Find out about what Nicola and her team are doing each week in their weekly blog.
So I last left you when I was told to grab my stuff and meet my leaders outside, they led us into the wilderness and stopped at our camping site and told us simply to ‘make a shelter’.
Well thank-you God, kathy did a crash course the day before on outdoors survival! We had only rope, tarpool, matches, a contraption to make fire with, cups, spoons, a can opener, a big bottle of water.
And with only these items kathy was able to create a wonderfully cosy shelter!
After completing making our shelter we were taken to an opening in the forest, over looking a cold Welsh beach .
We were quickly informed of the task at hand, good news is we get dinner, bad news is two people are gunna have to get into the water swim to a far(ish) boat ( in said super cold Welsh sea water) and then swim back to shore without once dropping the food…
I looked around at other groups debating on who should go, basing their decisions on sensible things like who has the most ability who is fastest ect ect.
As we were about to begin our group analysis our leader Josh enlightened us to his decision to pick the two girls… Much to my horror.
Thus me and kathy begrudgingly made our way to a makeshift tarp oil changing room and resurfaced in old clothes kindly provided by min-y-don.
Thankfully we were allowed to wear life jackets. As predicted the sea was ice cold and as we approached the boat it became increasingly harder to keep a steady pace with the cold biting at you. Kathy made it ahead of me and retrieved the food then she encouraged me as we swam back to shore!
Last 3 photos credit to Ben Drabble.
We retrieved our food which was dry pasta and some rice pudding and we brought some tomato soup from a task we’d done previously.
we went back shared it and ate it, then chilled with our leaders. This was when we realised they were human too and not just the meanies trying to push us over edge! When most groups had fallen asleep we were still up, our leaders had left for a while and came back to collect us for an unknown surprise task. Thank goodness we didn’t fall asleep!
We then had to sit in the tennis court and complete a puzzle (some groups were made to do this many times) and the we embarked on a walk. We walked with just a map with simple instructions like ‘when you see a gate turn left’.
Everything was pitch black and we could only use one torch, our leaders pointed out the sky, and it was absolutely majestical. The sky was littered with stars, I’d never seen a sky so unpolluted with light that I could see the stars so bright and so clear.
After the walk we headed back (some leaders made their team do it more than once ) but we were lucky ours were tired!!
We slept the night peacefully under our little twilight shelter and that concluded our little adventure.
Here are some other pics of things we did after that in min-y-don!
This last picture represents the re patching of Richards relationship with Josh (one of our leaders). You see Josh in an attempt (which he was almost successful, but Richard held it in) to annoy Richard ate Richards crisps.
Now we know never come between a man and his crisps!!
Lots of love *•.!.•*~Nikki~*•.!.•*
Hello Everyone this is another cheeky late update number 2!!
Action Team Rite-Of-Passage!
Every action teamer will tell you the same thing….if your question was what is the action team rite-of-passage they will tell you, Min-Y-Don! Then strangely to you their face change and twist and a shudder might crawl down their back…
You see all action teamers have this shared traumatic experience of this place Min-Y-Don.
I suppose I better tell you what it is now….
What is Min-Y-Don? And why do we go?
Min-Y-Don is a Christian Adventure Centre, infact it was one of the first to appear and now their are many! It’s usual everyday target audiences are schools (primary and secondary, even international pupils!) and families. Finally another target audience is BMS and they have been sending action teamers there since the dawn of time!
It is located in the south west of Wales in a place called Arthog, Gwynedd, right next to snowdonia national park.
And now the science behind why we went so when forming a new team a researcher named Bruce Tuckman named four main stages that a team travels through in order to obtain the desired last stage of the four.
The first stage is forming…
Forming is when you have just been dropped into this team and you want everything to go well so everyone steps on eggshells around eachother as a way to avoid any kind of conflict.
This moves onto the second stage storming and this stage essentially is when you get fed up of skitting around eachother and you argue or conflict arises and clashes appear!
The third stage norming is when your beginning to find a equilibrium within the team you work through the conflict and bond over the problem solving.
Finally the last stage performing is pretty self explanatory it’s the stage where the group performs well and aren’t hiding behind polite personas but know eachothers weakness and strengths as a whole and as a individual. Aww!
So Min-Y-Don is essentially the place where all the masks come off and you must start dealing with the conflict rather than avoiding it! So they challenge us in all kinds of ways so we can storm norm and perform!
Team Thailand’s Experience!
We took a coach to Wales and some used it as an excuse to catch up on sleep!
We arrived and completed a low ropes activity we had to collect water in a bucket with containers that have holes in them, team work was needed to collect slot of water! We learnt in this activity our leaders were NOT our friends!
If you fell off and touched the ground they would spill some water out of our bucket like a lot!!
Credit for last 4 photos go to Ben Drabble!
Here are some miscellaneous pictures of some of the activities.
The last 3 pictures credit goes to Ben Drabble.
The most trying day had to have been right after this very long walk!
After spending the day walking we finally arrived back at min-y-don! We’d been previously tempted in the idea of spaghetti Bolognese, by our leaders.
We had our usual announcements before beginning, however I knew something didn’t sit right with me!
Of course my hunch was right they announced that not only were not getting spaghetti bolognese but we were also told to go to our rooms as we only had 10 mins to pack our sleeping bag and a change of underwear…
I’ll leave you hear in suspense please read on!!
After a period of silence I’d just like to add, it was for dramatic effect!! And not because I fell into extreme business!
Training Churches, Min – Y – Don Feasts, Tears and Super Powers!!
Training church : First Encounter!
Our Training church was Evesham Baptist and what a joy it was to go there! We were welcomed in to the home of some church members. Our hosts introduced us to an amazingly fun Dutch game called slojen!
You have to slide discs down the board into some holes which are worth different points! I’d love to say I was a pro and won…but I’d be telling a lie! Jamaiko took the lead and had a natural talent for it…I placed last but I still thoroughly enjoyed it!
We had a wonderful dinner there and then were dropped to the youth group ‘JAM’d in’. We had great fun playing games and competing in brain teasers, which the teens were confessingly a lot better at than us!
The next day we enjoyed a lie in while the boys went to a men’s breakfast. Which they enjoyed far too much! (They bragged about how good it was all day!)
We then embarked on a historical walk around Evesham where we walked on the many footpaths and learnt about a brave man called Simon De Montfort! We had a really fantastic time and a brilliant guide!!
Later that day we were given the opportunity to spend more chilled and relaxed time with the youth at a movie and pizza night! It was great and I’m quite ashamed to say it was my first time watching Disney’s Up! The movie captivated me and it’s definitely a movie is recommend!
On our last day, a lovely Sunday morning we awoke appropriately to get to church on time, as it was only our first weekend with our training church they didn’t expect a lot from us, which helped us to relax alot.
We were given a slot in the service to introduce ourselves to the church and say a little bit about what we were doing and why we are doing action teams! However we did this with a bit of a twist! The pastor Ed, realised that we knew eachother quite well and infact well enough to introduce eachother!! So that’s just what we did! It was a good success and we met and bonded with a lot of the church members!
From a late Nicola!!
I thought I’d update you on my first two days at IMC! I arrived here quite late on Monday and settled into my room in IMC! I was obviously too excited to unpack and went down to greet the others in the lounge area.
After a catch up with some encounter 2′s (those who went to second week interviews in March!), I finally met my teammate Jamaiko!! We bonded immediately and were sure we’d get along great in the weeks to come!
Arriving a little bit later was Kathy! My roomie! So of course it was only right that I introduced her to our new headquarters for the next 4 weeks! I got to meet her mum and she was very lovely! I can’t wait to meet her again!
Last to arrive was Richard of course last but not least! He completed out Thai team and the tight bonding between us all began. Richard is also bunking with Jamaiko, so they got a bit of manly time to bond together!
I’m amazed at how God matched us so well!! Thankyou for that!
From an awestruck Nicola
พบกันไหม่ = “pop kan mai” = see (meet) you later!
Hey again it’s Nicola!!
The title kinda gives away the theme for today my goodness! It was so busy! From filling out visa forms to writing blogs to pub quizzes it was truly an exciting but busy day!
I started the day feeling a little poorly but God soon rid me of that and felt good enough to participate in the afternoon/evening activities!
The most memorable activity had to be finally getting to meet Bob and Charmaine for the first time! It was nice to meet them and chat about the experiences they have opened up for us to partake in! From working with hope home, to night light, to going to a conference in (I think ) Chiangmai!! Which we get a free T-shirt for!! (Free T-shirts are always good! )
We also had our team photos taken!! Of course we had to spritz up for them! Though…we aren’t allowed to see them until tomorrow (well today now)!
I feel like the team have really bonded today through games from yesterday also and going off to the local sainsburys in Selly Oak, I feel we are getting more like a family, I have no worries about going abroad with them I feel unbelievably blessed! Thankyou church for helping me gain this opportunity to meet them! I just know they’ll be friends for life!!
pop kan mai!! (please refer to prior post for translation!
ps- we found out we won’t be learning Thai but actually Burmese because we will be working with people on the Burmese boarder a lot of them speak Burmese alone! So I’ll be converting to Burmese goodbyes in the future!
From a sleepy Nicola!