Thursday, 27 March 2014

March 2014 - Barton Camp

Yes, with the promise of Spring in the air, it was time for our annual ‘Away Weekend.’  This year over 70 of us from Grace Community Church, Porthcawl, set out for a special time of blessing.


It was an easy drive to North Somerset, where Barton Camp is set high on a hill top, far from any floods. With the beautiful farm lands all around us, snowdrops and daffodils in bloom, and yes, glorious sunshine after the long wet winter, I for one felt we were like Jesus’ disciples when he called them up into a mountain.


 Those disciples, of course, had left their own families at home, whereas here we were, one big family, from one month old Baby Heidi to some real oldies like me. There were plenty of offers to hold the baby, help with the little ones and join with the older children in the sports hall to kick a ball around or play on the swings. Oh yes, and on Saturday afternoon, an opportunity for the young mums to go into Weston for yet more shopping.


But we had come apart to meet with Jesus, and for our special times there was a large circular room, warm and airy.


We were self catering, so much preparation had gone on beforehand, but everyone was delegated into a team and all took their turn willingly and happily. Ross’s extra hot curry may have been challenging, but in all the meals and the snacks in between were excellent.


But we had come for more than this daily food, and were ready to be challenged concerning our spiritual life and growth. I may have been let off the kitchen rota, but none of us dare evade this spiritual challenge, to get out of the rut we may be in and to go on in our pursuit of God.


A special feature of these away weekends is ‘Grace Has Talent.’ This made for some light hearted entertainment for Friday evening, especially as we have some up and coming magicians among our Kids Club members. But there was a song one of our little girls had courage to sing for us which touched my heart. I’m sure we were all amazed at the volume and joy with which Dee’s little granddaughter regaled us.


 ‘A whole new world.

 A dazzling place I never knew

But when I’m way up here

It’s crystal clear

That now I’m in  a whole new world with you.’        


 Somehow it summed up for me the joy we have in our relationship with Jesus, a joy which is able to make each day new and wonderful as we continue to walk and climb with him.


I am so glad that God never gives up on us, but continually challenges us to seek him with our whole hearts.