We hope you’ve had a glorious weekend, being reminded of the undeniable truth that Jesus is alive! We’ve made it to the end of the ‘lecture phase’ of the Revival and Reformation DTS and our little team of world-changers are now on outreach to Kenya (read their blog here). Meanwhile Peter and I remain in Cambridge hosting teams (we had a team of six YWAMers considering moving to the UK from the US staying with us over the weekend), doing local outreach (we were in the Grafton Centre on Good Friday), and preparing for the arrival of Baby Prescott (just over a month to go)! It has been an incredible and challenging six months. We’ve made the most glorious friendships–we’ve also grieved the death of our beloved friend Inge. This must be what Jesus was talking about when He promised ‘life in abundance’ - and the highs and lows are certainly multiplied by some very large number when you live in such close community! Though it has been costly in terms of money and personal energy, we feel so rich in love.
The Harvest is Plentiful
Our team has experienced incredible breakthrough in simple street evangelism, and they have been able to impart that breakthrough to other teams we have partnered with. Praise God that over the past six months, we have seen about a hundred and fifty people pray salvation prayers on the streets of Cambridge, Derby, Hull, Reading, and even Norway! Sometimes this has been easy—in our very first week, the Spirit spontaneously sparked us into street evangelism before we’d even intended. Sometimes it’s been more difficult—but even then we know God is at work!
At the Derby DTS Gathering one afternoon, I (writes Peter) was having a miserable afternoon trying to talk to people in the town centre. It was cold and no-one was interested in stopping to talk. When two girls did finally accept my offer of a free bracelet, I found my hands were too cold to tie it up, and they—uninterested in waiting while I tried to share its accompanying gospel story—snatched it out of my hands with a ‘Thanks, we’ll tie it ourselves’.
Discouraged, I prayed. ‘God, I don’t feel like I’m doing anything here–but if you want to use me, here I am!’ It wasn’t immediate, but a little later two teenage boys then came walking around the corner. ‘Hello! We’re asking people what they think about Jesus–what do you think?’ ‘—Um, well I don’t believe in Jesus, but I believe in faith…’ I questioned the circularity of believing in faith, while also commending him for his recognition that faith is a powerful thing. The boys were full of questions, and after sharing with them the simple gospel they both prayed to receive Jesus as their Saviour and Lord.
Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is more skilled at follow-up than I am - immediately upon praying the prayer, it became evident that one of the boys knew a local Christian he could continue to meet up with. Imagine my delight when I discovered that this local Christian happened to be a YWAM Derby staff member who had been praying for this boy’s salvation for years!
So Jesus wasn’t lying when he said that the harvest is plentiful! We rejoice in this Easter season, especially, in salvation by grace through faith, apart from works: ‘today you will be with me in Paradise’, said Jesus to the thief who had the cheek to simply ask. However, we also empathise with those happily surprised Galilean fishermen who found the catch too heavy for their nets! As we press into the next season realising that God is able, and indeed likely, to do ‘more than we ask, think, or even imagine’, please pray that just as we’ve seen breakthrough in people responding to the gospel on the streets, so we would see a breakthrough in follow-up discipleship.
We’ve been captivated by the vision of simple multiplying discipleship - easier said than done, but still worth saying and doing! Our attempts to catalyse a church-planting/discipleship movement have been less straightforward than those of our hero, Ying Kai. But we have succeeded in meeting with our neighbours here on Ashvale, worshipping together and using some simple inductive Bible methods to look at Mark’s Gospel. If you’re ever in Cambridge and free on a Tuesday night, then do come and join us!
We’re working on making our communication more consistent. Peter has been working on a new integrated website, where you can read all of our prayer-letters, download my music, listen to some of Peter’s preaching, and generally get some idea of what we’re doing. And we’ll now be using MailChimp to send out regular monthly (or would you prefer fortnightly? let us know) emails. Also, Peter and I would like to send out a little package to each of you to thank you for your partnership in the Gospel - would you reply to this email with your postal address?
Grace and peace, Taryn & Peter