Tonight’s family service looked at the holiday theme of ‘Home & Away’. We started with a treasure hunt for luggage labels on which were 24 facts about holiday destinations. (We aim to inform!)

1. Germans are the second largest beer consumers in the world, after the Irish, and in Bavaria, beer is considered a food, not a drink!
2. There are 3 main sorts of Belgian waffles.
3. Crete has the highest ratio of guns per person in the whole European Union. Although this is the case, Crete is still considered as one of the safest tourist destinations in the world.
4. There are over 2000 ports of call around our planet that cruise ships can visit.
5. Only 2% of Caribbean islands are inhabited. If you’re a loner, perhaps this is the place to go!
6. The history of the Caribbean has heavily influenced musical genres. Some of the more popular styles of music are reggae, calypso, reggaeton, salsa, (East Indian inspired) chutney & pan music. Pan music is made from steel tins or drums.
7. The Peak District National Park in Derbyshire was the first to open in the UK and the highest point in the Peak District is ‘Kinder Scout’ at 636 metres.
8. The North Bay Railway in Scarborough has what is believed to be the oldest operational diesel hydraulic locomotive in the world.
9. The UK is made up of over 1000 islands. Around 790 of these islands are located off shore from Scotland – most of these are within three main groups – the Hebrides, the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands. There are 291 inhabited islands in the UK.
10. The Lake District only has one lake (Bassenthwaite) – all the rest are waters (eg Coniston Water), meres (eg Windermere, Thirlmere) and tarns (eg Angle Tarn and Red Tarn).
11. The Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon, Portugal, is 17 kilometres long, making it the longest in Europe.
12. Spain is famous for inventing the beret, the mop and Chupa Chups lollipops!
13. Ireland is the only country in the world which has a musical instrument – the harp – as their national symbol. The oldest known harp in existence is housed in Trinity College, Dublin. It dates back from at least 1300.
14. The Giant’s Causeway, situated on the North East coast of Northern Ireland, is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.
15. The world’s largest emerald (2860 carat) is displayed in the Imperial Treasury of the Hofburg (Imperial Palace) in Vienna, Austria.
16. The orange colour of the soil in Ibiza comes from the tannin in the pine needles that fall from the island’s many pine trees.
17. According to its mythology, the island of Corfu was named after the nymph Kerkira (the Greek name of Corfu is Kerkira), daughter of Asopos, with whom Zeus fell in love and brought to this island.
18. Mount Everest was named after Welshman Sir George Everest from Gwernvale, Breconshire.
19. The Cornish Pasty is worth £150 million pounds a year to the Cornish economy. Holiday makers eat over 5 million of them: that’s an average of 13,500 a day.
20. Tuscany in Italy has more UNESCO World Heritage cultural sites than Argentina, Australia or South Africa, and just one fewer than Egypt.
21. Mayonnaise was invented in Menorca by the Duke de Richelieu in 1756.
22. France attracted 79.50 million foreign tourists in 2011, making it the most popular tourist destination in the world.
23. Outside of London, Edinburgh Castle is the most popular tourist destination for overseas visitors attracting more than 1.2 million each year.
24. The Isle of Man takes its name from MANANNAN, a sea-god in Norse mythology. He protects the island by shrouding the place with a cloak of mist to protect it from its enemies, according to legend.

Once those facts were revealed, the next task was to use the letters on the back of the labels to reveal a topical Bible verse.

Working on the answers:

The answer?
“Our citizenship is in heaven.” (Philippians 3:20 TNIV)