Romania and Back!

Monday, 18 August 2008

I have tried putting Romania into words for you, but honestly its impossible! I could talk about the 22hr  journey there, the thunder storms which kept us in Church, trying to wash 19 people with very little water, trying to get 11 girls to sleep, the children at the kids club, painting ceilings and mixing concrete, horse and cart rides, BBQs, Amys 21st birthday, campfires, throwing up due to the terrible roads, the ‘natural spas’, washing dishes for 250 people 3 times a day, setting up a kids camp half way up a mountain, crayons melting in the sun, goats invading our clubs, listening to 125 boys singing ‘Awesome God’ at the tops of their voices in Romanian, each child we came in contact with, the families we stayed with, watching the sun set in Hungary as we travelled 10hrs back to start the long haul home, putting 5hrs in at Luton airport twice, Mafia, Empires, bug bites, 35 degree heat, or singing! I could talk about any of those things in depth but I think as a member of WPC I want to tell you that you should be more than proud of each and every person who was part of our team!

From the word go, we have had 19 people who have not caused any major problems, 19 people who love God and want to serve Him, 19 people who can make you scream but also make you laugh 2 minutes later, 19 people who were willing to let God use them for His work and now 19 people who have had their lives changed due to this Exodus team without a shadow of a doubt!

In Romania, while all these things were going on, we had a tight community who prayed for one another, laughed with one another, cried with one another, made fun of one another but most importantly loved one another! I feel we have come to a point where we cant go back! The team was for sure the highlight of my trip, God changed lives in front of my eyes and I was privileged to be part of it.

Thank you for your prayers and support over the last 7 months, it didn’t go to waste, infact it was life changing! 

End of another year...

Saturday, 14 June 2008

We had a Barbeque last night to celebrate the end of a great year with Fusion & 20:20. Good food, banter, some worship and a few awards! The night finished as we chilled out around a couple of fire-pits - hard to beat it!

I am incredibly blessed to work with such a fantastic group of young people and look forward to things kicking off again in September!

Posted by Neil Harrison at 09:56 0 comments  

Upcoming events...

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Thought i would keep you informed of a couple of things that you need to get signed up for ASAP!

The first thing is Summer Madness which is happening from 27th June - 1st July. If you are interested in going with our group then its important that you have completed and returned a consent form (from me) with payment of £68.50 by next Friday 2nd May. The reason for the haste is that after that date the price will increase to £73.50.

We are also planning to take a bus to the last Ulster Rugby game of the season against Cardiff Blues on Friday 9th May. Consent forms are available from me. Places will be limited so please return forms and money to me ASAP. Cost will be £5.

Fusion (7-9pm) and 20:20 will be as normal this week so i will see you all there!

Posted by Neil Harrison at 15:31 0 comments  

Skiing - Italy 2008

Thursday, 10 April 2008

So I have been suffering from the back to school blues this week! It's sometimes hard to go back into the 'ordinary' world when you've had a break, or when you've been away! Some of us were skiing over Easter, and as soon as I sat down in class on Monday morning I immediately missed the crisp, cold air, the slopes, the craic, the community and, of course, the feeling of snow in your face as you tumble head first down the slope!

Maybe most of all though, I missed waking up to the magnificent views of God's mighty creation!

So if you have been feeling the same this week, enjoy these pics! If you weren't away, then just look and be in awe...

Posted by Chris Thompson at 09:07 0 comments  

Jesus in a Box...?

Monday, 10 March 2008

Do we ever put Jesus in a box? Do we restrict Him and hinder His work in us by the lack of our own imagination? Are we holding on to a traditional image of Jesus that we learned as children - gentle Jesus meek and mild etc?

Let me tell you how I got to that point! The picture to the left is of the legendary Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones; the whip wielding, snake hating, Nazi fighting archaeologist! What does that have to do with Jesus and what I'm thinking about?

Well, in John Chapter 2 v 15, we are painted a picture of a Jesus that differs from one you may have in your head...

"Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables."

Jesus wielding a whip? Throwing tables around? Maybe it is time we took another look at who Jesus was... Do you keep Him in a box?

Posted by Chris Thompson at 14:11 0 comments  

Spreading the fan base

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Hey wednesday adams just wanted to say I've been spreading your fan base here in South Africa. And also wanted to say sorry I never got to see the airing of the ATL show on tv cause they don't get those channels here for some reason!!! But when I get home i'll have to borrow someones copy. Raging I missed it!

Posted by Sarah Davenport at 08:53 0 comments  

God is everywhere

Hey everyone, hello from S.A. I hear you may have heard my email last night. I hope everyone is well and enjoyed Castlewellen? God has been opening my eyes to his power and presence everywhere in South Africa. I have joined a church called Harvest Christian Church, it is just overflowing with God I can't wait to get to church every week. Last night though was the opening night of their on campus ministry and guess what's called:

Twenty20Destiny | Campus Ministry
A Student Revolution Impacting the Nation by Bringing About Positive Change
It just showed me how God works across continents, and it encouraged me so much and made me think of everybody at 20:20 at home. I miss all of you and look forward to getting back into WPC. For the first time I have truly understood what a church family is and it is the most wonderful feeling. Thank you all for your prayers I am safe and well and am making good friends here. God answers prayer! I joined a cell of girls from harvest and we've been discussing how to lead a person to Christ....What should you say when someone asks why are you a Christian or why should i become a Christian? So it has been really great as its something I have never felt very confidant in.

Last night at the twenty20destiny night some of our friends were in a drama that I just have to get a copy of for you. It blew me away....the most powerful thing I have ever watched. I don't wanna spoil it but it was about how 'other things' can separate us from God. God spoke right to my heart that moment and said 'I've always been here, waiting for you, wanting to be with you. I've been trying to reach out to you but things of this world have tempted you away. Please come back to me, I love you.' I was brought to tears at how I always seem to put other things before God and I recommitted my life when they asked people to stand as I just wanted God, nothing else, nothing else can satisfy, and I longed for Him, His presence beside my all the time.

Guys I just wanna say God holds out His hand to us at ever step in our lives and it's our responsibility to put our hand into His and say 'God I trust you, not my will but yours be done'.

Posted by Sarah Davenport at 07:55 0 comments  

Castlewellan Retreat details...

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Here are the details for the Castlewellan Retreat next weekend! Apologies I forgot to print this off and distribute on Friday night!

We will be departing from Waringstown Presbyterian Church Car Park at 6pm on Friday 22nd February. We will arrive back at WPC car park on Sunday 24th February at 3.30pm.


Things to bring:

  • Sleeping bag & pillow
  • Warm clothing
  • Older clothing for Saturday afternoon activities & late night ‘Capture the Flag’
  • Towel & wash kit
  • Bible, notebook & pen
  • Snack Food:
  • Torch & batteries
  • Sense of humour

Posted by Neil Harrison at 21:54 0 comments  

Goats, pigs, ducks, a bike and a tap...

Sunday, 13 January 2008

We had our Christmas night out with Fusion & 20:20 before Christmas. We went to the Panto and had a great nights craic! I had decided that at a time of year when we spend so much money on ourselves it would be good for our young people to give some away to helps people less fortunate in other countries. So i gave them some advance warning that we would be taking donation in the hope that we could buy a herd of goats (cost £60) for a family in Afghanistan from Present Aid. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of a group of young people mostly aged 11-18. The total raised was a fantastic £211 which meant we were able to buy the goats as well as pigs for a family in Nicaragua, ducks for a family in Bangladesh, a bike for an outreach worker in Malawi and a water tap for a community in Nicaragua! How amazing is that! If you haven't visited the Present Aid website then you really should - use the link above. Maybe you could purchase an ethical gift for a friend or family member.

Posted by Neil Harrison at 13:21 0 comments  

I love Sunny Jims

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

At the grand old age of 33, I lit my first fire over the holidays. Not out of a burning desire to do so, but needs must and Marky was out! My lovely 95year old granny would be disgusted and horrified to hear that my fire-lighting debut was not until now! In the words of the late Lauren Cooper, I think she would say “Take the shame!” Yes I know it is quite shameful, but I’m not remotely a feminist and have always believed that lighting the fire is a man’s job, together with putting the wheelie bin out, mowing the lawn and venturing into the roofspace to retrieve Christmas decorations.....not all at once of course as that would be serious multi-tasking!!

Anyway, I was very cold, feeling both ill and sorry for myself and longed for the comfort provided by the cosy glow of a real fire. How hard could it be I mused and decided to give it a go. Well, first of all there was the horrible task of cleaning out the dust and ashes from the previous night’s fire. Very messy, especially when I decided to use the plastic dustpan and brush from the kitchen, thinking I was smart as it was wider and thus quicker. Well, not when embers are still quite hot from the old fire and the brush becomes very quickly unrecognisable! Duh! Is there any truth in that ‘dumb blonde’ notion? Mmmmmm? No comments please!

Then i looked at the basket containing logs, broquettes, firelighters and coal, but hadn’t a clue where to start! So guys I decided to take the shame, swallow my pride and phoned my Dad for quick instruction. We then had a debate re possibility of it lighting without sticks and I refused to believe it wouldn’t. It had to. End of. Very shortly, my genius father had me making pretend sticks out of rolled up newspaper and carefully arranging with the coal (yes ladies this is why it’s a man’s job!) I struck the match and imagined my soon-to –be roaring fire. Well the paper burnt very quickly but the coal was completely disinterested and totally ignored what was going on! That was until I remembered about the aptly-named fire-lighters!! What mighty little beings! Just ready to ignite and burn powerfully so that even the stubborn coal couldn’t resist! Finally guys my fire lit and the coal, as it burned and glowed, provided such warmth, comfort and love to me!!

As I gazed at it with much happiness, I realised that God wants me to be a ‘fire-lighter’ for him. It’s his call to all of us who are so blessed to know him. He wants us to see those around us who need his warmth, comfort and most importantly love. A fire-lighter on its own is rather insignificant and ineffective. But ignited with the flame of a match, it becomes a powerhouse and so necessary to light that fire. That fire reminded me of church and 2020. When all the ingredients were there, playing their unique but essential part, the fire roared and was irresistible. It took effort to light it, and even dumb blonde mistakes made on the way. But the Holy Spirit is God’s flame that can light us and through us, help others ‘glow’ and receive hope of changed lives. Let’s be a part of it, at church, 2020 living solely for God’s Kingdom, being ignited TOGETHER by the Holy Spirit. Let’s be willing, for God to light us with his irresistible, overflowing love and offer His comfort and warmth to all those around us who are hurting, lonely or fearful . We all know someone who needs hope and love today and being in God’s vibrant, all-inclusive and victorious Kingdom offers that!

Posted by Jenny Hall at 16:01 0 comments  

Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had an exciting new year's eve, bringing the New Year in with style. I welcomed in the new year on Portstewart Strand and it was fantastic! In the dark all you could hear was the roar of the waves and the sound of footsteps on the sand!

So as the new year begins I am drawn to think of the year gone by - and to remember the many ways in which God has been good to me, and the many times when I didn't deserve his goodness! There are so many blessings that come to my mind!

And as I think on the year that is to come I see many things which I will face and struggle with. I need to lay these before an Almighty God, and believe that just as He was with me in 2007, so He will be with me in 2008!

So let us pray for all that 2008 may hold: school and exams, starting university, new jobs, Fusion, 20:20, discipleship program and Romania trip, 20:20 weekend in February, holidays. The Lord holds all these in His hands. And as we look around the world and see conflict and strife we must remember, the Lord holds all these in His hands.

So let us listen and hear the Lord say to me, and to you:

'Fear not, for I am with you!'

Posted by Chris Thompson at 10:37 0 comments