It’s been quite a long time since my last blog… we actually had nearly 3 weeks off at the beginning of June which was absolutely lovely to be able to rest and spend time with my family back in sunny Lowestoft! When I arrived back in Essex it sadly meant that we are in fact getting very close to the end of our year! *sob*.
But … our calendar is lovely and full and our next event was to head to Billiercay for a schools week. It was a very similar week to the one we did last year. Monday-Wednesday we were in Mayflower High School teaching lessons, and then Thursday-Friday we were in The Billericay School, followed by Friday night an end of week concert at ‘Gig Night’ at a local church.
First thing on Monday morning we were greeted with the knowledge that our venue for the few days we were at Mayflower was the top floor (floor 4) in a classroom… fortunately there was a lift waiting for us! We set a slightly smaller amount of gear up in the R.S classroom and were ready to kick start the day. During our time at Mayflower we saw every year group so our lessons ranged from being about Friendship to being about the things we value in life. The pupils were great, they really got involved. The teachers were also so supportive and we were encouraged by the comments that they made throughout the week.
Wednesday was a slightly strange day! The way the timetable works is that they have 6 periods in a day, and a split lunch; whilst one half of the school has a lesson in 4th period, the other half have lunch, and the same thing happens in 5th period. However, on this day we were given all 6 lessons and we had to try and eat sandwiches in between lessons! It was also very warm in the classroom we were in and unfortunately I had begun to start feeling under the weather by this point. I struggled last week with a rotten cold and had a temperature for a couple of the lessons! But I powered on and continued and it was so rewarding being there and being able to share my testimony so much, and lead lessons and to share with the young people!
Still feeling slighty poorly, and this time, my voice wasn’t holding out too well, we moved into The Billericay School for another 2 days of lessons in a classroom. This time it was slightly easier to set up because we were in a demountable classroom. It was a slightly bigger classroom than we had at Mayflower which meant we were able to have more than one class in there. We tended to have 2/3 classes in at a time which meant we were able to see quite a lot of the students during our time there over the 2 days!
I was still praying for healing because I didn’t quite know how I would be able to continue to sing and lead parts of the lesson with not much of a voice! But God really had his hand on me and gave us a brilliant week in the schools. There were some really significant opportunities that we had to share truthfully about our lives and I really hope and pray that it will be making a difference to them even now as they are back in school this week.
To finish off our week we were invited to play at Gig Night which happens at Emmanuel Church in Billericay. There were also another band called the 45ers who played before us– a local band with some of the youth from the youth group. They were excellent! We also had a time of karaoke which was great fun, encouraging the young people to come and sing some of their favourite songs (and also having a go ourselves!).
Again, I was praying for healing… an hour and a half concert on low energy levels, in the heat, with a horrible cold and swollen throat was proving to be a challenge, but when it came to it God gave me the strength I needed and surprisingly a comment was made that my voice sounded the best someone had heard it! Thanks God!
We had invited the students from both Billericay School and Mayflower and there was a good turn out from both. Our gig began at 8:30 and finished at 10, we were even asked to do an encore! I shared my testimony and Andy shared the gospel and we encouraged them to take a Check it Out flyer to find out more about what we were talking about. I was so excited that evening to see people there enjoying themselves listening to our music and getting involved. I really pray that what I shared will make a difference in their lives and that many will have taken a Check it Out flyer.
It was a brilliant week in Billericay, it was great to work alongside the Schools Ministry Billericay team, Gary, Ruth, Liz and Ray, who are doing incredible things working in those high schools. Please pray for them and for the continuation of their work to make a lasting impact in the lives of those who attend those schools.