Years later, we are in the season where we are learning to live out that promise that God gave us. And let me tell you, it certainly looks different from what we expected.
On 19 September, the team received our third house, which is in Kings Cross, the centre of the city. A few of the girls went to training with an organisation that works with women stuck in prostitution and sex trafficking, so we are going to start working with that in Kings Cross, as well.
Homelessness is also a big problem in the Kings Cross area, and indeed, around all of London. Last week, all of us had training with an organisation that works with the homeless to help us with our dinner club that we run at Notting Hill. The government is cutting benefits and help for the homeless, which means that more people are ending up on the streets. As winter approaches, it is dangerous for them to stay there. In London, there are a lot of hoops to jump through in order to get a spot in the winter shelters or to get other types of housing. It is something that weighs heavily on all of our hearts, and we wish that we could help them more than with just one meal a fortnight. But God is opening more doors for us to be involved with others working with homeless around the city.
In three days, we leave for Rome, where we are hosting this year's International Arts Gathering. We began working on the Gathering a year ago, but it took until last week for us to find a place to stay and to host the event. We must have talked to all of the evangelical church pastors in Rome by now! We had so many closed doors that we realised that God was going to have to do a miracle, and He has. It was certainly not in our preferred timing, but it was in the right timing.
Now we are running around to finish the final details before we go, from preparing videos and decor for the church to coordinating details with the participants. The participants are Christian artists from all over Europe, and meeting with them and hearing how they are influencing their countries for God is one of my favourite things that we do as a team. The more I travel around, the more I understand that proximity is not what is important in friendships. Having the same heart and desire, which we have with these artists, is much more important. Also, Europe is so small that we end up seeing each other throughout the year in different locations. On the one hand, I hate how small the Christian artistic community is in Europe, but on the other, I enjoy running into my friends in random nations, as well.
This is such a rushed update in the midst of everything else, but I wanted to let everybody know what we are doing so that you know what for what you can pray. Please pray for the Gathering, which is from 26-29 October in Rome. Pray for Melody and I, who are coordinating, along with the team that is going ahead of time to prepare the venue, and for our whole Discipleship Training School, who are attending this year. Please also pray for us as our base grows. God is opening more doors with us, and we are learning how to move in new ways. Walter, a friend from YWAM Argentina, spoke to us about having new wineskins for the new wine we are being given, and we want to learn to be flexible as God shows us what His will is in London.
Cancelo chatting with some of our homeless neighbours in the square outside our house.
Everybody's shoes in the front hall of the house on Friday, the day everybody comes to us.
St Pancras, the massive train station just down the street from the house