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.