Buzzing and bright-eyed (with just a touch of early morning fatigue) on the beautifully sunny Sunday morning of 28th September 2014, two coaches packed full of the London Church of Christ teens headed off up to see our teen siblings in the Birmingham Church of Christ! In fact, so high was the enthusiasm to participate in the teen event that many made the effort to travel by any means necessary; Megabus and cars alike. Lots and lots of card games, Mafia, chatting, Costa coffee and DMC’s later, the London teens of the East, Four Rivers, North, South-East and Southside regions of London arrived in the West Midlands, ready and raring to dive into the activities so tirelessly planned by the Birmingham teens!
After being escorted round the University of Birmingham for a short tour and prayer walk, we headed to Handsworth where the whole Birmingham Church meets on a weekly basis, and most of us having not seen the brummies since the London Summer Teen Camp, hugs and shrieks of delight followed, as well as a few surprises as we were also delighted to see some of the Manchester teens!
First of all we rejoiced to God in worship, including the famous number ‘King Jesus is Lord’ led by some of our zealous brothers; we then huddled together in prayer before being split up into six groups (each assigned a different animal as their identity! C’mon the chickens!). Each group then made their way to their first of six half-hour-long stations. One of which was digging deep into the word of God with a Bible discussion led by Jas and Cameron. The main topic of discussion was tackling the question why we read the Bible, exploring the idea that this is the book of life, of the greatest love, of salvation; like John 14:6 says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” says Jesus. We also discussed the question of why we can even trust the Bible in the first place. As well as much compelling evidence, John 8:32-32 stood out to me:
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Another station involved being served an incredibly delicious lunch by some of the Birmingham mums, for which we are extremely grateful, having been very much satisfied; on the menu- curry, rice and salad! We were given a wonderfully insightful and wisdom-filled talk by the current University of Birmingham students about future opportunities to serve God in countless different ways in the kingdom at another station- opportunities including the One Year Challenge, Hope Youth Corps, among others. Other stations included a Bible quiz with yummy chocolate prizes as well as a station of charades.
The afternoon was concluded perfectly as we joined the first half hour of the Birmingham Church of main service where we participated in lively and energetic singing and a truly inspiring, vulnerable testimony from Jas, who has just left the teens to enter the student ministry this academic year; too soon we shot off back to London for hours of even more games, DMC’s and this time singing! Thank you so much Birmingham!! We appreciate you and love you loads!