Everything that I’ve been reading lately seems to talk about how waiting on God takes focus and passion and about active resting. Those are both things that I am having to learn on-the-go, since our 2017 DTS began on 7 July, and we have been going full swing with our 26 students since then. We have already had three weeks of lectures as well as a week of outreach to Bristol for Upfest, the biggest street art festival in the world.
I recently read a book that talked about Martha and Mary, and it said that we often say, “We need Marthas as well as Mary’s,” but that it isn’t true. Martha was upset that Mary wouldn’t help prepare food that Jesus hadn’t even asked for, but Mary recognised the importance of having Jesus in her house, and she responded in the best way that she could have - she took advantage of it by sitting at His feet and learning from him. Yes, culturally women served. But if Jesus shows up in your lounge room, you don’t run around and make sure all of the details are perfect; you soak up as much from him as you can! If not, by the time you get the house right, you’ll have missed him even being there!
I have the honour of mentoring four of our girls as well as having five photographers in the photography track with me, and I am getting to know them and to be a part of their processes. It is always good to go through DTS with them again, to examine what it means to hear the voice of God, to look at having a servant heart, to see God’s Father heart for us.
Our timetable is a bit mad right now, because we still have Hope and Anchor Community Church, Connect Groups, Lazarus Project, and times of evangelism, but we also have a DTS of athletes and artists who have joined us. It always takes stretching to learn how to fit everything again. And now we have six houses, as well (and have gotten four of them in the past year), so we have to discover how to make time to be a family in the midst of being spread out across London.
At the same time, God has blessed us. And blessings from God often take stretching. I am still training for the half marathon in October (you can donate to the charity I am running for here - I need to raise 329 pounds by October!), as well as rehearsing for a play about the Reformation, Here I Stand, that will play in London, Cardiff, and Birmingham in September and October. The half marathon and play are activities that I am participating in outside of YWAM, and it is so good to get to know people from this city and to share whole pieces of my life with them.
The cast of the play is not comprised entirely of Christians, although the writer/director and producer are both Christians dedicated to making quality theatre that educates and entertains. It brings me a lot of joy to be acting again, especially in a British cast, and I’ve been learning a lot about the historical ramifications of the Reformation on the church today. If you’d like to look up information about the play, it is called ‘Here I Stand’ by Mervyn Weir. It is another aspect of doing theatre and missions together, and I love it.
As you can see, life is busy. I haven’t posted as often as I would like, but you have been blessing me from afar. Lately, I have felt properly spoiled by you guys. A few ladies have sent me cards and packages of cosmetics and things like face masks and eye liner that have been such treats. Others of you have begun supporting me, which is a massive blessing. Still others pray consistently for me (one of you prays at the same time every day!). When my life is this busy, I do feel the force of the prayers and support. Thank you for your faithfulness and love for me; I don’t take it for granted. You are an important part of the work that I do here.
If you could pray that I learn to rest in the madness of these days, I would appreciate it. I trust God when He says that His burden is easy and His yoke is light; I would love to learn how to live that out more! I don’t want to miss out on enjoying this time with our DTS students, or of this Notting Hill Carnival and Bones that starts next week. I want to enjoy it to the fullest, to take time to listen to God, to see how God is shaping lives, and to get to work with Jesus and to shape the lives of others.
Joel evangelising to a guy in Bristol
a homeless man sleeping on the ground in Bristol
the DTS on their tour of London
Plating food for a homeless feeding programme with the Lazarus Project
Chatting with friends at a homeless feeding programme with Lazarus Project