Okay so I went off the radar there a little bit, apologies!
So this is what’s happened since last time… (The short version)
I went to the first residential of the year with all the other interns, made a lot of friends, fell in a river and gained a nickname and on the more serious side we had lots of training in things like safeguarding and leadership, looked at what Gilmore-Fraleigh’s Friendly Style Profile said about us (I’m a constant yellow, if you know what that means!) and thought about rest. Ha!
Then from there I had my first supervision meeting followed by a meeting with the lady who used to run the youth group and the guy who’s helping me now.
Friday is my day off (take note!) but my first experience of that was a bit mixed! I had a lovely lie in, read a bit, thought about my first youth group session and then the guy I’m staying with was rushed into hospital! He had a blood test done in the morning for something unrelated and when the doctors got the results back in the afternoon they told him to go straight to the surgery and from there they sent him to A&E in an ambulance for a blood transfusion. Anyway, long story short, 3 pints of blood and 2 nights in Kettering hospital later and he’s a new man! They’ve still got to investigate why this has happened so your prayers are requested but on the whole he’s much better than he was before this all happened.
So Friday night while everything was up in the air I went for a 4 hour McDonalds with Simon and Ruth who are both interns at one of the other churches in Rushden.
Then that Saturday I went to a Food Festival in a village called Olney with Joel, Gareth, Jakob and Jordan, some more interns (and I’ve just now realised they sound like a boyband. They even have an Irish one!) and spent a few lovely hours stuffing our faces and sampling, err, drinks. Yeah, let’s move on.
That Sunday was pretty full on, I helped with TNG, the teenage Sunday morning group, at church then had lunch at the vicar’s house, then stayed for a meeting with the other leaders of that mornings group and by the time I got home David was out of hospital!
Tuesday the 10th I had my first youth group and my timings were hopeless but I had 8 kids and they all seemed to have fun and noone but me got hurt. A prayer board fell on my head and I’ve been having funny face/neck/jaw pain ever since. It was one of those moments where you think ‘God’s telling me something here’ it might well have been ‘how much prayer did you put into planning this session?’ But it could just as easily have been ‘you shouldn’t be playing with a beach ball indoors you numpty!’
The next morning I helped Derek (the vicar) lead an assembly in a nearby village just over the Bedfordshire border which was nerve wracking but ultimately okay. They were all under the age of 7, so how disastrous could is have been, right? Right?! .. Well let’s not think about that!
From there I went to the Ladies Friendship Group (best described as Mothers Union meets the WI but altogether less militant) and spent a sedate hour listening to records from the 40s and 50s followed by tea and trifle. A pretty good afternoon even if I was a quarter if the average age!
Then, (skipping the less exciting details) a week later I found myself at a junior school in the town doing another assembly- this one slightly messier than the last with the putting-the-toothpaste-back-in-the-tube game but just as un-traumatic! I might be getting a taste for these… Shh! Don’t tell Derek!
After that I went to home group for the first time (second, if you count my brief visit to Rushden in June) and they were lovely and Not Sensible and I feel quite at home with them already.
On Thursday I had my first training day with all the interns. I got up nice and early and we all gathered at the Diocesan office in Northampton to learn about the Bible and styles of leadership and catch up and fear a giant spider and generally be a bit daft which was nice and not nearly as tiring as I feared.
The couple I’m staying with went off to Cornwall for a week while in was in Northampton and another set of surrogate grandparents have moved in to dog-sit. And, let’s be honest, Katey-sit. (I couldn’t work out the microwave the other night so I just put my beans in for 5 lots of 20 seconds. I’m a hazard.)
Then Friday was a glorious day as I took delivery of my brand new shiny (very very) pink iPhone. I even did a happy dance. The delivery man saw and shook his head. Then I did some errands (so now I can register at the doctors and get Youthwork Magazine- double yay!) and we had dinner at the pub.
Yesterday was spent dissecting 6 courses for new Christians and trying to decide which is the best one to run in October and just as my brain was starting to fizz and produce smoke we went to a lady from church’s house for a barbecue and ate until we could eat no more.
This morning I was helping with TNG again and this time there was GLITTER!! I regretted it almost immediately but oh well, we cleared most of it up! Because we were so late coming back into church they had started communion already so we all went up together which was nice. (Even if I had to confiscate a McDonalds toy off an 11 year old boy at the altar rail!) The group is starting to bond which is nice since half of them are only just 11 and new to both TNG sessions. Then after the service we gathered all the children up to learn a song for Harvest Festival. Raise your hand if you can spell ‘car crash’ but they have two weeks to learn it so… We’ll see. Worst comes to the worst we’ll just play the CD very loudly in the background!
And now I’m exhausted! …And I still have stuff to do before my supervision meeting tomorrow …And I still need to have a clue about youth group on Tuesday.
I suppose I didn’t come here to have plenty of spare time. I came here to be stretched and challenged and the first hurdle is having Actual Grown Up Responsibility and as scary as that may seem, my 2 new favourite mugs tell me ‘keep calm, I’m a youth worker’ and ‘He hath made all things beautiful in His time’ reminding me that this is my life now, God has brought me to this point because I’m ready and he’s not going to leave me now. Maybe the prayer board was a bit of a kick about praying more seriously- taking God’s direction and, as my favourite Bible verse says, doing things through God’s strength.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10 NIVUK)
Even when we’re not talking about literal strength, it’s not my strength that matters, it’s His, and as long as I keep asking, He keeps providing.
On that note, I’m off to sort out all my last-minute jobs before another ridiculous week starts!
(Sorry that my days got a little messed up at the end, I meant to post this yesterday! I managed to get all my jobs done, my meeting went well, lots of new things in the pipeline and now I’m off for a nap!)