After a brilliant week on the East Coast, we jumped back in the van and headed north ready for our week up in the Lake District with Youth For Christ. We met all of the other Gap Year Volunteers as we arrived at Denton House, a youth hostel just a short walk away from the beautiful Derwent Waters. I was sharing a dorm with 9 other amazing YFC girls, who were a mixture of people from touring teams and youth workers who are based at YFC centres around the country.
The first evening we had a celebration where the worship stream guys led us brilliantly, and Nathan Iles spoke to us about having joy through suffering. It was a really special evening to be able to worship with the rest of the volunteers.
Because I am in my second year with Taste this year, it means that I am also part of the Academy year with YFC. There are a group of 8 of them, all who are second years and we were asked as part of the retreat to lead some Devotions in the morning. Jack, Nathan and I were the team who were down to do Tuesday morning. We were encouraged to look at the passage from Nathans talk the day before, ‘to live is Christ, to die is gain’ . I felt it was right to share my testimony to these guys and so I shared how things will come and try to knock us down seeing as we are on the front line for Jesus, but we need to stand firm and remember that God is with us. We then looked a little bit at our futures and prayed with the people around us about our futures and the worries and concerns around that.
After breakfast we headed down to the church down the road where we had another celebration together. This morning Paul Kingsley-Smith spoke to us and challenged us about shining like stars. For the rest of the day we were given the afternoon off so we could spend time together and spend time with God. The surroundings were beautiful, we took a walk down to the lake and around the streets, they were beautiful! God’s creation is just amazing.
The evening was spent eating at Wetherspoons and in a quiz which was great fun! The next morning we split the group into girls and boys, and we took the girls and led them based on Proverbs 31. We talked about how we should be as girls of God an it was really encouraging to share with each other.
Our next activity was some team games! They involved eating as many crackers as possible and a selfie competition where we had to go out into the town and take selfies with the things/people they had listed. It was so fun!
We talked about our futures during the afternoon and spent some time with God talking to him about our individual plans for the next year. We then went down to the church and had another celebration, this time Emily Cobbold spoke to us, again on Philippians. I received some pray after and it was so helpful!
It was a quick turn around, as we packed away the equipment which was set up in the church and then headed back to the youth hostel ready for an evening of dressing up and having a delicious meal together. It was so much fun getting all dressed up with the girls in the dorm, and we went downstairs to a beautifully decorated dining room with mood lighting and music! After a brilliant meal together we set up ready for the talent show. SO much hilarious talent! Taste also performed two of our songs in the interval, which was great because the other YFC guys hadn’t seen us perform before!
Thursday morning was our final time together before we had to leave. Andy and Joy spoke to us about completing the race and not giving up, but letting go of the past. The final celebration was really good, and the worship team were great at leading us again. We even had the Stance girls dancing for us as we sang!
After the pack down, we had a final walk out to Derwent Water where we got some final pictures and said our goodbyes. We had a very long journey ahead of us and it was sad to say goodbye to the guys after spending all week with them! I have been so blessed with the people God has provided for me this year and has given me in my life through the team at YFC. I want to pray that God will continue to bless them just as they have blessed me!