...and into the Tower Block areas of Southend. Fourth day news...
A final round-up of the week's events, plus news of the BEACH BASH success, will be on the site, shortly!
[news from Thursday]
More details to come shortly, but the Leigh team made the most of the fairly good weather to finish painting the playground at Bonchurch Park. The evening activities moved to St. Cedds' Church, in Bridgewater Drive.
Many, many thanks to the churches and individual Christians across the Borough, who've helped with transport and in particular, with preparing meals for the delegates. You're all stars!
[news from Wednesday]
DAVID ELCOCK reports from the Leigh team, and how Wednesday afternoon began lethargically - the weather wasn't good, and as a lot of things had been done much more quickly than expected, they'd reached a point in the week where it seemed right to seek God and pray...it was great that they could go into St. Clements' and ask God for energy to work through what He had to offer. He was to answer!
Between 200-400 mums, dads and grandparents later came to St. Clements' to play and learn circus skills. Many were happy to chat to the delegates, and it wasn't just balls that were dropped, but people's guards as well...
Stories like: "I loved going to church with my children, but one day my little girl ran up and lifted the Vicar's froc. This embarrassed me so much, I haven't been back since!" Following a conversation, the lady is going to try again at a different church with Sunday School and Creche. Lots of other, similar stories like this, with comments like, "...this is a living church, isn't it!", being heard!
In the evening, more kids - maybe even 60 - joined the delegates at the evening activities.
[news from Tuesday]
Another great morning worship session, this time led by the Vineyard youth. By now, the number of delegates was around the two hundred mark and there was the feeling that God spoke through the guest speaker for the day, who came from Chelmsford.
He talked about how God uses us; it won't always seem super-spiritual or emotional, but we do need to bring God to people we meet , by believing that the Gospel is just as relevant to the streets as it is to churches. By our actions, we raise questions that give us an opportunity to attempt an answer.
DAVID ELCOCK reports that the Leigh team painted the railings of Leigh Library Gardens; engaged with around 100 kids, many of whom had their faces painted; around the same number of mums and other ladies enjoyed the Pamper Parlour. The staff from Debenhams did a great job giving make-overs and hand massages. Those being pampered felt special and loved - and said so. The beauticians remarked on how great the atmosphere was; on how they wanted to do it again the next day; how they were willing help again, in the future! Our sincere thanks go out to them, for their efforts.
About 15 teenage guys came to Urban Extreme Extra in the evening; they played sports in the gardens and hall of Leigh Road Church; they watched SIGNS on the big-screen in the Stables, there. Lots of good chats took place and the guys are starting to follow the delegates around, bringing their mates with them, too!
SAD NEWS from Southchurch, where we believe that a delegate fractured their ankle. Please pray for them, his name is Ben, I believe.
[news from Monday]
LOVE SOUTHEND youth mission week, URBAN EXTREME, got going on Monday in different parts of Southend-on-Sea....despite pouring rain at times, particularly in the morning.
A tremendous time of worship, led by the youth themselves, got the day off to the right start as over 130 delegates gathered at Southend Christian Fellowship in Southchurch Road. Well and truly 'fired-up', they duly went off to their various areas of the Borough to tackle at least four hours'-worth of urban regeneration and other types of work.
DAVID ELCOCK of Leigh Road Baptist Church, is co-ordinating the activity in Leigh, and he's been keeping us informed of what's being going on over that side of town, on the first day proper of URBAN EXTREME...
"Thanks you to all those that have been praying so much...we have been really aware of the 'covering' you are giving."
Dave and the team have already been in one local park, where they've repainted a set of swings (free of charge, of course) and chatted to, and engaged with, around 10-15 children and teenagers, plus their parents as well and ended up playing different sports with them.
The rain didn't dampen proceedings, and stopped sufficiently for them to get two coats of paint onto all the bright, yellow-and-red swings: "....they look transformed."
What's more, six of the guys 'n' gals that they met in the park, were interested enough to attend Urban Extreme Extra, that evening....
The Leigh team moves on to Leigh Library Gardens today (Tuesday) and as well as more of the same, they'll also be holding a Pamper Parlour throughout the afternoon, for any mum or grandmum in the place, who enjoys being pampered and feeling special - kindly sponsored by Debenhams Cosmetics.
We hope to let you know how it went, and include some progress reports from other areas, including an update and some photos from Derek Thomas at Southchurch.
URGENT NEWS FLASH - Photos from the team at Cluny Square in Southchurch JUST IN!! They're lookin' great!!!