I have heard it said that all major revivals in history started with young people. I have witnessed the beginnings of revival in London!
Tuesday was a fun day watching football and chatting and getting to know kids. In fact about 30 people from that first day came to the church service that night! These are people with little to zero church experience!
What I really admired about those from Christ Church that were at the service that night was how they really loved the kids where they were at. Most of these kids had never been inside a church before and were manifesting their brains out: rebellion, chaos, etc. Getting up in the middle of Andrew's talk, talking while he was talking etc. etc. And people just let them go. It would have completely proved these kids right if we'd come down on them. They just needed to be let go. At the end of the talk, Andrew asked if anyone wanted prayer and 28 of them came forward for it!! The question we were to ask the Lord was: how does the Lord see them and how has He made them! From this question alone, I think three gave their lives to the Lord that night! Most of the others were completely rocked that the God of the Universe knew who they were and loved them! I ended up praying for three girls who left the time really blessed.
Wed. was the same format, but only about 20 kids showed up that night. It was much more peaceful and I got to pray for a girl named Emily who gave her life to the Lord. Definately the highlight of my trip.
Thursday morning's prayer time before football began was neat, because we realized that we had been neglecting our own youth group! So we broke up into teams and prayed for the youth from the church who'd been helping. A guy named James and I got to pray for Sophie and Roseanne. It makes me think maybe I am going to start working with our Jr. High group here at Newsong!
Also Thurs during the football time, a guy named Thomas and I walked into town a little to buy some trainers (tennis shoes). As we were leaving the store, the bobbys (cops) were evacuating our block!! As we hustled away, we could see that they had pulled over a red double decker bus! We asked a bobby and he told us there was a suspicious package on board! It never even made the news over there, so it must have been nothing. But, a good reminder of the territory we were working with!
The Thursday night church service was basically a war zone. We completely got our butts kicked by the enemy. Kids running around everywhere out of control. But, more than that, you could see on the faces of the workers such discouragement, hopelessness, and intimidation. I would describe it like a last ditch effort by the defeated enemy to make us quit and give up. Like he was throwing all he had at us. So, after the service we ended up in some major warfare prayer over the night and all left feeling much more victorious and at peace. One of the youth, a guy at the end collapsed in the shakes and crying. Totally under attack. We ended up warring for him for about fifteen minutes before he ended up feeling better.
Friday was awesome as well. The day before, Andrew had announced without asking us Americans that we would be playing a football match against the young kids there. We are talking 20 on 4! However, we ended up doing pretty well. It was a draw 1-1. I had an assist on our one goal, but managed to kick the ball and hit one of the kids smack in the face! Whoops!
Friday night was also back to being peacable at church again.
Saturday I woke up early and headed over to the church to meet with a group of girls from the church who had asked me to meet them with some questions they had about boys and dating etc. I can honestly say that this is the first time I have ever felt like my testimony about my past relationship with Jon had some real fruit from it. It was great to be able to share with them my story.
Saturday during the day we offered two things for the kids from the camp: for those who had accepted the Lord a class on how to read the Bible, pray, etc. and for those who hadn't another chance to hear the gospel. Not everyone who came on Saturday got saved, but we just trust that seeds were planted and that the Lord's work was done. We also had a BBQ for everyone who wanted to come. Lots of people showed up for that.
Saturday was also the only night I got home before 10:30. We were done by 8, and a bunch of us headed over to the house that Julie and I were staying in (not the vicarage, but Anthony and his wife Cathy's house) to hang out.
Sunday we went to church and after church prayed for a lady who had just broken up with her boyfriend. She was struggling with the lie that she would NEVER get married, and again, felt like for the first time my own struggles with singleness were able to be used to minister to someone.
Then, the four of us Americans and another gal named Bryna went into the city and got to see some of the sights: Trafalger Square, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, National Gallary and Covent Gardens where "My Fair Lady" was filmed. Not a lot of sights, but enough.
Then, headed back to church. After church a bunch of us went out to a proper English pub for drinks. It is so funny, but alcohol in the UK is so much more a part of everyday life, and so unlike the US. I can't imagine a University in the UK even thinking of having a drinking policy, or even it being a big deal at all for anyone. Just one of those cultural differences. I had a glass of wine. It was so funny, because some of the group was literally fighting over who would get to buy Julie and I our drinks. I felt a little bit what it must be like to be a celebrity at that moment.
Woke up Monday to pack and get ready to go, while checking on my flight. Because, British Airways baggage handlers had gone on strike the previous Friday and they had canceled all of their flights out of Heathrow on Friday! I wasn't even sure on Friday whether I'd be able to leave on Monday or not!! It started with the catering service workers going on strike and then the baggage handlers went on "sympathy" strike. By Monday, 95% of the flights were leaving. It took me over two hours to check in and go through security! and we still sat on the tarmac for 45 mintues waiting for passangers to get through all the security etc.
On Monday before I left, we got to pray for two more people and then Jim, and Thomas took me to the airport.
I think I just realized how rewarding it was to literally pour yourself out into a ministry! It was so worth being tired and losing my voice. There was no thought of the cost, I just went for it. And, came back feeling so great and alive! I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Well, I hope this wasn't too long! Talk to you real soon!