Sunday, November 11, 2012

Outreach Update

Hey guys,

I am so sorry that I haven't updated in ages; I have not had computer access in about a month. I will catch up when I return to London later this week. I will eventually post the update from the team time in Glasgow, Scotland, but for now, here is an update that my roommate, Laura, wrote about the team time in Northern Ireland and Ireland:

Our team’s time on outreach has just flown by!  We are currently in Newcastle, England and preparing to head back to London in a few days.  But before we go back, we want to tell you all about our time in Rostrever, Northern Ireland and Cork, Ireland.

We travelled from Glasgow, Scotland to Northern Ireland and had quite the adventure.  The trip involved busses and a ferry, and unfortunately many of our team members experienced some seasickness on the ship.  The ferry was quite posh with shopping and many seating areas, and those of us who were not ill enjoyed the trip.  By the time we arrived at the YWAM base, An Cuan, in Northern Ireland we were so relieved!  It was a long travel day and so great to make it to our final destination.

We did not know what to expect for out time at the base, but were excited to stand beside the team there and support them in whatever they needed.  Our time in Rostrever was much more relaxed than both Glasgow and Cardiff and was a welcome change of pace for the team.  We spent hours praying, for Rostrever, for Northern Ireland and Ireland to unite, and for God to move in the area.

There is a YWAM team called Fire and Fragrance from the Hawaii base who moved to Northern Ireland and is committed to the area.  We participated in many of their prayer and worship meetings, and Laura and Valaurie even lead one, which included communion.  It was a great time listening for God’s voice, and supporting the people and the area in prayer.

One day our team split up into two groups and went out to love the people of Rostrever.   One team went to a nursing home and spoke with residents and some sang songs for them.  The residents enjoyed the conversations and one woman even recommended finding an Irish husband by winking at the men on the streets!  The other team prayed, walked through the neighbourhood and spoke with the people they met along the way.  Seeing the area and the river was a great introduction to the city for them.

There is a large rock on a nearby mountain used by Druids for worship and there are many myths and legends surrounding the rock.  We walked up the hill as a team and had a time of praise, worship and prayer.  There is something special about being in a place where you can see the entire area, even the Republic of Ireland, and praising God and pleading for His change to come over the area.

Many on the team really enjoyed being on the mountain and climbed even higher two other days as a group.  They found the experience to be amazing.  It was muddy, exhausting and everyone came back with wet and muddy feet, but said it was well worth it.  After forty minutes of climbing you can see two countries, two coasts and find God’s splendour clearly displayed.

Part of the base’s priority is to reach out to their immediate community.  We helped in this by picking up rubbish from the streets while praying for the area and a group of us even went to a small pub one night!  We spoke with the people at the pub and enjoyed the traditional Irish music by local musicians.

The base hosts two worship nights during the week.  We attended two as a team and all clearly felt the presence of God.  Elizabeth shared her testimony with the people in attendance and encouraged many in their own relationship with God.  Beth, Jason, Mats and Rora (me) led worship the night our entire team lead the weekday service.  We set up stations throughout the room where people could wash their hands in order to come to God with clean hands and pure hearts, an art table, communion and prayer.  It was an amazing time for us as a team, and also for those who attended.

Part of our mission while on the base was to bless the people who live there.  We painted the apartment of a family on staff, a bedroom for the incoming discipleship training school students (DTS), deep cleaned the kitchen and even made a large batch of applesauce for the DTS students to enjoy with their breakfasts!

After what felt like a much too short week in Northern Ireland we got on the bus and headed to Cork in the Republic of Ireland.  We had to make the adjustment from Pounds to Euros and to gas heaters from radiators in the church we stayed in!

Our goal in Cork was to bless the church.  The church has been in existence for decades, but is struggling right now.  We spent days painting the front of the church building to make it more inviting.  We combined our painting with evangelism and gave out much Christian literature and even a few Bibles.  Many who passed by on the sidewalk stopped to talk and encourage us in our painting, as they said they really appreciated the new look.

While at the church we blew a fuse which took almost 24 hours for our lights to come back.  We were extremely thankful for the gas heaters as we spent an evening crowded around them and talking.  We shared our most embarrassing moments of dts, our favourites, what we have learned and other funny stories from our time together.  Our night of no power turned out to be one of our favourite nights of our entire dts!

Our team lead the entire Sunday morning worship service for the congregation.  Everyone pitched in and it was well received. The people in the Masks drama performed, showing the people that we as Christians sometimes hide behind a mask rather than showing our true feelings and fears.

The Sunday morning service was so great we invited the congregation back for a special Monday evening service, extremely similar to the one we hosted in Rostrever.  Those who attended, along with the team, had a beautiful time with God.

The church hosts a monthly prayer meeting we joined in on.  We were all encouraged by the percentage of the congregation in attendance and their obvious love for their city and for God.  We left confident that God is going to move through that church and the people of Cork will feel the love of God through His people.

Upon leaving Cork we embarked on a 24 hour journey back to England, our home country!  More on that to come...

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