Week 7 and 8 / 29 May - 12 June
Things got a bit busy this past week and we missed our post on Monday recapping Week 7. But we did manage to get out a monthly newsletter - a week late, but we did get it out! Now, we'll fill in some of the details. :o).
We've heard many times that the focus of this trip is to be relational in nature, and we have seen that prove true. In the midst of serving and ministering, the core of our time here has been about building relationships. In doing so, our ministry here will flow out of relationship and not simply function.
One of the core relationships that has grown here is with Shona Stirling, the Director of Pastoral Care for Whiteinch Church, and lead overseer of Healing for the Heart, the inner healing ministry arm of Whiteinch Transformation. It is at her invitation that we have come to Whiteinch.
Over the past several weeks, we have been dreaming together about what a partnership might look like between Healing for the Heart and Simply-Worship and are beginning to see some beautiful possibilities emerge. Our desire is that this partnership will truly flow out of relationship and to that end, we are exploring ways that we can not only come alongside what Healing for the Heart is doing here in Scotland, but also how Healing for the Heart can come alongside of what Simply-Worship is doing in the States. This was not something we anticipated, but it is the beautiful thing God is birthing. It has been incredibly humbling to us that our home here in Scotland is not just inviting us to come and pour out, but they are being intentional about exploring ways they can also pour into us.
The community God has surrounded us with here in Whiteinch is such a gift and we are grateful beyond words.
Rise of the Radicals
On 2-3 June, we attended a conference here in Glasgow which was put on by the Glasgow Prophetic Center called Rise of the Radicals. It was an inspiring conference that infused encouragement and confidence into the body of Christ here in the UK. It was fun to be in an atmosphere that was so charged with possibility, Presence, and passion.
Things ramped up quite a bit this past week as we spent a few days in London. Melinda used to live in London and we both have friends there. One of them had a stroke in January and has been in the hospital since. Our main reason to go was to visit him, however, when in London, there are certain icons that one must see.
Our trip to the city came just days after a second terrorist attack on one of the bridges and in a local pub. Completely unaware, we ended up walking directly by the crime scene at the Borough Market which was still being investigated. The atmosphere in the city in general is heightened to begin with, but in this area, the tension and trauma were palpable. There was nothing for us to do but to pray over the area and over the city, and pray we did. We broke trauma off the area and released peace. We carry Jesus with us, and we carried Him there.
The hospital where our friend was a patient was right at the south end of the Westminster Bridge, the location of the first attack back in March. There are still floral memorials along the bridge and in an area by the hospital. Again, all we could do was release peace.
While standing along the main road at the entrance to the bridge, we began to notice that some of the iconic red double decker London buses had scripture on the side of them. In simple white letters on a black background, there were quotes of Jesus from the Gospels. An organization called QuoteJesus.com has invested a lot of money to spread the words of Jesus all around the city of London.
This bus in particular caught our eyes, and it is our prayer not only for London, but for the United Kingdom, and the United States, and for the entire planet: "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
New Wineskin for Dash Away
The biggest highlight of the week was the roll out of a new model for Dash Away! This was our test drive to see how leading a larger group, including both men and women, through an encounter experience in a one day event rather than a full weekend would work. Although we will still do the full weekend model, these one-day events are much easier and less expensive to manage so we wanted to give it a go.
We had 20 men and women join us for the day at the YWAM Base in West Kilbride, a venue we have used for several of our previous Dash Away events. It is only 40 minutes drive from Whiteinch, and the group was primarily our Whiteinch family! What a privilege to minister to these new friends who we have come to love, and who have come to love us. God moved powerfully and the new model WORKS!!! We are so thankful that God lets us be part of what He's doing here in Scotland. We are so humbled!
We left Scotland a year ago knowing there were some critical changes that we needed to make in order for the ministry to be sustainable for the long run. At the top of the list was the need of a team to travel and minister with us. One of the greatest gifts that our partnership with Healing for the Heart brings us is a pool of trained prayer ministers from which to draw a team to join us. On this trip, we had the privilege and the honour of having Cathie Macleod and Clare Young with us. They were absolutely BRILLIANT! A perfect fit! They served us so well. We felt supported and covered during the day with these two precious ladies by our side. What a treasure! Thank You, Jesus!!
Icing on the Cake
God has been so beautifully intentional with us on this trip. He has specifically provided for things He knew we needed. He has orchestrated details, established relationships, filled voids, and brought clearer vision for the future of the ministry, not just here in Scotland, but in the US as well. All of this is more than enough, but God went even above and beyond with a specific gift for me (Cathy) in particular.
One of my dreams has been to lead worship with a fiddle player in the mix. I've never done it before, but have always wanted to. The icing on the cake has been the treasure of Jill Niven, a fiddle playing worshiper! For some, this might not seem like a big deal, but for me, this gift has been a specific kiss from my Papa. So much fun! So blessed!
Things are winding down for us here on this trip. We head back to the States a week from Thursday, on 21st June. There are still gifts for us here, however, both to give and to receive and we are looking forward to them.
As you think of us, please pray that a housing option would open up for us in California. We currently are coming back to the States with no home to land in. God has this, but in all honesty, the closer our return comes with no options for housing is a bit disconcerting. We appreciate your prayers. Thank you!
Until next week...