We have now spent time at five churches across the UK, I don’t think any of us have been this well acquainted with the south east of England before. Our third church was Ashford Baptist church where we spoke at various groups from younger to older, but we also got involved in some community action projects with the charity Aspire. They have a ‘Hang 10’ session which we joined them going to a local park and simply ‘hanging out’ with whoever was around. It was some of our first experiences with detached youth work and we really enjoyed chatting with new people. The charity also has a community gardening project which we helped out with… weeding and tidying up community spaces. They even let Kirsty loose with a leaf blower (hence why Olivia is hiding!). A huge thank you to everyone at ABC, we had an incredible time and you were all so lovely!
Our fourth week was split into two, half at Joseph’s home and half with Olivia’s church. When in South London, we joined in with some of the work of a charity Joseph is heavily involved in called Hope UK. It is a Christian charity which promotes drug awareness and prevention. With them, we did some more detached work on Southbank using ‘Drunk Goggles’ to demonstrate the effects of alcohol and also showing various experiments with alcohol. It was a really fun experience and a chance to become a bit more confident in approaching strangers to get them to do something a bit more unusual! It was great to see Joseph so comfortable among his friends and family, taking part in something he is obviously very passionate about.
When at Olivia’s home church, Rayleigh Baptist Church, we were in a school for two days. We did two assemblies and then went into every year group doing a ‘carousel-style’ activity to teach them about different aspects of Ugandan living. This included dancing, and a show and tell of different Ugandan items which the children thoroughly enjoyed, and came up with some interesting questions (as seen in the title!). On the second day, we were invited along to a sports morning and even encouraged to take part in the staff race… somehow Kirsty managed to come second! We were heavily involved in all three services on Sunday morning, with James preaching excellently in two of them (despite having tonsillitis). We could clearly see during these few days how happy Olivia was to share her experiences with the people she knows best, inspiring us all to be just as enthusiastic for the remainder of the tour.
Currently, we are at Houghton Regis Baptist Church, and so far we have been involved in school lessons and assemblies, an Over 50s club and lunch, and the youth club. All of which we have really enjoyed and have been hugely encouraged by the response and feedback from various people.
A massive thank you again to everyone we have met, and who has hosted us – we are so grateful for your hospitality!
Prayer and Praise Points:
- Pray for the work of the two charities we worked with, Aspire and Hope UK, that they are able to grow their ministries and make firm connections with their communities to spread the love and word of God.
- Praise for Joseph and Olivia getting to spend some time with their friends and families in order that they are well refreshed to make the most of the next few weeks.
- Prayer for Ashford Baptist Church, Rayleigh Baptist Church and Houghton Regis Baptist Church in all that they are doing within their communities.
- Praise God that we have made it this far, but prayer for energy levels so we can bring the same enthusiasm to our final three churches.