The Milford Rejects/Londonderry/Derry/Bready GO Team

8 Sep

Apologies for our recent lack of activity on Another King, most of the writers have had a fairly busy few weeks, James has been touching numerous smelly feet of children whilst having to endure a topsy turvey time of exams/remarks, if you don’t know what Robert’s been up to then you’re clearly out of the loop and Andy remains the only one with a viable excuse as he continues his work placement. Hopefully we will be back to regular business shortly!

So yes, here it is, the GO Team report for whichever of the above titles you find is the most appropriate. I’m fairly sure that most people didn’t even know that there was going to be a GO Team here untill some Prayer Points were sent round, so hopefully i’ll shed some light on the foundation work that was being done this year in the UK’s recently voted City of Culture!

Our week began by gathering where Gateway Christian Fellowship (the official name for the new work in Derry) are meeting for worship, Steven Robinson is heading up this work and he was there to welcome us and we then were led in worship by Andrew Lytle. It was a record number of attendance that week however that was mainly due to Team Members and some visitors from Bready and Faughan. They are meeting monthly in the Junction on Bishop’s Street and there have already been some people come along to the services.

After this, we were treated to our first bout of what proved to be a week of amazing generousity and hospitality from the Bready congregation. The Team enjoyed having a relaxing afternoon, one where Anna got lost on the way to the toilet and also asked if cows are milked on Sundays due to it being a day of rest (this of course opening the floodgates for slagging her for the rest of the week). We enjoyed great food and a lovely walk before being whisked away to the Evening Service and then spent a brief time of fellowship with the Bready congregation. Before we knew it, we were left in the Church by ourselves and we then went about setting a few things up to try and make the place a bit more homely for our weeks stay.

Our days on the Team followed pretty much the same routine, after a quick breakfast and morning devotions, we were straight into our Leaflet Distribution, this was spearheaded by Fergus Marshall and we ventured into areas on both the Waterside and Cityside, distributing a very well put together leaflet that proclaimed the Gospel and advertised Gateway’s upcoming events. Despite some of these areas being quite a distance from Gateway (I quickly realised that my pre-Team thoughts of us going into the Bogside and other closer areas wouldn’t come to pass), let’s hope and pray that many would have read and been really interested in this new work and also hope that in future years, more direct areas could be reached. By the end of the week, we had given out our 5000 leaflets and they seemed well recieved by the communities we went into, we were also very grateful for the support from the willing volunteers from Bready and Faughan that helped each day.

Putting Coffee into her breakfast bowl wasn't a good start to the week for Erin...

Following a quickly devoured lunch which was usually prepared by the girls as Pete and I continued our Table Tennis Championship (he won 17-12 in the end), we gathered for the afternoon Bible Study. Blair took these and there was no repeat of those Gartmore Family Worships or Announcements as they went very well and each Team Member was challenged by them as we chatted about various approaches/techniques to evangelism and how to transfer them into different situations. We also benefitted from a structured prayer time at the end of the Study, a highlight of the day for me.

There was time set aside after the Study for some “practical work”, don’t be fooled, this wasn’t any thing in the community, it was really just a general clean up of Bready Manse! Pete F was able to vent his frustrations as when he was given the task of clipping the hedge, he had some how managed to cut clean through the wire within the first few minutes……his punishment was then to pick ivy out or a predominantly ivy hedge for the rest of the afternoon. The girls also enjoyed having to wipe down garden chairs and tables with what were presumably old pairs of McFarland boxers!

Practical Pete and his punishment

Each evening we were graciously welcomed into one family’s home from the Bready congregation, this was a great time of fellowship among the family as well as some of Bready’s other young people who came along too, also the food was immense and we were stuffed after each course. Pete F’s reputation clearly preceeded him as one evening, a lady commented on “Peter’s good Faughan appetite”….at this point I nearly spat out my mince and potatoes in trying not to laugh.

Following our massive feed, it was quite hard to move and get motivated to head back to the Church for more work. Each evening, we were heading out to areas near Bready Church to carry out some Door-to-Door work, basically giving out invites to some guest services in October where Stuart Olyott is preaching. There were some good conversations had throughout the course of the week, however after chatting during a Bible Study, we decided to draw up a Questionnaire for the last evening to help stimulate conversation and these worked very well in trying to open people up and draw their attention to the advertised Christianity Explored course.

We finished up when it was starting to get dark and then regrouped back in the kitchen at Bready to have a chat about that evenings exploits. Our day was then topped off by some hot chocolate and Evening Devotions which was another highlight for me. After this was finished we generally got quite competitive and played numerous games of Pitt and Dutch Blitz or else used the Hall for some Volleyball, Football or Uni-Hoc before people headed off to their comfy air matresses.

Out for Dinner

The abuse clearly got a bit much for Tish-Bug

We did manage to get two breaks from the routine during the week. Wednesday’s spontaneous evening off was a result of us being so tired and full after a lovely evening meal at the Buchannan’s that we couldn’t move at all, it turned into a great evening of not just team bonding, but also again with the other young people from Bready. We ventured on a short walk down to the Foyle, took a few pictures and then the girls made a horrendous decision to watch ‘Leap Year’, typical predictable rom-com stuff, although it was laughable bad at stages.

On Thursday afternoon, we decided to really get to grips with Stroke City and so we decided to go for a tour of Blair led by Blair around the city walls. It was my first time up there and I loved it, my GCSE History was flooding back to me and made me realise that this was a central part to our Northern Irish heritage and history. The fantastic afternoon was completed by a trip to St. Colum’s Park (a hot spot for new R.P couples apparently as a certain Team member mentioned how much they liked it!), we had a great time on the newly built play parks and then finished off with a game of Ultimate Frisbee.

The Collins'!

Skills Junior

Wearing Erin's Hoodie....watch out Andy...

Out on the Tour!

Pete was clearly happy to go inside the CoI Cathedral

Peter was still feeling awkward after the 'Hedge Clipper Incident'

Going crazy after playing Frisbee

The team finished with the Congregational BBQ on Friday evening held at the Manse, this meant there was more ‘practical work’ in the afternoon as we prepared an evening of fellowship with the people of Bready. It was a lovely time where we got to share our experiences of the weeks work with most of the folk there, eat great good and also the sunset was glorious so it was a great way to end the week.

Anna giving it stacks!

Pete F's uncomfortable hiding place

Texting 'Tom'?!

Letitia's favourite activity of the week

Most of the Team stayed over untill Saturday for the CY Conference so after some tidying up, we were by ourselves again in the Church, after our last Evening Devotions and Rachel and Letitia’s 1 Billionth Cup of Tea, we headed off to Tescos and McD’s to get some supplies. When we got back, we started into playing the scariest game of Sardines i’ve ever played, those country congregations are properly dark at night! I also witnessed Pete F manage to squeeze himself into the most uncomfortable hiding place leaving the last three people completely clueless as to where we were. After we eventually listened to Anna about her complaining about the dark, we started a game of Twister and played long into the night.

A fantastic team which was completely different from what I had in mind before I arrived. Let’s hope that the foundation work done this year will be building blocks for the GO Committee to work off and may Gateway Christian Fellowship and Bready be advanced from the work that was done.

Team Members:

  • Peter ‘the destroyer’ Fallows
  • Jonny ‘texting Tom’ Collins
  • Alastair ‘So……..how was your day?’ McCollum
  • Derek ‘back to school’ Lynch
  • Rachel ‘from Newtownabbey direction’ Weatherup
  • Anna ‘wants a night-light’ Collins
  • Letitia ‘sweetpea’ Magee
  • Erin ‘honey’ McCollum
  • Sharon ‘LONDONderry’ Buchannan
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2 Responses to “The Milford Rejects/Londonderry/Derry/Bready GO Team”

  1. Peter F September 8, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    Pit not Pitt. Good report though, well worth the wait.

  2. Robert September 9, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    Pedantic Pete

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