Steve and Ainsley Apirana in Gravesend
During their first concert back in Europe the Apirana Circuit Riders team met an inspired youth leader in a multi-cultural melting pot in the UK.
As written by Ian...
The leader of the youth group, Wanda Barnard who was the kindest and most people oriented person who I ever met took care of us while we stayed there. At night we slept at a very kind and an amazing host family. They were very nice and it was a pleasure to meet with them. Next day after saying goodbye to the family we went on sightseeing with Wanda. For first we visited the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara what is the one of the biggest Sikh Gurdwara in Europe.
We went into an old church what wasn't used as a church anymore but as a musicians practice room. We met with great people there who played music for us and Steve had also the possibility to try the electronic guitar. We saw a little event which was organized for the memory of the Second World War. We had so much fun that day. In the end the Bridge builders team had a picnic with Wanda, on a little hill in Gravesend where we had a great view to the town and the sea. After the picnic Wanda took us back to our car and we said goodbye to her. On the way back home we were all very tired and a little bit sad that we had to leave such a beautiful place behind. If I'd have to describe this travel in one world than I would say it was magnificent. The concert couldn't be better than it was, the kids were really lovely, and I can't be happier that I had the opportunity to meet with such a good people like Wanda and the host family. Gravesend was also an amazing place. I hope that someday I'll get back there.
What an amazing time we had with our kind, generous, knowledgeable and wise host. Wanda fed us according to our various dietary requirements, gave us a very special tour of her city (among them a visit to the very beautiful Pocahontas statue, and the Marketplace of 1263, still used today), and introduced us to her youth group where we shared a little of our music and stories and encouraged her young people to do the same. This is a thriving multicultural community which brings healing, inspiration, strength and support to young people growing up in often difficult circumstances, in a city fraught with poverty. The church community is strong in Gravesend, with the churches across the city working together several times each year to put on community events, bringing the gospel to life in a very real way.