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

Twixmas – Getting That New Year Feeling

Whatever you want to call the time between Christmas and New Year: Christmas Limbo, Twixmas etc. It definitely gives time for reflection (along with all the food of course).

So my reflecting has been on New Year’s Resolutions…
Should we make them? Why should we make them? What’s the point of them? (especially when many of them last only a few weeks at best)

Christmas is all about Christ (it’s in the name…) so surely the rest of the year should also be all about Jesus. And that includes our New Year’s Resolutions.

Maybe the reason many of our New Year’s resolutions never seem to last very long is because we’re often doing them in our own strength and not God’s strength.

I’ve been challenged to pray and seek God’s guidance before making any resolutions for 2017. Let’s look first to God, and not to ourselves. Philippians 4v13 says “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” It’s in God’s strength that we do his will.

Adam and Eve are evidence that when we try to do things in our own strength we fail. In fact take a look at most of the Old Testament and you’ll see that that’s the case. It’s the reason the world was in need of a Saviour that first Christmas.

When our lives are founded on Jesus, our New Year resolutions won’t be based on being a ‘better’ version of ourselves. Because God has already made us the best through Jesus.

So this New Year’s don’t make resolutions you know you won’t be able to keep; make resolutions you will only be able to keep with God at your side, living and working in you every day. And remember there’s grace for when we rely on our own strength and not God’s.