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Sunday, 6 May 2012

Well... after a packed few days we are back in Reading after the orientation weekend.  I thought that I would share some of the things that we have been up to during our time away together.

We split into our two groups, youth and adult or Team A and Team B if we want to be politically correct!  I am part of Team B and so will share everything we got up to!

On Friday, we all arrived at Immanuel Church in Bournemouth.  After a well earned cup of tea and dinner we sat down to team build.  You may think we all know each other, but you would be amazed at how much you can learn about people if you just take a little more time to listen!  We paired up with somebody and had some time to learn about them.  We then had to feed this back to the group. So many new things were discovered.  The moral of the exercise was learnt!  After more exercises and discussion the whole team came back together from their two different groups to share in worship and prayer time together.  Then it was off to a much needed bed (well for most of us!)

Saturday morning we were up and raring to go!  We began by sharing in some worship time together. Then we split again into our two groups.  Team B then were presented with bags of lego!  We had to build a specific model shown from different perspectives in several pictures.  However, each of us were only allowed to see one of the pictures and we were not allowed to talk to each other.  After struggling for a while the engineers in the group realised that we had the wrong blocks for the model so after that error was corrected we began again.  The no talking rule lasted for about 10 minutes and then we just couldn't help ourselves. Being able to talk things through meant we were finished in no time at all!

We had one member of our group, Josie, who had been missing up to this point who then arrived with her dad Ron.  It was lovely to meet her and her dad and hear their stories.  We shared the information we had learnt about each other the night before which was a good test of our long term memory, of which we all passed! During coffee break we had more time to talk to Josie which was lovely.

After break we settled into the discussion of itinerary for our Community Church Project.  We are all so blessed to have many skills and talents that we can use in South Africa and so we have to think about what we can achieve in the time that we are there.  Of course we would like to be able to do everything, but we eventually started to narrow down things that we thought would reach out and support the community. Some of our ideas include running an after school club as children are not given much provision for. We will also be able to support the local schools through the teachers that we are taking with us.  Weekends are going to be spent running family fun days where we hope to bring people together through fun activities whilst also sharing God's word and love.

After much talk and deliberation, we broke for lunch and took a walk down to the beach.  Some people decided to have a swim but were soon back out of the water looking rather blue!  The afternoon was spent in discussion about our work and what resources we provide.

Dinner was prepared by lots of willing hands whilst others took to the church to prepare worship for Sunday morning.  We all sat down to a cosy meal before spending the evening in more sessions and discussions.  Once again we met together to worship and collect our thoughts before bed.

Sunday morning we supported the worship at Immanuel Church.  We had a band that played brilliantly and our Team A delivered a great sketch all about God's love very clearly after very little preparation time.  Following lunch we all sat down to wrap up our time together.

This weekend has helped bring people closer together and time to share our thoughts and feelings ready for our Community Church Project.  We have prayed for our hopes and concerns and know that in all our final preparations leading up to our departure and whilst we are in South Africa, God is with us, guiding us in all that we do to ensure that his will is done.


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