A lot of CSSM can be summed up by two verses: “Run with endurance the race before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2) and “Be bold and strong for the Lord your God is with you” (Joshua 1:9). CSSM this was year was blessed. Because God was on our side.
While CSSM only lasts a week for the kids that come along, the journey to CSSM for the team is a longer one, with some preparations starting as early as November the year before. As a team, we met regularly to worship, look ahead, plan and train together, to make sure we could put on the best week we could. Through all the preparations, we were conscious of focusing on God, remembering that He was the reason we put all that work in. When things were difficult for us, it helped us to fix our eyes on Jesus, and remember that the God who helps us is the same God who helped Peter the disciple walk on water as long as he kept his focus right.
Our goal at CSSM is that in all our teaching, in all our conversations, in all the games and fun, that the amazing message of the Good News of Jesus would be right at the forefront. So to make sure that those basic building blocks of our faith – who Jesus is, what He did, and what it means for us – were at the forefront of our mind throughout the week, we met every morning as a team at Knockbreda Parish before the children arrived to study the Gospel of Mark, worship and pray together.
So many good things happened during CSSM. God drew together a large team of people, God equipped us with everything we needed to know, God provided for us in terms of donations to cover the costs of the mission and the practicalities of feeding so many people, and God called people to pray for us.
But most importantly, God made sure that around 350 children and young people showed up throughout the week, He kept them all safe, and he made sure that those who came along engaged with why we were there. Through the worship, talks, games, and time in small groups, children got to know God better, and it was an amazing privilege to be a part of that.
There are so many people that we as a team want to thank – those that prayed for us, those that cooked, or who gave food or money for the mission, the churches for all their support, the parents / grandparents/friends /neighbours for bringing kids and young people along, Scripture Union, but most of all we want to thank God for making it all work.
Neil and Helen