Impact Youth Ministry exist to share the way of Jesus with our friends and family, to show them His love and to grow passionate followers of God who seek to worship Him with their whole lives.
Dear friends and family of Impact Youth,
Yesterday evening I arrived home from the Isle of Wight after spending an amazing weekend with YPF. Next week in the blog I’ll say a bit about what we did and how God spoke to us along with some pictures. For this week, I thought it was important to share the next blog from Dan Chadder who is out working with refugees in Calais. I 100% believe that God answers the prayers of His people, and there is so much we need to pray about for the people living in Calais at the moment, so please read the post below and remember them in your prayers.
Week 4 – Volunteer thoughts on the Eviction – 29.10.16
The situation in Calais has hit the headlines again, particularly in the past few days. Sunday night was more peaceful than the average night in the jungle. On most nights, the media is silent – not on this one, the night before the eviction. A report to create drama, maybe to fit a pre-determined discourse. There have been countless moments when reading media accounts that I have been blown away by the sheer inaccuracy of reports, whether intentional or simply carelessness. In particular, the premature media reports that the operation was complete were, although based on the Calais prefecture’s statement, totally bizarre and something presumably hard to get so embarrassingly wrong! I helped to do some salvaging on Friday, and saw that the camp was not yet cleared. There are still approximately 1500 young people left in the containers, which are now full. More people, even now, continue to arrive.
I hope to present facts from an impartial perspective – although of course, no account can be wholly impartial. Only 15 volunteers were allowed into camp during eviction, those most experienced, and I was not one of them. So I will try my best to express my thoughts based largely on volunteer accounts of those who have been on salvage, food distribution or fire prevention duties.
Day 1 of eviction (24.10.16) was relatively peaceful. Eviction of containers began at 7am, but was not completed by the end of the day, which was the plan. Food distribution was successful. A handful of smaller fires blazed, but all were contained – nothing major. Day 2 was a similar story in terms of low levels of fire and violence. However, by Day 3, fires were becoming more frequent, and harder to contain. Eventually a larger fire blazed, and the main street was left completely burnt down. The fire was too dangerous, and a code black was called meaning that all volunteers were pulled out. No one was hurt and Volunteers returned later. Rather unbelievably, the French Fire Service had 5 trucks on site, but needed instruction from our fire team as to how to use the fire hydrant. At least no one was seriously hurt, and people were fed well throughout the eviction. I have heard generally positive accounts from the accommodation centres, but still some negative. But mainly…no information. There is uncertainty over the actual numbers of people that are in these new accommodation centres, but it’s supposedly between 5000 and 6000 people.
A constant frustration for both refugees and volunteers has been one of mis-information due to poor organisation. The planning for the eviction was rushed. More help from L’Auberge, and those organisations actually on the ground every single day, should have been requested. But then knowledge from volunteers is apparently unofficial and illegitimate. Some results of this mis-information are:
- Registration confusion i.e. when, where, overly-long queues. Random arrests of children who did not have the chance to get registered – about 150 kids are still unregistered.
- Confusion over buses – many unaware that buses continued until 8pm on Wednesday, followed by news that no more buses would come.
- Children generally not knowing where to go – many having to sleep under motorway bridges or on streets for multiple nights since the containers are full. Places that they could have slept in had been demolished.
Food distribution is more vital than ever now, and more intensive – 3 meals need to be cooked instead of just 1. This is because the large majority of people that are left are vulnerable children who are dependent on meals cooked by volunteers – they cannot provide food for themselves. The authorities have essentially dumped them in the containers, with no thought for provisions – they have even turned water supplies off. Again, volunteers are filling a void which should be provided by the state.
So, what can you do. You can write to your local MP at www.writetothem.com. You can source your information on the situation from the ‘Refugee Info Bus’ on Twitter – very accurate and up-to-date. Also ‘Help refugees’ on Facebook is good.
Impact youth this week:
Football (year 10-13) – Monday 7th of November
Football is on this week with the usual gang. Come along from 6 till 7!
Where: St. Clement Danes Astroturf
When: 6:00 – 7:00 pm
This is a joint venture with St. Andrews Church. We’re currently running just one pitch, for young people in year 8 and up. It’s a great place to run off some extra energy, build friendships and encourage each other.
Going Deeper (year 6-9) – Tuesday 8th of November
Going Deeper is back up and running this week! We’ll be having all the usual fun, some seminars, and our interns will be battling it our to avoid an end of term gunging! Hope you can join!
Where: Christ Church – The Junction
When: 6.30pm – 8.00pm
Going Deeper is a great place to catch up with friends, make new ones, hang out, and meet with Jesus!
YPF (year 10-13) at The Junction – Wednesday 9th of November
This week YPF is in the Junction. Join us for games, worship, and the bible.
When: 7.30 – 9.30pm
YPF are a big, fun group of young people who love God. We meet in 4 life groups every other week in order to go deeper with God in friendship with one another. If you’re not sure which group you are in or where to go, give Simon a ring on: 07910 406456.
Rock Solid – Sunday 13th of November
Rock Solid are going to the All Age service this week run, lead by our Children’s Minister Holly Draper.
Where: In Church
Rock Solid normally meet Sunday mornings during the 10.30 service. Rock Solid is designed to be fun, to nurture friendships and to help young people own their faith and grow in it.
Church & Café Fusion – Sunday 13th of November
It’s remembrance Sunday this week. Really hope you can join us!
We say it… and we mean it. If you only have time to make it to one Impact Youth event in the week, come to church followed by Café Fusion on Sunday night. Hope to see you there.
Where: Christ Church
When: Service starts at 6.30 pm. Café Fusion is after the evening service, 7.45 – 8.45.
This is a great place to catch up with each other before you start the week.