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Time to say goodbye to Taste!!

It has got to that time where I have to write my final blog and say goodbye to an amazing two years of Taste.

I have absolutely loved writing and keeping everyone up to date with our travels and I hope that they have been helpful and encouraging to you guys who have been blessing me with reading them!

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I think it is clear to see that God directed me towards 2 Gap Years which have actually completely changed me. As a person, spiritually, emotionally, physically.

I look back on 2 years ago before I started and if I’m honest I was in a bad way! But God provided me with everything I could possibly need in my first year – a solid group of friends within my team who I knew loved me and I definitely loved them back! An amazing host family who provided for me and welcomed me into their home. He gave me the money ( and more!) that I needed and was worried about getting and proved to me that I could trust Him with my finances and with Him looking after me.

I grew musically through my guitar playing and my singing, shared my testimony in both England and Germany, prayed with several young people and had great conversations throughout the year. Towards the end of the year I even discovered this gift which God wanted me to use – the ability to communicate and teach, I fell in love with preaching!

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I made the decision to stay on for a second year as it got into the spring, and if I’m honest, there were a few people who didn’t think it was the best thing for me to do. It would mean being another year behind starting uni, I would have to raise the money all over again which was potentially going to be a big problem. But I felt there was God speaking to me through that and telling me actually the right thing to do was to stay with Taste.

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And now after that second year and looking back on everything that has happened I KNOW God had his hand on it all! It’s been an interesting year – a different team, not having a constant host home which has meant me moving around a bit, losing a family member. But do you know what?

God has blessed me through it all. Through it all He has been faithful. Again I gained brilliant friendships, a church which has supported me and encouraged me to use my gifts and I have made friends for life there, I have had  to step up within the team but God has helped me to grow in leadership. I have just felt so much more confident. I have gained skills in public speaking, in communication and just general people skills which I know is going to massively help me for the rest of my life! I have loved performing and have really come out of my shell on stage. I have been given the opportunity to speak at 7 youth events over the two years but also at 2 services at Thundersley Congregational Church.

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These are just some examples, not the mention the privilege it has been to work with Andy and Joy, two amazing leaders who are such amazing role models of people wanting to sacrifice to serve. But I wanted to thank everyone for supporting me, praying for me, giving to me financially. I have had the time of my life, it was so hard to say goodbye! Taste has shaped me into the person that I am now and I am so thankful for that. To see God use me to speak into young peoples’ lives has been incredible and I am honoured to have been part of such an amazing ministry as Taste!

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Now… onto new things! I move to York in September to start my 3 year Christian Theology degree at York St John University. It’s going to be very different to Taste life, but I am buzzing to experience all these new opportunities there will be for me there.

I wonder what God has got in store for me next!?!

GOODBYE TASTE! But this is just the beginning!

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Livit Camp 2015 – a week to remember

Well well well, our FINAL ever Taste tour had arrived. I was so sad yet so excited to be going away with this amazing bunch of people for the last time.

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Livit Camp has been running for 10 years, so this week was a special birthday for Livit and we LOVED hanging out with them all over the course of the week. There were young people from all over Manchester who had come either with strong or very loose connections to a church. There were more un-churches young people there this year than they had seen for a while so we were excited about the potential for the week.

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The theme was ‘The truth will set you free’ and so the morning sessions were based on looking at ‘truth’ and the evening were looking at ‘freedom’. We arrived on the friday night and set up our tents (yes, we were camping!) and then began setting up and decorating (should I say, transforming!) the venue. We finished it off on Saturday and the campers arrived on the Saturday afternoon. There was a real buzz about the place and when it came to Saturday evenings’ session, it felt great to kick start the week, with myself and Andy hosting and us all playing our favourite games such as Jammin’, with some brilliant worship and Paul speaking on What is Freedom?

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Saturday was also a special day for us as it was our last ever Taste gig. Obviously our year with Taste had come to an end and we were getting ready to pack up our things and move on back home after Livit, but it was also a significant night because in September, Taste will become ‘The Sense’, officially the YFC touring band. Therefore, it was the end of an era! We performed for the last time, and some of these songs probably wont be sung again so it was strange, and quite emotional especially for some members of the band who found it hard to know it was our last performance!

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But having the gig on the first night was brilliant because it gave the kids a chance to get to know us and it broke the ice, meaning for the rest of the week we were able to build on those relationships with them. We had been given small groups to lead and so I felt I got to know my group quite well and was very blessed by them and their input to the discussions!

 

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Unfortunately the weather wasn’t too great all week and we barely had a fully dry day which was a shame because it put a dampener (!!!!!) on the week slightly! But we made the best of it and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves this week!

I chose to speak on the subject of ‘Freedom from sin and guilt’. I chose it because I loved the thought of having the chance to speak about Jesus and what he did for us, and I wanted to do it in a creative way. I had seen the sketch ‘sin in a box’ on youtube, and wanted to adapt it into my own take of it. I spoke about us humans constantly letting God down, and being trapped in this sin that we couldnt get out of. Becky came and helped me and stood inside this cardboard box. I asked the young people to come and write on it some ideas of some sins so that the box was covered in things which would hurt God.

I told them that they cant get out of the box on their own. We are trapped. Becky looked like she couldnt get out and was struggling to cope, so much so that she had to give up.  We then turned the lights off Becky and they were able to focus on me, and what i was explaining. I told them that a price had to be paid for those things we were doing wrong. God knew something had to be done about it. And that’s why he sent Jesus. Jesus is the only way that we can get out of our boxes. Simon came on with a pen knife and cut down the 4 sides of the box, and it revealed as the box opened out that it was in the shape of a cross.  I told them because of what jesus did on the cross, it is finished. There is no need for us to be guilty of our sin, we are free.

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But I also gave them the opportunity to respond and I asked them if they wanted to, they could pray a prayer with me to invite Jesus into their lives and to say sorry for the things they have done to let him down. With every eye in the room closed, I then asked them to make that courageous step of putting up their hands if they had prayed that prayer as a step of faith to say that they are ‘in’. As hands started going up around the room, it was incredible, my heart began beating so fast and I could feel myself welling up with tears. So many young people responded that night, and only on day 2! It was so encouraging to know that God would want to use me in such way that night! Hallelujah!

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God was really moving last week at that camp site. We had also been praying for protection over the site and God really blessed us with no hospital visits or major illnesses! Monday we took a trip into Northallerton to have a treasure hunt in our teams; it was a good opportunity to get to know the group better!

 

Some of the other talks that week were looking at ‘freedom from fear and addiction’ , ‘freedom to know God’, ‘religion is not the truth’ and they were often opening up touchy subjects which were really challenging/ speaking into the young peoples’ lives. On Monday night I was asked to lead the worship and I stood back from the mic and let them sing out ‘and if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us’ , it was very powerful!

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Tuesday we headed to Lightwater Valley, a local theme park for the day. The rain unfortunately didn’t hold off but we had a brilliant day! I got a chance to speak to some of the campers who I hadn’t chatted to already that week so it was great!

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And our final day was Wednesday; I was anticipating a brilliant day, and it was! The tiredness had begun to kick in but God strengthened us and gave us the energy to finish with a bang! By the time it got to the evening meeting we were ready for a praise party! I have never jumped around so much! But all the same it was a bit emotional because it was our final meeting together as a team and we performed a Taste song, Turn Back for the last time! As it got to the praise party at the end everyone was really enjoying worshipping and jumping around. There was a brilliant atmosphere there!

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So much to be thankful for this week. God’s protection and safety, him providing energy and strength to us as a team, but also the way God spoke to so many lives in both the meetings and out of the meetings. Thank you God for the many people who gave their lives to Jesus!  It was an incredible week and a brilliant way to end our year with Taste!

 

 

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Final schools week in Eastleigh

It had come to that time of the year, to travel down from Fakenham to the south coast where we were going to be spending the week in Crestwood School, Eastleigh for our final schools week of the year.

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This was a new school for Taste, but our arrival and having the church pray for us and support us was fantastic and we knew we were in for a good week!

However, the week was going to be slightly different to what other weeks have looked like. Starting on Monday, we arrived in the school and were given the school sports hall as our venue for the day. It was a massive hall! But we also had a lot of the students in at one time – the day consisted of us taking the whole of year 7&8 together, followed by year 9, and looking at the subject of Social Injustice.

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It was a brilliant lesson that Andy and Joy had written as we talked about the difference that we can make in the world and got the pupils to think about how they could make a difference in their local communities/ the schools and the wider world.

There were a few of the boys on the front row who absolutely loved the fact that there was a live band in their school!

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We had to pack down that same day because for the rest of the week we were in the church which was on school site. But tuesday we were given a brilliant day off to celebrate Joy’s birthday!

Our new venue was a slightly different one to what we have been used to! We got the church ready for our lessons on the tuesday and then wednesday and thursday we were in the church the whole day teaching our lessons. The pupils had to come over from the school, but the brilliant thing was that they had all already seen us before on the monday, so it was good to continue to build on that relationship with them.

We had such a great supportive team this week; us being in the school was part of a week of mission in the Eastleigh area and they had put on this ‘Hope’ week with us taking the youth stream and other activities happening in other areas of the community.

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Our lessons were often quite long which meant we were sometimes singing at least 4/5 times per lesson! But i absolutely loved having the opportunity to be with them and to spend our last week in such a brilliant school!

Our final schools gig as Taste was in the school on the Thursday night; we moved our equipment again and this time to drama studio back over the other side of the school. We were able to set up a big stage and make the venue look great, with additional stalls provided by the team from Hope which gave them the chance to discover more.

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The gig was amazing! We had quite a large crowd and they loved getting involved. Some of them even brought their dads! Which I think was a first for us, and it did make me slightly more nervous about sharing the gospel, which I had been asked to do for the first time this week. I was nervous about it but the same time I was just so excited about being given the opportunity to speak that night. I really pray that they grasped what it means to be loved by Jesus who died for us so that we can have freedom in him.

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It was an incredible week and a great way to end our year in schools! A massive thank you to everyone who helped during our week in Eastleigh and to God for all he did through us in that school!

The sun came out in Fakenham!

We took the road up to sunny Norfolk a few weekends back as we were invited to be part of Fakenham Community Baptist Church’s fun day. It took place in the local park, with different gazebos set up with different activities and people there. They also had bouncy castles and face painting. It reminded me of the CPCC fun day!

We arrived and began to unload, and it was obvious that the Lord was going to be blessing us with absolutely beautiful weather! The sun was out, it was baking hot, (slightly uncomfortable whilst setting up!!) but it meant loads of people were attracted to the fun day and we had a brilliant time.

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We were asked to just be background music, playing as the event was happening. I had put together 4 different sets of all our stuff, Taste songs, one cover and one christian worship song. We tended to attract a few fans and it sounded like people were enjoying themselves!

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We had a few technical hitches — I suppose there’s always the risk when running things off generators! But things were soon resolved and the show could go on!

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We were so well looked after this weekend, and we made some great friends there. After a BRILLIANT day on the Saturday, we were also invited to go and lead the service at the church the following day. Another great opportunity to mix with the congregation and get to know people. We used the story of Zacchaeus – and created a tree for him to climb up so that he could see Jesus as we rein-acted the story from the Bible.

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Paul was able to share testimony about how he has been able to use a gift that God has given to him and use it for His glory this year in Taste. We ended the service with them coming to pray for us which was SO encouraging and was great to be amongst such lovely people!

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An excellent week in Billericay!

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*.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Baptist Assembly

What an opportunity- to be able to spend the day at Baptist Assembly, leading the worship in the main arena and ALSO running a session for the youth at Innovation. This year BA was only one day long, which meant we had a lot of things to squash into the day and we started very early!

At 7am we entered the venue and began setting up in the youth venue. Some of us had to leave the room to go and sound check in the auditorium. The auditorium was very big, with enough chair space for over 1000 people to be there. We were expecting around 1200 people to be there and be part of the worship sessions.

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We kick started the day with a main session where we led the worship. It was a quick turn around as after that session we had a sound check with David Ellis who was leading the worship in the evening, followed by having our lunch before having to be ready for the youth session.

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We only had a short amount of time with the youth this afternoon but we did manage to put our favourite items in such as what’s in the mail, the mix dance and jammin! Josh led some worship and I had been asked to speak during the session. I was talking about being ‘Living Stones’ and gave them the challenge about how real their faith was to them, how personal their relationship with Jesus was and whether they were willing to go out and to make a difference to show the world the amazing thing they have in their life, Jesus.

The afternoon prayer session was to be led by the Innovation youth, so we had planned to build  a wall, continuing on from the theme of being living stones, and using cardboard boxes, we made a massive wall as a prayer activity.

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The idea was for BA to recognise and give thanks for the ministers who had passed away this year. As we did that, we laid bricks down which had their names on. Then the new accredited ministers were recognised for their service, and so laid their own boxes with their names on. Innovation also added their own bricks, and then the whole congregation were invited to lay some bricks to represent them. It looked amazing. We then encouraged them to take away any boxes that they wanted which could be a symbol to step out and show that He reigns, to make a difference in the word, and so gave them all a challenge to do something with the box — fill it with things for a childrens home etc. It went down a treat and we were so pleased with the feedback.

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Directly after the prayer session we had the final praise session and we had some more worship, this time led by David Ellis. It was great fun singing and being part of the worship on Saturday. We also had David Scott from Taste a few years ago with us and Josh was back again too, which was brilliant and it sounded great all together!

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What a fantastic day at BA!

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SPRING WEEKEND – The Mix

Three years ago I was invited to be a young leader at an event called Spring Camp, which North Breckland Youth for Christ run, inviting some of their young people from youth cafes, groups and churches to spend the weekend at Eaton Vale near Norwich. I loved my time there that year, and I began to have the conversations with Andy and Joy about joining Taste in that September.

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A year later I was in my first year with Taste, helping to lead the worship, run sessions and I also did my first talk there that weekend.

 

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This year, we were invited back for another fun packed time with 30 young people. We not only had the groups from the North Breckland/Norwich area but also a group from Great Yarmouth came which was brilliant!

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I love being at this event and being part of the wider team there. I have made some great friends amongst the team, especially after being there for 3 years! Not only that but we had the wonderful Josh with us again this weekend!

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The friday night kicked off with our usual programme; Whats in the mail, the Mix Dance (new for this year!), a Taste song, games like Jammin, quizzes, small group times, worship, a talk and a response time. We were aware that the young people here this weekend were mostly un-churched kids, which meant that choosing worship songs they would know would be difficult! Josh on the first night explained really well about what we were doing in these times of worship, and encouraged them to get excited just like we were. We got them involved, jumping, singing, shouting, dancing, the atmosphere was great!

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The theme for the weekend was Life’s Adventure Essentials. So the themes for the sessions were Purpose, Direction, Community and Storms. Some of us from Taste, Josh and Gabi and Dan from North Breckland YFC spoke in a session each.

I had chosen to speak on the Saturday morning which was looking at ‘Purpose’. I took the character of Joseph and explained how sometimes life seemed like he couldnt see the bigger picture, how things could improve in his life, but actually God can see the bigger picture, he knows the plans he has for us, plans to prosper and not to harm us! And I also talked about God’s ultimate purpose for us which is to have a friendship with us, so encouraged them to enter into that relationship with God if they wanted to. It was a great morning, with a bit of discussion within their small groups. I loved speaking that morning and sharing a bit of testimony with them all!

 

Saturday was a very busy day as it was our only full day there! Not only did they have 3 Mix sessions with us in the main hall, but there were also centre activities where they could go out and use the facilities with things like Jacobs Ladder, Sledging and Raft Building, and also then the workshops which were run by the team. I was asked to run the singing workshop, and Andy and Josh helped me which was cool, to plan to do a flash mob in the middle of the talent show, which was that evening. They were all really excited about it and when the time came to do it, it went really well! The talent show was packed with entertainment and it was a great evening.

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On Sunday morning people were beginning to get rather tired! It was slightly harder to wake the young people that morning than it had been the day before! We had a session in the morning, with workshops and centre activities after and a final celebration in the afternoon. The day on Sunday was really good, I loved hanging out with the young people and playing games and chatting to them all. Particularly, it was great to spend time with the group from Great Yarmouth who had seen us in school a couple of weeks ago!

 

The final session we made to be about the cross. We just wanted those young people to understand what it was that Jesus has done for THEM. It was a brilliant final session where we told the story of the crucifixion and explained that ‘it is finished’. I am really praying that it was something that hit home with a lot of those young people!

 

What a fantastic weekend! So sad that it was my last one (hint hint 😉 ) but really excited about what God did that weekend and what he will be continuing to do in their lives!

GREAT Yarmouth!

It was time to head back to the east coast and spend a week in Great Yarmouth. Taste have been in Great Yarmouth High School for the past few years and they keep inviting us back! I remembered it being a really brilliant week last year and so I was excited about what was on offer this week!

Firstly, we spent the day on the Sunday leading worship at Park Baptist Church in the morning ,and then Unite (East Norfolk Youth For Christ) ‘s AGM in the afternoon, followed by Mettle, a youth group for the area. Becky and I were staying with ex-Tasty singer Claire Timothy (was Parry) for the week, with her husband Pete who is the minister of Park Baptist. They were really excited about us being there and leading the worship, and we were excited about spending time with them and getting to know an ex-Tasty! At the AGM ( which was at GHYS, where we would be spending the week) I was able to thank them and share about the impact their money supporting me this year in Taste has had on me and how I have grown.

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On Monday there was a real hype knowing we were back in the school. We saw each year group for an assembly, one each morning of the week and then had lessons for the rest of the day. We had a mixture of large groups from each of the years for lessons like the friends and forgiveness lessons. But something slightly different was that we were also given small groups, of a mixture of year groups, where we took around 14 of them for lessons looking at some of the instruments the band members play. It was cool to get to know some of them better in that smaller environment!

On Wednesday we had a bit of a different day..

There were a few other bookings in the school, Release Dance Crew, Jelz Music and the Salvation Army came in and along with us, we offered the whole of year 10 a ‘Christianity’ day where they could ask questions, see what we all did and have a focus on God for the day, which was really cool!

We weren’t able to use the school hall because Jelz was performing on the stage, so we were given a slightly different (but one that we have done quite a few times this year!) task of being in a classroom for Q&A for the whole morning. The classes rotated between the different activities and when they came to us we gave them the opportunity to come and ask any questions about God. It was slightly tough some times and one question I had with a group of girls touched something and caused someone to be slightly upset about losing someone in their family. I was able to share my experience and i hope it was encouraging to them. Her question afterwards to me was how someone would go about becoming and Christian and how do you know you want to be one. I really am praying for her that she will be excited about God coming in to her life if she decides to make a commitment!

To finish the day we had a joint concert with Release and Jelz. It was amazing to see them perform and to be with them that day!

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Thursday night was our concert. It was brilliant! We had 100 students come along, some who have been Taste fans for years after seeing them a few times, and so they knew the songs well and really joined in! Becky was brilliant at sharing her testimony and Andy shared the gospel which he nailed on the head! I really enjoyed the evening and we also had the added bonus of having Colin Galloway, a photographer, at the gig, and we have SO many brilliant pictures from that night! Please, if you use them in anyway, quote him as being the photographer so he gets the well deserved credit for his work!

http://www.norfolkeventsphotography.co.uk

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It was sad to say goodbye on the Friday, we only had lessons until lunchtime so we could pack away and leave before they got out of their lessons in the afternoon. It was a brilliant week and I want to continue to pray for the kids we saw and for Ali Roberts who is continuing to go in to the school to be amongst the pupils and have conversations with them.

Busy Busy Busy! ECG was brilliant!

After an insanely busy Easter weekend, full of birthday celebrations, helping at the TCC family fun day on Saturday and a lovely day with friends on Easter day, we headed up to Scarborough on Monday for a week working with Arise Ministries at ECG conference. ECG is a Methodist conference which happens annually for a week and has loads on offer, childrens, youth and adult programmes and is right by the beautiful seaside in Yorkshire!

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The event was taking place in The Spa which was full of great venues for us to use for the different programmes. We were upstairs in the Ocean Room. We were using their PA and equipment so we just had to get instruments out and set up all of the props/create a tunnel with lights etc so that the room was more child-friendly.

We had the 5-11 year olds. They were a great bunch who were really excited about being with us which was great. We would do a few worship songs and a Taste song in each session.

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The evening sessions had time for the kids to choose a workshop to go to. As Taste we offered them the chance to come and to write a song with us, which would have each section looking at the topic of the day. We tended to get a big group along to that which was cool. Along with our favourite Mix Dance, and other crazy games, the evening sessions were great fun, and also the prayer times and the talks were amazing and I managed to have some great conversations with kids throughout the week.

The morning sessions were similar, with worship and teaching, and then other stations for them to move around for the final half an hour, some creative, some prayerful, some looking closely at the bible. It catered for each individual child which was great.

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Sadly, I woke up on Wednesday morning and nearly collapsed whilst in the bathroom. I was very scared and was made to go back to bed and rest, which meant that I was unable to be part of the day on Wednesday. I was very poorly, and wasn’t really sure why, and it was very frustrating for me to miss so much. But Becky was great at stepping up and taking my place and by the next day i was (beginning) to get more colour and feeling less faint, although I had to still keep sitting down and taking things easy! It was not fun being stuck in the hotel room by myself but maybe it was God telling me I needed to just stop and rest.

Another thing that we were part of during the week was the All Age Celebrations. Similarly to the Childrens sessions, we led the worship, helped with the bible stories when needed, and encouraged the kids (and adults) with whatever was going on. I really loved the All Age and I had some lovely feedback throughout the week about my singing which was so encouraging to hear.

Our final day, Saturday, was a very busy one! Ed Jones from Arise had come up with the idea to Unofficially break the world record for the most amount of pipe cleaner men that could be made within an hour. The idea was to try and re-create the feeding of the 5000 using pipe cleaners. We took 15000 pipe cleaners and the whole team over to the local big park where we approached passers by and asked them to join in with the challenge. It was incredible! We made over 7000 people out of pipe cleaners and got loads of people involved. It was a brilliant way to interact with the community!

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Our final morning at ECG was spent joint with the rest of the conference in the adult venue. We had written this song with the kids throughout the week, and it was finally finished, along with a recording of the song that we had done the day before. Andy and Joy had worked really hard to get it to sound brilliant, as always. They had asked us to perform it to everyone on Sunday morning, so show them all what we had been up to in the Childrens venue. Myself and Becky helped the children to sing it as they all came up on stage. It was a fantastic experience to hear everyone in the auditorium sing the song with us. And it was also very encouraging to hear how the rest of the groups had been getting on in the week.

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I loved being at ECG this year, having the opportunity to engage with the children and get to know them better. Some of them were talking about quite deep stuff, and God was evidently very real to them at such a young age which was something I was amazed at. It made me realise how the Holy Spirit is the same, whatever age we’re at, and God can speak to us through the HS in so many ways.