Wednesday, December 30, 2015

open eyes, open hands

Today marks three weeks of being in Puerto Rico, of traveling the island in our four-van caravan, of visiting churches, schools, rehabilitation centers, public parks and squares, and even the beach and the rain forest!

One of the things that God has been teaching me while I have been here is to open my eyes to see the beautiful things that He is putting in each of my days. We are on outreach, which means that we are prepared to give up the comforts of our lives in London. However, the people of Puerto Rico have such generous hearts that they keep taking care of us in unexpected ways, whether it is through donations of clothing and flip flops or through feeding all thirty of us the traditional Puerto Rican meal of chicken or pork, rice, and beans. 

Puerto Ricans also love to get to know new people. Even as I was just in the queue at Starbucks, a man read the name on my cup and starting asking what I was doing and telling me about his life as a chef on the other side of the island. Evangelism is much different than it is in London, because people love to stop and chat for a while, and we leave with new friends. When we spent a week at a church in Caguas, a city near San Juan, the people of the church all came around to check on us and make sure that we had everything that we needed. The women all wanted the chance to cook for us, and they were upset when they didn't have a turn!

This is a culture of extremes, and while a lot of the people here go to church on Sundays, they often do not carry that into their weekday lives. It is heavy on our hearts to inspire the people of Puerto Rico to commit to Christ, to fall in love with Him and to pursue Him with their lives, rather than to go to church on Sunday and live the rest of their weeks in their own ways. Puerto Ricans have passion and perseverance that we desperately need in this battle that we fight to bring God's Kingdom to Earth. I believe that, as God stirs more of their hearts, and as we pray for them to commit their lives to Him and what He calls them to, we will see more Puerto Ricans being sent to bring nations back to the feet of the King.

There is only one more day left in 2015, and I am so glad that I will get to spend it here, looking back on the miracles that God has done, on the places that He has led our team to visit, on the ways that He has provided unexpectedly, and on the challenges that He has led us through. And I look forward to spending 2016 doing the same: meeting new people, traveling to different places, and following God.

 The musicians and drummers singing worship songs on the streets of Bayamon.

 Luis, a man that I spoke to for a long time in Bayamon. He sees evidence of God in creation and captures it in words.

A little girl in a school in Caguas who didn't want to dance, but was keen to learn photography instead.

 Christian speaking at a church in Carolina.

 The dancers and musicians at a Christmas festival in Cayey.

 The ferry from Culebra, an island off the coast of Puerto Rico.

Old San Juan

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

across the waters

Early tomorrow morning, we leave for Puerto Rico. It has been a week of packing, preparing our arts, and tying up the loose ends that come from putting our London lives on hold for six weeks so that we can go and give everything that we have in Puerto Rico.

This outreach will be six weeks of using arts to reach people for Jesus, whether those arts are in the streets, in churches, or in schools. I do not have a full picture yet of what it looks like, but I am excited to see God use us in the lives of non-Christians and Christians alike. I've also heard of the incredible warmth and generosity of Puerto Ricans, and after living for over three years with a team leader who is Puerto Rican, I am looking forward to seeing his homeland.

A week ago, we had an exhibition in Notting Hill that gave us a chance to show our community what we have been creating over the past three and a half months. There were live music and dancing as well as fashion, visual arts, and photography on display. We had a lot of people come who have encountered us in these past months, whether through the homeless dinner club that we run out of the church, or through various evangelism events (or just through us living our lives in our neighbourhood) around the city.

It is always odd to pause everything to go on outreach, but at the same time, it still amazes me that God gives us the opportunity to travel around the world for Him. We get to live in so many different cultures that I never dreamt of experiencing for myself. And while I am excited to be in dollars again and to go to shops that I grew up with, I also know that Puerto Rico, my first Caribbean experience, will be different from anywhere I've gone before. I believe that God has special things in store for this outreach - encounters with people who will bless me, and people whose lives I will hopefully get to speak into, seeing His hand across the island, and seeing our discipleship training students reach out to invest what they've learned in this time.

And as usual, I expect to have lots of photographs and videos to show you when I return!

Carrie, our photography students, and me

Our photographs on display

Erin explaining some of the artwork to some of our friends

A discussion over a tree that one of the students sculpted.
The dancers performing

The guys performing a cover from Mumford and Sons

Sunday, November 15, 2015

new reasons to wonder

It's the season of the year in which we constantly clean the leaves out of the garden (despite not actually having any trees - where do the leaves always come from?), when we press in deep with the Discipleship Training School teachings and turn our eyes to outreach. In a few weeks, the whole team leaves for six weeks of outreach in Puerto Rico. While there, we will use our arts to tell people about Jesus and His love for them. We will be staying at the YWAM base there, which is still a new base, and going to various churches, as well. After outreach, I will visit my parents in the States for a week, as well!

This time of preparation for outreach has led to me trying my hand at videos several times. It's an area in which I've felt God prodding me, encouraging me to move forward, so I've picked up my camera (and my iPhone, let's be honest), and tried to capture pictures that move. It seems like a small leap from photography to video, but it makes me think a lot more of the over-arching message, of the story that encompasses a day or an event of a moment, instead of focusing on the details and split seconds. It makes you think in motion, in movement of light and noise, and to see more broadly than photos alone.

Here are two videos that I've made this month. The first is of the practical time that we have every day to do our art in the church. We spend hours all creating together to prepare for outreach, so it is a glimpse into our everyday life. And yes, that is me getting beaten up in stage combat.

This second video is one that I made by doing two-second clips of video every day for seven weeks. It shows more fully my life (or at least, the funny or beautiful moments of it) for the past seven weeks.

And with that, I just have to say, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then I've just shown you hundreds of thousands. This is my longest blog post yet!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

so we gather

Every year since I joined the arts ministry here in London (and for several years before that), we have hosted the International Arts Gathering, a time when Christian artists from around Europe (and around the world!) can come together to discuss the role of artists in society and to get to know what each other is doing. We host the Gathering to come against the competition and comparison that is inherent in artists, and to build connections with each other.

This year, the Gathering moved from London to Berlin, and we moved with it! We spent six days co-hosting the event with YWAM Berlin, and there were over 40 people from 16 different nations involved in the event. I got to help organise everything, so by the time the Arts Gathering began, I was quite excited to get to meet the people with whom I had been corresponding for several months.

It always surprises me how much I can do art, and do art for God's glory, without thinking about my role as an artist on a global level. Lately, God has been challenging me to see the purpose in the arts, which are the tools He has put in my hands so that I can do my part of the work of bringing His Kingdom here. The refugee situation is the current event that is heavily on my heart these days, and while I can see why government workers, social workers, and healthcare workers are greatly needed to help the situation of the people from the Middle East seeking refuge in Europe, I find it harder to see where an artist is needed. But God has impressed on my heart the importance of the gifts that He has given me. As an artist, I am prone to comparison. But as God's child, I am told that I am unique, and that the gifts given me are intentional and given so that I can glorify my Father.

There are so many people using the arts around Europe in order to reach people, to put out media and entertainment that glorifies God, and to help train and disciple artists. I met several of them in Berlin a few weeks ago, and I saw their determination to use their arts to grow God's Kingdom. We walked along the Berlin Wall together and looked at the graffiti there; we ate kebabs and mulled over the entanglements of our nations and cities, we worshiped and discussed and dreamt together.

And we did it all together because we are co-labourers, siblings, and friends who were given similar gifts with which to fight. I do believe God is asking us to fight, to be intentional, and to speak with the different voices that He gave us. Now is not a time to be silent, whether God has given you the ability to build, to listen deeply, to organise chaos, to teach children, to cook, or even to do art.

We have a voice, we have tools, and we have a society that needs to hear what our Father has given us to say. And so we gather. And so we fight. And so we live.

 The London team that went to the Gathering in Berlin (minus me, because I took the photo)

Carrissa, a photography student, running through the Holocaust Memorial

 With the girls at the Holocaust Memorial

 One of the sessions of the Gathering




 The participants of the Gathering

Elin saying goodbye to Charity, our friend from YWAM Berlin

The video Andres, our videographer, made (and which I helped film)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

living outrageously

Last week, I won a contest that I had not entered. As events transpired, somebody who won could not go and asked if I'd like to, and when I agreed, the tickets were posted to my address, and I got to attend the RadioTimes Festival for free. The tickets that I received were for the Call the Midwife talk, and as it is one of my favourite shows, I was terribly excited.

Then I became nervous.

You see, I have been praying for the actors, writers, and producers of Call the Midwife for quite some time. And I realised that the very actresses I had been praying for would be at the event, as would the producer and head writer, for whom I also pray. I knew that I could not let the opportunity given me go to waste, so I prayed for them, received Bible verses, and due to a lack of notecards, wrote the verses on the back of 35mm film prints that I'd taken around my area of London in the past year.

Micah, the other actress on the team, accompanied me to the event in Hampton Court, which is the first time we'd been out of London since May. We wandered around the Palace grounds in the autumn sunlight and prayed that God would give us opportunities to speak to these actors and creatives, and that He would tell us what to say. However, when we eventually entered the marquee for the talk, and I saw that there were several hundred people, I thought that I would not get to talk to the cast. Quite a large part of me was relieved, and when they announced that there would be a book signing at the end of the event and Micah nudged me saying, "We have to go! You brought Bible verses for them!," I immediately grew nervous again.

The part that surprised me most was by who showed up at the signing. The talk was given by Dame Pippa Harris (producer), Heidi Thomas (creator and show writer), and two of the actresses, Jenny Agutter and Emerald Fennel. However, my favourite actor, Stephen McGann (he plays Dr. Turner for those familiar with the show) was not meant to be there. So when we queued for the book signing and he strode over and sat down, I was rather surprised. He is the one I've prayed for the most, and I hadn't expected him to be there. I hadn't made him a card or anything. When we went through the queue and explained to Heidi what we were doing and that I prayed for them, she was surprised and asked us questions, then wrote on a card to me that she was praying for me in return. Stephen asked if I prayed for him as well, and when I said that I did, he was very touched. He even offered to take a selfie with me, which quickly became my Facebook profile picture. I explained to him more of what I prayed for him, and then Micah and I managed to collect ourselves and headed back into London.

It has taken several days for me to wrap my mind around the favour of God in my life. Just a few weeks before, Micah and I had been wondering how God would use us to influence the area of television, which is an area we are passionate about. We pray for actors regularly and try to keep up with what is happening in British television, because God has placed it on our hearts. Then God gave us an opportunity to speak to the very people that we pray for, and we could see the way that God is working in some of their hearts, making them receptive to hear what He has to say. We don't understand what God's plan is for us in this area of society, and God has proven that He doesn't work in ways that we understand. But He is faithful, and we have surrendered our passion for acting, theatre, television, film, etc, back to Him to use as He wants to use it.

It is always an adventure, this life that we live. I never really know what will come next, and I think God delights in that. His blessings aren't something that I deserve. They aren't anything I can take for granted. Sometimes His favour and blessings don't look as exciting as free tickets to see a talk on my favourite tv programme. Sometimes they are in dealing with difficult people, in having to patiently wait for the desires of my heart, in frustrating situations with banks and visas and flight tickets. But they are all a part of His plan, and I've told Him that He can have His way.

Last week, His way was in speaking His truth to some of my favourites in the television industry.

And this week?

I'm looking forward to finding out.

 Micah and me with our free tickets!

 Various free things given us at the festival.

 The Festival was held on Hampton Court Green, across the road from the Palace.

 The panel at the talk, with (L-R),  the interviewer, Dame Pippa Harris, Heidi Thomas, Jenny Agutter, and Emerald Fennel.

 Hampton Court is beautiful.

 The palace on the river

 This was my first time seeing Henry VIII's Palace!

Stephen McGann (my favourite English actor!) and myself.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

building out of the ruins

Last week was Notting Hill Carnival 2015, and for ten days before that, we had the seventh annual Bones Camp. It was my fourth Bones and Carnival this year, and I must say, I enjoyed this year more than any of the previous years. Not only did I begin to pray and intercede for the Carnival and camp beforehand, but God also helped me take my hands of control off more, so I was able to enjoy instead of constantly trying to make sure that everything was completed at the assigned time.

Bones Camp is the biggest outreach that our team hosts every year, and it is a twelve day camp for Christians around the world to come and prepare Notting Hill for Carnival. We do daily evangelism and worship times, and we all (over one hundred of us this year!) live in the church together. We also prepare the float and costumes, music, circus skills, theatre, and media for the two days of Notting Hill Carnival, which is the second largest Carnival in the world. The church that the team always works out of is right in the middle of Notting Hill, which means that we are right in the centre of the Carnival. We don't even have to leave our block to see over a million people at Carnival.

Bones is always the hardest part of the year for me, because we work nightly on constructing the float and costumes until 1 or 2 am (or later), we live all together in a church without regular showers, and because we have to fight spiritually against the enemy who knows that we are in Notting Hill to take ground back for God's Kingdom. However, I have always found that I go out of Bones differently than I entered. God uses it to squeeze bits out of me that need to be gotten rid of in order for me to show more of His glory.

One of my favourite parts of Bones this year was getting to have deep conversations with so many people, campers and members of the Notting Hill public alike. I'm not fond of superficial conversations, and this year, I had the opportunity to talk quite deeply to others about what God is doing in their lives and about the joy of having an intimate relationship with Jesus. I love how open people are to talking at Carnival. It is the easiest weekend of the year to talk to Londoners, because they come to Carnival seeking connections with others.

This year was different than previous Carnivals, because instead of doing a parade, we stayed on our block and hosted block parties for the people who came by. We built a massive eagle whose wings took at least four people to hold each one. We had two amazing DJs (one of whom was a Christian rapper), incredible drummers, and stilt walkers to grab the attention of the crowd. As they came to our block party, we handed them slips of paper with God's promises for their lives written upon them. Those started many conversations with people, because they rarely hear that they are loved, that there are bright plans for their futures, that God is near them.

Carnival felt different this year, as well, because it felt as if we owned the land more. We have been investing in Notting Hill since long before I came to London, and this year, we stayed on the land God had given us, and we declared His truth there. Even the constables present on the blocks around us knew who we were. Every year of Bones, I see more of God's presence. This year, I saw it in the compassion on the faces of the Bones participants. They went out to reach the crowds at Carnival with conviction and love that were palpable. I saw it in the favour that we had with the various civic authorities who came to see what we were doing and ended up unable to interfere. I saw it in the faces of the people attending Carnival, who through drums, stilt walkers, DJs, and tiny slips of paper containing glimpses of God's desire for them, encountered life-changing love.

The eagle over the crowds outside the church.

The stilt walkers and eagle in the roundabout

A little girl picking up promises from the ground.

The drummers, full of joy

Four guys from Boston that I met

Maddie giving out promises to the crowd.

A man taking laughing gas from a balloon in the middle of the crowd.

Me in my natural habitat, photo by Felix Elias

Me with a guy with whom I spoke, photo by Maddie Howes

Monday, August 10, 2015

from the middle of the race

For the past few months, we have only been staff living in our blue house in North West London. While we thought that we would spend the months furthering our arts, it soon became evident that we were actually going to spend the months preparing our home for the fourteen students that arrive in a few days. We grew muscles this summer, both physical and spiritual, as we worked together to build  foundations for this group of Discipleship Training School students.

Yesterday, at the church meeting that we began holding in Camden earlier this summer, Christian spoke to us about perseverance. It hasn't been an easy summer, but it is one that we needed to pull us closer as a team, to make us less independent and more invested in our common goals of using art to show Christ and building relationships with those who cross our paths.

Just as we finished everything this week, there was a surprise dismantling of the kitchen (a cabinet self-destructed and took out the sink with it), and now the guys are working hard to put the kitchen back to rights before the students arrive.

They are persevering most admirably.

It talks in Romans 5 about suffering producing endurance, endurance producing character, and character producing hope. While I am not claiming that we have suffered this summer, I will say that we have had to endure.  Part of my character, the part of the flesh that I was holding onto, got squeezed tightly until I finally let go of it in favour of living God's way. And I have hope for the months to come. I know that we will be terribly busy, that we will not sleep much and will laugh a lot and will probably cry a fair amount, as well. But I have hope, because after being pushed past my own limits this summer, I know that God shows off when I give Him the chance to take control.

And in three days, when the students show up and we welcome them with open arms and hearts, it won't be the end of persevering with God. It won't be the end of this race we've been running since we got back from Spain in May. With Notting Hill Carnival and Bones Camp still to come this month (this will be my fourth Bones Camp!), it will only be a new leg in this race.

But as I look forward to the students coming, to a production to be written, a homeless feeding ministry to be continued after we piloted it last month, a church in Camden to be firmly rooted, and outreach to Puerto Rico in December, I must confess this: I have hope. I have hope that it's going to be beyond what I can imagine.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

the Saviour and His hands

Last weekend, all of us joined in an evangelism event that was happening in Trafalgar Square. When we got there, we were amazed to see a stage set up, a trailer that hosted a sound system, and tents and banners loudly proclaiming prayer, massages, etc. Several different churches had come together to reach the whole of Trafalgar Square, the centre of London, with the news of Jesus.

We got to lead worship, give free massages, and pray for people that came to us. On the main stage, various Christians were preaching and giving testimonies about God's ability to rescue us.

I was surprised to find a young Indian man willing to talk to me about Jesus and faith. I kept expecting the conversation to end, for him to remember something more important that he had to do and walk away. But he kept listening. I explained how Jesus came to rescue us from our lives of sin and certain death. I had forgotten how complicated it is to explain the Gospel to somebody who doesn't have a foundational knowledge of it. Most often, the conversation ends long before any talk of Jesus's substitution for our sins comes up. When I asked him if he wanted to ask Jesus to be his Saviour, he said yes. We went to a quieter part of the square, and he prayed.

But that isn't the end of anything. It's just the beginning.

The thing that I've learned about evangelism is that the end goal is not for us to lead people in a prayer. It isn't even for them to be able to say, "Jesus is my Saviour!" The Christian life is not about saying a prayer; that prayer alone, uttered and forgotten, does not bring transformation. Being a Christian, a true follower of Christ, means going deeper and further than a prayer. It means opening our hearts to being changed by the Creator of the Universe. It means letting Sovereign Hands mould our hearts. It means letting go of the old man, the sinful, selfish, independent human, and opening ourselves up to being divinely, and slowly, transformed into the image of Christ.

That takes discipleship.

I invited this man to come to the church that we are planting in Camden, and he said that he had plans with his mates, but that he'd try to make it. Unfortunately, he could not come. This weekend, I texted him again, inviting him to come. I'd been praying all week, beseeching God to move in his life in such a way that he could not be kept from going deeper with his newfound Saviour. And this week, I watched him come down the stairs in the Costa and join my family in our new church in a Camden coffee shop. I listened as the guys spoke with him and told him about the Bible. I watched my family embrace him, invite him into our home, and help him to take the first steps past the victory of the Cross.

You see, the victory of a Cross is not a one-time thing. That's why the Bible tells us that we must walk in victory and run the race set before us. It's not like when athletes take a victory lap, then disappear to change and wash and eat. We must continually fight for the victory of Jesus, because it means laying down the very bits of us that are not victorious. It means following God in victory and trusting what He says is best.

I am humbled whenever I think of the past week and of God allowing me to be a part of this race that has begun. God didn't have to use me; there were plenty of other people in Trafalgar Square willing to talk to this man about Jesus. And from the openness of this man's heart, I think that others have helped prepare the way before. I am also both humbled and joyful when I see my teammates open their hearts to others to draw them in. There's a beautiful fragrance of Jesus in the room when it happens, and I know that we are doing what God has us here to do. We are not perfect; we each struggle with various things in our lives. And still God has called us here and uses us. We are loving the ones He sends us. We are so lucky to get to be the ones that He has called here for this time. We are so blessed to be called by His name and to get to follow Him in shared victory.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

finding the foundation

Today was a special day for Taboo Arts. After six years of praying in and for Camden (a neighbourhood in north London that I've talked about incessantly on here for the past three years), today we met with two other churches and had a church meeting there. It's been on our heart to start church in Camden for several years now. Today, as we crowded into the basement of a coffee shop a few blocks from the Camden Stables Market, we saw the beginnings of an answer to our prayers.

God has been teaching me a lot about faithfulness. Being faithful means remaining consistent with God and taking steps forward with Him even when I don't see an outcome. We have been visiting Camden every week. We have been building relationships with stall owners in the market, with shop keepers on the High Street, and even with estate agents as we look for a property of our own. And many days, we get frustrated, because we want to be in Camden now. We want to interact with the people there when we pop to the corner shop for a Coke, when we go for a run, when we get on the bus.

Today, God reminded me that this is a time when He is letting us see the dream. We had church in Camden today. We saw the fruits of our faithfulness.

But at the same time, we looked back on churches that have been planted in Camden and are no longer holding meetings. The people that planted those churches also had dreams for Camden. They invested their hearts and hands, as well. The work that we want to do will not be done on a place with no foundation. The soil has been prepared by others before us, others who, like Abraham and David and Isaiah, looked forward to a promise of a Saviour, a promise that was not fulfilled in their lifetime. But their dedication and work was important to pave the way for that Saviour.

Sometimes we are faithful, and we do not get to see the results. Sometimes we are faithful, and we have to remain faithful for years without achieving what we desire. Our team has a lot of dreams for Camden; starting church in Camden is just one of them. There are a dozen other things that we have as a team and as individuals that we are having to continue to wait on.

Faithfulness doesn't stand still. Waiting isn't a lack of motion.

We have to invest time on our knees for these dreams that we have, because where we invest our hearts is where we invest our lives. We have to give up the things that God asks us to give up, because if He wants them gone, then they have no place where we are going. We have to trust, to lean in, to go deeper, to say "Yes!" To learn to love those around us deeply, because where we are going, we will need to know a love that is stronger than our superficial human hearts.

Today we got a glimpse.

And now we walk another mile.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

bridge building

One month. Four countries.

And now, a week and a half after returning to London, I am still finding the faithfulness of God through all of it. I am beginning to understand a bit of how He worked to prepare our team for each city and worked in each of our hearts as we traveled across central Europe together.

We end every internship with an outreach, and to end the Winter 2015 internship, we traveled to Berlin, Prague, Vienna, and Milan. I had the pleasure of going to three countries I'd never thought I'd get to travel to, and to return to Italy and feel sun on my skin for the first time in seven months. But more than that, I was amazed at the openness of the people to speak to us. I have grown used to people in London, to being ever-so-politely told that I am wrong, that God does not exist, and that the church is an out-dated institution. But in the four cities that we travelled to, I found myself shoving aside language barriers, tripping over Spanish words, learning to listen to Italian, and hearing the pains of people's hearts.

People don't want to talk about their happiest moments with strangers. I don't know why that is, but I have found that often, if you take the time to see them with eyes of Love, they will share with you the things that are most hurting them. I wasn't prepared for it the first time a woman spilled her heart to me in Spanish, and I didn't have the words to translate to my intern, but she saw the tears in Gloria's eyes, and she knew. So we prayed in incorrect verb tenses and tried not to let our mascara run, and in the middle of a square in Prague, I watched Gloria hear from God.

In Berlin, I talked with several people who had never before met a Christian. The city is so new, the same age as me, and in its rebuilding, they are glorifying the past pain. There are memorials to the Berlin Wall everywhere, and markers still divide East Berlin from West Berlin. When I found myself singing "Hometown Glory" where the Berlin Wall used to stand, I saw God's hand. Because I am a girl from the USA, but He placed me there, singing a song about a united city to a city that is still struggling to come together, and I know that it was the result of following Him. I could not have planned that moment. On our team, we come from countries that have fought against each other numerous times across history, yet we live in one house together. We are God's unification in action.

Vienna was a time of refreshing for me, because we stayed at an International House of Prayer with a worship and prayer room that we could use whenever we wanted. After being on outreach for three weeks, it was wonderful to spend time just sitting with God, writing new songs, and remembering to listen. One evening, we went out to Stephansplatz to perform and do evangelism, and within two minutes of beginning, we were surrounded by a crowd. They sang along and made videos, and in the midst of it, we told them all about the God who created them and the Saviour who loves them desperately. They were so excited to find out more about Him. We also saw several people come to Christ in Vienna.

In Italy, we got to work with both the YWAM team and with a church, and they took amazing care of us. The church made us dinner every night (In Italy, pasta is just the first course), and afterwards, we went out to do evangelism at Milan Design Week. Italian culture makes it perfectly normal to stand around and chat to strangers, so we met a lot of people as we performed and did evangelism. It was also really impressive to see the church members out there with us, talking to people and praying with them. And we finally got to visit the YWAM team in Milan, who came to Bones with us in 2013. They planned so many events for us before we even got there and made sure that things ran smoothly.

When we came back from outreach, we had five days to prepare our end of internship exhibition. It took a lot of work, but on Thursday night, we saw a lot of people that we'd never met come into the church to see our art. One of the nursery teachers from next door to the church asked me if we were doing it to show everyone how amazing we were. I got to tell her that we were doing it to show the amazing change that God had worked in our lives over the last three months.

For me, that's the most gratifying part of looking back over the outreach. Not only did God change me and hand me back hope and joy, but He used me to speak to people from dozens of nations. He used me in languages that I don't speak well and in places I never thought that I'd get to go. It's so exciting to get to be a part of God's Kingdom here on Earth and to realise that the King of the Universe takes the time to transform sinners and rebels and uses them to do His work here.

On our first day in Berlin, we got to go into the Parliament with a member of Parliament. At the end, we got to pray with him and for his work in the country.

In Berlin, we also performed in various places in the city. This was in a plaza right where the Berlin Wall used to stand.

In Prague, we washed windows at a local school.

We also took advantage of all of the tourists to talk to people everywhere.

Vienna had some of my favourite times of evangelism and performance in the trip. On our last day, we got to work with YWAM Norway to do performances in Stephansplatz with a permit and a sound system.

This is Christian preaching during the impromptu performance in Stephansplatz on our first day in Vienna, where the crowd came and took video and stayed, asking us to do more. We got to talk with so many of them about Jesus's love for them.

In Milan, we held a seminar to teach the church about using arts in evangelism to bring God's Kingdom to Milan. Several of us taught on various topics, such as Improvisation in Leadership (my lesson), to Teamwork (Carrie and Peri taught what they learned by leading this school together). After the lessons, we taught them the artistic skills we use in evangelism.

Our visual artists did performance art in Milan, as well, and talking to people while they did it. I love watching them use their skills in public for God.

Me with two of my photos (the ones to the right) at the exhibition that we held in Notting Hill.