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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Summer Craziness!

On Sunday our first camp starts and I’ll have also been at Gaines for 6 months – time flies! Thank you so much for taking time reading this. If you feel able to support me, you can do so here. And don’t forget to check out Gaines on facebooktwitter and instagram!

Day 159

beacon

Our fourth weekend group in a row was a new group to us from a church in Stafford, and it was great to have them with us! The teaching was from Colossians – The Greatest Ever King; looking at Jesus is always encouraging and challenging – no matter how many times we hear it! Activities included the usual Friday night bonfire with marshmallows, rafting (it got competitive with boys vs girls!), air rifles (which became equally competitive), murder mystery evening, mug decorating in the sun, and combat archery (pictured above).

Day 162

joe slide

39 girls and their teachers from Lady Margaret School in London enjoyed a full on pirate-themed week. It kicked off with an afternoon of inflatables, which were a lot of fun – and yes Joe did dress like that for the whole week!

The teaching took a slightly different form to normal: we had small groups in the mornings with a mixture of upfront and discussion time, looking at ‘The World We All Want’ – how the world is not as it should be, why that is, that Jesus came to fix it, and by trusting in what Jesus has done we can look forward to being in the New Creation with Him as King. It was incredible to see how open the girls were to God’s word.

the end

We did lots of activities with the girls, including rafting, tie dye t-shirts, combat archery, graffiti, air rifles, a trip to Drayton Manor and much more! It was also great to have a couple of last year’s gap team back to help out.

It was a tiring week (as you can see from the team photo above!) but it was so amazing to be able to share the gospel with mostly un-churched girls.

Day 170

canoeing

Bethany and Sally enjoyed the two canoeing sessions we did on a lake the other side of Worcester. I’ve now finished all of my canoeing and kayaking sessions – so I’m now almost ready to go for assessment!

Day 174

st georges

St George’s, another new group to us, enjoyed a Bible and activity-filled few days with us. We did an extended teaching programme in Ephesians, looking at God’s big plan to unite all things under Christ, as well as Paul’s 2 prayers. It was great to see the kids in my small group engaging with and thinking about what the Bible says, which produced lots of questions towards the end of their time with us! There was lots of time to do activities with them as well, which included: wide games, graffiti, rafting, mug decorating, combat archery, film night, ultimate Frisbee, team games, combat archery and more!

In our spare (?!) moments between groups we’ve been doing the very final preparations for summer camps: decorations are up, programmes are finished, Bible talks are written, all we need now are the kids!

Coming up…

Summer camps! Escape starts on Sunday, Breakout the following Sunday, and Ignition the Sunday after that!

Please Pray!

  • For all the kids coming on summer camps, that they would engage with God’s Word (we’re looking at Judges and Ruth), be challenged and transformed by it
  • That all of the leaders: Gaines team and those coming to help over the summer, would model the gospel to the kids on camps. Pray for us to be gracious, loving and patient towards each other and the kids
  • For all of the those who have heard the gospel at Gaines over the past month or so, that God’s word would be continuing to impact, challenge and change their lives