When Simon asked me to come on the Voice residential as a Junior Leader I felt immediately excited and knew this was something God was calling me to do. I had previously been on the 2014 residential which I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing God on a whole new level and this year I was excited to see God move throughout the week.
The theme of the week was ‘I have this hope’ and I found Robin’s teachings (Define sessions) on hope very eye opening giving me a fresh insight into what following Jesus is all about. We were all put into small groups where, every morning and after each Define session, we met to talk about God, what we had learned from the session and to study the song lyrics as well as praying together. It was so nice to get to know all the members of my small group.
One thing I was nervous about was making friends and getting to know people better; I already knew some people but not very well. I came with my friend Charlotte who I met on the 2014 residential and together we got to know so many lovely people through our small group sessions, being part of the junior leader team, sitting with different people at meal times and playing games in the evening. It was amazing to see God blossoming so many friendships amongst everyone!
As a junior leader, I got the opportunity to lead a dance workshop as part of the activities afternoon on the Wednesday, also consisting of a song writing workshop and art workshop, which was somewhat daunting. It was such a great opportunity that brought me out of my comfort zone and made me rely on God even more. It was lovely to see the participants interpreting a bible verse into movements. I also got the opportunity to dance to the orchestra improvisations around ‘How Deep the Fathers Love for Us.’ Initially I had choreographed a short sequence to the first verse however due to the nature of the performance I decided to abandon it and let the Holy Spirit guide me through my dancing. I improvised just like the orchestra and that was one of the first times I had really felt the Holy Spirit working within me; it was truly powerful! I was so thankful for the opportunity to use my gifts for God.
On the final night, we had our fancy dress party; the theme being ‘under the sea.’ It was great to see so many imaginative costumes and to have a night to share memories of the past week. The week concluded with a concert at the Grand theatre in Clitheroe. It was evident God was present in the concert and, as a result, many hearts were touched. The Voice residential 2018 was an incredible experience where I made friends for life and went deeper in my relationship with God.