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Lockdown Blog #4 - 6 Weeks In!



Welcome to Blog #4!

The sun is shining and I am sat in my home office, writing this blog to you with music playing in the background, thinking what shall I write about this time. The question that we are all still thinking is “When can leave our homes and return to normal?” Well, we are getting closer and, sad as I am, I enjoy watching the news and keeping up to date with current affairs. This week the government should be releasing the plans to get us all out of lockdown and to return to normal, whatever the ‘NEW’ normal is. So we will see what they come up with. At Catalyst Youth UK we have been busy coming up with new games and quizzes to play, and also preparing for Youth Alpha that we run each week on a Monday (if you are not joining us currently and would like to just drop us a line and we can give you all the details). I have also been doing home schooling with Brenden (my Son) and today (Wednesday) we’ve been looking at World War II, which I must say I enjoy as it's a subject that, for years, I have been interested in.  This week, on Friday 8th May, marks the 75th Anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe). A day in history that will forever be remembered. The day the whole of Europe celebrated as the war in Europe was over. Germany finally surrendered the day before on the 7th May 1945. General Alfred Jodl, representing the German High Command, signed the unconditional surrender of both east and west forces in Reims, France, which would take effect the following day, VE Day. “My dear friends, this is your hour. This is not victory of a party or of any class. It’s a victory of the great British nation as a whole... We will go hand and hand with them. Even if it is a hard struggle we will not be the ones who will fail.” Winston Churchill, VE Day Speech After nearly 6 long years the World War II in Europe is at an end, and soon after, on the 15th August, VJ Day (Victory over Japan) ending World War II. It is estimated 70-85 million people lost their lives, which is 3% of the worlds population as of 1940. So many lives were lost on both sides. This week we remember those who gave their lives and also those who had their lives changed by World War II. I can only imagine the feeling people felt around the world knowing that the war in Europe was over. I know it’s not much of a comparison but we will have a small sense of that when we are out of lockdown. When restrictions to our lives are lifted. As of writing this 29,427 people have died from Covid-19 in the UK, and world wide the total currently stands at 257,301. But that is looking at the negative side, which seems to be the only side the news outlets focus on. As the saying goes ‘Good news doesn’t sell’.

How about we look at some positive news?! World wide 1,999,389 people have recovered from this virus! That’s almost 2 million people. Everyday there are people recovering from Covid-19.

I watched a news clip today from BBC West and a Christian Lady from Yeovil (https://twitter.com/i/status/1257936830516924418) speaks of her faith and is singing her praises to God. It is so good to see, not only someone recovering from this virus, but also sharing her testimony of faith in God on the news! We are living in a world which has changed so much in the last 5 months. I can’t help but look to my own home, town and church and see how blessed I am. I have a wonderful family, a beautiful home, a town that’s pulling together and also a church, that not only is supporting its members daily, but is also continuing to pay me and keep me employed during this crisis. I am truly feeling Blessed by God. This week doing the rounds on social media is ‘The UK Blessing’.

A song that has gathered 65 churches and movements from across the UK to sing this blessing from Numbers 6:24-26: The Priestly Blessing 24 “The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26 The Lord turn his face towards you, and give you peace.” Its been watched 1.4 million times (currently) and it's actually the resource which I am sharing this week at the end of this blog entry. This song is so moving and it's great to see so many churches all across the UK joining in to bring us Hope and Blessings. No matter what is going on in our personal life, lets still give God our praise, our worship, our hearts and our lives. As we said in this weeks Youth Alpha recap video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5NNNkIkl3I&t=934s) God Loves You, You are Precious, You’re not Worthless, Jesus suffered for us, Jesus suffers with us.

The video ends with this simple message: Our buildings may be closed but the church is very much alive!

And it's true, the church is VERY MUCH ALIVE! Let’s celebrate Gods love and let's look to the positives all around us and remember the words said by Winston Churchill “Even if it is a hard struggle we will not be the ones who will fail.”

With Gods help we will get through this.


Stay Home and Stay Safe

Darren.

This week’s resource... Video: The UK Blessing Can be found: YouTube About: The Blessing UK — At this unique and challenging time in the United Kingdom over 65 churches and movements, representing hundreds of others, have come together online to sing a blessing over our land. Standing together as one, our desire is that this song will fill you with hope and encourage you.  But the church is not simply singing a blessing, each day we're looking to practically be a blessing. Many of the churches included in this song have assisted with supplying over 400,000 meals to the most vulnerable and isolated in our nation since COVID-19 lockdown began. This alongside phone calls to the isolated, pharmacy delivery drops and hot meals to the NHS frontline hospital staff.

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