Your support enables us to run SU holidays and encourage Faith Guides to organise their own residentials too. These can lead to powerful encounters with God. Faith Guide and youth worker Jordan Cousins saw eight young people come to faith on Game Changers, a weekend away he helps to manage.
Game Changers had been established by Jordan’s predecessor at Waltham Chase Methodist Church. Jordan invited other churches in the Winchester area to become involved when he discovered they didn’t have the resources to organise their own residential. He says, ‘Now there are five churches working together so more children can benefit, and having the extra volunteers means we’re better placed to build relationships with the kids and respond to their spiritual needs.
‘Last October, we took around 60 young people to Sussex, some from church and others from schools and clubs we run. As well as lots of games, crafts and silliness, we had four main meetings. After the Sunday morning talk and worship we decided to have a time of quiet for the Holy Spirit to speak to us all. We told the kids they could pray in their heads, sit in silence, write stuff down. A few of us leaders stood to share any words we felt were appropriate. We all waited eagerly and expectantly for God to meet with us, and he did.
‘The kids really enjoyed that experience – some prayed for each other. Afterwards they told us that they felt so peaceful and really loved.
An answer to prayer
‘At the evening meeting I said, “If you want to know more of Jesus and welcome him into your life, I’m going to say a prayer and you can pray it in your head with me if you want to. And come and tell us afterwards if you prayed that prayer for the first time.” Over the course of the rest of Sunday evening and into Monday, eight young people shyly came and said they had decided to follow Jesus – at least three of them have no church background. We gave them packs with a Bible and more information to take home; we had only brought six packs, thinking six young people coming to faith would be amazing. But God likes to surprise us! (Don’t worry, we got packs to the other two soon after!)
‘Lily was one of those who decided to follow Jesus. She comes to MYC (Monday Youth Club), a weekly club which I hold on Monday nights. Her family aren’t Christians (although they are very supportive) so, for Lily, being part of that club and being able to ask questions about faith since making her commitment has been really important.
A residential is exciting, intense and often emotional. Once a young person is home, back into routine, it’s easy for the memory to fade and with it their emerging faith unless you follow up with them. Fortunately, with SU’s support we’ve developed a year-round programme of activities and events, so we’re well placed to nurture and support Lily as her faith develops. That journeying with young people is so vitally important – it’s changing Lily’s life, for sure.’
"With SU’s support we’ve developed a year-round programme of activities and events"
The power of residentials
We see time and time again just how instrumental holidays and residentials are in children and young people finding and growing in faith.
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This story was featured in our supporter magazine, Connecting You. Subscribe to the print or digital edition for free, and keep up to date with what God's doing through Scripture Union.
- Connecting You