steve Bownds and Tom Soar in leading seminars at the Explore residential at Whitemoor Lakes, near Lichfield. Over 100 Year 7 pupils from schools around the Midlands are at the residential doing various activities. As YFC, we are responsible for roadshows in which they hear a Christian perspective on issues like money and dealing with emotions.

Thanks again for your prayers. James 5v16

Joke of the week: Nobody was expecting our local library to start growing vegetables. What a turnip for the books!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Southall to Shrewsbury...and smiling all the way!

So much has happened since our last post as God continues to bless the Nomad team. In September, a super Fort Rocky weekend was followed by our first mission week in Coventry. We were blessed with great weather as we did school lessons and brought the cage to the HEBA's 'LoveCov' event. The Saturday afternoon in Coventry city centre was particularly blessed, with many young people playing in the cage and chatting about God around it.

From Coventry, we made our way down to Clevedon in Somerset where more schools and detached work was done with the cage and the legendary Neil Wylie at the YMCA. Again, God blessed the work and many contacts were made and relationships built. Please pray for Neil as he develops these.

October continued apace with another mission as we were welcomed to the London borough of Southall. A top week was had working with Calum Burke, as many young people were shown Christ's love in the estates.

After a week back in leafy Lichfield we were on the road again, this time to Shrewsbury where we worked in partnership with both Barnabas Church and Shrewsbury YFC. We did three days of schools lessons and visited six different secular youth clubs - a great opportunity to display that God is interested in the local community!

This week we have two days of Hub training before heading to Exeter on Thursday 1st November to bring the cage to some half-term events. Prayer appreciated!

Please pray for those places where we have already done missions. Pray that the links built in communities can be capitalised on by the local churches and youth workers, who do such a sterling job!

Peace out.

Joke of the week:
Someone threw a lump of cheese at me yesterday as I walked down the street. Mature.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Newmad... Nomad

September 13th 2012

The Nomad team for the 2012/13 has taken shape! Erik Hayter once again leads the team, and is joined by new team members Jenna Allison, David Burke and James Girling. Give thanks to God for the brilliant week we've just had at the Evangelism Training Conference alongside all the other YFC One volunteers. The conference gave us brilliant training in both theology and youth work from some amazing speakers and also developed real unity amongst us! This week is being used to sort out practical things (i.e. van cleaning) as well as going over school lessons and outlining our vision for the year. On Friday, it's off to Smallwood Manor for a Fort Rocky weekend before we head to Coventry for a week's mission from September 17th-23rd. Please pray for the practicalities of travel safety and assembling the cage, but most importantly that young people would meet Jesus at both Fort Rocky and in Coventry!

Joke of the week: My friend has a chicken proof lawn. It's impeccable.

Friday, 18 May 2012

In It Together

We were privileged to be a part of a family fun day down at Crystal Palace’s ground, Selhurst Park, with glorious weather and 3000 people to entertain. As well as NOMAD with the cage there was also a whole range of sports and other activities taking place throughout the day. The event was run well and was a real blessing to the whole community. Many proud parents were film their children as they engaged with the vast range of fun activities there for them. The event was free and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. It was fantastic to see all the churches in the area uniting together to create such a successful event.

Igniting Hope

29/04 – 07/05
Cardiff proved to be one of our busiest, if not the busiest, mission the team have had to tackle all year. Monday to Friday began working in Llanishen high school which 1700 pupils attended. Most of these days we were taking at least three lessons if not four or five. On top of this the team worked solid throughout break and lunchtime. It was demanding of us but the team coped really well and had many opportunities to share about what we were doing and why we were here. The majority of the lessons covered the topics of self-belief (which is “believing you can do anything accept fly!”) and respect. It was good to see all the students engaging with the topics and taking something away from each lesson. Many of the pupils had more than one lesson with us during the course of the week, so that gave us an opportunity to teach them on other topics such as team work. Again, the weather (with the exception of Tuesday!) remained dry which was another blessing. Being in the school, or ysgol (Welsh for school), all week again meant that good relationships were established and we were able to gain keen interest for the weekends big event Ignite Hope. It kicked off on Friday night at Sophia Gardens, just opposite the City Temple Church which we had attended the previous weekend for their evening service. The project ran all day from Saturday through to Monday (as it was a bank holiday) and it was action packed and very busy. Each day was split into two and in the mornings the team would also divide up as Phil and Ben went out to an area called Tremorfa to help run a soccer school where twenty young people were eager to improve their skills. Erik and Sammy on the other hand took the cage down Llangranoc Road which was where a charity shop being run by the church was opening. Unfortunately, due to issues with the neighbours the cage could not stay there but a football match was organised and played on a green nearby none the less which the youth got stuck into and really enjoyed. In the evenings we would regroup and work the cage at Sophia Gardens and it was good to see a few familiar faces from the school we had worked in all week. During the evening there was a talk and always an opportunity to surrender yourself to Christ. Approximately 80 people came forward that weekend as well as another 20 or so rededicating their lives to the Lord. Over the course of eight days the team worked with and engaged with roughly 450 young people. With all the other projects happening as part of Ignite hope as well, many more young people were reached. On the final Monday there was a monsoon over the city but despite this, the week concluded having been one of the most successful missions this year.

To Wales!!

23/04 – 29/04
We started work in Mumbles, Swansea on the Monday by setting up the cage in one of the local secondary schools. We continued to work in the school each week, opening up the cage every lunch time to the pupils. It was really great to see everyone so keen and interested to have a go. Even the girls came over and, although we couldn’t get them in the cage, watched the boys as they tricked their way past each other. We had some really good conversations with some of the students, some of who were already Christians and we met them at church on the Sunday. God really did bless us with the weather we had over the week. Every lunchtime we worked stayed dry, which was a miracle seeing as we were in Wales. However, on each day, as soon as the team began to pack down the cage, it started raining. Due to rain we were not able to bring the cage into the school on the Friday but that did not take anything away from the great four lunchtimes we had spent with that school and its pupils. On top of the schools work the team also contributed to helping a local drop in session at the Red Cafe which was very convenient seeing as that was where we were based all week. It was a fantastic opportunity to share our faith with the youth as well as build relationships, play games (such as Fifa 2012 on the Xbox) and even run a sports quiz for them, which was interactive and they all seemed to enjoy. Throughout the whole of the week the team were able to engage with 170 young people and we pray that the seeds planted in these young hearts will fall on good soil and flourish.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Norfolk to Faringdon.

The first of another 2 weeks of mission started off in North Breckland, Norfolk. We worked in three schools - one primary school and two secondary schools. We also did a cage event on the Saturday which despite a low attendance and rain stopping play led to some great conversations with the young people and their parents.  In total we engaged with 300 young people and it was great to be able to support the work of North Breckland YFC.

Our second week was working with Faringdon churches together. We worked in Faringdon community college the whole week doing assemblies, lessons, break-times and lunchtimes.  The goal of the week was scored by a sixth former dressed as Tinky Winky for sports relief (#tinkywinkytekkers). In addition we set-up on Monday and Tuesday evenings at Rock Solid and a youth group. On the Saturday we organised a cage football tournament at the local youth centre.  Throughout the week we had spent time with 1100 young people playing cage football, soaking up the sun and sharing our faith. In the lessons we shared what it meant for us as Christians to live life to full and to believe in ourselves and on Saturday Sammy shared a moving testimony with 52 young people.

We hope and pray for the continued work of North Breckland YFC and Faringdon chuches together as they continue the relationships and engagement with the young people we met.

Friday, 9 March 2012

From One week to Another....

We had an awesome time working locally with Zion Christian Centre on 24th February, and their youth group of around 100 or so young people.

After that we had a retreat just down the road from the Office, this was a time of seeking God and contemplating our future beyond YFC One. This was also the first time for us to meet our newest member Ben Green.

We had worship in the morning followed by a talk from Anne Calver which I have to say was amazing she used the story of Joseph to illustrate the theme of each day which was Past, Present and Future, and how Joseph overcame these things and God used him.

Then during the day we had some activities and time to chill, then in the evenings we had more worship which was led by fellow YFC One volunteers, the evening talk was done by the YFC One staff.

We are looking forward to our next 2 missions with Ben in North Breckland and Faringdon.

Sammy B

Monday, 20 February 2012

From Nomad to Snowmad

So after a week in Crawley came to an end the widespread snow hit the UK but was not going to stop the Nomad team from sharing the Gospel with young people.

As a team we serve God and young people and 2 weeks ago we even served members of the public on the A23 while digging and pushing them out of the snow!

Last week we worked with Croydon YFC and young people in London. We also spent time with young people in Chislehurst.
We ran a tournament on the weekend outside a baptist church, where we had a few young people attend which was cool (freezing -9!!).

On the Friday we had a big youth event that we were asked to be a part of called Warehouse, which was in the New Life Christian Centre in Croydon. The line up included local talent from the church who sung and danced, also we had christian rapper 'Husky' who preformed. We had a cage football tournament with the young people where the final took place after Husky had performed. These 2 weeks were character building for us as a team, impacting the lives of 100s young people.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Onwards and Upwards......

We are coming to the end of our time in Crawley and heading towards our time in Croydon, as this time draws to a close we have been reflecting on things and how to improve the team and be the best we can be, for both God and the Young people.

This has been beneficial to all three members of Nomad, looking at the roles we can adopt to serve each other as a team and individuals.

In the Bible the words Servant or Serve are mentioned 698 times, and the words Servants or Service are mentioned 608 times in the Bible. This implies that much of Christian life is about serving whether that is in a host home, church, youth club, or in school. It means serving your teachers and friends, your work and your work colleagues. In the small things as well as the big things.

In the Bible it says,
‘Ephesians 6:17 - Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people’
‘Colossians 3:24 - Since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving’
‘Romans 12:11 - Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.’

These 3 verses are just a few that state this simple point about serving God and not people. When you serve people do it as if you are serving God and the opinions of people and how they react to you serving them doesn’t matter as it is God you are serving not man!

'Sammy B'

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Pressing on towards... Crawley and Croydon...

Nomad has spent the last couple of weeks in preparation to hit the road.  Next week we head to Crawley again for a week of team building and work with Street360. From here we will travel on to Croydon YFC for what looks set to be an action packed week of schools work, detached work and youth events. Last week we visited the legendary Jon Tattz and his youth group at St. Johns Harborne. The young people loved the cage (well they appeared to be having fun!) and Sammy B scored a legendary nutmeg which will live long in the memory!  Joking aside it was great to connect with such a great bunch of young people and we pray that God will bless them outrageously over the coming weeks and months! 

Tomorrow we will be rocking up to Zion youth club in Halesowen for what looks set to be a quality night spending some quality time with some quality young people! 

Prayers for a renewing of strength and maintenance of high energy levels over the next two weeks would be really good. We would also ask that you pray for safety and protection as we travel, in the practicalities of setting up the cage and safety for the young people who play in the cage. We pray that God will do amazing things over the next couple of weeks in the lives of young people in Harborne, Halesowen, Crawley and Croydon! Thank you for your prayers and please do keep up the good work!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Beyond the walls of Bodelwyddan Castle

Nomad are back after a well-deserved Christmas break and looking ahead to a new year and a new school term. Fresh from conference at Bodelwyddan Castle Nomad are refreshed, inspired and refuelled ready to hit the road and relevantly take good news to the young people we meet.

Drawing on the themes of conference Nomad are excited to be a small part of the jigsaw which makes up the body of Youth for Christ. At the start of this new year Nomad are studying the key aspects of discipleship which Paul so passionately and fervently expresses in his New Testament letters. We are exploring what these themes mean for us as individuals and collectively as a sports ministry team. We want to build on the ceilings of previous Nomad teams and strive to be a team with hearts set apart for Christ as Lord as we witness to the young people we meet. In all this we are reminded of the hope we have in Christ Jesus.

“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining for what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 3: 13-14)

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