Summer Special Events
Normally, Summer is a busy time full of camps and conferences, and this summer has proven to be same…but different! There’s been so much going on that I won’t be able to share it all, but here are some of the highlights…
Gwesyll Undydd (One-Day Camp)
As you know, Miriam and I have been working towards proficiency in Welsh for several years. I’m happy to announce we just received our certificates for passing the Foundation Level Exam! I won’t mention who got the better grade! Still, this period of online learning (due to Covid) has proven very difficult. It’s hard enough to understand people in a video call when they’re speaking English, but start trying to learn a new language online, that’s tricky! So, when I heard that the Evangelical Movement of Wales was restarting one of their Welsh speaking camps this Summer, I was keen to be a part of it.
Although, it was scaled back to one day, it was still a fantastic (and frankly difficult) experience. The Gwersyll Undydd (One-day Camp) was in Aberystwyth, which is about 3 hours southwest of us. Nearly the whole way there and back (and of course during the camp day itself) I spoke only Welsh. My head was pounding! When I got back home and people started speaking English to me, it took me a minute to make sure I started in English and not in Welsh! The camp itself was a fantastic ministry and I was able to help lead a small group during the discussion time after the Bible lesson. Also exciting, is that we (mostly Miriam) have been able to encourage and organize the creation of a new Welsh Learner’s class at our church and many have taken to the opportunity! So watch this space, the Welsh language continues to be an area bearing spiritual fruit. Pray for us as we continue to work hard to master it and use it to bring glory to God. One of my goals is to be able to teach and preach in Welsh this coming year and also to volunteer in our children’s all-Welsh school.
After the success of various Minecraft ministries over the last 18 months, I thought it would be good to do some kind of big Minecraft (camp-sized) event. Enter the Minecraft Marathon – a six-hour cooperative endurance event where myself and 8 young people try to work together to “beat the game” of Minecraft! I think the young people described it rightly with the word… Epic. We dug, built, explored, ate, fought and died together. (Um, remember this was a game, so we’re actually all still alive!) We even built a memorial garden to remember our beloved axolotls who were sadly lost in the great siege of the Nether Fortress (May they Rest in Peace). And as much fun (and technologically straining) as all that was, the best bit was that this Minecraft experience served as the perfect foundation for sharing with the youth how that they could be a part of the family of God and how that their lives can be a building that is built on the Cornerstone of Christ (Ephesians 2:19-22).
Another great experience was our Scavenger Hunt which spanned our 50-acre wide Eirias Park. Apart from being a special summer time experience for the youth, this also proved to be a great new contact maker. Because of this event we got to know several new young people we’d previously never worked with before. It was the first time we’d done a big “wandering around” event like this and it was great to learn how to do it, to see that it attracted new young people and to know how to do it again in the future. Speaking of which, with things starting to return to “normal” as school starts back, I’m anticipating that there will be a high demand and desire for youth groups and events like ours. Pray for us to be able to not only cope with this increase in demand but also perform well and ultimately spread the Good News of Jesus!
Camp not Camp
Helping our friends, Llandudno Youth for Christ, this year saw the second “Camp Not Camp” take place. You might have guessed from the name, but it’s basically doing youth camp but in a manner that’s not exactly like camp. Young people stayed in tents or dens in their back gardens or homes and we met up for various events during the day, namely: a camp fire gathering, a Zoom Breakfast Call, and a movie night. Again it was great to see how that this type of event attracted and ministered to yet another group of young people.
Colwyn Youth for Christ Opening Soon…
Lastly, I wanted to quickly update you regarding our new Youth for Christ Centre in Colwyn Bay. We’re nearly officially “open” as we’ve now adopted a constitution, opened a bank account, and applied to the UK charity commission. We’ve already received informal approval from Youth for Christ Great Britain and in the coming month we’re looking forward to being granted official charity status with the government and being chartered by YFC national.
The harvest is plentiful here, please keep praying for souls in North Wales!