What a journey this last month has been! God has been so good and so faithful! He has opened so many doors and pointed me in the direction to go. I was nearly run off my feet this month with activities, but I’m not complaining…I’m praising! God is good and He loves this world and I can see clearly, He loves Wales, and He wants to bring His Life here.
So, I’ll begin with the Eisteddfod. The what? If you haven’t lived in Wales for a while you’ve probably never heard of this. It is a huge festival celebrating Welsh language and culture. From school children to seniors, from solos to theatrical productions, there is everything and everyone Welsh at the Eisteddfod. And I should really say Cymreig, not Welsh. Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales. Wales and Welsh aren’t actually very nice names. They come from the same root word as “Alien” and thus mean foreigner or stranger. The word Cymru, however, means land of fellow countrymen. So, it’s much nicer to refer to things as Cymreig rather than Welsh. (There’s a little lesson for ya)
After the Eisteddfod came the Gwersyll (Camp). It was 7 days of youth camp with everything being in Cymraeg! Prayer, Sermons, Songs, Games, even the week’s food menu. Talk about jumping in at the deep end! On several occasions I was asked to lead the whole group in a large game! Each day I could feel my brain working…it was like my brain was pumping weights and frantically trying to build neuron-highways. But the best part of Gwersyll was knowing it was all about Jesus. One day a young lad in my small group admitted he knew about Christianity, but he wasn’t a Christian. Towards the end of camp one of the leaders was able to talk with him (in Cymraeg) and show him how to become a Christian. Amazing!
There was little down time after Gwersyll, but not much. The day after I got back, I had the opportunity to lead our church in worship on the beach! It was such an honour to publicly proclaim Jesus! (And it was a little bit easier for me with it being in English). At one point we had around 100 or more voices singing Amazing Grace, with passers by stopping to join in.
Lastly, Youth for Christ had several exciting summer events. One in particular was called Refresh, a one-day retreat. At Refresh we not only had an amazing time outdoors, eating s’mores, and playing games, but we also studied the life of Peter (#peterfails) and how that Jesus wanted and restored Peter even with all his failures. At the end of the day the young people were given the chance to give God all of their failures. It was encouraging to see many of them step out and turn to Jesus!
Yes, it has been a busy summer, but it’s been such a blessing. Jesus love Wales and He loves you too!