It has been a long while since we last wrote - apologies! Much has been happening of which we will now at long last tell you.
First, The House Story
You must be wondering about the outcome of our meeting with the owner of the million-pound guesthouse, so let’s get straight to it! Our offer was refused. We received an email from him about a week after the meeting, explaining that unfortunately he could not accept our offer because our offer didn’t offer sufficient security against the property being repossessed by his mortgage company. We were encouraged, however, that he felt comfortable to be very transparent with us about the exact figures, and are still praying that God would bless the owner and open that door again in His time. We also felt God reminding us that His house is fundamentally built in ‘people, not places’. Anyway—that’s the bad news.
The good news is that God has provided another house for at least these next seven months, for us to rent together with our six Revival & Reformation DTS trainees, and Bethany, the other staff member living with us. So we are living two miles north of the centre of the city, just off Arbury Road. We’d not actually realised how much of a challenge it would be for us even just to rent a house in Cambridge—landlords want to rent out to either families, professional sharers, or students, and our missionary community didn’t fit easily in any of those categories. However, after I had had a number of failed phone-calls, another member of our team found (on his first attempt!) a house whose landlord was willing to rent to us. A few more delays and hiccups followed, but we finally signed the contract for a five-bedroom unfurnished house on Friday 20th September—only two days before the DTS trainees were due to begin arriving! And it is here that we saw God’s supernatural provision, because by the Monday night we had a house furnished with all the beds, cupboards, tables, etcetera that we need. I think the only things that cost us money were a second-hand rug and some cutlery!
Revival & Reformation DTS
The DTS itself has got off to an explosive start. One of our trainees had visa problems (for which we have much sympathy!) which meant she only arrived in England two days ago, but the rest were able to begin with an excellent first week of teaching from Shephen Mbewe, leader of YWAM Mozambique, who unpacked the biblical basis for Mission, reminding us of the missionary nature of God himself, and laying a solid foundation for all that we will be doing in weeks and months to come. As well as enjoying the teaching, the trainees have jumped enthusiastically into prayer, worship, evangelism—and whatever else we ask them to do! We have already seen four people pray simple prayers committing their lives to the Lord in response to some street evangelism we have been able to do in Cambridge, and tomorrow morning we fly to Norway for a week of Circuit Riders training that will hopefully take each one to a new level in gospel boldness! Their names are Lukas (Sweden), Akira (South Africa), Hannah (England – who was at Churchill with me!), Kimie (USA), Haley (USA) and Tiara (USA). Please pray that God would knit us together in Spirit-filled gospel-centred community.
As well as being involved in beginning the DTS, I have also felt strongly that in returning to Cambridge God is calling us to step out in faith to plant a new church. Ever since my Dad gave me a copy last year of Steve Smith’s book ‘T4T:Training For Trainers’ I have been captivated by the vision of rapid multiplication of simple biblical churches, and it felt that this season of new beginnings was the time to start! This is in no way a rejection of the blessing it has been to be part of Cambridge Presbyterian Church, and I was very grateful to be able to sit down over brunch with our old minister Ian Hamilton and talk through some of the vision and have him pray for us in this new season. From the 13th October, we will (at least initially) be meeting each Sunday afternoon from 1-4pm at 25 Portugal Place, for lunch, prayer & worship, biblical teaching, and accountable fellowship. Please pray that God would use us to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples.
Weddings & Things
What else is there to say–? Well, we had an amazing time in America celebrating my brother’s wedding to the beautiful Noelle (like myself and Taryn, they were at Hebron School in India together), while staying in the most incredible mountain ‘cabin’. And it wasn’t long after getting back to Cambridge, that Andrew Harland (also a former Hebronite, and now a Cambridge student) asked my sister to marry him!
On that happy note, I will send this overdue epistle!
Grace, peace, and much love, Peter & Taryn