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
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!|
|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.
Peter, Taryn and Isaac