There is a lovely atmosphere of acceptance that is growing in the group; and it’s so great to hear the voices of the quieter girls; what courage it must take them!

The girls seemed to struggle to remember some parts of the Esther story we had looked at the previous week, so I spent a little more time re-capping.  Today we focussed on chapter 2; so much happens, so quickly!  I think this is where the ‘film strip’ idea will come into its own; helping us to focus on and remember the key points.

The ‘what is beauty’ activity provoked a lot of discussion; for some this was the first time they considered beauty as something  more than their outward appearance.

I’m noticing that the sessions are taking 2 hours each week….Feeling tired at the end, but exhilarated.  Praying God will continue to work in their hearts during the week.

Tuesday 13th Feb – spent today making individual cards for each of the girls

…really hope they arrive in time for Valentines Day…making them reminded me of King Xerxes and those individual goblets for his banquet guests that we read about in chapter 1 v 7…not sure the cards reached that level but each one was unique in its decoration and encouraging words!

God answered my prayer….

Really pleased with how the session went…wondering though if I did too much talking? Need to think about that…Thought the extra ‘You Tube’ clip I included about how children imagine God to look like went down well; it was so funny.  The girls engaged in all the activities; introducing each other worked well, great to hear the voices of the quieter girls…the Name Game activity proved a bit tough; all surprised at what ‘Donald’ means!  Special time just listening to ‘He knows my name’ by Francesca Battistelli; I invited the girls to think about some of the negative things they believe about themselves; to give them to God  and exchange them for the Truth of Who He is from what we had learnt today….

Hot chocolate and squirty cream went down well.

So touched at the end, one of the girls had brought me a bookmark with my Name and its meaning on it; how special is that!

 

 

Excited for next week!

Here’s some excerpts from my diary..(thought I’d share with you my journey of running my first Esther group at my church.)  Hope you enjoy it!

Weeks leading up to Esther….
Phew so relieved we’re running Esther on Sunday mornings; it was so tough trying to organise a mid-week day and time when the majority of girls would be free – this is just perfect!
Loved creating  a personalised card for each of the girls; posted them the week before Esther started…Friday before: Setting up was fun.. we chose purples, black and silver….

So thrilled Stacie has agreed to help me; she’s great!  A new Christian herself; closer in age to the girls than I am; full of energy, passion and love for Jesus.  I think our different life experiences will complement and bring so much more to the group.

Blessed with 8 girls; 3 are brand new to church; invited by parents/grandparents who are Christians and come to church! Love how God surprises and encourages me; I never imagined that He would use Esther for girls who don’t know Him (yet)!  So glad I took the time to visit one of the (non-church) girls at her home to talk more about Esther; it felt really important to explain how we would be looking at the Bible, praying as well as all doing other fab and fun activities.

21st Jan 2018 – Extra ‘getting to know you’ Week

It’s finally come; all that writing and preparation last year and God has made it happen!  Glad I’ve included an extra week; feels it’s so important to take time to get to know one another; especially for me as I don’t know the girls that well.

Loved that the girls  immediately noticed what we had done to the room and they so appreciated the hours it took for me and Stacie to put it altogether.  So touched by that.  Did lots of little activities; explained how the course would run, lovely, light atmosphere of acceptance and anticipation.  Good to hear from the girls what issues they think girls struggle with;

  1. Body Image
  2. Social media – posing/perfect follower ratio
  3. Feeling the need to hide behind a mask
  4. Bullying – popularity wins – (the less clever you are the more popular/seen as better than being clever)
  5. Academic ability – its competitive out there!

I knew we were doing okay as towards the end of the session the girls decided that a sleep over at my house would be a good idea – not so sure about that!!

28th Jan –Gutted; I’m ill; flu virus – I’ve contacted all the parents to let them know Esther is cancelled this week; got some lovely responses.  But I feel a bit anxious that a disruption will give some of the girls a reason not to come back! Trust and pray Angela!

 

For so many of our young people the journey through teenage years is increasingly difficult and many find themselves simply drifting into adult hood and struggling to find their place as a disciple of Jesus in a society where there are so few good role models for young people to look up to. Read more

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