One of the things I love the most about my work is when I get to see the impact that IW YFC is making in schools across the Island. Recently I was stood outside on “door duty” at the end of Catalyst checking that everyone was being nice and quiet as they left(!), when a group of three older teenage girls wandered past. It was about 10.30pm and the girls were obviously heading home after a “night on the town.” As they got closer to the church, one of them yelled out, “Hey you're one of them crazy Christians who used to do our assemblies, aren't you?”... These girls were in their late teens but, as it turns out, all of them remembered the YFC assemblies that they'd seen when they were at Middle School! As we talked about all the things they remembered, one of them seemed to notice for the first time that I was standing outside the door of a church! “ So, are you religious then?” she asked. Now every conversation about God has a turning point, where things get noticeably deeper…and this was that moment. “Well, not really,” I said, shaking my head. “But you believe in God, right?”
And here was my opportunity… “Yeah, sure I do but, I mean, loads of people do don't they?…I mean, don't you think there's something, or someone, out there?” Suddenly, one of her friends stepped in and started talking about how her Gran had been a Christian, and about how moving her funeral had been, and about how she'd felt like there was something special about her Gran's faith…and then the first girl started talking again, telling me that she was s u r e t h a t so m e o n e w a s watching over us, but she just wasn't sure who…
That was just one of many times recently when I've ended up talking about Jesus with older teenagers who remember me, and the rest of the team, from their old Middle School assemblies. We've been working in Middle Schools across the Island for almost 10 years now, taking assemblies and RE lessons, but we want to be doing so much more. Recently, Caz took part in som e RE les sons at Sandown High school, and had some amazing responses from the form groups she was teaching. Although we connect really well with c h ild r e n a t M id d l e School, we'd love to be doing more work in High Schools tooâ€Śthe opportunities are there - we're just short on time and people.
Please do pray that over the coming years (especially as the school system on the Island changes) we'd see God bless us with more volunteers, and more finances, so that we can reach even more young people, in more of the Island's schools.
Every month we run an evening event for teenagers from all over the Island. The event, called Catalyst, sees around 80 young people come together for an evening of fun, fellowship, worship and teaching. For so many teenagers, Catalyst was the place where they first started to feel comfortable expressing their faith, and the place where their preconceptions about church were broken down.......making them really excited about being part of Godâ€™ s family!
“It changed my perception Of what church could be and do”
“It Completely shocked me how real church could be”
Kaylee's Story “At Catalyst, I have often experienced God through the talks and the worship. I often find myself challenged by the leaders to think about certain aspects of my life, such as my faith, my non-Christian friends, being a Christian influence, and my lifestyle choices. Recently, a talk about God being creator of the universe, spoke to me about how He paid so much attention to every little detail when He created the world; like the "wiggly patterns" that waves leave in the sand. This really helped to affirm my trust and faith in God. Also, a talk about how to act as a Christian influence in the lives of my non-Christian friends, enabled me to be more open with them about what I believe. It gave me courage and a real passion for working in their lives, and bringing them to God (something I am trying to achieve). Since then, I have found that through prayer and through my actions, Some of those friends are slowly beginning to ask more and more questions about God, which is great! Catalyst has taught me so much, and has enabled me to be an influence to others who have very little Christian influence in their lives!”
Gemma’s Story ~ “I went up the front at Soul Survivor 2007 as a “New Christian”, but I think that part of that was just me being swept away in the atmosphere. I didn’t really understand, but it was definitely the beginning of a journey...Despite everything being fantastic, I did go through a very difficult time in my life a couple of months later, but coming out of this time during the beginning of 2009, is what really made me a Christian. I believe that God has a plan, and even though mine might have been unconventional, I could not have the knowledge or faith I have now if certain things hadn’t happened. Only in the past month have I changed my “Facebook” status to “Christian”, because I understand what it means now, and I have faith in Christ, wholeheartedly.”
Ian’s Story ~ “......The first night, I was overwhelmed by God. It was probably nothing to do with the speaker - I don’t even remember who it was - but I felt the Holy Spirit come upon me and, at the end of it they asked for people who wanted to come up and make a pledge, and that’s what I point to as becoming a Christian. I stood up in front of 11,000 people there to be prayed for, and to give my life to GOD.”
LESSONS IN HIGH SCHOOL..................
Update from Caz.
On 1st August BEN BRITTON, our Moorlands student, who has just finished working with us and ANNA ORCHARD, our year out student from 07 - 08 will be married and will start married life with a move to London.
WAYS THAT YOU CAN HELP.......
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THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR ALL THE SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT THAT YOU GIVE US.