2016 London Young Adults Mission Team1
So today was our last FULL day of evangelism since Sunday was going to be filled with partial evangelism before church and then church fellowshipping after service. We left the church at 12pm and walked down to an area about 15 minutes from the church. We started witnessing to several people at a park in groups of two. I was paired up with Stephanie while evangelizing in this park. We had a few people not wanting to be open with us at all and actually told us to leave them alone. However, there was one great conversation that occurred this afternoon. Stephanie and I conversed with a man named Jason for one and a half hours. This gentleman grew up in a semi Christian home and was exposed to God's Word growing up, but as an adult he chose to reject the truths of God's Word. Jason asked us a myriad of questions about why we believe in what we believe in, how is the bible not in error if man wrote it, why certain things happened the way they did in the Old Testament, etc.
Praise God that He provided me and Stephanie the opportunity to really methodically convey the Gospel to Jason, and praise God that He provides us with the answers to those questions! Also praise The Lord for the patience He supplied us during that long conversation as well. The conversation ended with us really pleading and encouraging Jason to come visit GraceLife London this Sunday while we were still in town! We also handed a track to Jason and really told him how grateful we were that he was so willing to listen for such a long period of time. Jason left saying that he wished the Christians he had known in his lifetime were like us, and Praise God that we both could be encouraged by that. Although that was a huge blessing for me and Stephanie, it also was a bummer to hear that Jason (along with so many) have been "turned-off" to Christianity due to their experiences with some Christians. Be encouraged my Kindred Family, to be ambassadors for Christ daily! You never know how God can use that! Ultimately though, this day produced major Doxology for me, Stephanie, and our whole team! Please continue to pray for us my beautiful Kindred family! Pray that The Holy Spirit would bring the necessary conviction to whichever hearts that He wills!
Friday night, we joined members of GraceLife London to evangelize. I had the priveledge of standing with Donna, Pastor Tom's wife. Let me tell you, she is a woman of God! In between waves of people that weren't the most willing to take out tracts, she shared her testimony and stories about marriage, family, and the journey of GraceLife London. No matter what the story was, it always had a common theme: she trusted God and followed him every step of the way. There were times she didn't like something, or didn't want to go down a certain path, but every time she chose to. She can now look back and see how much better that path was than what she would have chosen. God has gifted her with such faith and wisdom! And vulnerability to open up and share her heart with a random girl from California! I so appreciated the encouraging time of fellowship I was not expecting.
And just when we were discouraged by the rain and discouraged by the blatant disregard for God, God reminded us of his love- a double rainbow! (Photo credit by John Belletto).
Tomorrow we will be inviting people to come to church. Pray that people we encounter tomorrow and those that we have been talking to this week would come join us and hear more of God's Word.
July 1st, 2016 Update
Londoners: "Stressed depressed but well-dressed"
This is London- the people are cold in every respect, from the weather of the city to the weather of their hearts. Londoners have perfected the art of ignoring their surroundings. They walk in solitude and with focus to who knows where.
They are the best dressed lot of people I have ever seen, fitted suits is what sweat pants and flip flops are in SoCal. People are extremely ambitious and are extremely intelligent. The individuals I have had the opportunity to converse with, have all valued critical thinking. They are thinkers and if you do not prove yourself as one, it is unlikely they will give you a listening ear.
And yet despite all the rejection our team has faced this week, I have come to love this city and its people. To see lost souls magnifies the grace the Lord has given me in my life and ultimately His salvation, but as a fellow human, my heart yearns for these people to come to know the truth of the gospel; to know the peace that passes all understanding through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace Life London has been a place of refreshment and encouragement. The church family here has embraced, loved, and encouraged us. We have had the privilege of having some of their members join us at the tube stations as we pass out tracts and converse with people.
Please keep our team and the church in your prayers, even more so please be praying for the people of London. We appreciate all your prayers thus far and we love and miss you all!
Pastor Tom also asked Kevin to speak and he prepared a sermon on The Attributes of God and spoke on grace.
Anyway, I developed a pretty big blister that started bleeding. Thankfully, Jeff, who is studying to be a foot and ankle specialist, and Mike, who came prepared with a medical kit, came to my rescue . They embarrassingly made me sit down and clean my heel off but now I’m back and ready to walk the streets evangelizing. Praise God for preparing everyone with different gifts! And the moment for team building!
Hello from across the pond! Thank you all for your continuous prayers and support while we are here in London with GraceLife, it means so much to us. Today we took some time to see the city and be tourists. We saw the main sights on this cloudy and chilly day, but had fun navigating the tube and grabbing some tasty fish and chips!
We are back from a full day and now preparing for GraceLife’s mid-week church service at 7:30pm tonight and fellowship with the congregation afterwards. Please be praying for Kevin as he will be giving the message tonight about God’s grace and Mike and Dani will be leading worship. Stay tuned to hear more about our night!
June 28th, 2016 Update
MIND THE GAP!
Monday/Tuesday: Our mission, as defined by Pastor Tom and Adam, is to raise awareness for the church, handing out little tracts that have the statement: “Mind the God Gap”. If you are anything like me, and you had never been overseas before the cleverness of that statement would go right over your head.
In London, the main transportation is called the tube, and before you get on, there are signs on the ground, voices on the speaker and signs all around saying “mind the gap”, the space between the underground walkway and the tube itself. The purpose of this statement is to save people from falling and severly, even fatally injuring themselves.
In the same manner, “Mind the God Gap” is a play on words to watch where you step on your journey in life for truth, in this way GLL uses their main evangelism platform to send Londoners to their website mindthegodgap.com with the church’s address and videos simply and humbly laying the truth of the gospel forward. As we go out to tube stations and set up outside Barbacon, Farringdon or Liverpool; the dependence on their own human reason and logic has left them proudly apathetic.
Our constant prayer as we continue to hand out tracts to these silent masses is that the strength of God’s Word and the truth of the gospel would pierce Londoners in their heart and soul and they would not be able to spiritually rest until they search out the truth and hopefully are saved in the process. Please continue to pray and encourage us, it means the world to us.
June 28th, 2016 Update
Hey everyone, today is our third day in London and we’ve been staying busy.
We had a pretty smooth traveling experience. Most of us didn’t get much sleep but that’s the nature of air travel. Thankfully keeping busy is forcing us to adjust to the time change.
Upon landing we had only a few minutes to change. We grabbed a quick lunch at a pizza joint nearby. Then it was off to church for their 4 o'clock service. Pastor Tom spoke on 1 Corinthians 11:4-5. A great reminder to of what our love should look like. Afterwards the church had a bbq for us. We got to meet the members. They’re all so friendly and welcoming. We just hung out for a while and then got ready for bed. We were all pretty wiped.
On Monday we met with Pastor Tom, his associate pastor Adam (who knew Mike and I because we went to Master’s!), and Keith Essex. Then we went to tube stations to pass out cards with Grace Life London’s website on them. It’s called thelondongap.com - check it out! We are aiming to cover the circle line. So on this day we split into two teams with one covering Farringdon station and the other at Barbican station. We did this twice. Once in the morning and once during the evening rush hour for about two hours each time. It could be hard at times when we would get rejection but we learned to let it roll off our shoulders and keep going. Most of the people during rush hour looked so zoned out. Adam ordered pizza for dinner and we just ate and debriefed. We turned in pretty early because we had an early morning the next day.
Today we left at 6:30 am to get to our stations by 7 to catch rush hour. The stations we were covering today were Moorgate and Liverpool. Once again the people looked like zombies just mindlessly on their way to work. We stayed out there until 9 and then headed back to church where we had breakfast. After we ate, a few of us (Jeff, Karen, Dani and Flo) decided to go out an engage people with conversation in the park and dining areas near the church. The rest of us stayed at the church to do homework, prepare sermons/worship music, and/or rest. Afterwards everyone headed to Liverpool station again to catch the evening rush. It also conveniently started raining around this time as well. Karen and Jeff had a really good conversation with a guy named Matt. Please pray for him.
While everyone was out, John stayed back and made us a delicious and hardy dinner of meatloaf and mac n cheese. After cleaning up and dancing around the kitchen together we are now just unwinding and getting ready for bed. They’re having a bible study tomorrow so I’m excited to see what that is like.