Our final events of the week were going to be spent with Identity Youth Project in the three events that they had got planned over the weekend. Our first event was on Friday night (Valentines Day). We went and set up at St Mary Magdalene church during the day which was where we would be based for the next two days. ‘A Taste of Romance’ was an acoustic night for us as Taste; we provided a few acoustic songs in amongst the activity which was pizza making! They had to create a pizza using any toppings they wanted and they were judged on taste and appearance!
We had a good turn out; a mixture of people from some of the local youth groups, schools and the outreach club that we had been part of on the previous Sunday. I really loved having my youth group being there to support me and cheer me on!
Because of our inability to eat certain things, myself and Elliemae were unable to be judges of the pizza contest which left Andy, Josh and Reece to be on the panel. Lets just say that there was A LOT of pizza to be consumed followed by Josh having to sing ‘Hold Me’ straight after on a very full stomach! Oh dear! Overall the evening went brilliantly and we had a great time together!
Saturday was our gig day! We had already managed to get set up the day before which was a massive help because it meant that we could spend some time during the afternoon rehearsing. We had decorated the room for the Valentines day theme with hearts and balloons. Ruth Witheridge and Anna Heydon were stars and spent ages pumping balloons ready for them to be released from the net during one of the songs. It reminded me of during the Glitterball discos in the past that I have been part of! It’s really hard to tell who will turn up to concerts, as often the young people will say they are going to come but for some reason they don’t! After our lovely meal by John and Sadie Quinn, prayed and we got dressed and ready for our night! I was slightly disappointed about the amount of people that turned up…however, there was at least 10 young people who are unchurched who came to the gig that night and they were able to hear Andys message about who God is and how He wants to have a relationship with us. I really pray that they will have taken something away from that night because I really felt that God wanted them there to hear what we had to say!
On Sunday morning we were all split up so that we could visit all of the local churches and update them on the week. Reece and Elliemae had been asked to go to St Andrews to share for a few minutes about their week; Joy, Andy and Josh were asked to go to St Mary Magdelene church to lead the worship at their cafe church and I was going to be going with Ruth Witheridge to perform Down and Out at Magdelen Way Methodist church. It was a good morning and I really appreciated the support that the church was showing to the mission.
After a delicious lunch at the Philpotts house, we headed off to Magdelen Way Methodist church ready to set up for the final event of the week. Once a month Identity have a youth service where they invite the youth groups from the area but also have it open to some of the young people off the Magdelen estate, to come and experience a church service which is made more interesting to their age. I was part of the first ID worships about an year and a half ago, and I was involved with leading the worship so it felt really cool to be part of this event again, but leading it with Taste! The theme of the evening was Love and we were looking at the Unfailing Love we can see in God. There was worship, games, Reece shared his testimony and Josh shared a message looking at the story of the Prodigal Son. The evening was really touching because there were two girls who came who we had been in contact with during our time in one of the schools, and they weren’t Christians, and afterwards they had a few questions which Ruth and Elliemae were able to talk to them about. I really hope they will get involved with some of the youth activities which happen during the week to get some more questions answered and to move deeper in their faith. It was a real encouragement that evening. The Father will never let us down, just like sometimes our earthly fathers will. He is the perfect Father and His love is unfailing!
After a quick pack down and a few goodbyes it was time to get back on the road to Essex ready for a week in the office before we came back to the East Coast after half term!