Beloved friends and family, Another month has passed, so here’s another email to update you of our news!
This last week we have moved into a new two-bedroom semi-detached house, just around the corner from the YWAM-rented house we have been in for this past year. After a lot of help moving our worldly possessions over, we are now in the slow process of unpacking and settling in. Already though, it feels like home–not least because we’ve actually already lived here for a couple of weeks, when friends who were renting here at the time asked if we would like to house-sit for them while they were on holiday. That was a huge blessing at the time, but now it feels like part of some intricate design that God has been planning years in advance. It also turns out that the landlord is a Christian, and a deacon at the local Baptist church, and he seems very positive toward our work with YWAM!
Concerning my (Taryn writing) health, we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. As for my ligaments, I have been walking without crutches this week, hallelujah! As for the feeding pain, it has been a convoluted tale, involving many rabbit trails and red herrings, but the conclusion of the matter seems to be that I have had mastitis for the past twelve weeks, and have developed an abscess - thank God that, as of today, I have the medicine I need, and please pray that the infection will go no further, and I will be able to feed Isaac without pain.
This last month has had its share of frustrations. For one thing, I [Peter] have failed to obtain a driving licence. Not, as one might have thought, because I have failed a driving test, but because after two attempts I have still not managed to actually take a test. The first time I turned up at the test center only to be told that the examiner assigned to me had gone on strike; the second time I managed (with incomparable comic timing) to destroy the paper part of my licence by putting it through the wash just before my re-scheduled test. This would be just an amusing story–were it not for the fact that the waiting list for driving tests is about three months. So there is sitting on our drive a beautiful old Vauxhall Corsa, which we have been generously given, but it won’t be until October that we’re able to use it! (And then only if I manage to pass the test, and indeed, to take the test!) Pray that God would teach me patience–and that he would do it quickly!
I (Peter) remember when I was first employed as a church evangelist, mulling over the fact that the New Testament describes an evangelist’s role not so much as doing evangelism and sharing the gospel, but rather emphasizes equipping others for this ministry. The importance of this was then impressed upon me, when someone pointed out the mathematical superiority of continually reproducing discipleship (however unimpressive it might be) to incredibly successful individual ministries. The proof: if a Billy Graham was to lead ten thousand people to the Lord every night, he would have to live two thousand years to lead the world’s seven billion people to Christ – presuming no increase in population! But if you and one other friend could simply each disciple one other person in a reproducible way, so that each year all of you discipled a new person into the faith, then in thirty-three years your numbers would have doubled thirty-three times–and every one on earth would be reached! With this in mind I’ve been incredibly encouraged by the reports from those that we’ve been training this year in evangelism and discipleship. One of them sent me this text from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Outreach:
And when Bethany arrived back in Cambridge she reported that
Over the time I was there we saw over 100 people pray to make Jesus their personal Lord and Savior! The harvest was ripe; it was incredibly easy! For example, I shared the gospel with two girls on the street who said they didn’t have a relationship with God. I asked them, “Do you ever wonder what the purpose of life is?” They said that they didn’t know what the purpose of life was, but that they had been wondering about it. I got to share with them that the purpose of life is having a relationship with God, and living for Him so that we can spend eternity with Him in heaven; that’s what we were created for, and that’s what brings fulfillment! I asked them if there was anything keeping them from wanting a relationship with God, and they said no so we prayed with them to accept Jesus right then and there!
Next DTS Draws Near
It is now less than a month until the next Revival & Reformation DTS begins. Praise God for the incredible staff team that has committed to help make this happen: as well as the whole of the staff team from last year, we also have two of last year’s DTS trainees staying on as staff, as well as two more joining from other locations. Right now we have to make some pressing decisions about renting a second house to accommodate the DTS students and staff that will be with us. Please pray for the wisdom, the faith, and the courage to make the right decisions. For “we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith”. A few weeks ago I had the chance to preach again at Mill Road Baptist church, on the glory of communion with God amidst the overwhelming pressures of life. Pray for more opportunities for us and our DTS team to partner with local churches in Cambridge for the expansion of the kingdom of God! And today we’re heading to the King’s Lodge, in Nuneaton, for a week long gathering of YWAM DTS leaders from across Western Europe.
Wars And Rumours of Wars
Amidst the heart-wrenching news coming from Iraq and from Gaza, I have wondered a little in trying to write this email quite how our little trials and joys fit into the larger picture of what is happening in the world. Please pray for “all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life”. But let’s remember that God’s desire is not a superficial ceasefire, or even a slightly more permanent political peace, but that “all people should be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth”. As the uglier side of Islam is suddenly brought to the world’s attention, it’s encouraging to hear that “there is an unprecedented movement of Muslims to Christ today and it’s not localised to one part of the world, it’s spread from West Africa all the way to Indonesia and everywhere in between…[because] the fervent prayer of God’s people for Muslims is having a great impact!” So let’s continue to pray fervently, not just for Muslims, but for “all people”!
Grace, peace, and love, Peter, Taryn & Isaac