When I last left you, I was preparing to lead a team up to York for outreach.
I can now confirm that the outreach has been completed (and quite successfully, if I do say so myself!). I spent ten days in York, eight of which the team joined me for, and let me tell you, the base there does not look the same as it did before!
I have some before and after pictures of the time there, but let me take a second to sing the praises of the team. There were seven DTS students and five staff that came along (one staff, Lucas, came to teach me many of the practicalities of electricity and plumbing, God bless him), and they worked their bums off. And at night, after working all day, they were still keen to head into the city centre to prayer walk (and stop for ice creams).
Most of what we did involved cleaning out the various rooms and cupboards on base that have stored the remnants of several different YWAM teams that have used the space. We also plastered, re-painted, fixed some electricity and lighting, oh, and built a shower in a cupboard. Yes. We built a whole shower. I have never been to B&Q (The British Home Depot) so many times in my life. I swear, the workers all knew me on sight by the final day. And, thanks to Lucas, I knew how to connect pipes and do grout and all the other fun details involved in plumbing in a shower.
I don’t think God has called me to a life of plumbing.
Anyway, the time in York gave me a taste for what is coming, and I really enjoyed getting to spend longer than a few hours in the city to which I will be moving soon. The people there are so friendly (the north of England is a bit like the American South in this) that just walking out the front door led to conversations with postal workers and neighbours and babies and dogs. It is a small city that is full of families and artists, and I am really excited to move there and to start meeting people and getting invested in ministry.
There are just a few obstacles in the way, which aren’t unexpected when one is re-pioneering.
The first is that we need to find a house to live in. I am currently sitting in my house in London, which is a two-hour train ride from York, which makes viewing a bit difficult.
There are also several details to be ironed out within YWAM England which require prayer for wisdom and easy communication on everyone’s behalf. We’re all walking in untrodden territory, and boy am I learning a lot.
Lastly, the girls who are re-pioneering with me are still trying to start applying for visas. There’s the small issue of an on-going global pandemic and the need to quarantine when they arrive, as well, of course, as raising financial support for living here. Raya, my co-leader, is particularly struggling in this area. You guys have all been so faithful to support me in prayer and giving over the years, but I remember the fear of the early days when I didn’t know how I would pay staff fees every month. But God came through, and I know that He can do the same for her! Could you be praying for this along with me?
And finally, as much as I am planning for York, I am also still in London, and it is time for Arise. There is no Notting Hill Carnival this year, and we aren’t staying in churches and building crazy floats for the parade, but we are still hitting a different area of the city every day for evangelism. We kick it off tomorrow with a Notting Hill extravaganza, where we are planning on drumming and dancing with pois and walking on stilts. Who said that we couldn’t have fun in the time of COVID? But if you have a chance, would you mind praying for our safety and also for the hearts of people to be open to hear about Jesus over these next ten days? This is the most full-on thing that we do all year, and especially after six months of pandemic, it is shaping up to be both exciting and the tiniest bit exhausting. But it also feels good to be a little bit back to normal. We see people saved and lives healed during Arise, and I expect the same this year. Maybe even more-so, since people have had lots of time to listen to the Holy Spirit as He speaks to their hearts.
As always, thank you, thank you for the emails you’ve sent to me (firstname.lastname@example.org, if you’d like to send one my way!), for the messages sent on through my mum and grandparents, for the prayer, for the support. God is definitely on the move, both here and wherever you are. I can’t wait to see what comes out of this year!