Friday, January 20, 2017

Digging in the Dirt

When I was a little girl, I loved to dig my hands into the dirt and the sand. I loved to feel it in between my fingers, to feel that I really had a grasp of it, to know how warm or cool it was, how sticky or how crumbly. It was messy, yes, and I didn't like to clean the remnants from under my fingernails, but I still had to know the feel of it.

That is what I feel these past weeks have been. A month ago, the DTS ended, and the students and most of the staff returned to their homes for Christmas. I stayed in London, and my parents came to visit me. Together, we celebrated Christmas at my local church and with my teammates who were still in London. It was the first time that I had everybody together, which was so much more than I expected. On Boxing Day, my parents and I headed up to the Scottish highlands for a few days. It has long been a dream of my father and me to visit, and it was just as beautiful as we hoped.

Since everybody has come back to London again, we have had a few weeks to work on our various ministries and to spend time together. We feel that it is a year of intimacy and getting to know God better, so we have had teachings, times of prayer and intercession for the coming season, and several meals and evenings spent just being together. We live a busy life that feels that we are constantly running at top speed. I think that we needed these weeks of slowing down and seeking God for what is coming.

This year, we are starting a ministry called the Lazarus Project, which essentially encompasses mercy ministries. Mercy ministries are ministries that show mercy to the people in London who are in need of love, care, or justice, such as the homeless, prostitutes, sex trafficked, mentally ill, refugees, and people living in poverty. We have been working in the area of mercy ministries for years, especially with the dinner club that we host fortnightly in Notting Hill for the homeless and needy in the area, but now we are launching a more official ministry for it. In England, these steps must be taken for government grants, etc. We need prayer for Lazarus, especially that we will have the focus and take steps in the order that God leads. There are thousands of people in need of mercy in London - where do we start?

We also started several connect groups around the city. Johanna and I host one in Notting Hill on Tuesday nights, and we have a range of generations and nations represented amongst our ladies. I love spending Tuesday nights with them. Two of the women are 70 and from Colombia, and the stories they share are both humourous and eye-opening, because they face life so differently than I have. At the same time, they love being 70 and getting the chance to experience all of the different things that London has to offer, from free transport for people 60+ to art classes for pensioners.

Tonight, our January 2017 Internship begins. We have seven girls from different nations coming to join us for music, social media, photography, dance, fashion, and theatre. We will continue with our ministries as we have interns - God has increased our staff and our ministries so that we get to reach out to different areas of society and the city at once. We have been digging our hands into the soil of London, and I am so thankful for these past weeks. We have had the time to tell the texture, the temperature, the feel of the soil, and as we see what God has done and is doing, it makes us so thankful.

My dad took this of me in Scotland

Scottish highlands

My parents in Scotland

Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

the Lazarus Project flyer