I am here with the final team newsletter from our time on outreach! Here is the team newsletter about Newcastle, England:
Where we last left off, we had left Cork and were headed to Newcastle.
We left Cork at 5pm on Tuesday afternoon, knowing it would be about 24
hours until we arrived in Newcastle. God provided remarkably for our
team during this time of travel. We stopped in Belfast at 2am and our
next bus was not to leave until 6am. Since we were not on an overnight
bus, we were not allowed in a bus station. Thankfully, there was a
24hour McDonald’s within walking distance. We trudged through the rain
with our considerable amount of luggage only to arrive at an overcrowded
dining room filled with drunken University students in Halloween
costume. Through prayer, Mats’s quick thinking, and the blessing of God,
our team was actually given the entire second floor of McDonald’s all
to ourselves. At 5am, we left for the bus station to
continue our journey with three more buses and a ferry.
eventful hours later, we arrived, tired, sleep-deprived and in desperate
need of showers in Newcastle. Here we met our new housemates. During
our time in Newcastle, we lived in a YWAM house with four guys from the
Netherlands, England and Norway. Life with these four men was never
dull. It was quite different from our base in London, but we always felt
welcomed and wanted by these new brothers.
The Newcastle YWAM team
organized a large evangelism event called The God Story. Our main
purpose in Newcastle was to promote the event and to participate in it
as the drama team. Unbeknownst to the Discipleship Training School (DTS)
students, our first activity in Newcastle was to be a faith day. A
faith day is a day where all eight of us left the house at 10:30am with
no money and no food and were told not to return until 9pm. Before
leaving we prayed for direction from God and left the house in total
faith that He would direct the day. When we left, we felt God tell us to
turn right and this was the first of many vague and confusing
To describe this day in detail would take many pages,
but in short, God provided what we needed right when we needed it. For
example, one of the team members felt the effects of low blood sugar and
within five minutes of seeking God’s help, He directed us to a Catholic
church, where we were given coffee and biscuits.
Not only did God
provide, but He also blessed our team unexpectedly. Late in the
afternoon, when we were cold and discouraged, we headed to St.
Nicholas’s Cathedral, a beautiful Anglican church, to rest. We were
sitting and writing notes of encouragement to hand out on the street
later that evening, when a choir started practicing for a Requiem Mass
in honor of All Souls Day. We stayed for the service and while none of
us are from the Anglican tradition, our spirits were rejuvenated by a
time of worship in such a beautiful place.
After the service, we went
back into the city to hand out our notes of encouragement. By 8pm we
were exhausted and hungry and not looking forward to the hour walk home.
One of our team members felt called to ask for a free bus ride home.
While not all of us were convinced, we supported and encouraged her and
stood faithfully by the bus stop as she stepped courageously onto the
bus to make the request. Our prayers were obvious when, to our surprise
and delight, the bus driver said yes before she had even finished asking
her question. The eight of us happily ran onto the bus, climbed up to
the top, and collapsed into bus seats for an enjoyable ride home. When
we got home, it was really fun to share all that God had done with our
leaders and discuss all that He had taught us. We also enjoyed eating
our £2 kebabs.
The next week of our time was spent in drama practice
and flyering, handing out flyers to advertise The God Story. The plan
was to perform the drama to the Lifehouse song, Everything, on the
Friday night of the event and to perform a drama called The Clincher,
one we had never seen before, on Saturday night. We partnered with a
team from the Netherlands for our time handing out flyers in the City
Centre. All together we passed out about 15,000 flyers and had the
opportunity to speak with many people about God.
This is the first
time The God Story was held outside of the Netherlands, and we were
excited to be a part of it. The first night about 150 young people
attended for a night of music, dancing, rapping and our drama. The first
half of the evening is primarily entertainment, and the second half,
introduced by our drama, is a serious and clear representation of Christ
and the Gospel. At the end of the evening, at least 25 young people
made a decision for Christ.
The following evening, after a full day
of flyering, the event started as expected. About 80 young people were
there enjoying some games and music when all of a sudden the fire alarm
went off. Everyone evacuated, with or without jackets, into the cool
night, to the assembly point at the next block. The team’s prayers were
answered when we were allowed back in about 30 minutes later, roughly
the same number of people re-entered the building. We continued the
evening with little change. The night ended with 10 more young people
committing their lives to Christ.
Our whole team was encouraged and
thankful to participate in such a powerful event. Acting in dramas on
stage was a very new experience for many of us. Yet, we found our nerves
give way to true worship of God while acting. Both dramas were well
received and many commented on how powerful they were.
Our last day
of outreach was spent as a day of remembrance and honour of what God has
done in all of our lives during this DTS. We started the day in
praising God for all He had done, the things He has taught us and how He
moved. We ended our day with special team time. One team member would
sit in the centre of a circle and the other members would share what
they love and appreciate about them as well as words of encouragement
Our two months of outreach have come and gone
faster than we can believe. We have seen God move in incredible and
unexpected ways and we have grown even closer as a team. As we are
preparing to return to London, and looking ahead to our futures, we will
never forget the lessons learned over these months or the family
members we have gained along the way. Thank you for your continued
prayer and support. Please continue to pray as we say some difficult
goodbyes and trust God for our next steps.