Josie Rogers
Carroty Wood 2018

After 5 long years since the last time I had visited Carroty Wood, I arrived on Friday evening with plenty of memories from my own time as a youth there; seeing God move powerfully in my own life and in my friends' lives. I was certainly expectant and excited to be able to be a part of what God would do this time around! My expectancy points to an amazing truth; Carroty Wood comes and goes in our Church diary every year and might very well be forgotten by those of us who don't have a child (and of course bin bag of dirty clothes) being delivered back to them after the weekend, but every year God is faithful to us in meeting with our young people. For that, He should receive all glory and praise!

So what do we have to praise Him for this year?

First off, we were incredibly blessed to have Jed and Emma Cowley join us from Jubilee Church, East Grinstead. From the start, and even before in the preparation, they were fully with us; not content to simply turn up and give a talk, they gave us their all and in that demonstrated to Impact real Christlikeness. Our theme for this Carroty Wood was love in action, and we couldn’t have asked for better examples of Jesus' servant-hearted love being displayed to our youth and our team so actively.  They also built us up with their gift of prophecy, both bringing words to specific people and again teaching us about the caring attention of God to his children.

Indeed, God's readiness to speak into the lives of everyone there was something that really stood out to me throughout the weekend. It's one of the great joys of bringing the youth away for the weekend that we can create those spaces for God to speak which are so often limited by the business of life. We were also really helped in this by Megan (Saunders) and Ashleigh, who lead us fantastically well in worship throughout the weekend – big thanks to them! It was in these worship and response times that the growth of the youth and the power working in them was so evident. Being in a room filled with the songs, raps, prayers, and responses of our youth to their King was the greatest privilege for me.

Of course, we also have to praise Him for all the fun that was had: games played, swamps conquered, cake gobbled, and greatest of all – the high ropes leap of faith completed (a first for me!). All fuelled by Kinga's faultless, 5-star cooking!

I could go on (and on and on), but instead can I suggest that you wander over that invisible border to where our youth can normally be found sitting on a Sunday morning, and ask them 'What did God show you about his love at Carroty Wood this year?' – I promise you they'll have some great answers!