Spreading Hope across Milton Keynes

AN ARMY of 135 young people from 23 churches joined in the second year of a mammoth mission event in Milton Keynes.

The 11 to 18-year-olds found themselves doing social action projects from gardening and litter picking to praying for people across the city during Hope MK in the autumn half term.

Breakfast was available at 8.15am with the days starting at 9.30am with teaching, worship, prayer and preparation throughout the mornings ready for the work in the afternoons.

The Revd Ricky Rew, Youth Minister at Spurgeon Baptist Church, led the ecumenical project with 60 volunteers. Another 30 adults were enlisted to cook and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Community teams were sent to social action projects, running activities for younger children, baking cakes and biscuits, and making and delivering food parcels. Some young people were sent to pray for people while others did litter picks, gardening, washing windows and getting to know residents in sheltered accommodation. Others travelled around the city on buses, offering to pray for people they got into conversation with.

On the final afternoon the teams were each given £50 and told to go and bless people and be generous with it. Some were challenged to buy something small then swap it for something of greater value, continuing to trade-up until they had something we could use to bless people with. One team ended up with a dress worth £90. Last year a team was given a donation of a £1,950 wedding dress that was given to a bride to be.

When they returned each day, dinner would be served and they would share stories and pray for the people they had met while they were working.

The week ended with a fun afternoon of activities with inflatables, sumo wrestling, video games and a presentation of the Gospel.

It was the second year that Hope MK had taken place in the Autumn half term, following the event proving a resounding success in 2013. The majority of participants were aged 11 to 14, with those aged 16 to 17 recruited as young leaders.

Ricky said Hope MK will take place again in 2015 and hopes that churches and other organisations will come forward with ideas for new projects. He said: “If churches have a project they would like to run in their area, and maybethey have never had the people to do it before, we can provide a team of about 10 youngsters.”
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