A little over a year ago we had a vision to see young Christians blessing & serving the communities of MK with God’s love & grace. We planned to do something about it by teaching & equipping them to put their faith into practice, and empowering them to engage in mission in their own city; and we realised that the only way we’d be able to achieve any of it would be through churches working together in order to reach the people of MK. And so we set to work…
We enlisted churches to organise social action & community building projects, and recruited young people who were willing to spend their half term break engaging in mission through word & deed on those projects, following times of team-building, teaching, worship & prayer. The projects included play sessions at local parks, lunch & activities for children from deprived families, gardening, creative evangelism, a free car wash, visits to residential care homes, a youth cafe, a family drop-in centre, a listening post, and a pop-up football cage.
It was incredibly hard work, but also great fun and incredibly rewarding. Through the half-term break 108 young people stepped out in faith, investing 5400 hours through 11 social action & community building projects, engaging with over 1500 MK residents & visitors, supported by 22 churches & 4 Christian organisations in partnership with 3 national & 15 local organisations.
Through the week we witnessed the deepening of young Christians’ faith having seen God at work around, through & in them; we worked with church members who stepped up to the challenge, stepped into the unknown & loved it! As a result we estimate that 1500 people of all ages across MK have had a positive engagement with Christians, and 30+ people were willing to receive prayer – some have let us know those prayers have been answered; and 14 young people committed their lives to Jesus & have been connected with local Churches for follow-up.
We learned some important lessons along the way:
- not even a hurricane will defeat God’s plans (see report for details)
- many church leaders/youth leaders are supporters of lastminute.com [if you know what we mean… ;o) ]
- not all promises of support will bear fruit
- our young people are far more capable than we give them credit for – we should challenge them much more than we do
- organising churches to work together was every bit as hard as we imagined, but far more rewarding than we could have ever dreamed; why don’t we do it more?
That’s just a tiny glimpse of what Hope MK was all about. To find out more, read our full report & reflections which includes pictures of what we got up to and quotes from those involved.