I spent last week in Portrush on the Glenmanus GO team. Team members were Stephen “Jonny” McCollum (formerly known as Stephen McCollum-Cullybackey), Amanda Moffett, Claire Wilson, Charlotte Hyndman, Amy & Catherine Morrison and Emmeline & Erin McCollum. We all arrived at the Manse on Saturday night and were shown the leaflet we would be giving out:
The team then went on a short walk where we came across Samuel’s other car, hidden in the street across from the manse!
Then the boys went to Norman and Nancy McCollum’s – best GO team hosts ever! You kinda get the feeling that it’s going to be a good week when you spend the last hour of the Saturday night being bounced up on a trampoline in the dark while constantly giggling, and playing trampoline Duck, Duck, Goose :) On Sabbath morning we had French toast for breakfast. That started an unbroken trend of warm breakfasts, which also included bacon, scrambled eggs, freshly made muffins, freshly made pancakes (chocolate chip – amazing!) and a fry on the last day! Sounds good, eh girls?! After morning worship there was a congregational lunch (apparently only camp get the traditional Glenmanus hot dogs, but we had salad which was still good actually!) and then an open air service on the grass above the West Strand. Others in the Presbytery came along to support the GO team and congregation.
Then the team went back to the manse. Andrew & Brian Blackburn and Leslie came too, and after discovering that all 4 Presbyteries were represented on the team, Andrew promptly invented the game ‘Presbyteries’ and fired RP trivia questions at us for about an hour solid. His favourite type of question was ‘Name [insert number] elders in [insert congregation]’. In the interests of telling the whole story, I suppose it should be stated that I completely wiped the floor with the rest of them (not wanting to blow my own horn or anything), and in the process picked up the first and only yellow card ever to be handed out in the short history of the game. Then we had tea and evening worship, followed by a final HBC planning meeting, where health and safity regulations reached new extremes.
On Monday morning (after set quiet time in manse – good stuff!) we started giving out The Anchor. After lunch we had the first of our team Bible studies – an ABCD on Joshua. The heatwave was back on in force so we did it outside. I also finally met the famous Matt & Heidi Filbert as they walked past just before we started. Titus just moved in next door to them – man, I’m so jealous!! We spent the rest of the afternoon getting set up for the ‘Kidorama’ Holiday Bible Club. The team’s duties at the club were organising the games and doing the Memory Verses – but before we could worry about that the grass had to be cut!
After the HBC we headed down the road to New Horizon. We missed the start of John Piper, but managed to get seats in one of the overflow tents – they’ve changed them about this year, so we could actually see the man himself in real life!! He was fantastic for the half hour or so we heard (make sure and buy the CDs!) He disappeared right at the end however – no photo!! Nooooooooooooooooooo!!
Tuesday followed a pretty similar pattern to Monday. Glenmanus have their own photographer dude called Clifford, who took a few (hundred!) snaps of the first two nights of the HBC. Here are a few:
After the club, the whole team went back to Norman and Nancy’s house. First of all we played in their new paddling pool (so big it’s basically a swimming pool, with a filter than continually cleans the water and stuff). Me and Jonny had been wanting to go in it the whole time in the heat, now however it was a cold evening! But as I told Jonny, you only live once, so we all got in (eventually!).
Then we had a BBQ for marshmallows (or ‘marshmellows’ in the local dialect – see also Chicago, Lasagne…) and smores.
Then we went inside and played a few games. After the girls left for the manse, me and Stephen played chess (Bishop J. C. Ryle and all that), where I killed his king using my pawn. Just thinking, can’t believe I forgot about the easy chant!
On Wednesday we gave out the remaining leaflets. Me and Jonny ended up basically in Portstewart before we ran out, well into County Londonderry!!
In the afternoon we had an open air Psalm sing (117C, 19, 1, 23) (doing the thing where you talk about Creation showing there is a God, and singing the first half of Psalm 19, and then saying that we need the Bible to tell us how to get to Heaven and singing the 2nd part – great!) over at the harbour. After it, we gave out leaflets to the people sitting about.
At night, me and J looked at some old photos of the McCollum kids – I had to take a photo of this one as Reuben and Nathaniel look so angelic! Just like real life! ;)
On Thursday morning we did some door to door work, asking people if they’d read the leaflet and what they thought of it and stuff. Not many good conversations. In the afternoon we had another psalm sing in the same place as Wednesday’s, and then came back and started blowing up happy balloons to give to the children at the end of the HBC (thursday was the last night of it). We got sloppy joes for tea!! (from Nancy). However before tea a rather solemn event occurred – having given out 3,000 leaflets emblazoned with the question ‘Will YOUR anchor hold?’, we finally snapped…
After the kids had all went home, there was ice cream for the helpers:
On the last day, after little sleep (mainly because of a long discussion in which me, Jonny and Emmaline discussed world dominion plans based around his dad) we met at the manse for our last study on Joshua. We then went round and prayed each for each other for what we were doing in the future and went and played rounders (sound familiar?!). Incidentally, Jonny is on the Dirty Ballymena Academy ‘C’U Committee for next year and wants prayer as he seeks to introduce the Bible into CU! (Emmaline is on the Coleraine High one and wants to introduce Psalms, but Jonny isn’t being so adventurous!) He’s been told that they tried having Bible studies once, but they stopped them because nobody came! Anyway, here’s the children’s game of rounders (or the sport of BASEBALL! to my American readers) (as Philip spent 2 years trying to explain to them in Cyprus):
Then it was on to Barry’s to spend the 2 bags of tokens that Nancy had very kindly given us that morning!
Then we went to Morelli’s for tea:
Then we went on a walk and came back for ice cream!
Then we went home. What a week! Emmaline informed us on the Saturday night that no-one had ever come back on a Glenmanus GO team (and they’d had 3 previous ones before we came!) but I really don’t see why! Barrels of fun all round!! And getting to help the congregation with their outreach at the same time!
Thanks to the many of you who were praying for us, it was really appreciated. No team is going to run well without God answering prayer. Continue to pray that the work done will bear fruit in God’s time, and that people will come to church, hear God’s Word preached and be saved.
Thanks to Stephen/Jonny for a lot of the photos