Youth from France and Zambia came to UK
Camping in the New Forest, climbing a Lighthouse, visiting the Saint’s football ground, watching the Queen Mary II leave dock from the VIP lounge, a beach barbeque, fish and chips at Cowes, and rich Christian fellowship were just some parts of the Zambia / UK youth exchange during August. We tried to make sure there was an opportunity to really experience the diversity of our District area and life.
We had 9 young people from our District and the URC Wessex Synod acting as hosts to 8 young people and 2 leaders from Zambia for three weeks and a small group from France for 5 days in the middle.
I had the privilege of sharing in the exchange, as did our District Chair, and the comments at the end proved what a memorable experience it had been for all who had been involved. Subsequent pictures and comments on facebook continue to echo this theme. Friendships have been formed that will be long lasting and I know that relationships will continue to grow and develop.
Talking with the group from Zambia it was really interesting to hear their thoughts on the worship they experienced during the Exchange. One comment was “All you seem to do is stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down and so on”, another asked were the children and young people meeting somewhere else – in his church the young man was used to a ratio of 15 children / young people to 7 adults (YES I have typed that correctly!).
Personally I was struck by the prayers of the Zambian group when we shared in prayer. Their love of God was so evident as they poured themselves out to him, thanking him for his daily mercy in their lives. I found myself thinking how dry my prayers so often are.
This kind of youth work is so important because it is not just theoretical it gives real life experiences and real life memories that can last a lifetime and can change lives. I can vouch that lives were changed during this exchange. To God be the Glory!
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