Wow! What a week in Gt Yarmouth High School. Here’s a day by day precis of what went on last week:
Tuesday April 21st:
We’ve been having some interesting reactions and conversations in the High School already and it’s only Day 2! One pupil responded to the lesson yesterday on Forgiveness by asking for help to forgive someone in her family who had hurt her but whom she still loved and wanted a relationship with. A young person today caught up with Beth again, a year after chatting with her about a difficult situation she was and still is, dealing with. The pupil really appreciated the conversation and help Beth was able to give. Some of the students aren’t confident enough to ask the members of Taste and Unite about the message they’re hearing but are going back to class and talking to their teachers about it, so please continue to pray for the Christian staff as they get the opportunity to share their beliefs too.
Wednesday April 22nd:
Well! School wasn’t like this in our day! As well as Taste, the RE department had invited Release Dance Crew, rapper Jelz and the local Salvation Army officers into school today to give the Year 10 students a whole day exploring and discussing Christianity. So with Christian artists Jelz performing on the Taste stage and Release performing in the dining hall, Taste joined the Year 10s in small groups in the RE classroom to answer any questions the pupils could come up with. So, starting off with “What’s your favourite instrument?” and “Who is God’s favourite member of Westlife?” they gradually progressed to some more serious and deep questions including “What do you think about homosexuals?”, “If God exists why did He allow it to all go wrong?” Do you agree with the death penalty?” and “What do Christians think about IVF?” “Is God nature?” “Who created God?” and many more. What an amazing opportunity. The day culminated in a mini-concert by Taste, Jelz and Release, with all of them giving the message of Jesus during their performances.
With a mad dash to the Salvation Army after school for our drop in Youth Cafe we had numbers boosted to 21 young people just coming along to chill and chat with Taste and their mates before going home.
There’s a real buzz around the school about the Taste concert tomorrow night so we’ll let you know if we have more than last year’s 125 coming along…..
Thursday April 23rd:
102 students turned up on tonight to hear Taste in concert. There was an abundance of energy as the young people from years 7-11 jumped around dancing and generally having lots of fun; again some were brought to tears as they listened to Becky’s testimony of the struggles she endured during her school years and how God helped her to cope with them, giving her hope and a closer relationship with Him; a friend and father who will never let us down. Around half of the pupils were in the hall when Andy summed up what it means to be a Christian and described three steps to make that happen. Please pray for a girl in Year 10 who has had many conversations with Beth this week and is so close – that she (and the others who have been challenged by things this week) will continue their journeys with Sus and Ali in the next few weeks and months in Room 6 and the dinner hall.
We wouldn’t be able to hold this concert if it wasn’t for the members of staff who turn up “after hours” to ensure that this is a good and positive experience for the pupils; they’re a dedicated bunch of teachers here and a great leadership team; we’re privileged to be working with them. The same goes for our amazing volunteer team, some of whom are completely out of their comfort zone in an environment such as this – 102 young people all at once – after a full day’s work. Thank you to Angel, Andy, Claire, Claire, Robert, Nigel, Matt and Susanna.
Friday April 24th:
All pretty shattered today but such a good vibe turning up to school after last night’s gig. As usual God provided everything we needed and Taste presented everything in the programme as if it was the first time they’d done it! Enthusiastic and full of energy and fun. At lunchtime even some of the “super cool” year 10s came to sit and have a joke with us. With more tears from the year 7s as they realised that this was Taste’s last day and won’t be staying for the whole year it was time to pack everything back into the van for Taste’s journey back to Essex. However, for us at Unite it will be the start of a slight change to our lunchtime programme in the school. Instead of being in the dinner hall on a Tuesday, Ali (along with volunteer Sushila) will be in one of the RE classrooms ready to chat through some of the issues raised throughout this week and help the students deal with some of the things life throws at them.
Thank you to Colin Galloway of Norfolk Events Photography for these amazing pictures of the gig on Thursday.