Sorry folks, but the SM broadband modem was taken away on Friday before I could do any further blogging.
Talking of which, Friday. I spent the day back at the King’s Hall. It turned out to be a fairly quiet day as far as I can remember – I was already getting really tired. Think it was the day I had long chats with Holly and Railto – it was also the day we were looking out for John to send him back home if he came on site.
John not having appeared, I faced a 24 hour day on Saturday, starting at 4am. I don’t do early mornings at all well, and late nights don’t help either… nor does some kind person moving all the toilet cleaning stuff into the middle of the Paddock subcamp so we can’t find them to make the toilets nice and clean for the Streetreachers… (they had to wait until this morning!)
Saturday afternoon a tired Andy hit the Woodvale area to do photography for the street carnival, which got moved into Springfield Road Methodist due to the rain. There was genuine excitement about the carnival amongst the kids, as I walked round with one of the teams – unfortunately, I missed seeing the kids coming through the infamous Workman Avenue gates. One day that peace wall will be torn down as totally unnecessary, we have to believe it.
Inevitably, a few of us found ourselves round the piano in Springfield Road Methodist, perhaps even more inevitably including myself. One of the Team Leaders, Philip was doing a three chord thing of ways to praise God, before moving into more secular stuff – I threw in a little Beatles and some worship songs.
Back on site, everyone arrived back early for the last night. Ryan Mitchell, who hosts Ignite (and Summer Madness and a lot of other sites) has become a fantastic worship leader, with great sensitivity and fine musical ability. A friend of Johnny Parks and fan of Tim Hughes, he kept some of the songs going from Summer Madness, including a very good one of Tim’s – “God of Justice (We must go)”, which is so appropriate to Streetreach, perhaps especially in the context of SBSUSM07 (oh ok, it’s Stand By or Stand Up – Summer Madness 07. They told us on Monday night) which was on wristbands and all Streetreach and Staff t-shirts this year, and has really already been launched.
People were feeding back about what was happening in their areas, and one team revealed that 17 kids were saved in one area alone. Wow!
The main thing that Linda Gordon said, imparting a vision for next year, was nothing to do with next year, but that we need to go into our communities and act now rather than wait.
I’m going to make one final observation on the day that I finally came home after 13 nights at Balmoral, and that is that as an observer, which in many ways I was this year (nearly all the Team Leaders and Delegates this year were under 30 – the over 30s mainly coordinated areas alongside other under-30s, or did homebase), I watch, listen, and take photographs of some incredible stuff being done by God through my friends in Belfast.
Where will it all lead to? Full-blown revival? We can only hope so, because seeds planted are beginning to ripen.
This blog will return to normal from the next entry!