Esgyn… Mission to a New Generation!

2024 was a unique year for President Tim Moody and others at the Baptist Union of Wales, as a vision birthed in prayer for many years became reality. In February 2024, the first youth weekend organized by the BUW was launched by a bilingual team formed from across South Wales, under the name of ‘Esgyn’. (English: Ascend)

As we hear reports of (what could be) the beginnings of a spiritual shift in different parts of the UK – especially among Gen Z and younger generations, it is timely to share how we have seen God at work among young people in our midst. Tim Moody gives us a glimpse here of what that first Esgyn weekend looked like in February, and how God was at work…

In the Welsh valleys resides a residential activity centre, known as the Rock Summit Centre, and this brilliant venue played host to the first (of many we pray) Esgyn weekends.

Esgyn was built upon the belief that God wants to do something intentional amongst the young people of this nation, using the words of God to Moses in the burning bush as inspiration – “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” (Ex 3:12-15).

Believing God was very much at work in this generation, a small core team set about launching Esgyn. Voices from across Wales (in both Welsh and English) contributed to the vision, which led to us welcoming 32 young people from as far as Pembrokeshire to the mountains (!) of South Wales for the weekend. And what a weekend we had. 

On Saturday we enjoyed 6 hours of activities, including climbing on one of the UK’s largest climbing walls, archery, high ropes and crate stacking, these activities gave the young people a chance to experience some things they have never done before and also allowed them to learn to work as a team. Whilst the activities were a tremendous amount of fun, they also helped break down some of the barriers young people often feel when mixing with new people. 

‘More and more voices were added to the worship as the weekend went on…’

The true value of the activities was seen in the times we gathered together for the meetings. The first meeting on Friday was understandably a little awkward, but as the weekend went on and the young people got to know one another, it was amazing to see God working in this generation. The meeting times included an interview with one of the team (including one of the instructors from the Summit Center), and an interview through the medium of Welsh. There was a time of worship, again conducted bilingually where possible, and the change in the young people was maybe most clearly seen here as more and more voices added to the worship as the weekend went on. 

There was also a short message in each meeting, looking at Peter walking on water, and encouraging the young people to consider how they can ‘fix their eyes on Jesus’, ‘Know He is there immediately’, and see they ‘have their own faith walk to walk’. 

Evenings included hot chocolate, movies, board games, and, depending on which room you were in, some sleep! In between all of this, there was time to watch some rugby, play some football, and enjoy a collection of other team games. 

Since Esgyn, we have heard stories of how those who came have engaged with their own faith journey, looking at how they can be involved in church, attend more youth events, and even consider baptism. 

God is at work in this generation and we believe Esgyn provides a way for us to engage with them, walk with them and show them Jesus in all His Glory. 

‘God is at work in this generation.’

We very much hope that the Esgyn weekend in February will be the first of many to come, and that Esgyn will be a blessing to many of the young people in our churches. The next Esgyn gathering will be at the Momentum conference on 8th of June, joined by BMS World Mission. To find out more about Momentum, head to: Momentum 2024 – The Baptist Union of Wales (buw.wales)

To find out more about Esgyn and stay tuned to the latest news and updates, you can follow Esgyn’s Instagram page here: Esgyn (@esgynyouth) • Instagram photos and videos (you can also find us on Facebook).

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