Serious4God: Serious? Gap Year Students http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_blog.asp?ForumID=CON00173 Follow the action of these intrepid young people who have given a special year of their lives to make a difference! en-us Wed, 02 Apr 2008 04:18:03 GMT System Message [RSS.COPYRIGHT] System Message [RSS.DOCS] 15 System Message [RSS.IMAGE.TITLE] System Message [RSS.IMAGE.URL] System Message [RSS.IMAGE.LINK] Royal Rangers Hey guys,At the youth centre in Probistip, we do a Royal Rangers course, which is a lot like Scouts with a Christian emphasis. I was asked to lead part of the Royal Rangers meeting on Saturday evening and talk to the boys & girls about the importance of honesty.Before I stood up to say my bit, we had Igor (one of the regular staff at the youth centre) teaching the kids how to hold an axe properly, how to cut pieces of wood and things like that. When he had finished, I gave my little talk, which went pretty well and then we played some games with them. After that, we were able to just hang around and chat with the kids, play ping pong with them and listen to music. It's great being able to form relationships with them and tell them about Jesus.On Sunday we went back to Kratovo to go to the church there. It was so great seein' our friends over there again!Have a fantastic Easter,John http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00187 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00187 Mon, 24 Mar 2008 17:06:10 GMT Blog An exciting time... Hello guys!!Well we are now in the countdown of our last two weeks!! It has been a very exciting 7months for me as I have got to meet lots of people and and tell them about God and also I got to visit many amazing places!! But the most important thing for me is that my relationship with God has got stronger, I read my bible ALOT more and my confidence has grown and I thank God for that as well as many other things!! He has helped me both the good times and especially the bad times!I invited some girls along to the youth centre here in Probisitp on Saturday and it was amazing to be able to share my testimony and get ot know them alittle better!! Some people have challenged us about things but God has always helpoed us through those challenging times!!well I'm sure I will be on to give you one last update before heading back to the UK!God BlessLesley x http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00186 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00186 Mon, 24 Mar 2008 14:02:38 GMT Blog The countdown begins..... Hey guys hope you are all well!!Well Our final placement for the Gap year has arrived we are now in Probistip - working in the New Generation centre!! It is going well and again we have built up really good relationships with the young people!! I am taking a group every Saturday whilst here which is just for girls and i'm sharing my testimony with them and talking to them about my culture and the difficulties that people face back home and basically why I am a Christian!!Well we only have two weeks left and a very filled schedule but I hope to get on and update you all again soon! Have a blessed easter.God Bless you allLove Lesley x http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00185 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00185 Thu, 20 Mar 2008 16:37:37 GMT Blog From Kratovo to Probistip Hi guys, Sadly, our stay in Kratovo is over. We've had a fantastic time there, it's been a really amazing experience. If only we could have stayed for longer than 3 weeks! We made loads of good friends and it was difficult saying goodbye to them. Thankfully though, we'll be going back to Kratovo for church every Sunday while we're still in Macedonia, since the city we're now in (Probistip) is only a 15 minute taxi ride away. At least we don't have to say goodbye properly until we go back to England! We arrived in Probistip last night and met some of the guys we'll be working with and we got settled into our accommodation. The work we're gonna be doin' here is pretty similar to what we've been doing in Kratovo, only more. Probistip is quite a young city, built by the Germans about 60 years ago and it's got a huge youth population. So, the youth centre here is busier than the one in Kratovo and it's open for longer, which means we'll be doing plenty of work. It's pretty exciting! The people that run the youth centre have been counting the days till we arrived and I hope we can live up to their expectations! All the best John http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00184 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00184 Mon, 17 Mar 2008 14:42:33 GMT Blog The end is nearing....!! Well hello guys!!!Well our three weeks here in Kratovo are nearly finished and well I'm sad to leave!! It has been an amazing three weeks and I have made lots of great friends!! I have been involved in all sorts from working with kids to teenagers!! We have done talks on being a postive teen, loving one another and also ran the kids club on a saturday morning!! all of these things where successful and I think that the young people here have benefit from us being hereas much as we have benefitted from it!! I feel as though I have grown closer to God in these past few weeks and I've learnt just to trust Him and let Him lead the way!! God is good!! I have also benefitted from not having a television in our apartment as I've spent more time reading my Bible and talking with God!! This is something I intend to keep doing instead of wasting my free time watching tele!!!Well guys I think thats all I've got for you we move on to Probistip tomorrow and it will be VERY sad to leave but we canalways come back hehe!!Speak soonGod Bless you all Lesley xx http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00183 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00183 Sat, 15 Mar 2008 15:49:08 GMT Blog Macedonia one week in Hi! Well, we got here safely, the journey from Kosova to Macedonia went fine. It took us about 2 and a half hours to get to the southern border of Kosova. The border officers were quite interested in my Irish passport, I guess they don't see one of those everyday! It took us another 2 and a half hours to get to the small town of Kratovo which is where we are for the next 2 weeks, working with some of the people from the Elim church here. After that, we're going to the city of Probishtip for another 3 weeks. They're both in Macedonia. We've settled in ok. The three of us (Lesley, Darren & I) are catering for ourselves in a little apartment so it's quite different to the last place. Darren and I are sleeping on pull-out-beds in the living room and Lesley has a room of her own. We've got a medium to small kitchen with a fridge, electric stove, sink, cupboards, two chairs and a little table. It's basic but livable. It's a very new experience and I suppose it'll prepare us for university life.We've now had our first week in Macedonia, it's been great! I wish we could be here for longer than three weeks, but I thought that about the last place as well! Most of our working time is spent in New Generation, which operates like a drop-in centre and it runs from 12-3 and 5-9 on Thursday, Friday & Saturday. It's great at the centre, gettin' to know the kids that come along and making lots of friendships with them over games of tennis table, cards and the x-Box. We're also involved with the church which meets on Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoon. So far, Lesley & Darren have each given their testimony at a church meeting and I've led worship. This has been been challenging for me, but I think it's a necessary push. That's one of the great things about missionary work. If you go to some place and you say, "Yeah, I play a little bit of guitar," the people invite you to lead worship at church. If I were at home, I wouldn't lead worship because there are plenty of others in the church that are much more capable than me. However, here the expectations are much higher. The people here think quite highly of people from England because England is a supposedly Christian country. Also, all the English people they have met are Christian missionaries. Therefore, when I come over here and I say that I can play guitar, they think that I'd have no problem leading worship. It's a great opportunity to step out and just go for it! I think we've found it much easier to make friends with the people here because there are much much fewer people to make friends with! There's a regular group that come to New Generation and they come to church as well. We've made friends with the pastors three children as well, they're great! Kratovo seems like a really great place, I'm sure we'll have loads of good times and we'll be very sad when we have to leave. God bless & uphold you John http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00182 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00182 Mon, 03 Mar 2008 00:00:00 GMT Blog First Impressions......!!! Well Hi guys we have arrived here in Macedonia! We got our lovely big mac and caramel sundae on Monday when we arrived.Well first impressions:Town Kratovo: Gorgeous town hills surrounding us little old town seems very friendly.New Generation: Lovely one room with a view into the river which is lovely and has table tennis and x-box, board games and music.People: So far we have met the people we are going to be working with in both Kratovo and Probistip. They are so friendly and it was fantastic to just hear them all laugh and get along together.Apartment: hmmmmmmm.......Well anyway we got here on monday and settled in really quickly we went out with the teams from both Kratovo and Probistip - we are spending three weeks in each town! Tonight Wed 27th of Feb I amm giving my testimony at church and John will lead worship. We begin working in New Generation on Thursday and it will be alot different to what we did in Kosovo.Well I will try and update this regularly!! Hope you enjoy take care God BlessLesley x http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00181 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00181 Wed, 27 Feb 2008 13:41:24 GMT Blog Going, Going..... nearly gone!!!!! Hey Guys!! Well just a quick last update from Kosova! Over the past couple of days Alice and Clive have been taking a couple of kids for different appointments and one little girl Liradona had to get glasses now she has got them she turned round to Alice and Clive and said I cant wait to start reading now! It was really nice to hear that she was ready to learn and we just pray for all of them that God protects them and keeps them all healthy, I ask that you join us in praying for them all.Well we only have one more kids club left which is on Saturday finishing off our topic on creation - the kids have really enjoyed it and I have enjoyed preparing the crafts for it too!!Now our 6weeks is over here in Kosova and the end of another great experience I just ask that you continue to pray for us as we go on to our final placement in Macedonia, that God will just guide us through the next 6 weeks and that he will help us through the difficult times of trying to settle into a new place and get to know new amazingly wonderful people.God Bless you allThank you so much for your support Lots of love hugs and laughterLesley xxxxx http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00179 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00179 Thu, 21 Feb 2008 17:09:06 GMT Blog We got to see the birth of a brand new nation! How cool! Well it's been a really exciting time in Kosova, 'cause it got independence from Serbia on Sunday! They've been fighting for their independence for 600 years and there was a massive celebration going on all day, all night, all over the country. The city that we're living in, Prizren has about 200,000 people in it and I think almost all of them were out celebrating on Sunday, it was really great fun to be part of! There's a gap year video on YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjsSMHzDv7wTowards the end of the video, there's some footage of the kids singing in one of the English classes that we've done here, just to give you a better picture of what goes on. We've only got a few more days in Kosova :( we're off to Macedonia on Monday 25th and we'll be there for another 6 weeks. When we go, I know I'm really going to miss the kids.Thanks to everyone who's been prayin' for us. Please, please keep it up.LoveJohn http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00178 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00178 Tue, 19 Feb 2008 19:41:23 GMT Blog An indpendant country and an independant gap team Hey guys well sorry we having been on her updating this as much as we would have liked to have been but we have been snowed under literally! We were all very excited to see the snow on Friday night and the streets are still very icy! Well we have just been doing our usual working in english classes and kids club also new gen! On valentines day we went out with the youth into town which was lovely to spend time with them all. Well as you have all probably seen by now Kosovo has been made independant at 3:39pm on the 17/02/07 and fireworks haven't stop going off it has been an amazing atmosphere and to see everyone so happy is great! Well This week because this wonderful country has now got independance we have a week off to relax before we head for Macedonia and have to become independant as here we have had people cooking for us we have to do that by ourselves now how will we cope lol! We set off on Sunday afternoon and we just pray that the people are as welcoming there as they are here in Kosovo. Macedonia has a McDonalds though so were quite pleased about that hehe. We really want to thank you guys for the support over the past 6weeks since being here there has been some tough times and it is not easy but we have to put our trust in God. There have been times when I have struggled but it is amazing just knowing that God is there right beside me guiding me along. well I hope you guys enjoy reading this. take care God Bless Lesley xxx http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00177 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00177 Tue, 19 Feb 2008 15:17:09 GMT Blog Worship gathering Hi! Yesterday we went to a worship meeting in the city of Jacova. It took us about an hour and a half to get there in the van and when we arrived we went to the large upstairs room of a restaurant. There were about 70 people chatting in small groups and there was a small band playing some music. The Christians in Kosova don't get many oppurtunities to meet together in groups as big as this because they're so spread out, so they jump at the chance to talk to each other!After a while the band stopped and the preacher came to speak. He gave an encouraging message about God's plan for our lives. When he had finished we started to sing to Jesus in both English and Albanian. That was great, especially for the Kosovars. Meetings like these happen only about once a month and they're the only times that the people at our church get to meet other Christians.Well, I hope the gathering goes well. I'm sure it's goin' to be amazing!Best wishesJohn http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00174 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00174 Wed, 06 Feb 2008 19:54:02 GMT Blog Regular Gap team update Well Hello!!My funny story of the week has to be coming from Mr John Raftery who doesnt know how to clean! Not because he is lazy just because well he doesnt! qiute frankly I find this funny as each week we all have to take a room in the house to clean and Darren suggested John cleans the stairs as you cant go wrong with those......oh how very wrong Darren was as we discovered that John had acctually brushed UP the stairs instead of down and also mopped UP the stairs I was in knots and thought this was hilarious!! Then to top things of he broke the mop bucket as he didnt know how strong it was so kept pushing he mop down into the hole until it snapped off!! lolAnyway we have been involved in our usual English classes this week and enjoyed working with the kids! we also delivered food as part of widows mite! We discovered that one of the families that we deliver food to had all benefits stopped for a while as law in kosova has changed and they need to fill out forms this means they wont have any money for at least a month! They have 5 children and they are waiting on test results coming back for the father of the family as they think he has stomach cancer!! I just ask that who ever is reading this will take a minute out to pray for the family! May God just bless them!! Well a few days til' Gathering 08 and I just want to say have a fantastic time and we are really sorry we cant be there! Wish I was ther because I also missed Gatherin max but hey God has different plans for us!! Anyway be blessed and I'll try and keep this upto date!! Take careLots of love and hugsLesley xxx http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00173 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00173 Wed, 06 Feb 2008 18:18:49 GMT Blog ashes to ashes dust to dust!!! Hello folks! Well here I am into my third week and nearly didnt have a house to live in as we went out to the hope project at 11am on Thursday and arrived back at 4:30 to find out that we had left a very large pot of spinach on and well what was a full pot of spinach when we left was an inch of ash when we arrived back! Unfortunately the smell is still lingering it is horrible! Anyway I always seem to have a story everytime I get on here lol!! We have now been left incharge of the bible study on a Saturday and the young people who come enjoy the first study we did with them! Most of them are not christians and if they are they dont admit it as it is very dangerous in this country to say you are a christian! We have devotions 4mornings a week and they seem to be going well! Darren preached on Sunday and did very well!I have just seen that the Gathering 08 is approaching near and I want you all to know that even though we cant bwe there that we will be thinking and praying for all who are involved and I have faith that as always God will touch so many peoples lives!!God BlessLesley xx http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00170 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00170 Mon, 28 Jan 2008 18:04:03 GMT Blog 1 week andd several curddled teas later!! Well Hello! - again!As team leader at the moment I feel it is my need to keep you guys upto date on what the other gappies aren't telling for example John the very honest one of the group offered to make everyone a cup of tea with lemon in it!! After a good 25 minutes John returned from the kitchen with the cups of tea with lemon in it which looked perfectly fine untl.... he confessed that the reason it had taken him so long was because he didnt realise that when making tea with lemon in it you really shouldnt put milk it too otherwise it will curddle! This had a few people in knots and really cheered our week up!This week we have been getting used to the different activities that are going on and the culture that we are going to be living in for another 5 weeks - and counting! We have worked with all ages groups now and seen everything they do here! We have began English lessons (not for ourselves) for the kids! we have also been involved in the kids club which is run every thursday and saturday! This is fantastic adn weehad 50 children today from all different backgrounds and religions etc! on a Thursday friday we have new generation which is a youth club for the older kids - this gives us a chance to get t oknow them and be there if they need to chat! We also have a bible study for the older ones on a Saturday and we have now been put in charge of this for the next 5 weeks!The bible study will be our biggest challenge as this is a strong muslim culture that these young people live in and so some of them dont admit or tell anyone they have given their life to God - It is mostly fear they have incase anyone finds out especially their parents and families!Well I hope you guys enjoyed reading this please keep up the prayers for the work that is being done over here and continue top pray for the gap team as e continue to do Gods work!!bye for now Lesley (Tefler)<<<< for tim's amusementxx http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00168 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00168 Sat, 19 Jan 2008 18:14:18 GMT Blog Second Christmas! Hey folks, today the S4G gappies in Kosova because honorary Santa Clauses for the day! We went to visit a hospital and brought with us a whole load of Christmas shoe boxes for the sick boys & girls. That was great, especially when we visited the children with infectious, life threatening diseases. Again, please remember us in your prayers. Yours seriously (for God)John Raftery http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00167 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00167 Wed, 16 Jan 2008 00:00:00 GMT Blog Kosova well here I am less than a week in Kosova and already experienced many things from having to put loo roll in the bin - so unhygenic- to wearing 8 layers a day to try and keep warm! it is so cold and God has a great sense of humour as I once complained about the weather in Scotland but now I appreciate it so much that I want to be back in warm scotlan hehe!!well we started our first english class today and Darren got to be a monkey so all is good hehe will keep you upto date with more nes on the cool gappie blog xx\god bless lesley x http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00166 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00166 Tue, 15 Jan 2008 17:20:12 GMT Blog my time in the philippines Hey sorry not kept this up to date!!But as you probably know I was in the Philippines for three months!It was the best experience I have ever had!! The people were so friendly and I was really stretched! I mostly helped out in City Gates Academy which was a school for poor children! The children and parents are fantastic and even though they dont have alot they are always smiling and this was so encouraging as it showed me that you dont need all this technology and fashion to be happy!Although my team mate Josie had to leave due to illness I still had Heli and all the staff at city gates! They made me feel at home and I settled in really well!! We held a free concert for people in the neighbourhood and had a great turn out of 200 people and over 50 people were saved and accepted Jesus into their lives! This was a fantastic experience and it was great to see so many people accept Jesus into their lives!I also helped run the youth club with Heli this was on a saturday morning! The kids enojyed it so much and they learned alot about God and the bible! we started from the beginning of the bible and talked about sin and got them to think alot about this world and Gods kingdom! The culture was slightly different and the language barrier made it difficult to communicate with filipinos! This madde me work harderat learning they're language and things were easier as the time went on!!I came back from the Philippines on the 22nd of December after a 48hour journey for two weeks at home with my family and friends!!After my two week break I had another 5 days of training in Nantwich College wit hTim Cobham and several other people this was a great time to reflect on what we had been doing over the past 3 months and great to hear each others stories! After our training Darren, John and I said goodbye to the 4th member of our team Gemma and set off for Kosova! This is where I am at the moment. Tomorrow we start english lessons with the children so this should be fun!Since getting here I have been really homesick but know that God is here with me and I'm doing this for him!I will try and keep this up to date God BlessLesley (S4G gappie) http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00165 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00165 Mon, 14 Jan 2008 17:07:35 GMT Blog Kosovo: First Impressions What's up dogs?On Saturday Darren, Lesley & I went off to Kosovo! Wow, it's so exciting! The three of us are living in a big house with a couple of other Christians who are running the New Generation project in Prizren. It's a great place to live, with devotionals going on and the church room downstairs, although the electricity ain't too good. As we were unpacking last night, the power went off and Darren & I had to feel though our bags in complete darkness to find our torches!This morning we had church. About 20 worshippers turned up, most of them under 20. Apparently, ours is the largest church in Prizren, a city of about 200,000 people! Almost everyone else is Muslim. I'm really looking forward to working with these guys at New Generation, it'll be amazing! The things we'll be involved in are: kids clubs, youth clubs, teaching English, preaching, visiting & helping families, visiting people in hospital, giving out shoeboxes (with stuff in them, not just the boxes), drinking coffee, eating chocolate and lighting fires (maybe in the fireplace).I can safely say that the highlight of my time so far has been becoming friends with John Glass on Facebook! Ah well.Please pray for us out in Kosovo, as I think it says somewhere in the Bible, "God doesn't not listen to the prayers of the saints." Or something like that.Yours and yours onlyJohn RafteryX http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00163 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00163 Sun, 13 Jan 2008 00:00:00 GMT Blog Blog......at last! Hey guys, I’m the fifth and final gappie, my name is Darren and I hail from Hastings down on the south coast. I really want to take you on this journey with me, as well as possible. For two reasons, firstly to let you know the awesome things that God is doing out here and secondly to make you think about taking the message of Jesus Christ to other nations. KosovaWeek 112th January - Minus TwoOnce we checked our luggage in we wondered over to Gatwick’s first class restaurant......... McDonalds to have a bit of ‘brecky’ and guess who picked the queue with the new employee serving, so when John and Lesley (the other two who came with me) had nearly finished theirs I was just sitting down and then to make matters worse I knocked the tray on the floor. However once we boarded the plane we could breathe a sigh of relief that we weren’t picked to be strip searched. Now, this was the first time I had been on a plane so it was a pretty cool experience and in turn this was added to by the entertainment of an old guy regularly getting up when the “please fasten your seatbelt” sign was on and the flight attendant asking him to sit down again. The plane journey was good, warm, but good. However as we came off the plane the -2 temperature hit you like a fat man sitting on a marshmallow. We were met by Urim and Alice and she drove us in the “van of doom” in the pitch black (apart from headlights.....obviously) through Kosova’s icy mountains until we reached our destination, Prizren. As we came we were reminded of two very important cultural traditions, take your shoes off at the door and toilet paper goes in the bin not in the loo. We were invited up and as we entered the living room we were greeted by about half of Kosova. All introducing themselves and just as we settled into conversation we were plunged into darkness, as the electricity randomly goes off in Kosova for an hour or more. Great. It was so nice that they turned up to meet us and I think that they were waiting for quite a while but I think the peace offering of chocolate Hob Knobs meant that we were fully excepted into the family.13th January – Red BullAs I woke up and opened the curtains i realised that the fog had lifted and now before me was this most amazing view of snow covered mountains stretching into the sky. Incredible. The morning service was great singing “come now is the time to worship” in Albanian and the sermon was translated from English into Albanian. Yep. Birthday cake and coke (not that type) followed the service, sort of spilled coke all on the floor. The majority of people here in Kosova don’t drink alcohol because it is about 97% Muslim so when people go out for a meal they either have coffee or Red bull. So for Clive’s (pastor of the church) Birthday we all went out for kebabs and Redbull. These kebabs weren’t the dodgy late night hunger buster that they are in England but this was a really nice meal full of yummy goodness.14th January – Cinnamon Buns Happy Birthday to me. Thanks. The other guys got me a really nice card, it said birthday princess in big letters on the front. Thanks guys. I was looking forward to my annual shower but when I turned on the shower a little trickle came out, so that had to be put on hold. During the day Lesley (who everyone calls lazy, not because she is lazy just because that is how they pronounce her name) was getting some cash out and every time she pressed a button it gave her a small electric shock. Ha! It was funny to watch and this was added to by her not being to get any money out any way. We decided to go to the same place for my Birthday meal as we did for Clive’s but this time I went mad and bought a pizza instead of a Kebab and this is when the pizza song was created, “Crispy, crispy, crispy, crispy, soft soft, yum yum, ooh ah, ooh ah tomato.” So as we were sitting there enjoying our food I felt someone tug my ear.... and then again, “what are you doing?” ...... then again...... “we tug your ear once for each year you have been alive”...... oh.... in that case carry on. The quote of the week goes to Urim, I asked him how do you say “No” in Albanian and he said in an Albanian accent “No” .... “Just like ambulance is ambulance, ambulance isn’t monkey or spaghetti” and then after a pause he said “I’m not good teacher”. 15th January – Seven layers LesleyToday we did some wood delivery to a family that live near to us in a block of flats, as part of the widows might program and as we were driving there with all the wood sitting in the back, we were told that the lift, when there was a power cut, stops so we used the stairs. The father came out to meet us and he was so thankful, it is really cool to be part of what God is doing. We took part in our first English class today where we looked at the unbelievably exciting subject of “how much”. How much is that banana, monkey, human organ?.... and those sort of things.16th January – Welcome to the fruit marketI’ve always wondered what happens to the shoe boxes once they have been filled with things for the kids, sealed and sent to a distant country and today I experienced the distribution at this end. We went to Prizren’s hospital and gave them out to the little boys and girls and their faces just lit up, we hoped that it would really help towards the whole “having to go to hospital” experience. Then we went to the area of the hospital where the children with contagious diseases were treated, so we suggested that Lesley could deliver the shoe boxes to this area but she wasn’t having it. So as we were entering the area one of the doctors muttered something in Albanian and Clive quickly translated...... “don’t breathe too much”. The nurses and doctors insisted that we would have a drink with them so there was round of Turkish coffee they said I looked like a girl and then we were on our sweet merry way. 17th January – Turkish coffeeNot a lot happened today that is weird or funny but as we were walking around some guys who were playing football and they asked us to play...... now I’m not a football player, at school when it came to football I was always put in goal, not because I was good but just because I was about a foot taller then everyone else. However the guys who were playing football with us were a lot smaller then me a Clive so..... we win. This was a great way to build up relationships with these guys because football bypasses all languages. Later we went for a visit, which consist of taking of your shoes, sitting down on the cushions, having a Turkish coffee and multiple Russian teas, sitting there while everyone around you is talking in Albanian, putting your shoes back on and then waving good bye. The people here are so hospitable though, everywhere you go they ask you to come and have a drink, their doors are literally always open to you. 18th January – The hope projectThe hope project is an education program for young people of all ages to get a bit more help with their numeracy and literacy. With the younger kids we did the letter “B” and the number “2”, which went really well but there was on little girl who wasn’t taking part in the activities so i went and sat with her and tried to help her but she didn’t know any English and the only Albanian I knew was “mire” (good) and “shume mire” (very good), so they were used alot along with strange noises that i was making to try and communicate what I wanted. I think the little girl was quite freaked out. With the older guys I couldn’t really help a lot on the literacy because I don’t know Albanian so on a piece of paper I spent about half an hour drawing a picture of a little street, now i’m pretty rubbish at drawing but this wasn’t too bad. I drew a little house with a garden and put a load of detail on it, then once I had finished I realised it was in the back of someone’s work book. So i had to leave it behind. Great. http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00180 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00180 Sat, 12 Jan 2008 00:00:00 GMT Blog HeyThought I better write a blog as I have finished my first placment in the brilliant Fraseburgh. Which is an awsome place to be I loved working up in Scotland as I had a chance to get to know an amazing group of people and work with them. It was the most amazing time I have had a challenging time and have learnt alot but its not always been easy but that is what made it fulfilling.I got involved in the church and helped out in loads of different areas in the church I got involved in lots of different things for example the Power House kids club to helping out in the charity shop. I got to help and just get involved in the running of different things. I worked along side David, Neil and Gavin I learnt alot from them and had a good time They make sure you are kept on your toes or they will get you with a shaving foam pie. I had the most amazing time up there and am ready for the next part of the year as I am ready for some new experiences. I am writting this a day before I go back up to Regents to do a weeks training before I do a placement at The Krunch which should be a new challengePeace Out love Gemma xxxx http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00162 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00162 Sat, 05 Jan 2008 00:00:00 GMT Blog My time at Krunch I’m nearing the end of my placement at Krunch and I’ve got a good idea of the sort of things that go on here, so it seems like a good time to give an overview of some of the activities I’ve been involved in.First, you’re probably wondering, “What is Krunch?”Well, Krunch is a voluntary sector youth organisation and most of the work Krunch does is in the alternative education programme. This programme is geared to help 14-18 year olds who are close to being excluded from high school or have already been excluded. Krunch’s programme offers young people an alternative approach to learning. The alternative education package is made up of both mentoring and group workshops on subjects such as anger management, sexual health, consequences of crime, as well as more practical sessions such as creative arts or basic mechanics.Krunch’s mission statement: Krunch is committed to the social, moral, spiritual, educational and emotional development of all young people, offering them positive opportunities and hope for the future.At Krunch, I’ve been part of KMT (Krunch Mission Team) which is made up of three people: Mechak, Michael and myself. KMT's main job is to run the youth clubs. On Wednesdays we run The Centre, which is a youth club based in Krunch. We get kids aged about 14-18 and they can play pool or table-tennis or they can go on one of the play stations. At the end, we invite them to stay for another 10 minutes for the God Slot. The God Slot is just a short message about Jesus or a testimony delivered by one of the members of KMT followed by a discussion. On Thursdays we help to run The Hub, which is a youth club based in Londonderry church. The set up is pretty similar to The Centre but the kids are generally younger, about 11-15.On Fridays, Krunch runs a mothers and toddlers group. I've been helping out with this, setting out the toys and getting teas & coffees for the mums.One of the highlights of my time with Krunch has been seeing people give their lives to Jesus. On Monday 26th of November, we started to get the feeling that something was bubbling under the surface. We had planted lots of seeds in the lives of many young people, but this week we were expecting God to really do something. After a Gospel message at The Centre on Wednesday, we invited the guys to give their lives to Jesus and two of them did! It was amazing to see God working, and it turned out to be just the beginning. The following Thursday at The Hub, three more got saved! Then at church, another three got saved, it’s been like a mini-revival! Often when you give the God Slots, it seems like the kids are paying no attention at all, but you just keep on planting seeds and God makes them grow.I’ve certainly enjoyed this placement, Krunch is a great place to be. Mechak and Michael, the other members of KMT are great guys; they’re very easy to get along with. Planning for the God Slot with them is a laugh. Helping out with the various workshops going on is good as well.When I look back to before I started on my gap year, I find that I’ve grown in Christ. I’m exercising gifts of the spirit with greater confidence, I’m spending more time with God and my attitude is more servant like. I can see that Jesus is working in my life, slowly changing me to be more like Him.I’m looking forward to my next placement in Kosovo, I’ll tell you more about it when I get there.Peace http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00160 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00160 Mon, 10 Dec 2007 22:28:29 GMT Blog My testimony of my first placement For a term of a gap program with ‘serious for God’ I was sent to the Philippines with Lesley Tefler. We had two weeks training and meeting fellow gappies in September, which was great. We left for the Philippines 1st October. Unfortunately my stay in the Philippines was made shorter as I was climbing a tree and something brushed against my arm and that caused a reaction, and 3 weeks of check ups and some physio I was sent back to England early for it to continue there. Though I was only there for a month, I had a great month full with different things. The main base is in Antipolo, Manila at a school called ‘City Gates Academy’. The school is for children who are very poor and live in shanty towns. It is run by Pastor Glenn and his wife Nadette, they also run a private school called Oxford, and also run a Church. The school is only for nursery and kindergarden, and City Gates have 60 students who are picked after home visits to see if they are poor enough to have this great opportunity. Every Friday is a ‘fun Friday’ where a topic is covered, people can dress up to suit the topic and games and activities happen along with some information. Lesley and I took a fun Friday, as she is from Scotland, and I originally Romania we called it ‘Scotmania day’! we did various activities and a slide show each on our country, it was good fun and the children enjoyed it and learnt lots. There was also United nations week in which each class represented a country and did a dance and dressed in their traditional clothing, also a bit of teaching on it. Lesley, Helen and myself had to do a Scottish dance! I was forced to where a tartan sash and be totally degraded! The majority of the stay was in City Gates, assisting the teachers and generally giving care and affection to these children. There was one day were the staff also gave training for the parents (the mums); it was in hair dressing, massaging and nail manicuring. Saturdays there is a youth club held, the general schedule is filling in time as people arrive, doing different games and such, and then a small teaching. Sundays were mostly at the Church run by Pastor Glenn, but every other Saturday morning, we stayed at city gates and ran children’s church there. We also spent a few days up in the hills, there we met people who live with bare necessities, we mingled in to their daily routine, and on the Sunday, Lesley and I gave testimonies an a small talk. Helen, the person who was our main guardian/organiser also did a talk on end times which was great. The people were very friendly and hungry for ministry. We once did home feeding project, run by pastor Joseph. It involves meeting at one of his churches he set up, and gathering the food and praying over it. Then going out to a very small ally way where hundreds manage to fit in there and live. The children then gather in a line, Joseph and his co-workers assist in a small teaching giving a bible verse and expanding on it, then the food is distributed to the young, then there are some private home visits to extremely poor areas where some more food is distributed to some elderly who are too week to stand, and some new born babies. There was also a bit of time for relaxing, and shopping in malls, and going out to eat with people. Manila is a great place, the driving is crazy, its busy, there are poor areas, less poor areas, markets, big buildings, more run down places, but just so much to look at. Filipino’s are very fun to be around, smiley, love to laugh, in general very caring and kind. So though my stay was shorter than planned, I had a great time, met some great people and would love to go back in the future. I really felt I drew closer to God as I really had to self motivate myself and do things on my own - as well as having to break the barrier and do things in front of people. We had to give testimonies and talks and such, and though it is quite nerve racking, it's ok, cus God is there in the midst and God can give us the wisdom and words to say, He is always with us on the journey, and when your on a gap year like this and at times really have to depend on Him, He will never let you down! So that was my term with serious4God, it was fantastic! http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00149 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00149 Fri, 16 Nov 2007 10:28:41 GMT Blog My first month in the philippines For my first placement I have come to the wonderful place which is the Philippines! So far I have been working in 2 different schools but the main one being City Gates Academy which is such a privilege and blessing to work in as the kids have nothing and when they are in the school they forget about all their problems for a while! I have also been helping out at a Youth Club Based at City Gates and we are planning a food retreat for about two weeks time!! It is amazing over here and I'm glad I have another two months of this!! There has been ups and downs, homesickness and illnesses but the ups wouldnt be extra special if you didnt have the downs!!! http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00145 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00145 Tue, 30 Oct 2007 15:57:55 GMT Blog Training at Regents Well, the gap year started out with two weeks of training and preparation at Regents Theological College in Nantwich. Before I came to Nantwich I wasn’t sure what to expect. My mind was soon put to rest when I met Tim Cobham and he gave me a big bar of Galaxy chocolate and I met the four wonderful people who had been just as crazy as me for embarking on the Serious? Gap Year.During these two weeks, each day would start off with a devotional just between us five gappies and Tim. One of us would sort out a word and another would prepare some worship. Right from the beginning we were challenged to do something that we had never done before - deliver encouragement from the word of God to a small group. I think challenges like these are a very effective way to learn and grow in the Lord. In the day time we had an intensive and varied program of lectures covering topics such as: missions, personal bible study, how to give your testimony, how to build others up, public speaking, leadership, the gifts of the spirit and discipleship. I’m really grateful for the two weeks we had at Regents. It was extremely beneficial to have so much input from all these lecturers and the atmosphere is fantastic. I went to the college thinking that everyone would be very holy, but it turns out that it’s just full of Christian students not much different from me. All in all I had a fun time, I was challenged and I learned a lot. It was a good equipping for the year ahead.John Raftery http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00142 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00142 Mon, 22 Oct 2007 00:00:00 GMT Blog Two weeks Training (regents theological college) Hi. Well as some of you know we started our training for our Gap year in the middle of September!! Things that I was really not looking forward to when I arrived were 1) standing up and speaking to people as I really lacked in self confidence and 2) praying aloud within a group of people I didnt know!! But as the trainin went on I overcame my fears as I learnt that I was standing up for God and telling people what God placed on my heart to tell them and also that I shouldnt be ashamed of talking to my best friend in the whole world - it doesnt matter if your in a crowded room or in an empty room when you open up to God, he will answer prayers!! I was really grateful for the two weeks training before I started my mission out here in the Philippines, as it prepared me for when I had to give my testimony and give a short talk / devotions to groups of people - it really set me up for coming over here!!God Bless Lesley x http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00141 http://www.serious4god.co.uk/blog/view_postings.asp?ForumID=CON00173&TopicID=TPC00141 Fri, 19 Oct 2007 14:31:19 GMT Blog