Gaines Girl: A Year in the Life

The past year at Gaines has had many highlights and laughs, as well as lots of opportunities to grow in character and godliness though the various challenges I’ve faced. So here’s a round-up of my year:

February

HIGHLIGHT – starting at Gaines: the journey begins!

CHALLENGE – feeling a bit overwhelmed with new responsibilities

FUNNY MOMENT – when some sheep escaped from one of the neighbouring farms onto our land!

SPIRITUAL STANDOUT – such a joy to open up the book of Proverbs during Bible studies on my first weekend

March

HIGHLIGHT – team walks during time off

CHALLENGE – doing my first ever Bible talk

FUNNY MOMENT – Joe on the push along child’s ice skating dolphin when we went with one of the groups! (yes there is photo evidence)

SPIRITUAL STANDOUT – Woodgreen Youth weekend away: seeing young people excited to be living for Jesus

April

HIGHLIGHT – getting combat archery and kayaks (yay for new activities!)

CHALLENGE – team dynamics

FUNNY MOMENT – Bethany attempting to put up a massive net on her own, to make the house pirate-themed for camps

SPIRITUAL STANDOUT – Being encouraged in the work we’re doing by local Ministers

May

HIGHLIGHT – visiting Yorkshire Camps and being encouraged by their gospel work

CHALLENGE – finding my place in the team

FUNNY MOMENT – Bethany getting a whole bowl of flour over her

SPIRITUAL STANDOUT – UCCF Midlands Team day looking at Creation and how that affects our evangelism

June

HIGHLIGHT – walk up the Malverns to see the sunset with one of the groups. Beautiful hot weather!

CHALLENGE – getting everything sorted for my kayaking qualification

FUNNY MOMENT – rafting on the lake: capsizes, going round in circles and people falling in!

SPIRITUAL STANDOUT – a girl from a weekend who said she wanted to read her Bible more

July

HIGHLIGHT – lots of volunteers helping on camps. LMS glow stick disco. Finishing painting and putting up shelves for the new activity store

CHALLENGE – being really tired from all the groups and camps

FUNNY MOMENT – canoe training when Cam and Sally jumped in!

SPIRITUAL STANDOUT – unchurched girls from a school in London engaging with God’s Word in small groups – so exciting!

 

August

HIGHLIGHT – surfing camp. Passing my kayaking qualification!

CHALLENGE – Bethany and Sally leaving

FUNNY MOMENT – Sally singing karaoke on Breakout camp – don’t think we’ve ever laughed so much!!

SPIRITUAL STANDOUT – great small group Bible study group on Escape camp looking at Judges and Ruth

September

HIGHLIGHT – team trip to the South coast

CHALLENGE – adjusting to living on my own

FUNNY MOMENT – the constant question of “where’s Neil?!” when we were on our team trip!

SPIRITUAL STANDOUT – starting MMTC (Midlands Ministry Training Course)

October

HIGHLIGHT – feeling more settled, especially at church. Not poisoning anyone when I ran the kitchen for a group of 50!

CHALLENGE – no girls!

FUNNY MOMENT – one of the groups getting really into character for the murder mystery, complete with (slightly questionable) accents!

SPIRITUAL STANDOUT – provision of a lady at church to read the Bible with each week

November

HIGHLIGHT – Going to St George’s House to meet up with other Christian outdoor centres

CHALLENGE – not having any groups

FUNNY MOMENT – Joe and Thomas throwing some of the old mattresses and beds out of the window

SPIRITUAL STANDOUT – MMTC Book in a Day on James

December

HIGHLIGHT – onsite team community. Team outing to London

CHALLENGE – being far away from people at church, making it hard to meet up

FUNNY MOMENT – one of our volunteers getting their car stuck in the snow!

SPIRITUAL STANDOUT – meeting up with a student to read the Bible

January

HIGHLIGHT – moving into the flat. Lots of groups coming in the next few months

CHALLENGE – keeping focussed on Jesus when there are no groups

FUNNY MOMENT – Thomas loosing at exploding kittens (a card game) 3 times in a row!

SPIRITUAL STANDOUT – Growing Young Disciples conference, especially the teaching from Sam Allberry

So here’s to another year of Gospel ministry!

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LMS glowstick disco throwback!

 

 

 

 

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Time for a New Adventure!

I’ve recently started working at Gaines (this is Day 20), a residential Christian Youth Centre near Worcester (check out gaines.org.uk, and if you’d like to support me, here’s how: give.net/20216952). I’m SO excited to be serving God here – this is what I’ve been up to so far!

Day minus 30

nyhp-group

New Year House Party = dressing up, amazing food, banagrams, ballroom dancing, mask making, relaxing round the fire, glow stick party, and great teaching on God being the top priority in our lives.

Day minus 18

letter-post

Letter writing for support, posting and delivering: over 100 of them!

Day minus 13

gyd-group

‘Growing Young Disciples’ conference with approx. 300 people from around the UK and Europe who are also involved in children and young people’s ministry. It was such a great time to be equipped for the work I’m now doing at Gaines, as well as getting to know the team better (pictured above, with Christopher Ash – the main speaker) and being encouraged about how good God is and what great news the Gospel is!

Day 0

Moving day!

Day 1

Time to get stuck in! One of my main responsibilities is looking after all things activity related, whether it be rafting, archery, murder mysteries or bushcraft (and much more!), so familiarising myself with these was the order of the day. As well as learning how everything works and where everything lives in the big house.

Day 5

first-wkend-mtg

First group! A youth group from Newbury. A packed weekend included: a very competitive game of crocker, good food (there were pancakes), a walk in the sunshine and games in the woods, a murder mystery set on a cruise ship in 1914, a cracking game of signs, an archery session in the sunshine, chats by the fire in the lounge, a massive game of perudo, and teaching on wisdom from Proverbs – I was leading one of the small group discussions, a definite highlight!

Day 8

cu-freedom

The Gaines team were helping out with Worcester CU’s Mission. The theme for the week was: Satisfied? The lunch bar talks (with free lunch!) were on – Satisfied with suffering? Satisfied with sex? Satisfied with fake news? Satisfied with freedom? Then a quiz night with a Gospel talk on the Thursday. There was a great turn out of between 10 and 20 non-CU members at each event – Praise God!

Day 13

Word Alive training day in preparation for most of the Gaines team helping on the 8s to 11s team at Easter – lots to get excited about as we prepare to teach the kids about Jesus and all He’s done.

Coming up…

Back to back groups every weekend in March and preparation for camps in the summer (I know it’s only just stopped snowing but summer is coming!)

Please Pray!

  • To continue to settle in to life here at Gaines
  • For the students who heard the gospel during Worcester CU’s mission week: that they’d want to find out more about the One who truly satisfies
  • Preparation for the upcoming groups: that they would feel at home during their stay at Gaines, they would grasp more of who God is and grow in their walk with Him