Beginning 13th August, the Knockbraken Go Team was a laughter-filled week of serving God. There were 14 members, helped and fed by the lovely members of Knockbraken RP Church. Worshipping with the congregation on Sunday was a special way to begin the week, especially as we prayed about all the events of the upcoming week. 

The days that followed were much busier, beginning with a Holiday Bible Club in the morning. This was well attended despite several other children’s clubs in the area the same week! The enthusiasm of the leaders definitely influenced the children resulting in some very animated games of ‘Cat and Mouse’ and ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf!’ Calming down the now-hyper kids we then moved to the sanctuary for our talks. Through the Bible Stories each day the children learnt about Daniel and his friends honouring God in Babylon and God giving Daniel wisdom to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. We marveled with them at God’s deliverance of Daniel and his friends from the Fiery Furnace; then looked at how seriously God takes sin with Belshazzar’s destruction and finally about how God rules over all peoples (and creatures!) when Daniel was in the Lion’s den. Each of the stories emphasized Daniel and his friend’s trust in God and encouraged the children to put their trust in God if they hadn’t already. These truths were highlighted and taken home in various crafts throughout the week including cress plant pots, fiery furnace tea lights, a secret message craft and lion cupcakes. My personal favourite was the skittles quiz on Tuesday as we witnessed first-hand just how much the children remembered from the talk. In an effort to overpower the boys’ team, the girls were able to name every part of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and, in retaliation the boys were able to tell us the interpretation of it. On Friday morning, many prayers were answered as the children brought their parents out to show them what they had been learning, with wide smiles, as they recited the words of Daniel 6:26:

“For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.”

Immediately, following the HBC, we headed off to the Jemphrey’s house, for the famous Jenny Jemphrey lunch! All expectations I had of this were met and surpassed in every way: bread, fruit, multiple sandwich fillings, salad, Doritos, outclassing Subway.

Refueled, we would then head out to do some leafleting in the local area, distributing around 2500 leaflets on the timely topic of the ‘Cost of Living Crisis. ‘Many people seemed interested in these and we even saw some residents discussing them together. Pray that people will read Peter’s words of hope in Christ and even come out to the church per the invite on the back. Now geared towards the older demographic, on Thursday afternoon, we put on a Tea Party for the local community which was so well attended that we were frantically running round the church looking for extra tables and chairs and setting out new place settings. It seemed people just kept walking through the doors! The provisional number of 16 was doubled with 32 members in attendance on that sunny afternoon. Serenaded by a violin, cello and piano, played by some talented Go Team members, we then heard an engaging testimony from Ernest Brown. Please pray his testimony will have struck a chord with the people there and that now they’ve been in the church, they might feel welcome to come back again.

Each evening after dinner we ran a youth club for young people. This was more relaxed than the HBC, normally involving sports. Although the numbers weren’t too high, we felt the young people enjoyed this too. It was a great opportunity to get alongside the young people in the church, some of whom had not been attending church for that long. The youth club’s talk was more of a relaxed discussion than in the morning and we looked at the passages in more detail- even learning some Hebrew! There were some great questions asked at youth club so please pray these young people will continue to look deeper into God’s Word. 

Because of smaller numbers at Youth Club, in the evenings, we split the team into 3. Some would take part in youth club; others would do door-to-door outreach and the rest would go to Shaw’s Bridge. The Shaw’s Bridge ‘hub’ was an initiative the church had been running for some time, encouraging walkers to stop and chat with free tea and coffee. This seemed to be really beneficial with a couple of conversations lasting over an hour – even people who had previously walked past the stall came back with questions they had. Please pray for the church as they seek to continue this ministry, and continue the contacts they’ve already built up through this. 

One of the highlights of my week (apart from the sharp 8 o’clock wake up of course) was the morning team Bible study. This was great way to begin the day together, committing the day to God in prayer. Our studies in the book of Romans were a great reminder about the duty and privilege we have to share the gospel. This was especially timely for a week when we had so many chances to do so. 

Friday brought the family BBQ kindly hosted by the McCaughans, which featured animated rounds of around-the-world table tennis with some adopting photo albums and files in the place of table tennis bats. This was a great chance to get to know the young people outside a church setting, and even chat to their parents about how they’ve found the week. Give thanks there’s been some interest in starting a youth group throughout the year, beginning in October!

At the end of some very busy days it was great to have time to relax as a team too. We found midnight McDonalds trips to be the best way to do this! Also, given the good weather and abundance of water balloons there were often impromptu water fights- shrieking could be heard from miles away on several occasions! Some other late-night activities included rounds of Big Bucky and a classic game of Empires, along with many games of around-the-world in table tennis! I’m so thankful for the opportunities we had on Knockbraken Go Week to try things we’d never done before and overall just watch the members of the church serve God with joy. Thank God for safety in everywhere we went and his blessing on the Holiday Bible Club and please continue to pray for all the outreach initiatives and contacts developed through Knockbraken RP.

Phebe Brown, Trinity RPC

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