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Scripture Union holidays are life-changing. In the North East and Yorkshire region we have a great selection of regional holidays. One such holiday is Breakthrough, which once again this year took place at Green Gables Hotel in Scarborough.
But it's not only the lives of the young people that are impacted! Here are the comments from a first-time leader at Breakthrough written on Facebook shortly after the holiday and reproduced here with kind permission:
It seems that most of the Breakthrough youngsters are making lists of what they learned from our 4 days in Scarborough! I'm quite tempted to make one - who says that leaders are exempt from this?!? - but instead, I'll write a note.
Where do I begin? I first heard of SU and Breakthrough sometime in October, when I was at Clare's house with a psychology textbook and a block of cheese (revision-and-food session - I'm not entirely sure how much revision got done that evening...). She told me that she was planning to go, I asked her what on earth Breakthrough was, and she told me. It sounded interesting, certainly, so she forwarded me the Facebook invite. When I got back to my house, I read, thought 'hmm, maybe,' and went to bed. A week or so later, I thought 'yes, I'll go for it', and began applying. In mid-November I sent off my application, in early December I sent off my CRB, and ten days before I was due to leave, I finally bought my ticket from London to Scarborough.
8 hours after leaving my parents' home in London, there I was on the station platform at Scarborough. There I met David and Helen, and soon we were at Green Gables where I met the rest of the team. It seemed that almost everyone knew each other, but for some reason that didn't feel awkward at all. Two hours later I knew most people's names, had clarified that I'm not a morning person, and been likened to a pet animal. It was a great evening getting to know everybpdy, and by the time I went to bed I did feel like one of the team. So thanks guys!
Next day - arrival of the youngsters! Being on coffee bar was great because I could meet people straight away - another disadvantage of having not been on an SU event before was that I didn't know any of the youngsters! But that day, and over meals and activities, I did get to know the young people. I'd once worked at a camp before where I'd essentially been there for crowd control, so Breakthrough was so wonderfully different! The youngsters I spoke to made me laugh, we chatted like friends, and we could have more serious discussions. You're all just amazing people, it was great getting to know you all!
So, just what did I learn?
There're the 'less serious' things, like how hard it is to fit your feet into Postman Pat roller skates, how emotionally attached one can get to the Gingerbread Man, that there are most certainly shining turtles in Heaven, that marriage proposals can happen anywhere, that parents should discourage their children from playing with chainsaws, how long it can take for Chinese lanterns to burn and how hot your fingers get while waiting, that cake at 4 in the morning is the best thing on earth, that teeth glow in UV light, just how hard it is to walk in a straight line while blindfolded, how worryingly good some of the male leaders look in sparkly tops, how terrible I am at Mario Kart, and many other moments that I'll recall later and add here.
There're quite a few serious things too. How accepting people my age and young people can be, to leaders and to each other. That sometimes a moment of stillness is needed to understand, that other times things become clearer through discussion. That things can be unclear without being disheartening. That God's love is always there, that friendship shows this. That people can feel close to God through ways that I wouldn't consider, but that's beautiful too. That we can have different traditions, different upbringings, different views, and yet all identify as Christian.
The 4 days-3 nights-2 years (in the presence of one awesome God!) has given me a lot to consider, a lot to rethink, and so much to be thankful for.
So Lord, I thank you for bringing me to Breakthrough, for making me feel so accepted by a wonderful team, and for broadening my mind through amazing young people. Thank you for the love, Yours and that of my new friends. May I never forget that You are in my life, that things happen for reasons that I don't always understand, but may I continue to trust in and follow You.
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