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25 January 2016

Spring Harvest 2016: changing the game

Spring Harvest 2016: changing the game

This blog was first published by Spring Harvest – a teaching and worship event for everybody. Spring Harvest are featuring everyday game changers in the lead up to the event this Easter. You can find out more about Game Changers and Spring Harvest 2016 here.

Beth Milburn

I first went to Spring Harvest when I was 13 and loved it so much that I have continued to go ever since. I find the teaching so encouraging as well as worshipping God alongside so many other young people.

In particular, the year when the theme was based around 'church' was perfect timing for me. God addressed and healed my misconceptions and frustrations with church and inspired me to go back with a new found love and commitment to the little local church of my childhood.

Spring Harvest has consistently inspired me to believe that I'm not too young to make a difference and that God is interested in the whole of human existence and this should affect how I live.

During my first year of university, I organised a campaign called Put Thirst First (PTF). The petition called on the UK government to keep its promises regarding the provision of clean drinking water for people in the developing world. Supported by Tearfund Rhythms, I formed a prayer group, ran stands on my campus and used social media to raise awareness and collect signatures for a petition. People really got on board and supported the idea that we could do something about it. Within a few months we had collected 1,653 signatures and in a meeting with the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development at Westminster, I presented the petition and discussed the issues.

Since PTF, I've continued to be a keen supporter of Tearfund as well as a 'youth ambassador' for the ONE campaign, an international campaigning and advocacy organisation focused on global poverty. Since graduating, I've been working for a Christian development organisation in Brussels which I'm really excited about.

I'm driven by the knowledge that many people want to make a difference but just need to be reminded that 'they can' and are given the opportunity. I loved seeing how people considered PTF as their own and were so pleased to be able to do something. I believe that God's heart for justice and for the poor lives in all of us and as Christians, it's important to answer the Biblical call for justice and advocacy as in Proverbs 31:8.

Game changers need the support of others and should be able to articulate their vision in a way that inspires others to join in. They also need to think practically and translate hope into action with a confidence and determination to pursue all possible steps. Being a game changer requires a cheerful optimism that says: 'I believe we can make a difference, so let's give it a go….join me'!