Introducing cricket to Malawians, occupying vast numbers of local youth in an Easter Holiday Club, welcoming Lynne’s successor and accommodating families here on their Easter holiday break – and what’s more, we won the National Adventure Awards for canoeing and kayaking!!
Just another average month in the life of Min y Don. Read on for more exciting adventures of the Min y Don Team in this jam-packed April edition of Min y Don News.
Not getting this into your email inbox? You're missing out on what 185 other people are getting for free each month! Sign Up Now
The Adventure Awards. We won!
It's official: Min y Don is the best place in the UK to come for Kayaking & Canoeing! We are the 2019 winners of The Adventure Awards Best Kayaking/Canoeing Experience.
We are enormously grateful to every one of you who voted for us as we certainly could not have done this without your help.
This accolade will be a help to us in our marketing and promotional work with all our groups, especially schools, so now you can look forward to seeing what it is about paddlesports on the Mawddach that makes it such a winner.
Lots of credit to our staff team of course, as any location for an activity is really only as good as the Instructors running the session. They work extremely hard and deserve the recognition this award has brought to us at Min y Don – Well done Team, and thanks again to you all for your support.
We (Pete, Joe & Jacob) were very privileged to be introduced first hand to the work of the Starfish Malawi Team as they work incredibly hard to enable residents of the Salima District to manage education, Bible teaching, health awareness, children’s clubs, food production and vocational training.
They state that their mission is to “reduce extreme poverty and build the kingdom of God in the lives of children, through collaborative work within the communities, schools and churches in the UK and in Malawi”. We were able to see first-hand these objectives being lived out as we toured round with the Starfish Team visiting the various aspects of the work they are involved with.
Accommodated at the Starfish base; The Waterfalls Centre, we helped to introduce sports and games to large groups of children & their leaders in a variety of locations, ranging from the Glad Tidings Centre for Orphan Care to primary and secondary schools and church-run children’s clubs based in various locations. It was not uncommon to have over one hundred youngsters come and join us anytime we set up equipment or began organising any games. Relays and parachute games, games of skittle ball were all popular but we were particularly pleased that the Kwik Cricket sets we took with us (so that we could teach the finest of all sports), went down so incredibly well.
Considering it is a sport they’d never heard of, there is most definitely a lot of natural talent – we’re hoping to see Malawi win the world cup in about twenty years’ time when all these youngsters emerge as leading lights in the game. The minute we got going, local children would flock in from the surrounding villages and join in the fun. There’s so much to tell, and limited space in this newsletter, but we want to express our sincere gratitude to Starfish and to everyone who prayed for us and supported us before and during our time out there. We are thankful that as a Centre we can make a contribution to a work such as this. Our horizons were broadened; we were given opportunities to rely more on God, and we now have a closer affinity with those working over there who give of themselves every day so that others will benefit from a work that clearly makes a considerable difference.
Youthwork & Holiday Club
Back at base Susie, Bethany and the rest of the Team were working extremely hard to both provide refreshments for the many who visit the market stalls in Tywyn on Easter Monday and then for the rest of the week ran a holiday club at the church for over thirty local youth who also attend the younger youth club that meets during term time on Friday evenings. Never a dull moment!
Run all day, with lunch provided, the Club focused on the theme of ‘Unique’ with their key verse being, “We are God’s Masterpiece”.
Talks were based around self-worth and confidence but led to the fact that God loves each person so much that He died for them. Knowing He loves us and asking Him to be our friend helps us to be more confident in who we are. The days were full and busy with worship, games, art & craft and a scavenger hunt around the town.
Please pray that the building of relationships leads to more children coming to know Jesus for themselves.
The month began with two primary schools from Shropshire and from Leicestershire respectively. Then it was time for the popular weeks for families enjoying an aster break.
Many families who have been here before plus some new folks too sampled our range of activities plus the usual excursions to Fairbourne and Barmouth. We enjoyed talks and lots of opportunities to hang out together or get some peace – the phrase ‘Activity & Adventure - Rest & Relaxation’ which has been associated with Min y Don for so long, still holds true and was very much in evidence as this Easter week unfolded.
We were blessed that many guests like to book immediately for next year, even before they head off from this year’s holiday. There are still some places left for Easter 2020 but early booking is highly recommended. You can head straight to our website, or give us a call or email and we’ll get it all sorted for you.
Other bookings this month include a youth group (long-standing visitors) from Aberystwyth, a day group from a Church in Chester and a 'House-party' group led by Maureen Galloway, our friend, who for many years has brought groups from Italy to Min y Don.
Avid readers of Min y Don News will know that our long-serving (and long-suffering) Housekeeper Lynne retired this month. She was grateful for the messages of support that were sent to her and is now enjoying traveling the country with her husband in their camper van, no doubt geo-caching every area she hasn’t had chance to cover until now.
We are delighted to introduce you to Dianne who is already working hard to fill Lynne’s shoes. Although it’s a tough act to follow, we know Dianne will be a great asset to the Min y Don Team. You can look forward to meeting her when you next visit.
We’re working our way through applications for summer team and for our longer term places and interviewing right now, so your prayers are valued that we’ll find the people we need and Min y Don will be right for them too.
And finally ….because we know it’s not a full Min y Don Newsletter without it…..
- Chris achieved a personal best and a fantastic 16th place in the famous ‘Goldrush Trail Run’ at Coed y Brenin Forest. Over 200 runners took place in this gruelling 8.5 mile run through tough terrain. Other supreme athletes on the Min y Don Team ate bacon sandwiches and cheered him on. (By the way Chris - please remember to meet the work experience lad off the train. Thanks)
- Rachel became the proud owner of a wooden tortoise.
- That German girl is still eating the cakes.
- Joe, Jacob and Pete had ‘ball landing in a fire’ and ‘ball landing in a toilet’ as reasons for a halt in play in their Malawian cricket session.
- Joe’s 21st birthday saw 120 + Malawian children plus teachers surround him in a somewhat menacing fashion to sing ‘happy Birthday’.
- Pete played a game of ‘catch the frogs’ using only plastic cups – another new sport introduced to the people of Malawi.
- A Unicorn robot mascot called Rose has been created (see Holiday Club for details)
- Sadly Pete didn’t get to do any dentistry.
- Joe’s dad and brothers welcomed us in true ‘Security Guard’ fashion when we arrived back at Heathrow.
- Jacob had to concede that custard creams are in fact a superior biscuit to Bourbons.
Thank you again to all of you who so faithfully support and encourage us. We look forward to being back again next month with more news of Min y Don adventures.
With love from Susie & Pete
and all the team here at Min y Don