Dear friends and family,
We have made it to the end of the first term of our third nine-month Revival and Reformation DTS! You might have guessed from the length of time between the last newsletter and this one that we’ve been Quite Busy. It’s been thirteen weeks with eight trainees, five live-in DTS staff, three off-base staff couples and us – teaching in the mornings, lunch together, staff meetings/work duties in the afternoon, a mad cycle ride into town for two hours of prayer and worship with Cambridge House of Prayer, sandwiches for dinner together, a mad cycle ride back, and then a few hours in the evening off, and so the schedule trundles on. Fridays are a meeting marathon, with five meetings one after the other, and on Saturdays we do a big cooked breakfast at our house, and then head out for some street evangelism. Then there’s Sunday lunch and Bible study, and then a much-needed day off on Monday, phew! Add an active and ever-growing toddler to the mix and voila! This is our life and we are grateful.
God has been doing a deep work in all of our hearts these past few months. You might have heard us talking about digging up the ‘ancient wells’ of revival and reformation in this city, just as Isaac in Genesis 26 reopened the wells that his father had dug, which the Philistines had blocked up. The metaphor of wells also applies to our own hearts, and as we’ve been asking God to take us into deeper waters of revelation of who He is (Psalm 42, Ezekiel 47) we feel like He has been highlighting ‘boulders’, sinful attitudes or issues from our past which are stopping the ‘streams of living water’ (John 7:38) from flowing. He has been doing a deep work of sanctifying us as we embrace vulnerability and openness to challenge or encouragement (James 5:16, Galatians 6:2) within the safe context of family (1 John 3:1, 1 John 1:7) and friendship. We have been blessed with a wonderful group of people this year who have been willing to wholeheartedly pursue God and allow Him to work in their hearts even when it is painful, and so we have seen a lot of tears, laughter and growth, and experienced such sweet fellowship together. We are not the same people we were three months ago, by the grace of God!
This year, YWAM Cambridge was asked to host the ‘DTS Gathering’, a sort of evangelism ‘boot-camp’ when different DTSes from around England and even Europe gather together for a week of worship, teaching and practical evangelism training. We spent the week with eighty or so other YWAMers camping on the church floor of St. Andrew’s Street Baptist Church, going out on the streets to share the love of Jesus with people in various creative ways. We saw about thirty people responding in faith to the gospel on the streets, and many DTS trainees testifying to a new boldness in evangelism! It was a huge challenge and encouragement for YWAM Cambridge, young as it is, to host something this big – but by the grace of God and through many people’s prayers and hard work, it was a huge success.
We have been pressing on with Sunday Lunch house-church and recently celebrated the baptism of our friend Linda, a single mum who lives next-door to one of the YWAM houses, and who we’ve gradually got to know over the last year or so. She’s been joining us most weeks with her energetic eight-year old son Adam, and the transformation Jesus has worked in her heart is evident for all to see. “He’s changed the way I think and feel! I speak to him all the time and I am not worried any more!” she testifies, with shining eyes. Also a part of our little but lively living-room congregation is Mrittunjoy, a Hindu friend who is doing a PhD in Quantum Physics at Christ’s College who has come numerous times with searching questions about Jesus and testimonies of how God has been revealing himself to him. And we’ve recently connected with Anna, a Polish lady that one of our team met during the recent Gathering we hosted, who has been coming with her two-year-old son. One of the highlights of our year was the day she said, after Bible study, “I have a question: if you heart is closed to God, how do you open your heart to him?” We all froze, praying we wouldn’t mess this moment up, and then one of us suggested that she pray and open her heart up to Jesus, and, spontaneously, she prayed these very words: “Jesus, please cleanse my heart”! It is moments like that that make all the busyness worthwhile.
And now for the other word that begins with ‘B’ – you guessed it! Peter and I are going to have another baby! The due date is July 1st, 2016. We are very excited and grateful. We’ve had our first scan and the little one is healthy and happy. Isaac doesn’t quite understand what is about to happen, but he is extremely (if somewhat boisterously) delighted whenever he sees a baby.
Please pray for joy and endurance for us as we prepare for the next term. We have another couple of months of DTS lecture phase in a similar vein to the last three months, before our team flies out on outreach to engage with the European migrant crisis, seeking to serve and share the gospel with the stream of Syrian refugees seeking asylum. Peter has also been asked to be one of the speakers at Leeds University Christian Union‘s mission week, so pray for him — and for all of us, in all we do — to persuasively give a reason for the hope that we have with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).
Thank you for your prayers and all the ways you support us. We really couldn’t do this without you.
With much love and gratitude,
Peter, Taryn, Isaac, and the Littlest One.
PS. Oh, and as a belated gift: the new, messy, joyous sound that has been the soundtrack of the journey we’ve been on as the YWAM Cambridge family is now available for free online – please do download it and sing along!