Wildfire Outreach to Pescara Italy
So for those of you who know nothing about Wildfire I guess I haven't wrote much about it on this blog, one of the main ways we disciple the young people who are with us is by getting them involved so this was not my outreach it was the outreach of seven young people the oldest was 18 the youngest was 12. At the same time we encourage families to be involved and we had the privlidge to have a family with us from Scotland. We encourage the young people to be involved to the Max, preaching or MCing etc.
Italy feels like years ago but in reality it is only 2 months ago. I really liked Italy, I guess it is the latin culture which I really liked. Pescara is very beautiful as well, towards the end of my trip I was thinking I would like to spend sometime there when I am a little more relaxed not working on an outreach, just to walk around and take in some of the beautiful views. However I did manage to spend quite a few afternoons on the beach and an early morning cursory of a new Argentine friend there, who wanted to spend her birthday seeing the sun come up check out the pictures!!
Our team was quite different to the other outreach teams as our young people didn't realy know each other before we got to Pescara. So as well as the ups and downs of a normal outreach they were getting to know each other throughout the first few days. Apart from some teething problems we bonded quite well. There was a fair amount of coming and going in our team too.
One of the girls on our team didn't have her passport before we left so sadly we had to leave her behind. However Andy Sloan prophecised that she would be able to go to Italy that God was going to do a miracle. The time for our departure came and went and she decided to call her parents to come and pick her up. I encouraged her that God could still do a miracle.
Sure enough about a week later God did a miracle just before the two Egyptian girls left we got news that Sarah's Passport had come through it seemed to us that it all happened so quickly when the authorities had said that it was going to take a few weeks. Later we understood why God had done this he needed to put some things into practice.
It is amazing to me that God fits things together like a jigsaw puzzle and when we are in the middle and we only have a few pieces there we get so confused and frustrated and later when the final piece is put in we say I GET IT!!
We stayed at the Pescara base which has a beautiful view but it not huge and there were sometimes 17 of us. I was thrown into sharing a room with 6 teenage girls and another kings kids leader, this was a bit of a shock to the after having my own room for nearly two years. I now realise that God was getting me ready for the situation I am now living in. The kitchen was fairly small for the amount there was of us. We made what was one bedroom into two with the use of a sheet, some how we all fitted and we spent a lot of time there perhaps too much time!!
The thing i enjoyed the most and would really liked to have done more of was work with the children of Aquilla. You have probably heard the story about the earthquake. Pescara and Silvi are only 1 hour away so the government has some of the families who were displaced from the disaster to hotels others are in huge displacement camps, which we didn't get to go to as we were a team of young people.
It is funny how children and young people in their essence are the same where - ever you go. There are the children who are very curious, just want to be loved and hold onto you. Then there are the teenagers who act with attitude brush you off but in their hearts they are still children and are desperate to be loved if people would just keep trying with them.
We went there 3 times, the first time I wasn't there but they had like a scouts set up where they seemed to be obliged to be there. The other two times they came under there own steam and well there were not as many but we still had fun.
The second time we went the room where they had been before was flooded so we ended up in the Foyer of the hotel much to the frustration of the manager. We had different workshops Nail painting, Painting, Circus we also did action songs which everyone seemed to love and something that worked well where-ever we went. I guess it broke down the language barrier. One of our young people David who is 12 about how when he was 8 God told him that he was his Daddy especially as his earthly Father was not around!!
He shared this testimony quite a few times and it was really powerful each time he shared it.
The last time we went there we did more of a show with a shorter workshop time, it would have been so great to spend more time with the children there but it wasn't possible. I think that since we went there the church that opened the door for us has started to do a regular work there for the Children in the hotels.
Children and children and they do seem to get over such disasters well on the surface anyway but there were old people just sitting there too, they seemed very fed up like almost waiting to die it was very sad and we would like to have done something for them but well it just didn't happen. However Judy the mother from the family got to pray with one of the old ladies and pray for her through the painting of nails.
We also spent time in the local park painting faces, modelling balloons, and prancing about with action songs all good fun. We never managed to do much constructive on the beach a part from a devotional time where everyone was very distracted I suppose the sea was just too tempting.
Then a couple of nights we went out to the town and sang worship songs in the square where we shared the hope of Christ with a few people. I found that Italian people love to chat especially in English or Spanish but when it comes to deep matters they are very edgy and get very uncomfortable but well I think this is a nation where we are sowing seeds.
For me one of the most amazing facts about the Outreach in Italy was the way through defined prayer we saw the young people change overnight. Time after time we saw attitudes and behaviour change when we dedicated team time to prayer.
It is also incredible the way that this short time where the young people are out of their comforts zone but at the same time a place where they feel cared for and their faith can be nurtured is enough to cause a ripple effect in their lives.
What a privlidge to be part of this process, I look forward to more of these outreaches in the future and see what God can do!!