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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!

Sincerely,
~Alycia DeLong

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