Crazy busy week!!!

So after a week off, slightly stressful upon waiting on an interviewee for a looming essay, but otherwise very relaxing and it was great to see some friends from home again, things went back into full swing very quickly. After travelling back on Thursday morning I did my interview on Thursday lunchtime, then spent all afternoon and most of the evening in the library at college trying to write my very tricky essay. Please pray for the results of this essay and 2 more I have coming back before Christmas. This module is now finished so please pray for the new module I am starting.

On Friday everything had changed focus to the upcoming trip to Alton Towers with my young people that I had organised. We had to do food shopping, pick up the minibus and get everything ready to leave at 2.30pm and survive a long (and squished) minibus journey with 13 young people. After a longer journey than we would have wanted we arrived, or so the sat Nav told us! Where we were staying, a self catering bunkhouse that sleeps 18, was no where to be seen, so after running into the local pub, asking and tackling some narrow roads and signs in the way we arrived! The evening went well after directing the pizza delivery guys who turned up 45 minutes late and we had a session full of games and heard about God run by the local youth for Christ centre. A long night followed with the young people staying up beyond 4am, the leaders resorted to bed at 2.30 but broken sleep allows follows when you are responsible for those around you, and when you are on a creaky bunkbed in a cold sleeping bag!!! 

The day on Saturday in Alton Towers was really good, each leader had a group of about 4 young people and we just spent the day going on the rides and chatting, building further relationship with those young people. I feel that going away or going out for the day really enables further engagement and conversation with young people you’ve been working with for a short while or even for ages! The journey home was quite amusing with about 3 young people very wide awake and noisy and the others all sleepy and moody. Finally, with 45 minutes to go all was quiet and they had all given into the temptation of sleep!!!
Sunday morning I lead the youth group session, most were still tired from the trip but we had a really good morning where we looked at being honest with God and finished our series on being genuine. Most were challenged by the thought of ‘If Jesus walked in the room now, would you know him?’ During this service there were 2 baptisms, one of my good friend Danielle. I love baptisms and it was beautiful to see God’s movements in those individuals lives 🙂 I was also privileged to see 4 young people from HHBC get baptised in the evening, popping home to see it. I really loved hearing how, even as teenagers they could fully engage with a relationship with God, and be changed by him. this is why I do youth work!!!! I also got to see sooooo many people I haven’t seen in such a long time, for example Kirsti, and that was just fab!!! Please pray all those baptised feel really close to God and just feel renewed and filled with the Holy Spirit. 
Monday was a new day full of preparation for our launch of our youth cafe, thirst. on Friday. This involved ikea, yes! And ikea breakfast as well as a visit to macro and the range buying lots of exciting things to make it amazing!!! However a boring afternoon followed, filled with essay writing!!! After a fun youth group session, I worked hard to finish my essay and by 4am I was done, minus the conclusion and editing to do in the morning. Oh the joys!!! 
Tuesday wasn’t very exciting apart from submitting my essay! Woooo! Glad that one is done! I also went to my cell group and that was great 🙂
Wednesday was ministerial day at Oasis College, so this is where the whole college, or as many people as possible gather together and share in worship, ministry and vision for the future. As it’s youth work week this week we were blessed to be joined by Patrick Regan from XLP who talked to us about how we can engage with young people and gang culture. Please pray this can really help us all and we can relate it to where we’re working and who we’re working with. My friend Jo’s birthday celebrations followed with a trip to the pub and Nandos where we met Vernon Kay!!! 
Thursday was a good day where I helped in the local high school’s Christian Union, it’s only the 2nd time I’ve helped so I’m growing into this role but I enjoy it and it was attended by more students than the time before which is always a positive!!! I picked up the printed fliers for the youth cafe and they looked really happy, and having personally designe them. Was happy to see the end result. Me and one of the team involved in the youth cafe distributing these after school, giving out about 30. I helped with the kids group tonight and Youth cell is usually on a Thursday evening but because of tiredness still from Alton Towers we decided to cancel this week. Please pray I can really settle into helping at the CU and that the youth cell session I’m leading next week goes well.
Friday, today!!!!! On Fridays I am helping at a alternative education project called Grace Academy for those who have been excluded or are n the verge of exclusion. It’s quite hard work, and I don’t feel it’s my area of gifting but I enjoy a challenge and its great experience to gain, the morning consists on helping 1 or 2 students with English and Maths and then the afternoon they are working towards a qualification called cope. This afternoon they helped the local park warden make a bonfire, and though some weren’t engaged at all, others got really into it and it helped them burn off energy and get fresh air. 
I then went back to church to set up for our first ever thirst. This is the name of our youth cafe running from 4-6pm on Fridays. Please pray for this youth cafe.
God gave me really clear vision about it a while ago and finally we can make it happen!!! We only got 3 young people, siblings from the church, but it was great knowing how we wanted to set it up, how long this took and also those 3 really enjoyed it so it was encouraging. Recently, God has really been saying the word PERSEVERE to me, and I know that when God gives me such clear vision about something he’ll make it happen, I have to also persevere! God did not give me vision of an empty youth cafe and so if I have to keep going and he’ll bring his children to us!
I helped with Strobe, youth group at HHBC tonight which was great, I always enjoy coming back, and tonight we had a lovely chill out round the campfire, chatting and one of the young people played guitar and there was some singing. It just was nice to be back for the evening. 
It has been a very packed and crazy week, I’m shattered but God just has been clear in what he has been saying to me. PERSEVERE IN THE VISION HE GIVES ME.
Will be posting again next week, sorry this has been so long, wanted you to know exactly what I’m up to! 
God Bless 
Steph x

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