We have now been in London for 2 months, and although we've posted a few update videos online I thought it would be good to document some of our experiences in detail here on the blog.
I'm going to start off at the beginning, going back to our first month in London. We spent our first week sightseeing, and doing various tours..we thought it was important to submerge ourselves as "tourists" first and get to know the city we would be calling home. The city of London uses an "underground" transport system that has been used for 153 years ( if you aren't familiar it's similar to NYC's subway but significantly larger)....the city is marked off into "zones"-zone 1 being the middle of the city (the most popular, and expensive, also where the majority of the famous sightseeing is located) and extends all the way to zone 6. If you have never navigated the underground before, it can be ridiculously confusing...Junior and I both had used it before, and it was STILL ridiculously confusing haha! So along with sightseeing, we spent that first week getting used to the underground.
Our first Sunday in London was a sweet one, we attended London Family Centre in Camden Town and had a great morning reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones! The people of LFC have been friends of our family's for years so it's always a blessing to see our many friends. We met with the Pastors, and planned out different area's we could help serve them while here. We immediately committed to serving at "coffee & tea" every Tuesday morning so we meet with a team from the church every Tuesday and give out free "coffee, tea, and snacks" to the locals in Camden Town. It is a really fun and innovative way of building relationships with the locals and is very effective. It's definitely one of our favorite outreaches here! We also helped LFC with street evangelism...once a month they meet at the church to pray over the day and head out into the city in small groups with a handful of tracks and a smile. It was challenging at first to reach out to the people and initiate a conversation but many were receptive and it was a great experience.
We also have friends that attend Catch the Fire London which is a church in Wembley and they invited us to a conference their church was hosting one weekend. We attended and had a true encounter with God! I like to think we were "filled up" so we could begin our mission here with a fresh anointing and an eager heart! It was a blessing!
We also spent time that first month navigating our own backyard. Our house is in Wembley which is west London, it is a really special and unique area, it is very ethnically diverse with a majority being Indian and Romanian. When we go up to our high street (which is the main strip of our town with local shops) we literally feel like we have stepped into India. It is so much fun to experience so many different cultures at one time! We absolutely love it, and couldn't have asked for a better location.
That first month was full of many great experiences getting ourselves planted here in London. But, I would be lying if I told you everything was perfect and great that first month because that is simply not the case....you see, Junior and I both had been on missions trips and had amazing experiences for the 7-10 days the trip lasted. Our days were full and planned to a T, all we had to do was show up and reap the harvest!
I'm going to be honest when I say that full time missions is HARD. What you don't see in those 7-10 day mission trips is the months and months the missionary or organizer spent planning that perfect trip, the days and days spent sowing and building relationships with different people in the city to get permission for that experience or the hours and hours spent covering that week or outreach in prayer. It is a lot of work! When we got here we had a list of contacts and a few friends....that's it. Every. Single. Day. It was up to us to figure out what that day was going to entail...and it was HARD! We decided the only way this would work is to give everyday to God, so every day the first few hours of the morning we spend in a time of devotion and prayer together and allow God to guide us to where HE wants us that day...and can I tell you it is a game changer! We have been in just the right place, at just the right time over and over and it's been amazing! After many many hours praying for direction and asking how we could best use our time here it was revealed to Junior and I both that 3 months just simply isn't enough time for us to change the World (haha) BUT there are pastors, and missionaries, and people already here that live here full time and they need help, fresh ideas, and encouragement....so Junior and I both know that THAT is why we are here. To jump in and be a blessing to ministries that have already started and bring new life to ones that have lost hope.....and we are honored to do it!
Next post will be about month 2!