Hello and Happy New Year!
Hope this email finds you in good form and back into the swing of things after the holidays! We are full speed ahead into our tour time and have just completed our very first week on the road. So here is the run down of what's happened this week.
It was a fantastic first week in Walsall with the Walsall Christian Centre! All week we were in Manor High School doing assemblies, Religious Education Classes, and performing our play. On Wednesday we did our play 4 times in a row! By the end of the day we all deserved Oscars, or gold medals in long distance drama performance. Every other day, though, we'd arrive at the school at 8:30am for a 20 minute assembly in the morning; then we'd split into 2 groups and do classroom workshops about basic Christianity, Faith, Personal Relationships (in which students brought up everything from dating to divorce), and all sorts of the issues we face today.
It's always an exciting time going into classrooms because the students here really aren't afraid to ask you any questions about anything. And it's exciting for us because we really have to be on our toes when it comes to responding to their questions. The two months of training really helped! The team was great. It can be very scary to be put on the spot, especially when it comes to questions about God and faith, but they really shone! That is one of the most rewarding things for Danny and me to see as leaders. The truth is that in the training time, we don't really teach them what to say when answering questions. The training time is only supposed to be a launch pad to help them discover these things for themselves. When a student in a high school asks one of our team, "Why do you believe in God," or "Do you ever have doubts?" or "Why does the Bible say that you have to believe in Jesus?" we don't want our team to have a scripted answer we wrote for them and made them practice over and over. We want them to know it for themselves. One of the greatest things I learnt from going through this training and being in classrooms myself over the years is this: God is not afraid of questions. He's not afraid of simple questions, he's not afraid of hard questions, he's not afraid of a sceptic’s questions, and he's not afraid of my questions. I think that in most cases, we are the ones who are afraid of answers.
On Friday night we did our second full play for the church youth group. We'd invited students from Manor to come and about 10 or so came. At the end of the night, we were able to really tell them about Jesus. With that, we had 4 young people decide for themselves that they wanted him to be a part of their lives, too.
Saturday morning we did a kid's program at the church and had a blast! I don't know who has more fun running around in the games, us or the kids. I think I had the most fun sitting and watching. You know, some one has to do it. One of the guys on our team, Trevor, is really good at making sound effects over a microphone and he can sound just like an entire drum kit! The technical term for his talent is called 'beat boxing.' When he got up on the stage to do it, he asked the kids first, "Does anyone know what 'beat boxing' is?" One boy enthusiastically put up his hand and answered, "It's when you beat some one up and put them in a box!" Come to think of it, I didn't see his little brother at kid's club that morning. I wonder...
Well, that wraps it up for me! We're heading out to Kidderminster for this next week, so hopefully I'll have internet access and a great story or two to send off! As well, Danny and I move out of our flat (apartment in Canadianese) tomorrow, so I still have lots of packing and cleaning to do! It's true what they say: There is no rest for the...outrageously good-looking.
God bless you all and talk to you again soon!