So what is the Blaze Team Weekend Away?  In a nutshell, an awesome time spent in each other’s company and in God’s presence having fun and getting to know each other a bit better.  We were yet again blessed with stunning May weather, and the sun shone on our time together.

Who are we?  We are some of the Blaze Team leaders hanging out together away from the distractions of life, looking to get to know each other a bit better so we can be the best team we can, and to spend time seeking God and finding out His plan for the awesome Blaze children.

We arrived at West Watch on the Friday evening and spent the evening cooking supper, chatting, having a time of worship and, ultimately, silliness.  I can’t speak for the ladies, but there was a good bit of healthy silliness in the men’s bedroom at bedtime.

Early Saturday morning I found a quiet corner of the garden and spent a bit of time reading before breakfast.  West Watch has lovely gardens that overlook part of the Ashdown Forest, and there were several of us dotted around the gardens enjoying the birdsong and bluebells, and simply just spending a bit of time being quiet.

After breakfast together, the mighty Simon and Gwen Elliot arrived for a Q&A session.  The first question – who is your favourite superhero, and why – taught us that Simon’s was Dangermouse, and Gwen’s, Elastagirl; who knew?  There were more serious questions, and it was a blessing to spend such a great time with two of our leaders, and to pray for them; we have great Church leaders, and we really do cherish them all.

There was coffee and donuts, and just sitting and chatting in the sun getting to know each other just a little bit better.  Some Blaze leaders were there for the whole weekend, some came and went, and some were greatly missed.

We spent Saturday afternoon playing games, talking about Blaze, listening to new kids songs, and drinking tea and eating chocolate – what a great weekend!  In the evening we had a Murder Mystery dinner, and the sight of Mike Levy in a dress, wig and full make-up is something that simply cannot be un-seen…  And of course, more games, a campfire, and silliness before bedtime.

Sunday morning we visited Hillsong in Tonbridge, and it was great to have a little insight into their approach to working with children.  The sermon was based on Galations 5:16-26, the fruits of the Spirit, and we were blessed; we managed to fill a complete row with the Blaze Team – we rock!  Huge thanks to Hillsong for their very warm welcome.

And then, sadly, it was all over…

So upon reflection, what did I get out of the weekend?  I got to spend some quality time with some fantastic and mighty people who have a passion for Jesus, for serving and for seeing the children grow spiritually to become more like Jesus.  I spent time reading God’s word and seeking Him in a way that is so easily lost in the business of life.  And I got to make towers out of marshmallows and spaghetti, drink coffee, eat chocolate and hang out with some truly awesome people who are a bit like Jesus and trying to become more so.