So, onto a continued update regarding my trip to London/Harpenden. After spending a few days in London, we met up with the rest of our group and headed out to Harpenden. Harpended is just outside of a town called Luton. It is easier to find Luton on the map than Harpenden. Let's just say, we are definately out in the coutry in Harpenden. Lots of rolling hills, sheep pastures, grass, and trees.
We arrived in Harpended and the folks hosting us at the YWAM base had a whole spread laid out for us. We got to eat and then a small group of us went on a long walk around the "town." I put that in quotes because it really isn't much of a town. That night we met with Brian and Bruce and the rest of our team and had a quick briefing on what the week would look like, what we could expect to encounter and some tips on praying for people. Basically the week was 8-10 hours a day of praying for people. Some of them had had prayer before, as this was the fifth trip we had sent a team for, and others had not. I got to pray with my good friend Erika, and we were the only "singles" team there. It would have been really easy to get smacked with insignificance about the fact that we were the only single team there. However, Bruce told me later that week that due to the fact that there were so many single gals based in Harpenden, they were very blessed to have people there who understood what they were struggling with. It was also nice because Erika and I could switch roles about halfway through the week and not get burned out praying for so long.
I have already mentioned some of my highlights in praying for people in an earlier post. I will say this, I was so fearful about praying for married men, and those who were humble, left our prayer time restored! One of my most favorite prayer times was with a married couple, and it was so amazing. My fear over it was gone. I realized that it is not me who blocks them receiving from us, it is their issues. Two of the six men we prayed for were very willing to have us pray with them, and two were "on the fence." The two who were more resistant, the Lord saved us just in time and Brian helped us with one, OJ and Suzanna helped us out with the other. Brian had mentioned that we might get people approach us outside of prayer times to ask for prayer and that did happen. But, those that were really in NEED of prayer were the ones we were there for. I am sure some people who wanted to get prayed for did not. I loved praying for these poeple. The Lord was good and met us over and over again in those times. The last night we prayed, I was so exhausted, but as soon as we started praying and the Lord started speaking it was like "Ok, I can DO this!!" I learned that I can have just as much zeal for the last person on our list as I can for the first person to come. I mean, who would think that praying for that lone, that many days in a row could be fun??
We did have some breaks in the week. One night Brian and Bruce took us all out to dinner, another night we had dinner with Lyn Green and his family (director of International Ministries with YWAM), and another night, right a bunch of us met in the lounge and stayed up late playing telephone pictionary. If you have never played this game before, it is a must. I have not laughed that hard in a LONG time. We had such a fun group over there. We all came in liking each other, but I really feel we left as friends. I just fell in love with our group. I had a dream (this is true!!) while over there that I was one of the gals from "Charlies' Angels" and so now I have a new nickname from Brian...what fun!
We finished at 1:00 on the last Friday of my trip, which was unexpected. I thought for sure we'd be going all day Friday. So, the group of us headed into London and I got another night in town. Somehow in the scurry to leave on Sunday, I missed saying goodbye to my friend Jess, who I was staying with, and so I got to see her one last time. I then took the tube Sat. morning to the airport (all by myself!!! with no help!!!) and hopped the flight back home. I tell you a nine and a half hour flight is no fun. But, to think I am only that far from going back....it is all worth it. I mean, when you think about it, nine and a half hours, while long on a plane, is really not that muc time! And, that is all the further London England is from me and me from it!!
It has been so busy since I have been back. Kyle and Becky (brother and sister-in-law) were in town last week, and so I spent a lot of time with them. Sara's bridal shower is this weekend, and this is the first one I have ever planned, so that has taken a lot of time too. Plus, catching up with my small group girls, getting back into the swing of ministry (preschool planning, choir rehersals, serving at a single mom's event, our 40 days of fasting and prayer, and planning for the Sunday school class I will be teaching), and work (working all week, and our Livable Communities Fair this Sat.) has meant that I am actually probably busier than ever. Living in the midst of all of that (laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking etc.) has been a challenge. But, the Lord sustains and does not give more than we can handle. Somewhere, in the midst of the busy-ness, I am managing to get everything done that I need to! Amen!!