As told by Jared Pierce of Team Jon: Today, Josh Palmer and I got picked up from our host home early in the morning and headed to the church to discuss what it was we were going to be doing that day. Josh and Reagan had a busy day of door to door and taking care of young children. Kylee and I, along with Kathleen, and some help from people from the church started right away with door to door evangelism. We were in a different area than the first time we did it, and it was much more encouraging. Although we still met very few people who knew Jesus and we still had a fair share of rude people, we had some great conversations with some of the people from around Woodford. Shortly after we wrapped up, we ate a quick lunch, and headed to the high school where we had the opportunity to hang out with a club of students called The Christian Union. Mostly, they were just very interested in our culture and wanted to know more about Texas, but we also got to talk to them about some awesome things God had done in their lives. After finishing at the high school, we went right back to street evangelism and talking to people from the community. We later had a prayer meeting with many people from the church where everyone prayed for us as we went back to our lives in the States, and then headed into town to get just a couple hours of sleep before we had an early morning to catch the plane. Overall, it was a very successful and encouraging day for us, as we got to see God working in the lives of people from all the way around the world, and I’m sad that we’re leaving and hope to make it back soon.
As told by Amanda Maglich from Team Scott: Wow- words cannot describe how amazing and life changing this week has been!! Before coming to London, anyone I talked to told me that it would change my life. Little did I know, this mission trip would impact me in so many ways. I felt God’s presence all week, and the most important thing I took away from this week was that God’s love is SO big and so unwavering!! I met people who hadn’t come to Christ, and I met people who were so on fire for God! I think I can speak for my whole group when I say that the immensely diverse culture we witnessed at St. John’s Wood Baptist church was so amazing, and had us all in awe. We went to multiple services, such as Brazilian, Arabic, and more. We attended one Bible study where people had just come out of practicing Islam and found Christ and we heard their testimonies. Scott, our pastor, told us that when some of these people were told that, unlike their god, our God’s love is so abundant, and he loves us no matter what, people would break down and cry. Heather Vickers, our “international mom” for the week, said that she feels like we take our amazing God for granted- which I think is so true. We don’t take enough time to acknowledge how he loves us, when some people don’t know his love.
Another thing that I took away from this week was that no matter what language we speak, we all worship the same god. I’ve always known that God is everywhere, but traveling to London and being outside of my little bubble allowed me to see that in full swing. Tuesday morning after the English class, I stayed for a Bible study with a few of the students. One woman from Japan ended up asking Scott if she could have a Bible in Japanese for when she went back to Japan. It gave me chills to know that even people not fluent in our same language were being reached!
This week we also did some street evangelism. We talked to people on the street and handed out pamphlets about Jesus and fliers about stuff going on at the church. My favorite thing we did was walking door to door to say hi to people and invite them to what was going on at the church. We handed out fliers for the Tots class, English class, Cafe39 (a little social with refreshments on Sunday afternoons), and fliers about knowing God, for people we came across that didn’t know him. We came across a few people who seemed interested, a few who were Muslim and not too into the idea, and some people that were genuinely thankful for our knock on the door. One woman I met was named Jean and she started crying because she hadn’t talked to anyone in so long. Some people even said they would attend Cafe 39 on Sunday or bring their kids to the ot’s class!!
Thursday morning, we had the privilege of helping out with the Tot’s class! Moms brought their kids, and we just got to play with them while the moms relaxed and talked! The moms who attended came from different religious backgrounds. After the class, my team and I prayed with Scott that through a Tot’s class, moms/kiddos would come to Jesus through conversation and exposure to his love!!
To summarize this week, there was lots of walking, lots of laughter, some tears involved, digging into the word of Christ, and witnessing the Lord do amazing things in people of all different backgrounds. I wish we could stay longer and she how the church grows, and lead more people to Christ!! It was so hard to say goodbye to everyone at the church, but I know God will be doing BIG things for them! Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us, this week truly was life changing.
As told by Cole Newman of Team Rigney: Today started off with being able to sleep in because it is our free day. Our day started off with going to the Rigney’s house to have breakfast and do the Bible plan of the day. After that we went to go ride the largest slide in the world we went to try and get tickets but they were booked until 1pm. So we went to a local mall to get something small to eat to kill time. After we eat we went back to the slide and got went right up with no problem. When we rode the lift (Elevator) the call it a lift in London. They had us put on arm guards and a helmet to be able to get on the slide. Once you were getting on the slide you go in a bag type thing and slid down this twirling slide. After the slide we went to the Tower of London which was fun to see all of the old stuff and learn a little about London from a thousand years ago. The we went to the London Eye and we got to see all of London from a different perspective. After the Eye we went back to the Rigney’s house ordered pizza. We all sat in the living room and talked about our week our most memorable parts about it. The we sang a song together and eat brownies before we had to leave for the hour and 30 train ride to the hotel to get ready to head home.
As told by Bo Holubec of Team Mark: Today was our last day to work. We get on the plane tomorrow morning early. We finally got to see everything come together. We completely finished three big vegetable beds – dirt, top soil, and plants. We had four more smaller ones made and had everything ready, but we ran out of top soil. It was great to see all of our hard work that had been done throughout the week finally get finished and turn out the way we wanted. Mark is planning on starting a gardening club for the people of the sheltered accommodation using the beds we made.
Our group also did things other than finishing the beds today. We did what Mark calls a kids club. We just played different organized games and ate with the kids for about an hour and a half. Some people from our group went and washed windows and cars, too.
It was cool for us to see how we overcame adversity and got what we needed to get done done. I truly believe that our work can open up so mane doors for Mark and Laura to speak with people and help lead them to Christ. I think that we were a great encouragement to Mark as well. It was like we had known him for 3 years when we were saying goodbye. I will miss working with him for sure and I think he will miss us too. He and Laura are doing great things for the people in the Grove and I’m so glad our team got to be a part of it. I can’t wait to hear from Mark about how the lives of the people on the Grove were impacted.
As told by Katryna Patterson of Team Armacost: Last day in london!!!! Today was full of bittersweet memories for everyone who came on this trip. for me, our goodbyes began last night by saying goodbye to the people of St. Luke’s church in West Norwood. They each taught me something so crucial this week that departing from them was an emotion-filled experience. Reverend Donald, Gemma, Sherri, David and The Armacost’s all are amazing examples of people loving God, loving other people, and helping everyone do the same. As Thursday morning fell upon us, Elise, Burke, Jessica, Mr. Palmer and I all had the same feeling. We all REALLY didn’t want to leave. Ben and Judy walked us around West Norwood once more after a time of worship at the church, and as we stood outside The Twelve House (where we were staying) we said probably the hardest goodbye we had to face this week. Ben and Judy Armacost are such amazing people who have the COOLEST job in the world (in my opinion). living on mission for a week in West Norwood the way they do everyday gave me an epiphany; we are all called to be on mission, and sometimes we’re called to places like London, which is amazing, but i think we often forget the fact that georgetown needs people pouring into the lives of the lost as well. i will never forget this week. ever. BESTEST WEEK EVER!!!!!