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Who knew camping in October could be so fun! Our CYFA team decided to risk the outdoors for a weekend away with the older teenagers. Although it was a little cold at night we had a fantastic time at Viney Hill Adventure Centre. We had a campfire both evenings, we did canoeing, bridge building and crate stacking plus various wide games in the forest. It was jam packed with activities but left plenty of time to explore God’s word and spend time getting to know one another.
We looked at the next part of Exodus where the Israelites are wandering in the wilderness and Lucy led us in exploring the passage. On Saturday evening we were really encouraged as we opened up the floor to hear what God is doing in each other’s lives. It was humbling to hear such honest stories from our teenagers and encouraging seeing how God is working in and through them.
During our time away we had the lovely Marian come and cook for us, and had plenty of delicious food to keep us going. There were many highlights to the weekend but to name a few were; testimonies from the teenagers, praying for one another, roasted marshmallows, campfire singing and getting very wet in canoeing!
I have heard it said once your feet touch African soil you will fall in love, and once you leave, you will have a lingering ache to one day return. It shouldn’t surprise me that in those mere two weeks we spent there Africa has left a long, lasting and life changing effect on all of us.
Africa is everything and more; the vibrant colours, the sunsets, the fruit tastes sweeter, the language rhythmically falls off your tongue, the joy of young children desperate for your attention and in pure contrast is the overwhelming reality of poverty, need and injustice.
For a country which has been dealt the poverty hand, a country where there is so much need, there are men, women and children whom radiate strength, gratitude, joy and hospitality. Through those two weeks, God taught us, broke us and rebuilt us. Showing us his people, his country and his heart.
There were 15 of us on this adventure a group of 12 young people from CYFA , alongside Steven, Penny and myself as leaders. We landed in Kenya on the 1st of August and traveled through to Musoma, Tanzania, the next day to stay with the charity Go Make a Difference. There were a number of us staying in the house, but as we were a large group we formed a big team and went to work on projects together.
We were given ownership over choosing what to build and spend our fundraising on, opting for a two water tanks once for a family and one for a school, a goat shed ( with a goat), a set of girls toilets and with money left over to put into healthcare.
Reality hit in hard on the first day as we took a young lad just 15 years old to a health clinic where he was diagnosed with malaria, it cost just £4 to get him life saving treatment. Go MAD work in amongst the community and we were fortunate to be a part of that; getting to know people, going to church and seeing how others live their lives. We spent half of the week helping build projects; shovelling cement, sawing, drilling, digging and cutting wire. The other half was spent getting the chance to visit schools, a children’s home, a leprosy community, church youth groups and making chapatis in the village with a lovely lady called Evelyn. As a group we explored the life of Jesus through the book of Mark and were able to see how he encountered people, how he loved, gave and had compassion on all he met. Our daily readings helped us reflect on who Jesus is and challenged us in our personal encounters through the trip.
There was rest in between, our Redland community grew stronger, as did friendships we made in the house. We then finished off our trip with the most fantastic safari with a rather close encounter with a lion.
As I have never been on a trip like this, it was hard to imagine what was going to happen and incredibly challenging for all of us stepping out and doing it, but I can see how God protected us, encouraged us, grew us and challenged us throughout and we as a group are incredibly grateful to our Lord Jesus for this and thankful to Redland Church family for supporting and praying for us throughout.
*Photocredit Joshprice, Frandaws
Booking for our Chat-a-Box and C2 (formerly known as Café Culture) holiday clubs is now open – please use the links below. Chat-a-Box is for children currently in Years 2- 6 and C2 is for children currently in Years 7 & 8. Full details of each club and their activities are here.
Sorry, we are unable to take bookings for C2 at the moment, please email us at the address below for a place on our waiting list.
If you have any queries about Chat-a-Box or C2, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Young leader enquiries should be directed to Fran our Lead Youth Worker.
We are super excited to have moved into the fab new Church Halls for our Tuesday night youth group Elevate!
Whilst we were waiting we had a series of fun socials for our ‘Super September’
We started off with a bounce at a giant trampolining park! We played dodge-ball, gladiator knockouts, did some front flips into big foam pits and bounced as high as we possibly could!
The following week we went to Blaize Castle Estate to build a den in the woods, we gathered fallen twigs, created a structure out of tarpaulin and celebrated inside with hot chocolate.
We finished off the month with a High Tea at the Vicarage, with cucumber sandwiches and loads of fun games!
The following week was our first in the new halls! We love it! There is room to play football, dodge-ball, we have table tennis and a Wii. Space to chill and hang out together.
If you have a child in Year 6-8 that would like to join us, Elevate runs from 6.00pm-7.30pm Term time on Tuesdays at the Church Halls, just pop along, the first session is free and then only costs a £1 after that!
Hopefully see your child there!
*Fran lead youth Worker*
Over the Easter holidays, myself and a group of Impact girls hit the road and traveled down to a lovely boarding school just outside London to embark on a 4 day, fun packed, Jesus filled Camp.
Haslemere@Danehill is a offshoot of Haslemere Ventures , which has run Christian Holidays for young people for over 50 years. At this camp over 50 members aged 10-13 and 20 leaders gathered to learn more about Jesus, play a lot of sport, a variety of games, bake, make craft and hang out. We all had a brilliant time.
We had meetings and workshops during the day where we explored the ‘I AM’ sayings . On the final full day we went offsite to do climbing/ abseiling/archery and crate stacking. The week was themed around survival; we even had our own special survival expert ‘Teddy Bear Grylls’. On the last morning Sam Baker spoke to us about, when we know and trust in Jesus we are no longer just surviving but we thrive! It was a great week, if you’d like to see some of the other things Haslemere Ventures get up to have a look here. www.haslemereventures.co.uk
If your interested in sending your child on a Christian holiday in the Summer or next Easter, please do get in contact with me at email@example.com
On Friday evening I joined a few hundred other people and spent the night sleeping outdoors. This annual ‘Sleep Out’ aims to raise money for a few different charities working in Bristol who serve the homeless population and takes place at the end of ‘Homelessness awareness week’
Bristol has just been announced as having the second highest number of ‘rough sleepers’ in the country, behind Westminster. Rent prices are increasing faster than anywhere in the country and house prices continue to rise.
It is the first time I have taken part in the event and I decided to do it as way of raising money for the Crisis Centre and to experience in a very small way what someone who sleeps rough might go through.
I attempted to make the evening as authentic as possible but couldn’t help feeling like a fraud as I spent Thursday evening packing my bag with spare clothes, a sleeping bag, scarves and gloves. I am sure that someone who is homeless would love the luxury of being helpful to plan so meticulously for each night they face sleeping outdoors.
I planned to leave for the sleep out directly after work on Friday evening and to get to the rendezvous point and set up my sleeping area. I couldn’t help but notice however that I lingered slightly longer in my office than I ordinarily would on a Friday evening.
Eventually I left and cycled down to the grounds of a city centre church to meet with some friends and as we gathered together I again felt like this was almost too much fun, meeting friends being given a cup of tea, bread roll and a ‘cup-a-soup’ made it feel like a camping trip. As did the knowledge that we going to be kept safe by marshals patrolling the grounds of the church and that we wouldn’t be moved on by the police of risk being assaulted by a passer-by. I was also very aware of the sense of safety that knowing that at any point I could go home if the notion took me, or if the weather took a particularly arctic turn. All luxuries that those who sleep rough every night don’t have.
Eventually it was time to ‘bed down’ and try to get some sleep. This is when the reality of what we were doing hit. When drinking tea and socialising I had been able to ignore quite how cold it had got. I have no desire to harp on about how unpleasant it was because in the morning I cycled home, went back to bed for a few hours and had a hot bath. The thought of that being my reality every night is horrendous. It really is unacceptable that in a civilised society there are people who have nowhere safe or warm to lay their heads at night.
The aims of the sleep out are to raise money and awareness. I am now a lot more aware of homelessness in our city and I hope that you will seek out information about how you can help support the charities trying to eradicate it.
if you want to sponsor me please go here http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JamesCreed1
It’s February, it’s cold, the office is unusually quiet but there is a scent of excitement in the air…..
In two days with board games and bibles in tow, we set out on our CYFA weekend away! 26 of us are off on an adventure to the ‘sunny’ shores of Devon, making ‘camp’ in nice cosy beds in Upcott house. We are joined by the fantastic Charlotte and James Norris, who are arriving prepared to give us some spiritual insight into leadership. There will be a trip to the beach, yummy food, games, craft and most importantly a chance to hang out, learn more about Jesus and spend time worshiping and drawing close to him.
That’s Feb, however we have a number of other fun things to look forward to.
*For Impact and Elevate Year 6-8* There are still spaces to join us on Haslemere@Danehill, a 3 day Easter christian holiday with fun, friends, great food, activities, great bible teaching and comfy beds all included. More info email firstname.lastname@example.org
*For CYFA + DG’s Year 9 – 13* You can now book for Summer Soul Survivor C with us! hopefully you have received an email about how to do this, if not email email@example.com
Alongside this we have our normal programs and some additions!
Love the Youth Team
So it’s a big hello from the youth team here at Redland, with our first ever BLOG.
We will be using this space to share what God’s been saying to us, any updates, encouragements, and probably a few silly pictures from time to time.
I heard a really good quote recently that says ‘The most important thing you can do is remind people they are special to God’ by Desmond Tutu. This really struck home with me as there are times where I feel like I am not particularly special to God, and then I remember how I am probably not that unique in thinking that.
When I decided to embark on that big adventure with Jesus it was this truth, the knowledge of his personal love for me, through his sacrifice, that subsided all my fear and brought me onto my knees in worship.
And the truth is that quote is one that should inspire us as a church. What a privilege and honour to remind each other we are special to God, what a joy to be able to tell a friend that there is a God and they are so special to him.
For it says in Ephesians 5v1 ‘Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.’ – what a great reminder of God’s personal love for each one of us.
It’s nearly Christmas……
so we thought we’d remind you what’s coming up!
It’s the last elevate of the term this week (11th) and we are going to be looking more at the Christmas story, with the usual chaos and games.
DG’s will be running as normal with grub and practising the christmas play.
Then on the 18th of December at Etloe Church, It’s the YOUTH CHRISTMAS PARTY!! Open to year 6 upwards, we will be eating some food, playing some games, hanging out and generally enjoying the start of the holidays. Tickets will be available this Friday and Sunday which are £5.
Redland Youth Team