In Barnwell, an after school children’s group called Trailblazers has been running for many years. This has invested in children and their families seeking to help them connect with Jesus and provide a supportive, loving and safe context to explore that relationship. Over the last few years, we have seen two girls groups develop, initially inviting the older girls from trailblazers to be part of a smaller group exploring faith in more depth.
One of these groups has been running for some time, and the girls in it are no longer at Trailblazers. Rather than asking the girls to move ‘up’ to an older group, the leaders and young people have continued to meet together, and have developed a significant small community that has taken time, but now is supportive and encouraging of each other. This has been intentional, to choose relationship continuity over progressing to the next stage of youth work, and the fruits are girls who want to be part of the group, and increasingly have confidence to invite their friends.
One of the frustrations has been a lack of male leaders to facilitate something similar with the boys. In September Christ the Redeemer took on Chris through the Youth for Christ Year Out scheme. Chris has given this year to serve God, both as part of Cambridge and District Youth for Christ, and to the local church. At the same time, we have grown our connections with a group of students with a heart for the more deprived people of Cambridge and beyond. Together, this has meant it has been possible to start both a group for the older children of Trailblazers, and a group for young people who have recently started secondary school.
There have been some teething challenges, as ever, but a real sign of encouragement was seeing 5 of the 6 boys in the older group, who initially rejected the invitation to come to Fort Rocky, all loved being away together, enjoying the activities, and engaging in the various contexts of exploring the Good News of Jesus.
We’re thankful for God’s provision of leaders and praying for these young lives to be profoundly impacted by the Good News of Jesus.