Last week was pretty busy, rehearsing in the barn for what we have been up to this week in English schools! And so I have decided to blog about what has happened since Sunday as we have been in a few different places since then!
On Sunday evening I was invited by Roger to join him in the band at the Perry Street church. This was the first time I had sang with the members of the church here in Billericay. It gave me a chance to meet some more of the congregation, and also to learn some new songs! Roger also used his Ukulele for How Great Thou Art and 10,000 Reasons!
After the service we made our way to Thundersley where I met my hosts for the week, Alan and Ro Moore and their two cute cats! They welcomed me into their home and I told them a little bit about who I am and my testimony. They were so supportive of me!
The way the week then panned out was for us to be visiting three schools; one Monday, one Tuesday and one Wednesday. Hadleigh Junior School day began with a 7am set up. We were situated in the music room-quite a warm room but perfect size for us to interact with the kids in. We led 5 lessons, taking the year fives and sixes and teaching them about friendship and forgiveness. We also took the assembly for the whole school where we did an adverts quiz; the children had to guess the slogan from the advert e.g I’m lovin’ it would be advertising McDonalds. The whole school loved it and we had a competition between the girls and the boys, and the teachers even got involved! At lunchtime we were provided with a delicious lunch and this gave us the opportunity to sit and chat with the kids. The atmosphere was brilliant as we entered the room… children shouting ‘Beth sit with me! Beth come on our table!’ I sat on a table with a group from year four, who were gutted that we weren’t taking their lessons that day. However, I was able to invite them along to some of the events which are happening next week at Thundersley Congregational Church which we are involved with, and I had a good conversation with them all; finding out about them and attempting to learn their names!
We were offered time at the end of our pack down to travel to the next school to set up their for a few hours. We were able to unload and to set up the first bits and pieces which was very helpful. A brilliant first day in Hadleigh Junior school was followed by a lovely meal at Ian and Miriam Rudd’s house, and time I could spend with my host Ro once I had made it back to their house to sleep. It was time to get in the rest before the next morning!
Another early start (not quite so early as the day before) and we headed off to the second school, Thundersley Junior School. All hands on deck as we set up the equipment, and encountered a few problems with some of the tech things. We had two very helpful volunteers during this week; Rich Keeler and Elliemae Hammond from Thundersley Congregational Church had organised our visits to these schools and Rich has contact with the schools regularly. These extra pairs of hands were much appreciated as we always have lots to set up and pack down! We began our day at 9:30 and throughout the day we had all of the years in the school; 3,4,5 and 6. Having a lesson with year threes and fours was something that we weren’t used to, but they loved our music lessons where Josh led a singing lesson and Reece led a drum lesson. We did our friendship lessons with the year six and five classes and had very positive feedback from the teachers and the headteacher who expressed that they had been experiencing a few friendship issues within those years and the subject we were teaching was very relevant. We feel that it was really successful!
We also had a very interesting surprise….the Reception children were invited into the hall and we included them in the lesson. They found getting involved with the actions so exciting and we even managed to get one of the boys in Reception to take a drum lesson from Reece… his little head could hardly be seen over the bass drum!!!
On Tuesday night me and Reece were asked by Andy and Joy to help lead their Lifegroup, so after a yummy meal at the Clark’s we led parts of the night such as the Icebreaker, the worship and then we shared some of our story. It was helpful for them as a group to discover a bit more about us and to know what to pray for whilst we are living here. A great bunch of people!!
Our final school was Kingston Junior School which is in the same area as Thundersley, but is a smaller school with small year groups. My alarm went off at 5am and we arrived at the school at 6:45am!! It was still dark at that time in the morning! Along with the help of Rich and Elliemae again, we raced against the time to set up the hall and to prepare for our day. The first thing that we were doing was the school assembly where we performed three of our songs and go them involved in the actions and the singing. More little people singing about being Ten Feet Tall; they were so excited to be able to see a band in their school!
Four lessons during the day meant we were able to see all of the school. We were doing similar lessons to the previous days but we were able to experience different talent on the drums and different friends quizzes! As our last day we were very expectant of God working due to the responses so far in the other schools, and we weren’t disappointed. They were very up for us talking about how God knows them better than anyone and how He forgives us when we do things wrong. Reece was able to share about why he wanted to join Taste this year and we continued to show them all love throughout the day so that we could show Gods love to them all!
A day off today means I can reflect on how exciting this week has been with the schools work. We are praying that God will use those lessons and those conversations to really speak to them and we are praying that they will encourage their families and their friends to come along to the Noise week events at TCC next week!