Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I'm just back from serving for a week on a mission team up in the north of my country, Northern Ireland with my church, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI). Rather than spend a whole lot of time blogging about it, I thought I'd just paste in the report on it that I wrote for our church magazine.
I hope it encourages people to get out and serve God at any opportunity they get, it is such a blessing.
Ballykelly PCI Team 2008
From the 9th – 16th August this year, Ballykelly Presbyterian hosted a summer team of 21 young people giving up a week of their holidays to serve the Lord. We ran five days of Jungle Jamboree, a jungle themed Holiday Bible Club for 3-11 year olds. The children enjoyed songs, games, Bible stories, quizzes and memory verses. Although numbers were small (around 20-25 children attended) we were able to reach out to children from the surrounding estates, who had never been in a church before. Christina, aged 8, asked for a Bible at the end of the week, as she had never seen one. God was definitely at work in Ballykelly.
Continuing the jungle theme, in the evenings we held I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! for the teenagers. This involved a time of relaxing and chatting with the young people, as well as testimonies and talks from team members. And the event wouldn’t have been complete without the leaders’ Bushtucker Trials!
The rest of our days were spent as a team, in fellowship, prayer and the study of God’s word. I led one of the groups in a study of 1 Peter when we did a detailed study of the themes of hope and suffering.
Our key verse for the week was 1 Peter 3:15 : “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have”. That was what we made our challenge and focus for the week – showing the people of Ballykelly that we were different, and being willing to share the reason for our hope in Jesus Christ.
I could not write about the team without mentioning the amazing hospitality of the congregation of Ballykelly Presbyterian. We were made to feel so welcome from the first minute, and their catering was second to none! Hospitality is mentioned in the Bible as a spiritual gift, and we were so humbled by the willingness of the congregation to help, support and provide for us.
I would also like to thank all of those back home who prayed for our work Without it our efforts would have been worthless, and God answered our prayers, with “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).