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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Hello all from sunny, rainy, hailing, snowing Walsall! Yes, it's been a funny day for Mother Nature, she just couldn't decide what she wanted to wear today.

I just had to send out this story that happened this evening. We were at a kid's club for 6 to 12 year old children at the church. We did our dramas, told a Bible story, and played some games. The kids at this group are very, how shall I say, energetic? Enthusiastic? Rambunctious? And sometimes down right menaces! But they are so sweet and it is always such a huge blessing to us to have them run and give us hugs when they see us coming.

Okay, so at the end of the evening, we had some spare time to tell one last story, which is, naturally, Danny's job. He is the master of 'one last story.' So he proceded to tell the adventure of going Go-Carting last week with the youth group. Danny recounted every detail, every danger, and every challenge and the children (and us) were enthralled. He told of his brave battle on the go-cart track, racing against vicious teenage challengers, who tried to bump him off the track, but he didn't let fear defeat him,and he finally finished victoriously in first place. Actually, it sounded a lot like "Days of Thunder" except with go-carts.

At the end of is story, Danny asked the kids, "Does anyone know why I won the race?" Why yes, of course, Danny. It's because you didn't give up.

The responses from the children, however, were as follows:

-"Because girls are bad drivers." (That boy's walking home.)
-"Because you cheated." (Thank you for your honesty.)
-"Because you ate bananas." (Where we listening to the same story?)

And my all time favourite, the answer to every question:
-"Because you had faith in God so he helped you to win." (What can I say? We know how to program the young minds of today's generation.)

You know, there are only 3 or 4 children from the 30 plus group who actually attend church outside of this Tuesday evening club. But they are really teaching them the right answers to all of life's tough questions!

Until the next crazy thing that happens (which shouldn't be too long, we have another kids' club tomorrow night), God bless you all and remember...

...have faith in God!

Take Care,
~Alycia DeLong

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day (or week for those of us who are forgetful)

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day, everyone! Hope your week has brought you many bouquets of flowers and boxes of chocolates! I’ve got no complaints myself. We’re in Stafford right now enjoying an easy going week as it is half term break for schools so we don’t have any assemblies or classes. This week’s schedule has consisted of bowling, movies, games, go carting, ice skating and tobogganing (indoor, of course). We’ve just been hanging out with the local youth group as much as possible, which has been awesome! We needed a week like this; the last two have been insanely busy with schools and events. Hey, that reminds me of a funny story…

So last week we were in Wales, Clydach to be exact. I know what you’re all thinking, ‘Hey, isn’t that by Swansea, where Catherine Zeta-Jones has a mansion?’ Why yes, as a matter of fact it is. But we never saw her. Sorry. I hope you weren’t thinking that was going to be my funny story.

Our entire team stayed in the church for the week, boys in one room and girls in the other, including Danny and myself (also not the funny story. Side note: And people are so shocked that we don’t have children yet). Anyway, we were scheduled for full days of schools from Monday to Friday and evening stuff every night. Our previous week in Stourbridge had been much the same and we were already pretty exhausted, but there’s nothing that a little coffee and a lot of prayer can’t do. We pulled ourselves back together and arrived at school Monday morning ready to go.

When we arrived we were quickly taken into one of the classrooms by the teacher who was coordinating our week. He told us that a major outbreak of the flu had broken out at the school. In fact the previous Friday recorded around 200 students absent. He asked if we’d all had flu shots (to which we just said yes) and said he’d keep us updated on the situation. We didn’t think much of it, but it was nice of the guy to tell us what was going on. There shouldn’t be any real problems because of this, or so we thought…

By the end of the day it had been confirmed that two of the students had meningitis and that they were taking emergency medical measures to stop a possible epidemic. There were staff meetings to be held, letters to be written home, public parent meetings to be arranged, staff and students to be tested, and lots of pills to be handed out. Wednesday was spent in a line filling out forms, answering medical questions, and receiving antibiotics. It was panic and chaos. Parents we taken there kids out of school, teachers were calling in sick, the media was all over the story, and rumours were flying that they were going to close down the school. It was up to us, four Canadians and two Brits, to save the day!

By the end of the week we’d seen every present student in years 8, 9, 10 and most of the other year 7 and 11 students. Pretty much everyone between the ages of 13 and 17 we had contact it. And guess what, we never even got meningitis. Not even the sniffles! Originally we were only going to see a few classes, but it seems that God perhaps had a different idea and cleared the schedule for us! On the Friday night, when we held our main outreach event, we had around 100 students and adults pack the church and enjoy a night of comedy, and at the end they heard the Gospel.
We move on to Walsall for 2 weeks after this and then we’re off to Scotland for a week, which will be fun! We had a great mission there last year, so it will be exciting to see everyone again.

Well then, I guess I’ll be off for now. I think it’s time for a cup of tea. I also want to see what’s happening on the Olympics. Men’s Skeleton was very exciting yesterday as Canada took the Gold and Silver! And of course there’s HOCKEY! I’m looking forward to what today will hold!

Until next time, God bless and keep your stick on the ice!

~Alycia DeLong

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Guess Where I Am?

Hello from WALES!!!!!!! Yes, I am finally here! We are in Swansea right now until next Sunday. Unfortunately its such a busy week, I'm not seeing too much. And this is probably the only chance I'll have to do any internet stuff until next week. All of us are staying at the local church in Claduch, but it's the boys in one room and the girls in the other, so Danny and I are split up for the week. We don't have access to a phone or to the internet there (I'm at the library right now using the computers). Our schedule is full of school and classes during the day and meetings and kids club in the evenings.

So here's a funny story: The school we're at for the week is having a real flu epidemic. Out of 750 students, over 200 of them were away sick last Friday. Anyway, yesterday, 2 students were diagnosed with Meningitis. Today the entire school, including us, received free antibiotics to prevent it from spreading any further. So it's been a little crazy around here to say the least!

Other than that, we are loving it here! The church we are working with is small and mostly made up of age 60+ members - which means we are getting spoiled! The best thing in the world happened when we arrived at the church Sunday: I walked into the kitchen area and on the table to great me was a big container full of WELSH CAKES! It was magnificent (even though they aren't as good as your welsh cakes, Grampa)!

I'd love to be able to call or write again, but I don't know if that is going to be a possibility unfortunately. The past couple of weeks have been really packed. Last week we ran a youth drop in every night from 6:30 to 10:30. We were totaly wrecked by the end of the week. Hopefully we'll still be alive by the end of this one! Next week is the half term break for schools here, so it will be very laid back for everyone.

Well, I have to run, my time is up I am afraid. Everyone's leaving the library and I need to go with them so I can find my way back to the church!

God bless and Take care! Hope to talk to you all soon!

Love always,
~Alycia xoxoxoxoxoxo