We are in York!
I know, we are in as much shock as you are.
Let me catch you up.
England is in our second lockdown. That means that we can’t leave our houses unless we need to shop for essentials, go to school or work that can’t be done from home, or exercise. To be honest, this is already more lax than our first lockdown, which is amazing. We are even allowed to meet with one other person from our household as long as we are outside and stay two metres apart.
We entered our second lockdown on Thursday. It is still possible to move house during lockdown, but it is not advised to use public transport, and it is unclear as to whether or not you can go between cities. On Monday, we found out that we had gotten a house in York. That is a miracle in itself, because the referencing company had rejected us due to insufficient income. But the landlady decided to go against that and to choose us anyway, and the letting agency let us know on Monday. That meant that we had two days to get to York before the lockdown.
Raya, Yvonne and I were already packed, so with 18 hours notice, we left London for York. Our houses in London were already under quarantine due to illness in the team and the sheer number of COVID cases in London, so we didn’t get to say goodbye to anybody except for our housemates. While that is sad, we are also looking forward to a housewarming party when the lockdown is over on 2 December and they can travel up here!
(A side note: we had been tested and were negative for COVID, which was a miracle in itself. God is so good to us.)
So now we are in York, and we have the essentials to get us through lockdown, but we have the new challenge of preparing a house in a time when shops are shut and it is much more difficult to buy things second hand. We are also raising all of the funds for furniture ourselves, because our house is unfurnished. There were also some hidden agency fees that amounted to £616 more than we expected. So if you would like to contribute to any of that, you can via my Paypal (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in the usual method through the base in Tyler, Texas. I can even give you my British bank account info, if you want to use Xoom or another, similar app to send money internationally directly to my bank account.
Now that you’re caught up, let me gush about York.
First off, it is only by God that we are here, and right on time. We arrived 36 hours before the lockdown went into effect, which was the perfect amount of time to buy the essentials and to have some final meetings before we were all separated again. And now we have a month to prepare our house, to deep clean and organise the base building (which is a three-minute walk from the house), to research churches, charities and the like in York, and to prayer walk the city so that we get to know it before we dive into ministry. Also, everyone is old hat at Zoom and virtual church right now, so we will get to visit churches online and still take part in city-wide prayer meetings.
All of that being said, there are a few prayer requests that we have. First off, Raya, Yvonne and I went from living with many friends to being just the three of us. We are all stepping into new roles that we don’t know how to fill, so would you pray for us in this way? Raya and I have no idea how to lead a base! We are very blessed to have Chris and Johanna, our Radiant leaders, walking with us through the season of transition, and YWAM York is being covered by YWAM London Radiant as we become our own charity here in York. Like I said before, we are also trying to raise funds for the furniture, etc that we need for our house here. It is not just a house for us, but it is also a home where we hope to host many who come to visit. We also have three team members who are not physically with us at the moment: Dave and Nicole Nevard are here in York, but locked down in their own home. We’ve waited so long to finally be with them, and now we are waiting some more! And Renee is in the process of getting her visa and coming from the States, but we are unsure of how lockdown will affect that process.
Isn’t God amazing? He taught us to trust in His timing, and we got here one day later than we’d been planning, but right on time. He provided a house when it seemed humanly impossible - and thank you for praying for that with us. We have seen God provide, and your faithful prayers were definitely a part of that! We can only praise Him. And now we are trusting Him to use this month to begin setting roots and foundations for us here in the city to which He has brought us. We want to have dreams born in this time and to have our hearts set for what He wants in York. But more than that, we are just so, so thankful to be here in our flooded (rain upriver means that York is prone to flooding) Promise Land.