School Christmas holidays now over. SMB is ready for another great year ahead !
The 'A-Maze-Inn Christmas Events' were exceptionally successful this year, many thanks to all the volunteers who helped this year. Almost 500 children attended. Feedback from staff was excellent and clearly the children enjoyed all 15 events. These children go home and tell their families what they have learned and parents get to see their 'Emmanuel Bags' of which every child could confidently say means 'God is with us'. (each bag containing the child's golden star they made, leading to Jesus, together with their 'maze activity' with Jesus at the centre!) Priceless!
As these lessons are designed & implemented for small groups working at all the zones, led by our SMB volunteers, this is quite an achievement that so many of the young people in our town have personally engaged with the real meaning of Christmas, leaving the event with a fresh understanding and enthusiasm for the reason of the season. It's not like just 'hearing the story in an assembly' it's relational time with one to one conversations! Again, priceless!
We've marvelled at how many times we have actually said the words 'Jesus, special baby/Mary/Joseph/Angel/Shepherds/Wise men (especially those that have worked on the sessions on the 'Character Nativity Zone' this year! ) We were all 'stabled out' come Christmas Eve! Ruth has been missed this Christmas time but she is blessed as she has her own 'special little baby' to focus on at this time! Our love, prayers and blessings are with Mummy Ruth, Daddy Tim and baby Summer! All is well.
Sue, with help from Jane Andrews and Rob Coe, has successfully managed to keep Billericay School Lunch time New Gen sessions going for the whole of last term, in Ruth's absence (something that we hadn't imagined would be possible). Those sessions are a valuable part of the Ministry. Gary & Liz have continued to be busy with Mayflower lessons and Community support.
Harvest and Christmas assemblies went very well and Sue & Shirley between them managed to see many Nativity plays, Carol Services and enjoy a couple of School Christmas dinners with the children! Sue even managed to serve a school by helping with a much needed 'adult attendance request' at a Pantomime!
Our thanks at SMB goes out to all the churches for the much needed financial support and prayers. We would very much value your prayers for the Lords guidance and wisdom on the way forward for the year ahead.
We will be continuing to take those key words of Christmas—hope, love, joy and peace into our schools throughout the coming year—what a privilege and responsibility it is to serve our schools. It's a delight to see Billericay children engaging with the BIble in the many varied and fun educational ways that we have access to. How good to see the thankful hearts of children as they express, in their own ways, prayers and actions reflecting the Christian message that we are able to take into our schools. Praise God for that fact.
Happy New Year everyone.