It’s officially Summer here. I know, it’s August! But in Britain, Summer is usually only about 6 weeks long. During this brief time of sunshine and school holidays many things are different. Youth groups stop, as many are away, and holiday trips, camps, and festivals abound. Everybody is somewhere else…and where am I going to be? I’m going to Gwersyll (Welsh for Camp) a 7-day ALL-WELSH Youth camp put on by the Mudiad Efengylaidd Cymru (Evangelical Movement of Wales).
So, from frantically acquiring as much Welsh as I can, to wrapping up another school year of fantastic ministries, to envisioning the future, I must confess… this month I feel this statement describes it best: Dysgwr Dw i … *A learner, I am.
The end of the school term saw many encouraging conclusions. First, we had the “Golden Spoons Awards” at Redefine.
I was privileged to give out several of these gold spray-painted spoons to young people. It was great to see the smile on their faces as they received awards like: “The Doctor”, “Extreme Beam”, and “Beyond Years.” Then, in the schools, we celebrated our last C.U. meeting with 10 young people by playing games, eating cupcakes, and talking about the next year. At Reverb we finished with a movie night, with many eagerly asking about the upcoming summer programme.
Lastly, at Shuffle and Shake, we finished with the promise of a weekly programme starting back in September.
In between all of these concluding meetings, I’ve been putting a lot of effort into learning Welsh, as the Welsh camp looms ever nearer.
Some weeks I’ve been able to attend up to three different Welsh chat groups. I’ve also been working through numerous resources on my own and this week I will be going to the National Welsh Eisteddfod, the biggest annual celebration of Welsh culture and language. But will it be enough? We’ll find out this Saturday when I start the seven days of all-Welsh youth camp. Please pray that I not only “learn Welsh” and cope with communication, but that I can also be a blessing and lead young people to Christ.
Other exciting news:
A church in Llandudno had a group of 15 teens from Hungary visit and I was invited to lead a game’s night for them. I was encouraged as I felt that, if I could communicate roughly with Hungarians, who were learning English, then I could also communicate with the Welsh youth at the Gwersyll.
I had the privilege of preaching at Llanelwy Community Church. It was exciting to practice my Welsh in the introduction and also with people after the sermon. Interestingly enough, I met a man that works in Ohio but is originally from North Wales. We spoke together in Welsh.
We just got our results back from our Level Mynediad Welsh Exams. I scored 382 out of 400 and Miriam…well…ahem…390 out of 400. (240 was the pass mark). Da iawn ni!
Lastly, one day, while I was in town, I ran into a young man that I used to teach at a youth club in the past. He was beaming as he told me, “I got saved at camp!” He expressed his gratitude for our involvement in his journey to Faith in Christ.
What a privilege it is to learn and serve in North Wales!