Dear friends, welcome to our first proper blog post, we hope to share our experiences with you, ask for your prayers and write of the wonderful things we see God do. It’s quite long so sit back, grab a hot drink and enjoy!
During our month of training we have been prepared for our time in India, we’ve been sent on two church placements, various sessions and even learnt some first aid! We have had a variety of training sessions, some of the most useful of which have related to teaching abroad. We were taught about how we might engage with the children, as well as examples of fun games and activities we can use to make our lessons as interesting as possible, such as use of songs or short skits. In between eating inhuman quantities of biscuits we also got briefed on two occasions about what it will be like in India, thankfully our minds have been put to some rest as we’ve been reliably informed the food will not ALL be extremely spicy.
Games, laughter, worshipping together… All these and more are part of life at the International Mission Centre (IMC)!
I (Erin) think my personal highlight was the Ceilidh (Scottish folk dancing) which we had on the evening of our day off. It was great fun, with the Scots showing the rest of us how it’s done! We also had a Mario Kart competition which certainly brought out the competitive side in many Action Teamers!
The times of worship together (including a visit to Tim Hughes’ church at Gas Street!) felt particularly special and helped to bring us all closer as individual teams and as one big group of Action Teamers. This month of training has been an incredible experience and I can’t wait to see what the next six months bring!
For four days we all embarked on a team building trip to Min y Don, a Christian adventure centre in wales. Sounds like great fun right?!!! …well not exactly. We did a whole range of really challenging outdoor activities that stretched us as individuals because we were way out of our comfort zone (we can’t go into the details of these incase any future Action Teamers are reading because what happens at Min Y Don is top secret!). But by being stretched, it made us rely on each other a lot more and bonded us as a team. One of our favourite Min Y Don memories was when we accidentally made chocolate pasta (we mixed up the pasta flavouring powder and the hot chocolate powder) which was very funny but didn’t taste as bad as it sounds! We also learnt one of the most valuable lessons that we’ve all learnt together so far…to praise through the leaky tent moments. We were all freezing, scared and at our rock bottom but we all prayed together and sang some of our favourite worship songs and God met with us in our weakness and gave us real peace. To praise even when it’s hard to praise, is something that we all want to cling to as we go to Kolkata and we’re so grateful God has taught us this already and has shown us that he will meet us in our weakness and fear.
We are all in agreement that one of the main highlights of our training was the church placements we took part in over two weekends. The church we attended was Shirley Baptist Church where we were graciously welcomed by everybody there, especially the Pastor Paul and the couple we stayed with called Sue and Peter. Providentially Peter and Sue had been to the exact same place we are going and worked with many of the same projects, they were able to give us great advice and we learnt so much about the area already! Whilst at Shirley Baptist Church we grew so much as a team and we all noticed that we have all grown in confidence and ability from being involved within the Church. We helped run youth groups over the two weekends, spoke at the beginning of both Sunday services, ran an assembly at a local primary school and even organised a whole 50 minute session of ‘Cafe Church,’ an informal service in the church cafe with songs, Biblical study and fellowship.
Again, sorry for the long post but we have had a busy month! We look forward to sharing our journey with you.
Please pray for us.
-Team strength, renewal and bonding
-Listening and obeying God and his plans for us
-Join with us in thanking God for the kindness and blessings we have already received
May God bless you all.