Hannah graduated in 2012 after studying youth ministry with Reign Ministries. Today she is married and splits her working hours between the a Youth Project in the midlands and a part-time role supporting the Training Team at Reign.
Here she shares about how what’s like to minister at the crossroads of an economically diverse community and how she is seeing God work in the lives of teenagers.
Matt and I have lived in our village for around 8 months now, and already feel as though we’ve been wholly welcomed into village life. The one thing that surprised me most about this small village is the diversity; driving down any one street you can see huge stately houses, yet just across the other side of the road are rows of run down council houses. “The crossroads” (actual crossroads) marks the shift between the more affluent side of the village and the more impoverished side. The majority of the kids we come into contact with are from the more impoverished families; occasionally they can’t even pay the 50p entrance fee to our youth club.
With only one shop, two pubs and nowhere really for kids to hang out (especially in bad weather) the Youth Project is invaluable for our young people. We work with kids from the age of 7, all the way up to 18. And although I don’t like to judge success by numbers, our groups have grown significantly in the past 6 months and we’re now working with around 30 local kids, with numbers rising.
The exciting thing for me, however, is seeing God soften the hearts of the young people I come in to contact with. Many of these young people come from really challenging backgrounds, and face pain and rejection that I can’t even imagine. Yet I’ve seen them slowly understand the amazing love that God has for them. Slowly understanding that he is merciful and gracious and wants to be in relationship with them. It’s so great hearing them debating with each other passionately about issues that really matter.
I’ve seen these kids welcomed into our tiny little church with opened arms, without distrust or judgement. It can be so easy to become disheartened with petty church (and village) politics, but when I see my little ones sitting right at the front of church, trying to sing along to unknown hymns, and listening intently to preachers (who to be frank – not even the best of us struggle to pay attention to) it lifts my spirit and warms my heart.
Our prayers now would be that soon we could actually live within the village, to have a missional home, and to bridge the gap between the crossroads.
Categories: Youth Ministry Degree Course