Prescott Prayer Letter: Awakening Is Coming!

Beloved friends and family!

Two things: –we’ve recorded another album that will be available soon;
-and the R&R DTS is about to start, but it’s still possible for people to join!

So first, we’ve been busily preparing for this upcoming Revival & Reformation DTS, which starts in a week, on September 21st, and continues until June. It feels like the most prepared we’ve ever been, but there’s still a lot to be done — as well as a huge amount of excitement about what God is going to do in all of our lives over these next nine months. I believe that this is a time when those involved with the DTS will have the chance to deepen their roots in God, through delighting in His word and receiving from His Spirit, so that they can produce much fruit — filled with seed, to grow more trees, to produce more fruit, filled with more seed, for more trees, for more fruit, for more seed… and so on! I believe it will be a time of individually awakening to a greater sense of the reality of who God is, so that each one can take their place in all that God is doing on the earth in our generation.

As we’ve been praying and preparing, I’ve had a strong sense that we should press in and keep asking God ‘the Lord of the Harvest’ to send us a full complement of labourers for the harvest field. We have space to potentially accept one more girl and three more guys. If you know anyone from 18-40 who might be interested, then please inform them of this opportunity. Even if they’re not able to arrive quite on time — the fact that the DTS is nine-months long, gives us a little bit more leeway to make up for late arrivals.

And even if you don’t know anyone, please pray with us for doors to be opened so that all that are meant to do this DTS are able to come: doors of faith, that they would have a strong and certain sense that they are called to be involved; doors of provision, that they would have the confidence that God will supply all of their financial and other needs; doors of favour, that they would have the necessary support from family, friends and church.

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And second, we had an amazing time awakening the dawn at David’s Tent during our 5.20am eighty-minute worship session, and we spent yesterday with the YWAM Cambridge family in the studio recording those songs plus a few others — all new songs that God has given us over these last few months.

Taryn explains: To me, to worship in spirit and truth is about laying your whole life down on the altar, just being completely surrendered. Sometimes the sound that comes out of your mouth might sound beautiful, sometimes it might not — but God hears the sound of your heart.

The Bible says man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. In the same way, man might hear your outward sound, but God hears the songs of your heart, and that’s beautiful to him. So to worship in spirit and in truth is to have your heart tuned to Him and to be singing truly from your heart.

My vision for this album is just to be family and make a joyful noise together. i was talking to some of my friends the other day, as we were doing dishes together, and they said, ‘You know, you write these beautiful songs, and yo want them to sound perfect int he studio’, and I just had this God moment when God helped me overcome my perfectionism and my pride when I said, ‘You know what, I would rather sound messy with my friends than sound perfect by myself’ And this album is about that: about being family and worshipping the Lord together.

This is the most fun i’ve ever had because all my friends are here! It’s just a picture of eternity and what it’s like in heaven–to worship together!

It’s not about having the perfect sound — it’s just about being family!

We are Family. And this is our Sound. This is
AWAKENING.

Available December 1st 2015.

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Thank you for your prayers and all your support! If you would like to give financially, click here.

Your servants in Christ,
Peter & Taryn + Isaac Prescott
(the ‘Praise-God’ family)

Prescott Prayer Letter: See what God’s done!

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Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind! Psalm 66:5

In our travels recently I’ve bumped into several people that have said how much they appreciate these prayer-letters—and then have immediately commented, ‘…but we haven’t seen one for quite a while!’

It sometimes feels like where Paul would start his missionary epistles with a salutation of ‘Grace and peace’ and then an inspired apostolic prayer for the spiritual strengthening of those reading, I frequently begin my letters with an apology that it’s taken me so long to write! Anyway, here at last is our update—and it is our prayer that you would know how grateful we are for all of your support and partnership in the gospel, and that you would be encouraged to shine brightly for the glory of God in every situation that you find yourself in!

One DTS finishes, another is about to begin
As most of you know, our main responsibility for these last couple of years has been leading the 9-month Revival & Reformation DTS which starts each September, continues in Cambridge until March, and then concludes with the team being sent out on a two-month international outreach for April and May, before they return to Cambridge for a final week of debrief in June.

Debriefing our team when they returned from their outreach in Albania and Macedonia was a real joy and privilege. The week of debrief can sometimes be a little tense and difficult, as tensions that have been simmering for several weeks below the surface suddenly come to the surface. But this team had done a fantastic job of dealing with the challenges that came up and using their gifts to serve the work God was doing in the places they were sent. We even had an email from the leaders of YWAM Albania commending them for “being so organised, committed, and resonating God, having servant hearts and working in harmony, being creative and flexible.” I’m sure Bethany and Hannah won’t mind if you take a peek at their first-hand accounts of the highlights.

No sooner had we concluded the ’14-’15 DTS than we were beginning to look forward to this coming September and start making plans. Several of the trainees who just completed the DTS have felt called to return and join our staff team, so we spent the week immediately after their graduation talking, praying and preparing together for the next Revival & Reformation DTS. One of our team has put together this hundred-second video which captures the heart of it.

The start of the DTS is less than four weeks away, but if you know people who would be interested, there is still space available. I just had an email this afternoon from a girl who was all set to start university but said that “during the last three or so weeks God has been really changing my heart to do something else” — and that something else looks like it might be our DTS! We are praying especially for three more men to sign up. So please pass on the trailer and the link to ywamcambridge.org to all you know!

Our House Church completes Mark’s Gospel

house-church-finishes-markAs well as being involved with leading the Discipleship Training School, we are also involved in discipleship week-in-week-out, as we meet each week in our house with various neighbours and people we’ve met from across the city, for simple discipleship and inductive bible-study.

And almost two years after beginning, we finally finished making our way through Mark’s Gospel! If you like, you can read my notes from our bible studies here. And I’ve written a little here about how this fits with our other church involvement — and why I think it’s so important for everyone to try and find a way to lead out and make disciples of others.

The Privilege of Family

The last time I saw my whole family was two years ago, at my brother's wedding in the USA. This summer was my sister's wedding, so again we were all brought together from across the globe: my parents from Vietnam, my brother and sister-in-law from America. The wedding was here in Cambridge, so we hosted my parents in our guestroom and my sister on our sofa!
rebeccas-wedding
taryn-family-gathering
We then had a few weeks in India: particularly so that we could join the the ninetieth birthday celebrations of Taryn's grandfather.
We spent time with family in Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai -- and then had a few days by ourselves at the Scripture Union marriage retreat centre in Mahabalipuram.

Please pray for my sister Rebecca (now Mrs. Harland!) and her husband Andrew as they move to East London where they want to reach out to Muslims in the area. And pray also for Taryn’s brother Micah–he’s about to go to Germany to do a DTS with YWAM Herrnhut!

Stepping back to see what God has done!
In the midst of the other things that have been happening over these last couple of months, we’ve been trying to step back and remind ourselves what we do and why we do it.

Before we joined YWAM Cambridge two years ago, there were just two full-time staff: Connie Taylor, and Andy Henman. This September, it looks like will have about twenty, not counting families. If you have the time, I’ve tried to recount the full YWAM Cambridge story thus far on my blog.

Looking forward, Taryn and I are committing to be in Cambridge with YWAM Cambridge for at least the next five years. Last summer, I mentioned that I was considering Anglican ordination — I have decided that I am not to pursue this any time in the next few years. We want to see YWAM Cambridge established as a worshipping missionary community that will continue to train up and send out missionaries for as long as the Great Commission remains unfulfilled. We want to see night and day worship overflowing in mission to the ends of the earth. We want to see revival and reformation impacting every sphere of society and igniting Cambridge with whole-hearted love for God. We want to see an exponentially multiplying movement of discipleship that would fill the earth with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord.

Continue to pray with us for the ancient wells of revival to be unblocked. Continue to pray that God would abundantly supply all our needs according to his riches in glory. Continue to pray that the gospel would go forth with power, and that we would be bold to open our mouths and speak of Jesus.

The next few weeks
This weekend we are at David’s Tent, where we will be one of the worship teams lifting up non-stop praise for seventy-two hours. We’re excited and privileged to be part of this celebration of the extravagant love of Jesus.

We then head straight to Oxford, for the wedding of our good friend — he was best man at our wedding! — Jonny Reid.

The DTS staff should have arrived by Tuesday, in time for us to begin preparing in earnest for the upcoming school.

Peter then heads to Norway from the 8th to the 10th to connect with other Lausanne missionary leaders from Northern Europe.

Then YWAM Cambridge will be having our annual staff retreat, with teaching from Barry Austin, who was the leader of the first-ever DTS in Europe.

And the Revival & Reformation DTS begins on the 21st September.

So pray for us — that in the midst of whatever we might be doing, we would not lose sight of the fact that it is God who works in us, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Grace & peace,
Peter, Taryn and Isaac

Prescott Prayer Letter: Press On For The Prize!

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I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)

This, beloved friends, is what we feel God has been highlighting to us as a family: pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call!

Isaac especially has taken it to heart – he has already left far behind the milestone we mentioned in the last prayer-letter (learning to crawl) and is reaching forward to what lies ahead: books ready to be relocated from the shelves to the floor and bits of rubbish waiting to be excavated from the bin! Having learnt to walk without support two days ago, he is pressing on towards the goal (which, at the moment, is the shoe rack, where all the neatly stacked shoes are simply waiting to be rearranged).

Peter mentioned in the last newsletter struggling with the feeling that what we are doing is ‘insignificant’; in this past month, God has addressed that struggle head-on, confirming us that He has indeed called us to be part of raising up a new generation of missionaries and evangelists.

First, we went to Devon on retreat. We weren’t planning to connect with any local ministries, but ended up stumbling across the North Devon House of Prayer on our very first day. Before we knew what was happening, we were being prayed for and prophesied over, anointed with oil and commissioned as revivalists – what an unexpected encouragement! We got to spend some time with Jim and Mary, the couple running the house of prayer, and were amazed and encouraged by similarities in our journeys as couples, too numerous to be coincidence. We were reminded that God is building his House of Prayer, and all the seemingly meaningless struggles are actually allowed by Him in His sovereignty.

Then, we attended the YWAM UK & Ireland Gathering in Harpenden. A brother from Argentina, Alejandro Rodriguez, brought a simple but profound word which hit the nail on the head: “If God has called you to be a missionary, then obey Him, persevere, press on! Unless He leads you clearly in another direction, commit for life to what He has called you to do.” Peter and I found ourselves on our knees in tears, re-surrendering our lives to the Lord’s call, and Peter felt the Holy Spirit encouraging him:
“…I had a mental image through which I felt God speaking powerfully, of a butterfly: small, fragile, beautiful, yes–but almost insignificant in its vulnerability. And yet a single flap of its wings can make the difference in the chaos (to our finite minds!) of the atmosphere between there being a hurricane (and the “love like a hurricane” of which the song speaks) or a mere breeze; and God wants those of us who feel small and insignificant to faithfully flap our small, vulnerable, but-to-Him-beautiful wings, and thus release these hurricanes of love!; and God wants those of us who feel like caterpillars to not be afraid that we don’t appear able even to flap, for he can transform us completely.”

Third, Peter finally signed up to attend the official graduation ceremony where he would receive his Cambridge M.A. degree (a peculiar long-standing tradition states that that Cambridge graduates are automatically entitled to this two years after completion of the B.A.) His grandparents were able to be there, and, amidst much pomp, doffing of mortarboards and ceremonial Latin, he received his certificate. After taking pictures on the Senate House lawns, the graduates dispersed, perhaps to go to pubs with their friends and subtly compare accolades and pay checks. But as we sat in a little sandwich shop with two dear friends and supporters, Peter still in his fur-trimmed graduation gown, and they asked us about our ministry and poured love and encouragement into us, it was as though God was affirming what we have chosen to do with our lives after graduating from college.

As part of our response to the call to commit, I am in the process of applying for British citizenship. This means I will have to give up Indian citizenship, but I am still eligible for something called an Overseas Citizen of India card, which is like a lifetime visa. When all three of us have the same citizenship, it will make it much easier to travel together.

In a week, our DTS will return from Albania and Macedonia, and after a week of debrief and feedback, they will graduate! We give thanks to the Lord for His great faithfulness in getting us through another DTS. We celebrate what He has done, and press on towards summer outreach, the September 2015 DTS and our first ever Cambridge SBS (the ‘School of Biblical Studies‘, in which participants spend nine months in in-depth inductive study of every single chapter of every book of the Bible). We lift our eyes even further, and press on towards seeing night and day prayer in Cambridge overflowing in missions to the ends of the earth!

With much love,
Peter, Taryn and Isaac

Prescott Prayer Letter: Pierced For Me!

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Happy Easter!
In this season of Easter let’s lift our eyes to heaven and rejoice as we member that

There is one who was pierced for me
I see you now hanging on that thorny tree
you were lifted high like a lightning rod
taking all the wrath of a holy God
and your strength was yielded to His will
as the angels stood, amazed and still
as the Champion of Heaven died
You were beaten, naked, crucified…

(The lyrics are Taryn’s; you can listen to the full song here)

Change of Season
In this last week, so much has happened.

The DTS team that has been in Cambridge since September left for Albania last Saturday. We rose at 5am to wave farewell to the eight students and four staff members who will be on outreach for the next two months.

On Saturday night the clocks moved forward an hour, signifying the change to British Summer Time – and what an immediate change of season, for no sooner had the September 9-month Revival & Reformation DTS left on the Saturday, than the first arrival for our April 5-month Revival DTS got here on the Sunday afternoon.

And not only that, but we have a DTS outreach team from Australia (from YWAM Newcastle to be precise) with us for six weeks. They arrived on the Monday night.

Thankfully, we’re not directly staffing this DTS — although in these last few days we’ve helped with leading worship and helping the new arrivals capture the heart of our vision and get oriented in Cambridge. But over the next few weeks we’ll have some much-needed space to slow down a little bit and refocus on what’s truly important for us to be doing, rather than merely urgent.

The Last Couple of Months
Of course, it hasn’t just been this last week since we last sent out our newsletter–it’s been more than two months and much has happened.

Isaac’s been learning to crawl!

And we’ve been partnering with other Christian organizations in different ways: with OMF and WEC to celebrate the legacy of the Cambridge Seven, with Youth For Christ during their Be The Change mission week; with Hills Road Sixth Form College Christian Union, equipping them to use the gospel bracelets to reach their classmates with the love of Jesus.

And of course there’s been the general rhythm of DTS teaching and life. This term we’ve had the chance to look in more depth at what it means to engage Christianly with the different spheres of society. We’ve had Jonathan Tame from the Jubilee Centre speaking on ‘Christianity and Public Life’, Charles & Jill McLachlan from the Academy for Chief Executives talking about ‘Business and Social Transformation’, and YWAM’s Western European leader Carl Tinnion talking about ‘Christ-like Leadership’.

Speaking of DTS, we had the great joy of witnessing incredible financial provision and generosity for our staff and students (Bethany, who’s been overseeing our accounts, tells the story succinctly here, and Hannah describes the reactions of astonished surprise) to enable several of them to afford the cost of outreach.

These last few months have also been a challenging time in many ways–and I think a number of people in YWAM England have felt that in the uncertainty that has surrounded the visa situation. Even though the situation has been resolved some of that sense of having been thrown off balance remains.

Calling Forth A Generation
As I’ve wrestled a little bit with the feeling that what we’re doing is all rather insignificant, it’s been helpful to shift perspective and realize that I’m not just battling against the devil’s accusation that God’s call on my life to be a missionary is futile. But in fact I’m coming against a spiritual principality that is attempting to prevent this whole new generation of missionaries that is rising across the nations from entering into their destiny. Like the Psalmist, one sometimes wonders whether “in vain have I cleansed my heart?…”. But what we need is the conviction that “If I had said, “I will speak thus”; behold, I would have betrayed this generation of your children.” Pray for us that like David, we would serve God’s purpose in this generation!

On that note it was a huge encouragement to hear that I have been selected for the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering which will take place in Indonesia next summer.

Anyway, this email has been delayed long enough — I should probably finish off and send this out!

Finally, dear brothers and sisters, pray for us. We greet you all with Christian love!
(1 Thessalonians 5:25-26)

For God’s glory in this generation,
Peter, Taryn & Isaac

Prescott Prayer Letter: We Have Good News!

good-news

Breaking News: YWAM visa licence reinstated
Breaking news—and it’s good news! YWAM’s visa licence has been restored! Thankyou to everybody who prayed with us—this is a genuinely miraculous turn-around.

Since the UK Visa Authority’s inspection in September (which highlighted some areas in which YWAM record-keeping was not up to the new standards), we have been aware that there were three possibilities: at worst, we could completely lose our visa sponsorship licence (meaning everyone on YWAM visas would have to leave the country, and no more could be granted); or, we could be down-graded and have our licence suspended (meaning those already in the country could remain, but no new visas could be granted for six months); or at best (but this seemed almost too much to hope for!), we might be forgiven and our Grade-A status maintained.

A month ago we were told that it was going to be the worst-case scenario. Now, after an appeal and much united prayer, that decision has been completely reversed – and we can rejoice in the best possible result! This is fantastic news for the whole of YWAM England, and especially for our pioneering YWAM Cambridge team. It means that we can go ahead with the April DTS that some of our team are hoping to run after our current DTS leaves Cambridge to go on outreach; it means that we can continue renting the properties which are our little foothold in the city; it means that the current DTS trainees who have felt led to stay longer-term in full-time mission as part of our team will indeed be able to do so.

Hallelujah! And thankyou again for your prayers. It’s 2 Corinthians 1:11 in action.

Outreach locations decided
Meanwhile it has been decided that for the international outreach phase of the DTS (ie. April & May), our team will be going to Albania and Macedonia. The wonderful people at Prayercast have put together some fantastic videos to help you begin praying for these places (here’s Albania and here’s Macedonia). Having a little baby means myself and Taryn won’t be leading the team on outreach — we’re entrusting that task to our four of our fantastic staff team.

Just a few decades ago Albania was run by a totalitarian atheistic communist regime — those with the courage to be counted as Christians were actually sealed in barrels and rolled into the sea! One of our speakers on last year’s DTS, Reona Jolie, shared with us some of her story of entering the country during that closed period — if you’re interested you can read her book, Tomorrow You Die. But now we have the opportunity to freely visit and reach out to the Albanian people (who are mostly Muslim), as well as serving and encouraging the young and growing church. Pray for us as we communicate back and forth with the YWAM Albania team to work out the best way to use our time there.

25% of the population of Macedonia is actually made up of Albanian Muslims, so connecting with them will likely be a focus of the time in Macedonia. In thinking of Macedonia, I’ve been encouraged by the story in Acts 16 of Paul & Silas’ first missionary journey to Macedonia — even when they were imprisoned, their worship released the power of God in such a way that the jailer was compelled to ask ‘What must I do to be saved?’ Pray that our team would have opportunities to answer that same question–and to boldly respond that all you need do is to ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ!’

Seeking Sons of Peace
Just as the decision was finalized to send our team to bless Muslims in Albania and Macedonia, the Paris shootings have provoked another crisis in relations between the Muslim world and the Western world. While much of the Western world seemed to be declaring #IamCharlie, what I found most inspiring was the slightly less loudly trumpeted tribute to Ahmed Merabet, the Muslim police officer who was killed by the terrorists.

jesuisahmed

I have said before that I am a little skeptical about an absolute right to free speech. I have in the past justified the teasing of atheists, but in a world where technology means that all the world is within earshot of each other, it is a dangerous thing to prioritise liberté over fraternité.

Pray for our team as they go to Albania and Macedonia, that they would find people of peace with whom they can communicate the truth and love of Jesus across whatever cultural and religious obstacles they might encounter. Pray for us likewise here in Cambridge that our conversation would always be full of grace, seasoned with salt. And praise God that regardless of whether specific prayers (whether for visas or whatever) are quickly answered, we always have good news to share: the message that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners!

Jesus said to them, “The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few.
Pray therefore to the Lord of the harvest, that he may send out laborers into his harvest.
Go your ways. Behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves…
Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’
If a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on him…

(From Luke 10)

Your partners in the harvest,
Peter, Taryn & Isaac

Urgent Prayer Request:
Visa Crisis means YWAM England will lose half our Staff

urgent

YWAM England’s official statement:
In September 2014, following procedures introduced by the UK government to reduce immigration numbers, YWAM England and Wales was inspected by the UK Visas & Immigration office to review our status as a visa sponsor. The inspection concluded we were compliant in 5 of the 7 areas audited and found some clerical issues in the remaining two.

We immediately formed a team to rectify these issues and submitted an Action Plan. However, we were warned that we faced the possibility of being downgraded, limiting our sponsorship ability for a few months, or that we would have our license revoked entirely.

We were told we would have a decision from the UKVI office within 4 weeks, but it was only on 23rd December that we were notified that our license has been suspended for 20 working days. During this time we can make a response to what have largely turned out to be fresh issues not raised in the initial inspection. If unsuccessful in our response, the UKVI will pursue revoking our license, as it has already done to several other faith-based organisations this year.

If our visa sponsorship license is revoked over 350 YWAM missionaries and their families will have 60 days to leave the UK. That is about half of our current workforce, all of whom are volunteers with YWAM who support themselves through personal fundraising, according to YWAM’s values as a charitable organisation. This would inevitably mean shutting down some of our training and service opportunities in this nation.

Whilst we recognise and support the UKVI’s legitimate right to concern over compliance to the rules, we do not feel that the issues raised in the letter from the UKVI justify such a draconian outcome as losing our licence would produce. We are cautiously hopeful that through dialogue and by demonstrating our determination to follow the regulations as carefully as possible they will allow us to continue our operations in the UK as part of a global charitable faith-based movement.

We recognise that YWAM has never been the type of organisation which fits neatly into boxes. Nonetheless, we are doing everything we can to comply with the law and ensure that our missionaries remain a blessing to the UK and, through our YWAM England and Wales teams, to the rest of the world that YWAM seeks to share the love of Christ with.

Please pray with us for a favourable resolution to this inquiry. If you would like to write your MP in our support, here is a draft to help you – we need to write urgently, as we only have until January 20th before a decision is made.

Thank you for supporting YWAM England and Wales!

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And there is an article from Christianity Today, which helpfully puts this situation in the broader context of British government immigration policy, and a shorter Evangelical Alliance article

For me and Taryn personally this won’t affect our right to stay in the UK, and the current DTS that we’re involved with will be able to continue and finish regardless. But whether YWAM Cambridge will be able to continue to run the DTS in the near future after that is now a big question.

Anyway, this isn’t the first time we’ve been forced to pray regarding visas — in the past we’ve had both positive breakthroughs and very difficult challenges. And we have learnt both that God is sovereign but also that we have real power in prayer.

So please join us in praying about this situation–the whole of YWAM England will be joining together in prayer today (7th January) regarding this issue.

“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask,
it will be done for them by my Father in heaven”
Matthew 18:19
(Matthew 7:7-11 , Mt. 18:19 , John 14:13-14 , Jn. 15:7 , Mark 11:23-24 , 2 Cor. 1:20 ; Mark 10: 27 ; 2 Corinthians 1:11 ; Mark 10:9 )

Announcement: Christmas Album Now Available

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We’re back from our week in Herrnhut (meaning I’ve now been to thirty-one different countries!), we’ve had to deal with the disappointing event of a DTS trainee deciding to quit, and Isaac is finally onto eating solid foods!

But we’re particularly writing to tell you that Taryn’s new album is now available! You can now download it in full for free online, and we also have five hundred limited edition printed physical copies to scatter across the world.

We want to give you each one (and if you want to give some away to your family/friends/co-workers, you can buy more for £5 each), which means that we need your addresses! So please pause whatever you’re doing for thirty seconds and reply right now with your address. Even if you think we already have it! Thankyou!

And in the meantime, why not listen to one of the tracks on the album?

My favourite is probably Taryn’s new Christmas song Ridiculous Grace, but you might also enjoy the timely classic Advent carol O Come O Come Emmanuel, or even one of my Bible readings. Let’s be honest, all nineteen of the tracks on the album are pretty amazing.

That’s all for now. Much love,
Peter, Taryn & Isaac

Prescott Prayer Letter: Pilgrims on a Journey

pilgrims-upon-this-earthThough these heroes of the faith did not receive the fulfilment of the promises,
having seen them from afar off they were assured of them and embraced them,
confessing that they were strangers and pilgrims upon the earth.

Hebrews 11:13

Beloved friends and family– It seems I’ve been a fair few places since we last sent our prayer-letter. Thankyou for all your prayers and support! Hopefully this update will give you a flavour of what’s been happening along our various journeyings.

Bleskensgraaf, Netherlands
Myself and Connie Taylor went to the Netherlands for the YWAM European Evangelists’ Consulation. It was being hosted by the Impact World Tour team, which is based in a little Dutch village called Bleskensgraaf, near Dordrecht. We ate together, worshipped together, discussed ideas, shared vision, and did a little low-key evangelistic outreach!

On our way through Amsterdam, we were also able to visit YWAM Amsterdam’s Prayer Room, called the Tabernacle of the Nations, and pop in briefly to their main training base.

If you’re interested, you can read the full report here.

Bristol, England
Hardly had I returned from the Netherlands than it was time to head to Bristol for the DTS Gathering, a week of evangelism training with all the different DTSes from across the country coming together. We’d hoped to go altogether as a family, but decided in the end that the combination of sleeping on church-floors, a deliberately busy schedule of intensive outreach, teaching and worship, and a new-born baby, meant that it probably was a better idea for Taryn and Isaac to stay in Cambridge.
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Rapping on street corners, witnessing to zombies, interceding on the world’s first suspension bridge—and leading people to the Lord! It was a great week. (Again, I’ve written a comprehensive report here.) But having said that, it was a challenge being apart for a second week back-to-back.

Herrnhut, Germany
Our journeyings continue as we are now in Germany! — travelling with our DTS on our way to join YWAM Herrnhut’s Revive DTS for a week of teaching from Dan Baumann. Herrnhut is the place where the Moravians prayed continually for over a hundred years, and they had a great influence on John Wesley and the Methodist Awakening. So needless to say, we are quite excited. And it is Isaac’s first international expedition–so pray for him!

Driving Licence
Speaking of travelling, I was finally able to take my driving test! After all manner of unexpected delays and peculiar setbacks (the first time, the examiner was on strike; the second time, my licence was destroyed in the wash; the third time, my test was postponed for no given reason), I at last had an actual test. And I passed! On the ‘first attempt’.

However, although we do own a car, and it is sitting on our driveway, I won’t immediately be driving it round town, as we’re waiting until we have some some more committed financial support before committing to the full expense of running/taxing/insuring a car. Please join us in thanking God for his extravagant generosity towards us, and for his promise of providing all of our needs.

The White (Christmas) Album
On a slightly different note, it is almost the start of Advent, when we begin the spiritual pilgrimage towards Christmas–celebrating the historical truth of Jesus journeying from heaven to earth so as to give us the greatest gift.

And over the last couple of days, Taryn has been in the studio recording a Christmas album! It features several new songs, as well as most of my favourite carols – and the music is interspersed with me reading nine biblical ‘lessons’ (ie. passages) of a Christmassy nature. A huge thankyou needs to be said to Phil & Maggie Gardner for their help–without Phil’s piano-playing and Maggie’s baby-sitting, there would be no album.

It will be released and available for free download come the start of Advent, but if you can give us your actual postal address, we would like very much to give you an actual physical copy—complete with some more of Phil Pawlett Jackson’s incomparable artwork.

If you follow this link you can even have an advance download of For Unto Us, one of the new songs on the album.

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Much love, grace and peace,
Peter, Taryn & Isaac

PS. And I almost forgot to mention it, so focussed have I been on describing our journeyings, but there have been exciting things happening in Cambridge too–particularly the recent Call To Prayer with Jonathan Oloyede! And you can read more about that here.

Prescott Prayer Letter: A House of Prayer for the Nations

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(Photo credit: Danny Wickstrom)

Grace and peace to you all, once again!

A big thank-you to everyone who wished me Happy Birthday, and to New Covenant Fellowship for so warmly welcoming me back when I returned to preach on Philemon. Thank-you especially for your prayers for Taryn–she is at last fully recovered, and not only that, she is able to testify to how God has used the experience.

Here in Cambridge the DTS has now started, and is just coming to the end of its third week. In the end we have nine DTS trainees (/students) — four guys and five girls — from four different countries: the UK, the USA, the Netherlands and South Africa.

We’ve had a great start to the school:
— we’ve again seen immediate fruit in going out on the streets of Cambridge to share the gospel (the first person I spoke to on our very first day of evangelism accepted Christ! — and as well as salvation, we’ve had testimonies of miraculous healing on the street as we’ve prayed for people!)
— we’ve seen our team experience breakthrough in boldly coming before God’s throne of grace in whole-hearted worship, and we were even able to record in our living room some of the new songs that have come out of this past year of worshipping together.
— we have been very blessed by Arbury Road Baptist Church, one of our local north Cambridge churches, with the free use of their facilities for our weekly teaching times. These have included YWAM Mozambique leader Shephen Mbewe speaking on Mission, Rick Wilkerson on Whole-hearted Worship — and I had the privilege of speaking on The Focus of Revival: JESUS, the God-Man.

Our house has become a bustling hive of hospitality. As well as having the privilege of being able to use our guest-room to host the DTS speaker each week, we’ve also had Taryn’s cousin Abhishek staying with us in between finishing his Master’s and returning to India. We are also putting our little kitchen to good use: every Saturday we have the DTS staff and students over for a nicer-than-usual breakfast, before we head into town to do evangelism. And on Sundays we have started doing a big lunch (followed by some prayer and simple Bible study) for us to invite those we meet and create an opportunity for people to encounter Jesus and be inspired with a vision for simple multiplying Christianity. If any of you are ever in Cambridge (/on our side of town) you would be most welcome to join us! And since we’ve suddenly found ourselves unable to use the location in the centre of town that previously had been available for our afternoon prayer times, we’ve been able to host these at our house too! Our house is really becoming “a house of prayer for all the nations”!

Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us–that the word of the Lord may speed ahead! (2 Thess. 3:1) Pray that in the midst of all this busyness, we would live our lives in sweet and peaceful surrender to His will.

Much love,
Peter & Taryn

PS. If you’re one of those who likes to know as much as it is possible to know about what is going on, then you might be interested to check out our DTS trainees’ blogs: Sarah, Danny, Becca, Dani, and Matthijs have all started posting their first impressions of YWAM Cambridge online. Update: Bethany Lee, another of our trainees, is also now blogging. And Bethany Breed, one of our fantastic staff team has been consistently blogging ever since she did her DTS in Harpenden.

Prescott Prayer Letter: The Gift Of Faith

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Dear friends and family,

There’s plenty of news this month: Isaac’s been baptised, DTS is about to begin, we’re reporting back from the DTS Staff Gathering and the YWAM Cambridge Staff retreat, there’s a testimony of a girl receiving Christ and a request for you to partner with us in faith, as well as an encouragement to pray for Scotland.

So please “help us by your prayers for us [so that] many people will thank God on our behalf because of the favor shown us through the prayers of many.” (2 Corinthians 1:11)

Isaac’s Christening
As you can see from the above photo (in which we and Isaac’s god-parents stand somewhat nervously at the front of the Church of the Good Shepherd), we’ve just celebrated Isaac’s baptism! Since the question of baptizing infants has inspired a little controversy in our team this past year (one of last year’s DTS graduates is now on his way to Spurgeon’s College to train as a Baptist minister), I have tried to explain my thoughts on the subject on my blog.

But whatever your convictions are, I ask that together with myself, and Taryn, and Isaac’s godparents, please would you (in the words of the baptismal liturgy)
-welcome Isaac and uphold him in his new life in Christ,
-trust God for his growth in faith,
-pray for him, draw him by your example into the community of faith and walk with him in the way of Christ,
-care for him and help him to take his place within the life and worship of the church.

Just over a week until DTS begins!
Meanwhile, we are busily preparing for the start of our upcoming Revival & Reformation DTS, which will begin in just over a week! We have almost all of our DTS speakers confirmed, and are excited about the opportunity of serving a number of different ministries across the city. Two of our students have already arrived, having come a little early from California so that they could spend some time enjoying England before the last vestiges of summer vanished completely away. And in this last week we’ve had two last-minute applicants indicate that they would like to join us. That would bring us to eleven trainees and five single staff–too many to fit in the one house that we’ve been living in this past year, and praise God! we’ve been able to rent a second house just down the road from the first.

Pray for us this week as we try and get everything ready, both in the practical details and the spiritual preparation for the season ahead. And if there are still more eleventh-hour workers thinking of joining the DTS (whether as staff or trainees), we could still fit a few more people into our houses!

Western Europe DTS Staff Gathering
As I last wrote we were about to head up to the King’s Lodge for a Gathering of DTS staff from across Western Europe. There were probably about a hundred people there, representing twelve different YWAM locations across Western Europe–and one from Central Europe. We’d initially been uncertain about how it would work for Taryn to come, given the ongoing physical pain of these last few months, but in the end she did come–and I’m glad she did!

It was a great week: we heard the faith-inspiring story of how the enormous King’s Lodge building was bought with an initial deposit of just £1; we learnt about outreach opportunities to North Africa; we cried out in prayer for breakthrough for the YWAM Brussels DTS as they struggle to re-establish their training. And we are now going to spend a week in Germany at YWAM Herrnhut, joining their Revive DTS for a week of teaching from Dan Baumann (author of Imprisoned In Iran).

YWAM Cambridge Staff Retreat
This last week we’ve also had a three-day YWAM Cambridge staff retreat. We were joined by Phil Shaw, the pastor of King’s Church Cambridge, shared some incredible testimonies of their church going out on the streets and encouraged us to fan into flame the Spirit within us. Connie and Andrew Taylor then reminded us of our YWAM Cambridge story, challenging us to launch into the deep and cast out our nets again.

On the final day we were able to join with a team of Korean short-term missionaries, that have come to the UK as part of a group of one thousand intercessors, who are both saying thankyou for the gift of the gospel (it was a British missionary who first went to Korea) and praying for revival of Christianity in the UK today. I took them on a tour of Cambridge’s Christian heritage in the morning, in the afternoon we went out on the streets for a time of evangelism and then they joined us in the evening for the launch of the Cambridge House of Prayer‘s Thursday night meetings in the Round Church.

Salvation Testimony: Are You Thirsty?
We’d just finished our time of evangelism with our Korean friends, and I was pretty much ready to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing, but Simon–the newest recruit to the YWAM Cambridge team–looked like he wasn’t finished. Shall we carry on trying to talk to people?

We strolled through the Market Square, asking God to lead us, and as we walked a girl offered us a drink. Grateful, we accepted the promotional sample she was giving away, and having finished the cup of juice, I told her that we too were giving something away and I put a Gospel of Mark into her hand.

I began briefly sharing the simple gospel with her–she was open, but said she hadn’t thought much about it. Simon then felt led to share the story of Jesus asking the Samaritan woman for a drink, a perfect fit for our situation! We then carried on talking to her, listening as she shared that she is starting university next week

As the conversation drifted to a close I asked if we could pray for her. ‘Can I pray too?’ she asked. ‘Of course!’ I replied, explaining that the only reason we have any authority to pray is that we’ve been forgiven by the power of the name of Jesus. And I asked if she wanted to pray a simple prayer receiving that forgiveness. ‘Okay!’ she said, so I began to lead her in a simple sinner’s prayer. There was an awkward pause–‘Oh, you want me to pray out loud?’ ‘You don’t have to–but there’s power in praying and agreeing together’. So she prayed! — receiving God’s forgiveness and asking to be filled with the power of the Spirit. And we prayed a blessing over her. And when we finished her face was shining with the quiet joy of the Lord: ‘that was really powerful!’

It’s always a joy to see someone accept and experience the power of Christ’s forgiveness, but I particularly wanted to share this testimony to encourage you to be thirsty for God to work through you. It was Simon’s first time doing evangelism in Cambridge since joining our team, but because he was willing to carry on speaking to people even after everyone else had finished, we were able to lead this girl to Christ! And God can do the same through you if you’re thirsty for Him to use you.

Faith for Finances
Having a baby, moving into our own house, and getting a car–these things are wonderful gifts, but do not come cheaply. Over the next few months we are aiming to significantly increase our support and particularly enlarge our team of financial partners: our target is to increase our committed support to £2400/month by January 1st 2015, and gather a Gideon’s army of three hundred to partner financially with us. Please pray for God to stir people’s hearts to join us in faith and contribute to our ministry. Even if it’s just £1/month–we want people to stand with us more than we want money. We also want to get better at being accountable and transparent: you can now find a more comprehensive account of our financial state here. And we’ll update you over the next few months as to how things progress.

Pray for Scotland
Finally, please pray for Scotland as the referendum as to whether the country should become an independent state takes place this Thursday. Those of our team who were in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games were incredibly encouraged by the openness to the gospel of the people with which they spoke–and I believe this is a significant time for Scotland, and for the whole UK.

Whether or not you understand the political details of the situation (I can’t say I do, though I found Cambridge ethicist Jonathan Chaplin’s thoughts on the referendum fascinating), and whatever your thoughts on the spiritual significance of what is happening, you can still join with Pray for Scotland’s call for people to pray for “an outcome that benefits Christ’s Kingdom in Scotland”.

Your partners in the gospel,
Peter, Taryn & Isaac