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.