Friday, December 28, 2012

My English Christmas

I have had the pleasure of spending Christmas with the family of one of my friends. I have been in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, which is in the middle of England. My Christmas has been full of English tradition. It has been really good, because experiencing new traditions has largely kept me from dwelling on being away from my family.

On Christmas, we had Christmas crackers on our plates, and we opened them with each other and wore coloured crowns while we ate. Our dinner was full of typical Thanksgiving food - turkey, cranberries, stuffing, potatoes.

On Boxing Day, we took a walk around Peterborough. Apparently, going on walks on Boxing Day is also a tradition.

We also went to Burghly House, a gigantic "stately" house nearby, and wandered about the grounds. The deer were so tame that I walked right up to them.

Today, we went to Cambridge. It was so odd to be there, because it's somewhere I've always known of, but never thought I'd actually visit. It was old and beautiful, but also terribly posh. I don't think I'd be comfortable living there. I was particularly excited, because the Cambridge satchel that I received from my parents last Christmas made it back to Cambridge, where it was made, this Christmas.

I have been so blessed to be a part of this family for Christmas. They've treated me as a daughter and allowed me to be a part of their family. It has been an answer to prayer to be here.

An alleyway in Cambridge.

Another alley in Cambridge.

My Cambridge Satchel in Cambridge.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Taboo Artists

I am currently working as a part of the Taboo Arts team. We are in the YWAM Urban Key base, but we are a house of artists who minister together. I've been here a month now, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

I am here for theatre primarily, but I also do photography, music, and some graphic designing and writing for the base's magazine. Everybody asks us what a typical week looks like, and so far, we haven't had one. We have done several Christmas performances at various events around the city, including a Christmas fair in East London and at Christmas Masala, a multi-cultural Christmas event in the Asian neighborhoods of East London.

I have also been doing a lot of video and graphic design work, work that my brother does really well, but I do not do nearly as well as him. It's been a real growing experience, because I've had to rely a lot on God for the proper skills to get things done. I really like that I am being stretched to do artistic areas in which I am not as naturally gifted.

We are also planning for the arts internship that I will be a part of. It starts in January, and in March and April, we are going to be performing a production in London and in Amsterdam. It will involve aerial acrobatics, music, dancing, theatre, and visual arts. I have been involved in the conceptual work, as well as the practical aspects of how to use the theatrical space, and it has been really fun to put the knowledge I gained in my university degree to work in a Christian context. Now, I'm really glad that I went to a university to get a liberal arts degree, and not just to acting school. Theatre, especially in an arts team, is more than just one aspect. You have to know how to do all of it. I take back all of the times I was frustrated while doing sound, lighting, and stage design training. God knew what He was doing!

We are called Taboo Arts because, in this day and place, the name of Jesus is taboo. There are places in the world, and even in London, where we can not openly speak about God. But what Jesus did was taboo in His own time. We strive to do that, as well. I am learning what it means to be a warrior for Christ. We are not here just to create art; we are here to fight for the Kingdom of God. And we do fight.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


We spent two weeks in Newcastle, preparing for and performing in The God Story, an event to tell the story of God in an entertaining way to young people. Our team was the drama team, but we also spent time passing out flyers and talking to people about God.

I was even given a free haircut by a hairdresser-in-training, and she asked me about how to hear the voice of God, who God was, how Jesus saves, etc. I was surprised that people actually ask questions like that, but it was a fantastic conversation!

Here is a street at night:
Amy at the river:
The Newcastle bridges at night:

Friday, November 30, 2012

North and South: Irish Edition

For our two weeks in Ireland, we stayed in two places. The first was in Rostrevor, Northern Ireland, which is just across a bay from the Republic of Ireland.

The YWAM base that we stayed at was right on the water, and the week that we spent there was a time of rejuvenation after Scotland. We painted and picked up trash and prayed and led services, but we also spent a lot of time in personal reflection and learning about God. The bases's resident nun, Anna Mary, taught us about the Catholic/Protestant troubles that have ripped Northern Ireland apart for decades.
We also hiked - a lot. In our free times, we hiked to the top of the mountains outside our back door and jumped from peak to peak. It was exhilarating to be so close to the magnificence of God's creation in that way. I always speak to God more easily on mountain tops, so it was a real blessing to me.
My favorite part of the trip was the afternoon that I spent singing in a nursing home. The people were hilarious, even though they were deadpan at my hilarious joke (Question: What kind of cheese is not yours? Answer: Nacho cheese!).
The thing that I learned most clearly in Northern Ireland was how praying consistently for a place and its people can change things. We have the ability to transform things in the spiritual realm, and the team at YWAM Northern Ireland have done that by daily praying for their city and reaching out to its residents. I have begun to do the same thing for London. If you think of it, I'd love for you to pray with me.

This is the view from the front yard of the base:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Glasgow from Glass Lens

We stayed in Glasgow, Scotland for two weeks. We lived in an old homeless shelter and helped the new shelter with cleaning and sorting food. We also worked with Destiny's Angels, an organization that helps battered women and prostitutes, among other people, to rebuilt their lives. When we weren't doing that, we did a lot of street evangelism.

This is our group doing street evangelism. We had free face painting, and we also had a sheet of paper on the ground with a question, such as, "What is your biggest wish?" People stopped to write their answers, and we started conversations with them.
This is a homeless woman that I met on a bridge and fed.
And finally, this is Amy Lucas and me outside the homeless shelter.
This is a picture of the whole team on our day off in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Round Trip - Wales

The time has come to post my outreach photographs! I am sitting on a couch on a rainy day in London, and I finally have the time to invite you guys into my time of outreach.

First stop: Wales

We stayed in Cardiff for two weeks in late September/early October. We went up to the Welsh Valleys nearly every day and passed out flyers for a service that we were holding in which we hoped that people would encounter God.

I had the opportunity to spend a night at a Pakistani woman's house, and in between being stuffed with spicy food and laughing, I got a taste of life in rural Wales. It's a damp, dark, cold place, and Treherbert, the town in which we stayed and worked, there was heavy drug use and alcoholism. The people of Treherbert never lifted their eyes to the beautiful mountains around them; they were too consumed by their misery. But for our team, it was impossible not to see God in those surroundings.

Here are some pictures of Treherbert:


And these are of Cardiff:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Newcastle, England

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.

Twelve 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 directions.

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 and affirmation.

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.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Glasgow, Scotland

This is the team newsletter from Glasgow, Scotland.

Our team arrived in Glasgow, Scotland without clear direction of what our two weeks there would be like. We were hosted by the Glasgow City Mission, the first city mission in the world! We arrived after dark, and Andrew from the mission picked us up from the bus station. Most of us literally piled into the back of his van and rode in the dark across town to the building we’d call home for two weeks. It was an exciting introduction to our time in the city for sure.

Our first few days in Glasgow were spent in preparation. We gave the building, an extra one the mission uses to house the homeless in the winter months, a deep and thorough clean and even painted much of it. We also spent a lot of time in prayer for the city and asking God what He had for us to do in our time there.

Our first Sunday in Glasgow we attended Destiny Church as a team. After the service we met many members of the congregation who gave us lots of ideas for things we could do to bless their city during our time there.

We started our street evangelism Monday in the city centre by going off on our own and speaking with people on the street. The people of Glasgow are open to speak, and approaching someone by saying “hello, my name is and I am from, what is yours” elicits a response! If you continue on and say “what do you think of Jesus” most will give you a answer. It’s a quite different atmosphere from London.

During Arise All Nations, the outreach we participated in during the Olympics, some of the team evangelized with the team from Colombia and learned a neat evangelism technique. We taped large white paper to the ground in city centre and wrote a question at the top, either “what is your biggest wish” or “what do you hope for” and had markers on the paper. We’d ask the people who walked by the question and invite them to write their answer. This simple technique provided so many opportunities to speak with people, especially young people. So many were willing to share their answers to the question, to speak with us, and we were able to pray with many. When people asked why we were doing that we told them we’re Christians and will pray for everyone who wrote something down that night. It was a great way to engage people in conversation about God. We used the paper method multiple days and found each day it got better and better.

While some of the team engaged with people over the questions, another part of the team did face painting. They painted the faces of countless children and young adults. While they painted (and did a great job of making the children look like butterflies and Spiderman, rather than blobs on the faces of the squirmy children), they’d pray for the people they were blessing and their parents, while others on the team would speak with their parents. It was a fun way to speak with people and tell them the reason they were painting faces is because we love God and God loves them, too.

The Glasgow City Mission has a food pantry we lovingly called the cannery. There are large shelves of canned food organized by date, ready to be given to the hungry in the city. We were in Glasgow during their harvest season, and we were able to help in the cannery twice. The first time we organized the shelves, making room for future cans. The second time we sorted and put away fourteen large boxes (boxes that would hold four seated team members) of food. Our team worked together like a well oiled machine and we surprised Andrew with how quickly and efficiently we worked.

When we met the members of Destiny Church, we learned about Destiny’s Angels, their mercy ministry to the city. We spent a morning in their facility helping in various areas, cleaning, sorting clothing donations, helping in the office and preparing bags of food for distribution. We also helped at two of their drop in tea times, one for the homeless, and the other for women affected by abuse, prison and prostitution and by inviting people to the drop ins. It was great to work with another ministry in Glasgow and see the people who genuinely care for the people of their city and love them as the hands and feet of Christ.

We had one day off while we were in Scotland, and we used it to go to Edinburgh. We walked up a large hill/mountain (the name changed depending on what team member was speaking and where they are from) to enjoy the view of the city. From the mountain we walked the Royal Mile, between a royal palace and the ancient castle. We enjoyed the outside of the castle and then split up and everyone went off to see what they wanted. Some enjoyed a nice meal, a walk around the city and shopping while others took in more of the sights. Edinburgh is a much older city than Glasgow, and as a team we learned each city has its own charm.

One of the final things we did in Glasgow was attend an Ethiopian church. While on the street, Israel met a pastor from Ethiopia and he invited us to his church. The team members who are in the drama, Masks went and performed it for the church. Amy explained the drama, I shared my testimony and Jason shared about our evangelism in Glasgow. Israel preached in his native language. The people of the church were extremely welcoming towards us and were glad we cared enough of their city to come and tell the residents about Jesus.

While we did not know what to expect going into Glasgow, we clearly saw God. We prayed for countless people, told many about the love of God, and were able to help the Glasgow City Mission in their preparations for their winter shelter. Our time in Scotland was fruitful and made us even more excited for what God is going to do on the next portion of our outreach in the Republic of Ireland.

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...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Team Newsletter

Hey guys! I am in Glasgow, Scotland, but my team members, Amy and Laura, wrote a newsletter about our time in Cardiff, Wales. Here it is!

Greetings from Cardiff, Wales!
We are glad you are reading the first official newsletter of the London Urban Key July DTS. Our team consists of people from America, from Argentina, from Belgium, from Canada, from Denmark, from England, and from Ethiopia. We left our home in London on Friday, September 21st, hopped on the Mega Bus and made our way to Cardiff, Wales. This is the first of four stops on our outreach through the United Kingdom.

While in Wales we were warmly welcomed by All Nations Church. We are not the first YWAM team the church has hosted, so we are enjoying their experienced hospitality. They have arranged for us to stay in a local hostel and have rented a mini bus to drive us around Wales. Upon arrival we were not certain of the focus of our outreach to Cardiff. The church had many options for us, and we have enjoyed it all.
Our first day was spent getting our bearings here in Cardiff. All Nations prepared a fun photo scavenger hunt for us, so our day was spent running around City Centre photographing things like Mats in a Krispy Kreme hat and the founder of the National Health Service. Saturday evening we helped set up and attended a worship service for Christians all over the south of Wales. It was a great time of worship and fellowship with other young people of All Nations Church. Immediately following the service, we went upstairs for Hilary’s 60th birthday and retirement Barn Dance. We enjoyed plates of food, especially the cake and fresh fruit and many of us livened things up on the dance floor. The team members who danced enjoyed following along to the caller’s prompts, switching partners, and meeting many from the church, while those who sat on the side laughed just as hard as those dancing. After the party our team was incredibly blessed with so much food it took us six meals, one trash can and two homeless shelters to use it all. We YWAMers sure do love our sandwiches.

Sunday we enjoyed worshipping with the All Nations Church family. The presence of God was evident, and we were made to feel extremely welcome. After church we had some nice family time in the hostel while the rain came down outside the windows.

Due to heavy rains in the Valleys, we stayed in Cardiff on Monday and met hundreds of university students during freshers week. We invited many to All Nation and special university student lunches at the church.
Tuesday was our first day in the Valleys. Wales is a country with mountains with beautiful valleys in between. There are many small towns in the Valleys just outside Cardiff in desperate need of the life and joy God provides. Our team split into small groups and knocked on doors and spoke with people all around the city of Treherbert. The first day was a challenge for all of us, for while the people were polite, very few were interested in talking about God or receiving prayer. We also dropped leaflets into the mailboxes of entire neighbourhoods inviting them to a special church service and also had testimonies of the powerful way God worked in the lives of local people. During our team prayer time that night, we all felt Treherbert is the reason God called us to Wales. Having that specific direction gave our team a passion for reaching and loving the people of Treherbert.

Our first priority upon return to Treherbert the next day was to spend time worshipping God in the city. Wednesday we sang praise songs in the church and prayed as a group for the people. We also walked the city in small groups, praying, interceding and declaring the name of Jesus. This day of calling out to God was the real turning point. The city felt lighter, more hopeful and more alive. Knocking on doors Thursday was completely different than Tuesday. More people answered our knocks and we were able to have real conversations. By the end of Thursday two people accepted Christ for the first time! The team was extremely excited to return Friday after a beautiful detour to the top of Caerphilly Mountain. We followed up with those who made decisions for Christ and continued knocking on doors and delivering leaflets. Friday night back in Cardiff we attended the youth group at the church. It was a fun time of playing ping pong and Just Dance with the kids and also learning and practicing CPR with them. All Nations church set a priority for their young people to learn practical life skills, so they brought in a paramedic (and local hero) who recently saved the life of a church member.

During our day off on Saturday the team went to Cardiff Bay and had time to explore. We ended the day with a viewing of the Pirates of the Caribbean and solid team bonding.

Sunday morning the team worshipped again at All Nations Church and ate lunch with the university students, although we did not see any students we invited. Hopefully they will visit the church in the future. Sunday evening brought us back to Treherbert for Encounter, the first of the monthly special evening services. Some of the team preformed the drama, Puppets, showing how easily Satan can take something that isn’t “so bad” and use it to control your life. Mats and Beth shared their testimonies and everyone enjoyed a time of worshipping together in a modern way in a very old fashioned Welsh chapel. At the end of the service many in the team spoke with a man and by the end of the evening he accepted Christ! Sunday was our last time in Treherbet, but we all left encouraged that God is moving in the valley and is starting something great.

Monday and Tuesday we went out into Cardiff and spoke with people. Monday we spoke with students, and Tuesday with all people who walked through the City Centre, including many families, of whom Amy, Beth and Valaurie painted the faces of the children. The rain returned, as it seems to do so often in Wales, so the team headed into the shopping centre to speak with people there.

Our time in Cardiff was an amazing way to start our outreach. We saw three people make decisions for Christ. We saw God move in such incredible ways in Cardiff and our entire team is expectant for what God will do in Glasgow, Scotland. We appreciate your continued prayers and would especially like prayer for: team health and unity, continued wisdom for the leaders, peace for the DTS students about their futures and personal finances.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

on the road (again)

Tomorrow morning, my DTS and I leave for Cardiff, Wales. We have spent this week in drama practice, learning to paint faces, taking our final tests and doing our book reports, and packing up our rooms.

When we get back from our outreach to Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Newcastle, we will be graduating from DTS. After graduation, I will move to the arts house to do the arts internship for theatre. I still need support for the arts internship, which is $3700. If you would like to support me, you can email my mother at She is handling my finances for me while I am away from the internet.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the things I've been doing in the past few weeks.

This is my DTS at lunch last week.

This is the bus we take to central London.

This is our underground stop, Willesden Junction

These are my housemates whom I adore, Eli, Amy, and Marisa.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

beautiful things out of dust

The past few weeks have been busy, but quiet. We have had teachings and been preparing for outreach.

However, we also do work around our community. On Thursday, we went to the park down the street and prayed as we cleaned it. It is the hang out for people to drink and do drugs, but it is meant to be a safe place for children. As we cleaned it up and prayed, men were sitting on the benches, smoking pot. Some of the people smoking pot looked to be as young as 15 years old.

Living in Harlesden has been marvelous. It's not posh like Notting Hill, but we are surrounded by a place in which it is really easy to find ways to minister. Whether we are busking by the clock, helping at the Salvation Army soup kitchen, or praying over and cleaning the park, there are numerous ways in which we can make a practical difference while telling our neighbors about Jesus. The fact that we live in a predominantly Muslim community makes it even more of a blessing. Giving up a comfortable life in America to come here and do this has been a blessing. I thank Jesus for calling me to do something so useful for His Kingdom, and for providing the means for me to do it.

Here are some pictures of the park after we cleaned it, and the bag of garbage that we ended up with:

On Friday morning, we leave for Cardiff, Wales. I will try to update my blog while on outreach, but for two months, we will be traveling to Cardiff, Wales, Glasgow, Scotland, Rostrevor, Northern Ireland, and Newcastle. While there, we will minister to churches and on the streets. Right now, we are practicing the music, facepainting, and dramas we will do while we are at these locations. However, we will also be doing without a lot of the things we normally have, like computers and showers and beds and clean clothes. Please pray for our group, that God unites us even more than we already are united, and that He works in our hearts as we serve others.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Future Plans

I have finally had a few days of breathing, which, after the Olympics and Notting Hill Carnival, were much needed. Right now, I am taking advantage of a free afternoon to update my blog from Starbucks in Notting Hill, where we are still living in Notting Hill Community Church. But we move home tomorrow, which is a relief.

In DTS, you do a two month outreach phase. My DTS leaves on September 21st for outreach in Wales, Glasgow Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Newcastle. We will be taking the bus across the isles, and we'll be doing different things at every site. This week, we've been learning dramas to perform. Jason and I have also been practicing our music. We've mashed together a few praise and worship songs to create a new message.

I've also realized that I will need a really good winter coat, since I'll be in Scotland and northern England in November. If you could pray for provision for that, I'd really appreciate it. I don't even know what other winter gear I'll need, since I'm not used to cold winters.

I will also need continuing support for the arts internship that I am applying to do starting in January. It is with the son and daughter of the Argentine family who head the house I live in, and it's at the same London base, just at a different house. They are starting a theatre track during this internship, as well as starting a magazine to distribute around Notting Hill. My degree is in theatre, and my minor is advertising (and of course I still adore photography), so I am really excited about the arts internship.

I have also discovered a passion for evangelising on the streets. I love talking to strangers about my Saviour. I am so excited that God has called me to be a missionary in London, and every time I speak to strangers about God, I thank Him for allowing me to do what He has called me to do. It's amazing, the way He's changed my heart to desire what He desires.

I also really appreciate everybody who has supported me to help me get to this point. It is just as expensive to live in London as you've heard it is, especially with living at the church and not always having a budget for food for our DTS. We've lived on toast and corn flakes quite a bit this week. But God is good in the midst of all of it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Strangers at Carnival

These are the strangers that I met and spoke to (and occasionally prayed for) at Notting Hill Carnival.

This couple is from San Jose, California. The woman was a bit wasted, but we spoke to them for a while and explained how we love Jesus differently from traditional religion.

This is a man from England and his daughter. He brought her into the middle of Carnival, in the middle of drugs and drunkenness.

I did not speak to these girls; I just saw them falling about.

This woman is from England. 

These women are from London.

These women are from Lincolnshire. 

This couple is from Japan. Mats and I explained that Jesus loves them, and the girl pulled out a camera and recorded what we were saying. We are praying that she will watch it again and realize the truth of Jesus' love for her.

This man is from Italy. He seemed to be under the influence of some kind of drugs.

This man is from Essex. He thought that what we were doing was great, and I told him about how Jesus loves everybody at Carnival, including him, in spite of everything he has done or could do.

These girls are from London.

This group is from New Zealand, Australia, and London. Two of the girls are already Christian, but don't seem to have intimate relationships with God, so I talked to them a little bit about the relationship with Jesus that is available to them. 

I did not talk to these people; they were eating outside the restaurant next to the church.

This is Eva and Linda; they're from Switzerland. Marta and I spoke to them for a while. I got to tell them a piece of my testimony, and Marta explained how we worship Jesus and how it's different from the Catholic church that they were raised in. I also told them about how Jesus brought utter joy to my life, and about how He has filled the empty spaces inside of me. This was the best conversation I had all of Carnival. There was a connection with the girls and us that could only have been from God.

This couple is from Spain. They are atheist, but we still explained Jesus' love to them.

This couple is from South Africa. 

These girls are from Richmond, in Southwest London.

This is Szimone from Estonia. I spoke to her and prayed for her.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

souls on parade

Notting Hill Carnival is over!
For the past week and a half, my DTSers and I have been living in Notting Hill Community Church, participating in Bones, and arts camp that prepares for Notting Hill Carnival, the second largest carnival in the world. I was in charge of the drama group, which meant that I directed and wrote (or helped with) dramas, as well as acting in them. It was really a group collaboration, and my group members and I worked hard for a week to get ready for Carnival, which was on Sunday and Monday.
It was an exhausting week. I developed a hug on the second day of the camp, but we couldn’t slow down. We had late nights every night, fixing props and preparing set pieces for the parade that we had.
The best part of all of it was that the preparation was completely worth it. God called me to London to street theatre for Him, and that is exactly what I did. I had time and people set apart to work with me, and together, we made some pretty edgy dramas about the controlling nature of addictions, loss of control, and the fight between flesh and a spirit that yearns for God.
On the morning of Carnival, we all got into costumes and make up, and at 1 pm, we went out and did a parade. We were not a part of the official carnival parade, because it cost £6000 to join. We had our own parade with 15 12 foot soldier puppets, people on stilts, about 15 drummers, and dancers. I was a dancer representing a river.
The parade drew a lot of people, and we proclaimed God’s victory in the area and told them about Jesus’ love for them. The video is on Youtube, if you’d like to watch it here
When we got back from the parade, my team and I took off our make up and put on make up for our dramas. We waded through the three million Carnival attendees to perform on the corner of the street. We performed for about 4 hours, changing off with dancers from the Bones camp, and when we were not performing, we spoke to people in the streets about our dramas and about God.
On Monday, the Carnival was much darker than it had been the day before. We got into costume and went out to do our parade. Soon, a policeman stopped us. But instead of preventing us from doing our parade, he asked us what we were doing. Christian, the head of Bones, told him that we were just walking. He then invited us to be a part of the official Carnival parade. We got to be a part of it for free! We followed the route for a while, then came back to the church. The atmosphere was oppressive, so we sent our drummers out, and we went out to evangelize. I took my camera and took pictures of the people to whom I spoke.
Today, we found out that three stabbings took place yesterday at Carnival, and all three people died. It seems that the oppressive atmosphere wasn’t just in our heads.
But God’s name was proclaimed at Carnival, in the midst of everything else that happened, all of the drugs and sex and drinking. Two girls accepted Christ, and many more received prayer and had Jesus’ love explained to them.
Thank you guys for your prayers. They were so needed in this time of chaos and spiritual warfare.
I have also been asked if I need continued support, and the answer is yes. We leave for outreach in three weeks, during which time we will be traveling to Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Newcastle. We have to pay for travel. I am also praying about doing the arts internship here at YWAM Urban Key, so I will need support to make that possible. God has made it clear as a next step, though, and it will enable me to do what He has called me to London to do for His kingdom.  You can email me at if you’d like to support me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

viva Mexico!

On Saturday, the last day of the Olympics, our DTS leader, Mats, surprised us by taking us to Wembley to do evangelism. Wembley is the next town to ours, and it was the location of the Brasil/Mexico football final.

The whole team was tired, since we had gotten back from Soho around 4 am, but we were excited to be at an actual Olympic event. We broke into teams to evangelize, and Lexie and Jason held up this sign right in the main pathway to the stadium.

Meanwhile, Amy and I went around the area to speak to people.

This is a group to whom we spoke briefly. They were Brasilian, and they asked me to be in a picture with them.

This is me with Amy, my roommate and partner at Wembley. Together, we talked to a Bosnian athlete and her coach and prayed with a British guy about our age. Then we stood by the "We want to pray for you" sign as the match let out (Viva Mexico! They won!), and while there were a lot of mean things said to us, it was also exhilarating to be so open about why we were there. I spoke to two more people and prayed with them, and many others thanked us or took pictures.

Our leader, Mats, found us all, and we followed him through the massive crowd to where the Arts House, our sister base, had set up drums. They began drumming, and loads of Brasilians came to dance. They danced for about an hour, and everyone going to the subway stopped to watch. It opened up a lot of conversations. I surprised myself by dancing with them - the latin dance lessons I had really paid off!

I noticed a woman watching, and I went to speak with her. Her name is Andra, and she married a Muslim man, but she was a Christian. For a while, she had been doubting whether or not she was still a Christian. But we talked, and I ascertained that she still believes that Christ is her Saviour, as she accepted Him years ago. She said He is still her Saviour, and that she loves Him, so we prayed for a while and exchanged contact information. Please pray for Andra, that God's love will be evident in her life, and that she will enjoy a prosperous relationship with Him.

Now the Olympics are over, and we are getting ready to move into a church for 3 weeks to be a part of Bones, an arts camp that prepares for Notting Hill Carnival. I won't really have internet access, so I may go quiet for a while. The camp is pretty intense, though, so please pray for us. Bones is basically worse than Soho as far as sex and drugs and alcohol go, and it takes over Notting Hill for a whole weekend. We are going to be there as Christ's lights in the middle of the vast darkness.

I will see you guys during Bones!