Hello from New Wine!
The photo above is of my desk for the week. It’s especially messing because I’ve been sharing the table with the 3 other Team Pastors who are all very busy!
This week was much better than the week before, so I’m giving it an 8/10. The reason it’s not getting full marks is because I’m really lacking in energy, and sadly, another member of our congregation died at the beginning of the week.
However, New Wine has been fabulous, even if it has been possible to get both sunburn and completely drenched most days!
My friend and leader of the venue, Emily, and I left Formby on Friday night. We stayed over in Retford to save a horribly early get up on Saturday morning and after a double sausage and egg McMuffin Meal we arrived on site at The East of England Showground at about 9.30.
Since then we have been in full swing, as the team arrived on Saturday afternoon and the children arrived to be registered on Sunday afternoon.
I have done toilet trips, talks and stories. With the help of Philippa, I set up the prayer tent which includes: prayer bracelets, a prayer tree, prayer jenga, messy wool prayer pictures, prayer magnets, a prayer bear, a yellow brick road of prayer plus lots of fairy lights.
I’ve also been camping which includes warm-ish, clean-ish showers and lots of shimmying in and out of clothes as the tent isn’t tall enough to stand up in.
I have prayed a great deal. I’ve talked about prayer, prayed in front of people, prayed with individuals, both children and adults, and I have prayed by myself a lot. It’s been lovely, and I have felt closer to God than I have done in a long time.
I sat with a child and led them in prayer as they gave their life to Jesus.
I have been interviewed, helped with a sports session (!), moved fences, been on the admin desk and made signs for the venue.
I have walked and danced lots! I have walked all over the campsite and danced during the songs. My current step count for the week is 102.363.
I have spent lots of time with two of my closest friends and I have developed and deepened other friendships.
And unexpectedly, last night, we get a text which said that New Wine was finishing 2 days early due to severe weather warnings. It was a shock and disappointing, but overall it was the right decision. I really admire the wisdom and courage of the people who made that call.
But as I walked back into the venue, it was as if God had turned up the volume and sped things up. We had a great team time and a phenomenal last night with the kids.
So, I am currently typing from the family worship session and I will be packing my tent away shortly.
This week has been wonderful. It’s a hard won, bright and shining gem in the calendar of the year.
Praise be to God.