On Sunday 29th October the touring teams from Youth For Christ arrived at Crown Church – tired, hungry and inexplicably having taken 6 hours to arrive from Uddingston! This was the second time we have hosted them, and the mission was all at once very familiar and yet totally new. The teams are operated by Youth for Christ and are a band (the Sense) and dance crew (Stance) which tour the country performing, teaching and sharing their faith in schools and other youth settings. We had some familiar faces – the team leaders had been with us before (obviously), but also three of the team were in their second year with the group - so with 11 in the team, that was just under half familiar faces and everyone else new (and first-timers to the Highlands!)
The teams had a certain international flavour this year with two band members from Argentina and one from Brazil; this indeed proved a great talking point for the teens in school (i.e. “why on earth would you choose to spend a year coming to places like this?!”) It was wonderful to see the different dynamics and creativity in the teams this year too – brilliant to know that they are keeping what they do fresh and vibrant. This lends itself strongly towards the credibility to inviting them back in to Millburn Academy for a second year running.
It was our privilege to be able to offer the services of the Sense and Stance to the school again and the school absolutely jumped at the chance of having them back in. Anyone who was in the loop last year will remember that our major struggle was in getting a timetable filled up for them to be kept busy in the school (which, in answer to prayer, was filled as of the day they arrived); this year a totally different scenario… The major issue of timetabling for this year’s trip was in trying to do as many of the lessons and sessions as possible which the school had asked for! What a fantastic answer to prayer, as well as indicator of the quality of this outreach work.
The band were most certainly kept busy all week in lessons and also break and lunchtimes too. The feedback we had from pupils was encouraging and the feedback from staff and senior management deeply enthusiastic. What a superb way to love and serve the school, provide a quality educational resource and also take opportunities to share about faith in God and the difference He makes in everyday life.
One particular highlight for me came at the end of the week when we hosted a special gig at Caffe Nero in town. To cut a long (and not uninteresting) story short – we found ourselves hosting an outreach worship event with a live band after hours in a coffee shop which has never ever done this sort of thing. As you can imagine, quite a number of prayers answered in the bringing together of that one! The event was jointly hosted as an end-of-week celebration for the time at Millburn Academy and also the monthly worship event for Elevate – bringing together two of the key strands of my work in Young Crown. And what a night it was!
Having no idea what the attendance would be or what the make up of it would be like, we simply went there, set up and waited in faith. The place was packed out. People had come from across the Highlands which was exciting, and from just ‘round the corner but from totally non-church backgrounds which was just as exciting. Worship was had, as well as testimony shared and all-in-all amazing things happened on that Friday night. Praise God!
A big thing of itself and yet, so clearly, this is just the beginning of what’s to come.
As ever, so many more big things in the pipeline, new projects starting, and ground being made for the Kingdom of God. Keep praying.
And enjoy this festive season. Well and truly we can say “God is with us!”
PS. In case anyone is worried about your dear youth worker’s credibility, let me assure you; the band were going around pointing at me and telling people “we’re with him!”
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