Our Creative Missions Team was ecstatic to work alongside our soon-to-be community hub in Parkwood to deliver a holiday club to over 70 young children from the local area. This is the first time the team has been able to run this type of programme since the Covid pandemic began, but they were in no way out of practice.
On Monday the 26th November, armed with sanitiser, masks and covid protocols to follow, our team arrived at Reconciliation Ministries in Parkwood. We were excitedly welcomed by a group of 20 young leaders, all excited, albeit a little unsure of what to expect. Our team facilitated leadership training, offering advice learned from the previous holiday clubs run by The Message, as well as providing materials and resources that would make for a successful and impactful few days for the children of the community.
Our Respect ME Team delivered sessions on self esteem, bullying and healthy relationships. Genetik Sessions, our creative arts discipleship programme, taught dance while a member of the church, a professional soccer player, delivered soccer training. The young leaders hosted games, stories, songs and each day ended with a craft based on the theme for the day. Food was donated by various members of the church and a team of incredible volunteers cooked and served 2 meals each day. It was amazing to see the different gifting being displayed alongside the different expressions of serving the body of Christ.
‘Auntie, I will try to remember the good things now.’
In one of our Respect ME sessions, while working through an activity called ‘It’s Inside That Counts,’ one of the young boys began to talk about all the negative things he had been called. In the session, the group was encouraged to write down things they like about themselves. We were able to encourage the young boy and speak life over him! He left saying ‘Auntie, I will try to remember the good things now.’
Even though a lot of our missional activities have been put on hold due to Covid restrictions, it has been an amazing opportunity to be able to make an impact in this community and build on the weekly interactions that the team at the Parkwood hub have had so far.
At the end of the week, each of the children were allowed to invite one parent to an evening celebration. There were performances, items from the leadership team, and each child was presented with a certificate. The atmosphere was electric and the room was full of joy as the leaders and parents congratulated the young people and everything they had accomplished. Not only did we have fun and deliver great engaging sessions, but we saw young leaders grow in confidence, friendship and purpose.
This is one of the many initial activities taking place while we prepare for a fully fledged Message hub in Parkwood. It excites us to see the remarkable foundation God is laying in this community, and we can’t wait to see what He has planned for Parkwood.
Written by Naomi Engelbrecht