Some of you are aware of what's happened with our church recently and some are not, so I thought I'd pop in a post explaining what's happened, what's happening and what will be happening. It's all very exciting and we'd be grateful of your prayers!
Ok, so when I joined our church I was living on my own in Wales and I'd not long been a Christian. The first time I visited the church had had to 'an the local teenagers from the services as they were coming into the services, shouting across the sanctuary at each other, running up and down the aisles etc during the preaching. They didn't know what to do with the youth, they had no one who could work with them and they were at their wits end. Now although it's very easy to be shocked at this and say that the church was wrong to ban the youth, they did what they felt was right for them at the time.
However, on that very first day, I didn't feel comfortable that there was a kidz club up to age 11 and then we let them go off and expected them to come back when they were older knowing how to behave in church and getting the most out of a service. I knew I had a burden to work with the youth but couldn't see how or when.
I started helping with the Kidz Club in the church and loved that completely!
I then was in a position (last June) that I couldn't afford to stay living on my own in Wales and was going to have to move back to live with my mum in Luton. This was a worst case scenario for me as my mum and I have both learnt that we're at our best when not living with each other! We have a brilliant relationship now as long as we understand that one weakness!
I couldn't understand how God could let this happen. I'd exhausted all possible ways of staying in Wales and I knew with all certainty that I was called by God to work with the youth in Cwmaman.
About a week later I met Dus in Luton and then the following week he came to church with me in Cwmaman. After the service we were having teas and coffees downstairs as is our church's brilliant habit and he was talking to Pastor Dale about his job. He came out of the church afterwards just feeling so like he was in a job he wasn't proud of doing and coupled with a feeling he'd had during the service we started praying about God's plan for our lives.
It took us about a week and a few independent confirmations to decide that yes, we should get married, make plans to move back to Wales and work in the church with the youth and the following week we arranged to pop round to Pastor Dale's house to have a chat with him and his wife about it. During this encouraging time, Dale told us that he'd been wanting Youth workers for so long that God prompted him to just ask for some. Dale did and God obviously provided!
Plans were afoot then to get married 6 months later in January of this year, move to Wales, become proper official church members and begin setting up some youth work. The last youth group that the church had had was about 14 years ago and Pastor Dale was one of the members!!
So we did move to Wales, get married and become full members in the church. We began helping with the Kidz Club again every week and got our organisationirifying sections of our brains into gear ready for a youth group. We made a plan, visited some other local youth groups, revised our plan, painted the back hall, drew up a budget (which we promise we're trying really hard to stick to), printed and delivered almost 1500 leaflets, purchased a wii and some tuck shop stock...and it all leads to tonight.
Tonight is our launch night of almost 9 months of prayer, plans and preparations. We'd really appreciate your prayers and support.
We held a dry run on Tuesday this week with our church fellowship pretending to be teenagers and things went smoothly but did bring to light a couple of things to do differently. I couldn't sleep very well last night and today feel like I've drunk far too much coffee, despite me not drinking coffee at all!
The cafe is stocked, the leaflets delivered, the wii charged and the vinyl hefted down to the church. All we need now is some youth and some Divine inspiration for our weekly talks!
The youth group is running from 6pm - 8pm for ages 11 - 18 and from 8.15 - 9.30pm for ages 15+. I shall report back on opening night when it's over and I've recovered!
p.s. we called the youth group S.T.O.M.P. which stands for Serve, Testify, Outreach, Ministry & Praise. Ambitious with a youth group full of non believers we know!