The Noise is a yearly youth mission event that has happened every October Half term for the last four years. Young people from Churches across the city of Worcester gather together to worship, do community projects, learn together and eat lots of pizza!
Here’s what happened this year:
At around 9am on Saturday the 27th October, young people and their youth leaders gathered at a farm just outside Worcester. Everyone signed in and put their bags in their army style tents; they were long, green, made of canvas material and had bunk beds inside.
We split into four teams and got to work on the farm. By day, the farm is part of the Good Soil Project - a charity that provides therapeutic, land based activities to support struggling and marginalised people.
One team, the team I co-lead, painted posts ready to be put into the carpark. The second team did planting, the next raked leaves and the final team separated a pig pen and chopped down some trees. Throughout the day we alternated projects as we shivered and sipped on hot drinks. I was really proud of the young people on my team, they worked so hard, laughed a lot and worked so well as a team.
Everyone chilled out for a bit before a banquet of a dinner; pasta, burgers, hot dogs, salad!
Next up was our evening celebration. Around a crackling fire, we worshipped and we heard a talk on courage by one of the city’s ministers. Then it was my turn to stand up, and I told my testimony for the first time. I wish I had kept to my notes a little more, but I got the message that I wanted to send across, and I had quite a few young people come up to me afterwards, telling me that my story had touched them, and thanked me for sharing.
That evening was really nice; the young people played card games, chatted around the bonfire, watched colourful fireworks, before going to bed at around 11:30pm
It was a really cold night! I slept in two sleeping bags, leggings, pyjama bottoms, two long sleeve tops, two hoodies, a thick coat as a duvet, two blankets and three pairs of socks!… I still fell asleep shivering!
In the morning, after sausage sandwiches for breakfast, the young people signed up for a project. The choices were: collecting food donations from Asda, taking it to Food Bank and stacking shelves there, cleaning up a local park and building bird boxes, cooking and serving lunch for elderly people at a local church, and street evangelism. All teams were also given £10 (nicknamed, ‘the £10 challenge’) to do whatever we wanted with to benefit someone else.
I was project leader for the ‘seniors lunch’ project. I’m not very good at authority or being the leader, so it was challenging! But I feel like I did well in delegating, supervising and time managing. The team got the food out on time and it looked delicious! We had lots left over, so two of the girls took food packages to the homeless around Worcester. Two other girls sang and played the piano, and others played games with our guests.
Once we were all tidied up, we headed for the city centre to spend our £10. We also had some chocolates left over, so we offered them to passers by, and we had juice left over, which we gave to 2 homeless people. One homeless man asked if he could share the juice with his friends. It was so humbling and inspiring to see a man who had almost nothing want to share the little that he did have.
With the £10, the team decided to buy a Costa Coffee voucher and we have it to a homeless man, as well as one of the young people praying for him.
Once everyone was finished their projects, we headed to a church in the city. The young people had an hour or so to reunite with their friends and tell the stories of the day, play cards, chat, laugh and rest, before thirty extra large dominoes pizza arrived, almost all of which were devoured!
Following this, we went upstairs to worship together, I led two ice breaker games, we heard an inspiring talk about fear, some courageous young people got up and shared highlights, and then it was time for everyone to go home!
This year’s Noise was very different for me. I’ve gone to the Noise since it first started four years ago. But then, I was there as a young person. I excitably signed up for projects, stepped out in faith to evangelise on the streets, worshipped and danced with my friends, played games. This year I led projects, stepped out of my comfort zone to tell my testimony and to lead games, I hung out with a different group of friends, and I watched as the young people learnt, grew, worshipped and served. I left The Noise feeling lots of things: cold, exhausted, proud of myself, thankful for leaders who had encouraged me and challenged me, thankful for new friendships, reflective about old friendships, thankful for new leadership opportunities and being trusted with that, and proud of the young people.
Find out more about The Noise and see more pictures here
Find out more about The Good Soil Project here
Thanks for reading!