Nicola's blog

“ What an amazing week! ”

Wednesday, 21st November 2012 - 17:17

 Take up your cross and follow me.     

Last week being part of  Prayspace was one of the most fulfilling things I have done for a long time.  However, it was also one of the most exhausting and challenging ones!

Rushing between Prayspace at Howard Middle School and the five middle schools that I run Rock Solid in was quite a feat and yet I found myself drawn back each day when I could easily have said ‘no’.

Getting down on my knees and talking to children whilst they drew a family member to say a prayer for and hang on the Family Tree prayer station was genuinely moving at times.  Children sharing about their family situations:

Some whose grandparents were ill, or having an operation. 

Some who shared a small house with numerous brothers and sisters, sometimes with an absent father.

One girl who didn’t have much time to do anything for herself because she had to care for her mother.

The stories go on ….

I found myself wanting to be there for lunch time knowing that children were coming back in their own free time, hungry for that quiet time, or a listening ear.

Several conversations stick in my mind.  The one I had with a girl about her granny who was having an operation that day.  She wrote a prayer on the back of her picture, I read it and said “amen”.  Then I explained what amen means and how I agreed with her prayer.  She beamed back at me almost in reassurance that God had heard our prayers.

Another girl (who I talked to over several days) asked “why is there suffering and pain” - something that for her was a very real life experience.  I was able to talk to her about the story of Adam and Eve and how God gave us free choice.  She later wrote a card saying “Why do people choose to do bad things”. 

The most interesting person I spoke to was a girl who initially wanted nothing to do with any of the prayer stations.  I’ll call her Jane.  She was totally disinterested.  “You could think of something to write on the hearts you’d like to say thank you for” I said.  “No” was her reply.  “There must be something you are thankful for? “ “No!” said Jane.   “Aren’t you thankful that you don’t have to sleep on the streets?”  “No”.  What about water?  “I don’t like water!”  Her face hardened.  I had to think quickly! ….“But whatever you drink it still has water in it”.  The conversation continued…  Eventually, we got talking about her dog and she agreed to draw a picture.  She was proving to be a real toughy.  You really got to feel that life for her wasn’t that great.  We chatted more. 

She and her friend told me about how they were always hurting each other. They showed me their bruises and laughed.  Could it be that for them it was quite normal to push and be pushed?  I talked to them about how friends shouldn’t do things like that to each other, or in fact to anyone else.  It almost seemed as if they didn’t know that what they were doing to each other was wrong in any way.  I told them that it wasn’t very nice to hurt each other and that they should say sorry to each other.  They sort of looked at each other and laughed.  By the end of the session Jane seemed relaxed and was participating in other prayer stations. 

The thing that blessed me the most was that Jane came back at break time.  “Nicola, could you help me do a sorry card?”  She wanted to say sorry to her Grandad who had died last year.  I said “you don’t need to say sorry for that – it wasn’t your fault.”  She replied: “No but I was always really mean to him and used to push him around and poke him”.  She was quite serious and thoughtful. 

It was such a privilege to watch her write “Sorry Grandad” as I talked to her about how she could say sorry to God and that I was sure her Grandad would know.

These are just a few of the children that I spoke to.  It is wonderful to know that God hears the prayers of every one of these children.  Please join us in praying that they will see their heartfelt and genuine prayers answered by our wonderful and faithful God and that their answers will be the beginning of a journey of faith.

 

Find all the pictures from the week on our Facebook pages.

Watch the tour of Prayspace here