Day 1 was a travel day and it rolled right into Day 2 when the plane landed in the morning on Saturday. I (Brett) and currently on 34 hours without sleep and a lot of walking in between.
As told by Kat Patterson of Team Armacost: 2 hours of sleep doesn’t do you a whole lot of good, but let me tell you all I’ve seen today is good. God is already moving in so many miraculous ways in my team and in those around us. We’ve had many opportunities on the train rides and throughout our touring and learning the ins and outs of London to tell people why students came all the way from Austin, Texas to show God’s love. We also have an amazing opportunity here in team Armacost’s house to love on two girls who are here from the Czech Republic! The big thing I’ve learned today is that despite the melting pot of cultures that are around us, we are all the same in that we are loved by an almighty God who created us in his image. While some may not see that entirely, it is true. THAT’S the reason God has called us here this week and put us in the place that we are in. It is to show people that we are all different and unique yes, but that one thing can bring us all together. I’m clinging to Proverbs 3:23-24 today, in faith that God will keep us safe as he already has while we are in London and that we will have some sweet dreams tonight ( God knows we really need them!!! ) Howdy Howdy Howdy from London, England. Let’s see where God leads us this week, I’ve got a feeling that it’s gonna be amazing
As told by Katelyn Anderson of Team Rigney: Today was day 1 in London! We used today to go sight seeing. We saw the London Eye, Big Ben, and sat in several trains. I learned that the people of London walk around 3 miles each day. I’ll definitely be getting my steps in this week.
Not only did I learn that people around here walk a lot, I also learned about how certain things work differently over here. For example, all doors lock automatically when you close them, the lights in the hotel only work if you insert your card, and although people here drive on the left side, they still walk on the right side.
Overall, today has been amazing. I’ve absolutely adored every second. Everything here is so beautiful and I can’t wait to explore more. I’m definitely looking forward to what God has in store for us this week.
As told by Madeline of Team Mark: Today is the day we got to London! We met James and Angela and they had goodies for us and sent us on our way! We loved exploring this big city and walked all over the place. Some of our highlights were walking through a few beautiful parks, riding in the London Eye, and even getting to see some of our youth group as they explored also. We are ready to meet our team leader tomorrow at church and can’t wait to see what God has in store for us this week!
As told by Amy Solheim from Team Scott: Woweewowwow. God is SO big. Tonight my team, Team Scott, went to a Brazilian church service, and before the service began we had about an hour and a half that we spent with the youth and young adults who attend the Brazilian service. and. it. was. so. cool.
We just shared life with one another, and they asked us questions about being Christians in America, and we asked them questions about being Christians in London. All of them except one girl, Sarah, were immigrants from other countries: Brazil, Ecuador, Spain, we were Christians from all over the world!! As we started to get to know each other and share stories of how we met Jesus and things that we faced as Christians, I realized something crazy!!! Our stories were so similar!!! Even though there were some big cultural differences between life in London and life in Geogetown, I related so much to their stories!! When one boy, Phillipe, shared his story, I got the chills. I felt like crying and I don’t even know why, except that I felt like I really connected with his story WHICH IS CRAZY because he’s moved from Brazil to Portugal to England & I’ve never even lived anywhere but Georgetown, and my life is very different from his! I found his faith and his honesty so inspiring. and it is just the coolest thing that even though we are all different & come from all across the map we can find common ground in Jesus!!
I am so thankful for the brief time we spent w those youth and young adults. We aren’t supposed to see them for the rest of the week, but during the small time we had with them they were so sweet, welcoming, vulnerable, wise and inspiring. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I had thought we were going to be giving advice to new believers or giving them advice on how to grow their youth department, but I feel like the tables turned and they ended up offering us wisdom and kindness, and they were so so encouraging when we discussed things we struggled with in America! Instead of us inspiring them they ended up inspiring us!!! I shouldn’t be surprised that it went so well and that we connected with them so fast and that they ended up being the ones to help us, but that was a really fun surprise!! Normally I say I hate surprises, but I’ve decided I love it when God surprises us and I hope there are lots more awesome, inspiring surprises throughout the rest of this week!
Another moment that left me with goosebumps was during the worship during the service. They were singing in Portuguese and we had sort of just been swaying, listening but when the 3rd song started, Gracie and I immediately recognized it to be the song “How He Loves” so while the congregation sang it in Portuguese we sang along in English. AND IT WAS SO AMAZING because we have traveled all the way to England and then here we are singing the same worship song we often sing NOT JUT with English people, but with Spanish, Brazilian and Ecuadorians!! AHH!! It was so cool! GOD IS SO BIG!!! GOD IS SO PRESENT!! That big, present, magnificent God LOVES US!!! OH HOW HE LOVES US!! O como lee nos ama!!! At the end of the song the lyrics on the screen turned to English and we all sang in English together and it was so cool to hear. It was a really neat moment where even though we are all from different places all over the world, with different cultures, different stories, and speak different languages we all came together to worship!