Glasgow team

Testimonies from Glasgow

Glasgow team

A while ago, I had the chance to sit down with our Glasgow team and hear what God has been up to in the city this year. The answer is: so much! Here are a few of their testimonies.

Nicole: we were doing an Alpha course with a group of refugees, including a couple and their older son from Iran. The father and son had made the decision to be baptised earlier on, but the wife had lots of questions for us. We had conversations about what it means to be a basically good or bad person, and the role of sin in our lives. Through the whole process, she has been on the journey of finding her own identity and relationship with God independent of her relatives, and now she wants to be baptised too!

Michael: we were having a leaders’ meeting for our Light and Life team, just having some iPod-led worship time, and this lady wandered in. She was clearly on some sort of substance, and she had felt drawn to the room where we were meeting— difficult, as it was not easily accessible to the street! We welcomed her and she sat with us and began weeping. Long story short, she gave her life to God because of the welcome and the worshipful space, and she wrote a message up on the whiteboard as we were worshiping: I love Jesus because Jesus loves me.

Gaylin: at the Healing Rooms one day, a lady who had been at a nearby cafe just happened in. She was middle-aged and fragile-looking, and she gave us a vague prayer request about healing. We had a couple of pictures for her— one of an ant infestation getting smoked out, and another of the Father holding and comforting her. We shared our pictures with her, and she told us she had recently been diagnosed with cancer. She was from a Catholic background and was really impacted by the idea of hearing from God and the intimacy of that relationship. We gave her a chance to listen to God for herself and she did, seeing some really clear pictures that touched her deeply!

Like I said, these are just a few of the many testimonies I heard that day. The team shared story after story about God using them to speak into hard situations, minister to complete strangers, and guide people into His love. Members of their team are ministering to communities as varied as the population of Glasgow— from refugees, to takeaway delivery people, to musicians and producers high up in the entertainment industry.

God is at work in Glasgow!

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Ministry Spotlight: Firestarters

Being on staff with YWAM Scotland looks quite different for each of our team members in our different locations. Our staff are able to tailor their staff responsibilities according to their skills and passions, which is part of what makes staff life here so fulfilling! We love partnering with local ministries as well. To take a closer look at one such opportunity, I asked YWAM Seamill staff member Taylor some questions about her work with Firestarters.

How long have you been involved with YWAM Scotland?
I’ve been here for about a year and a half, moving on towards 2 now. I’m also re-applying for my visa soon, so yay!

And how long have you been involved with Firestarters?
Since January of last year but really became a part of their ministry back in September.

What is Firestarters?
Firestarters is a youth program, based on King’s Kids principles. We gather for one weekend a month and bring the young people into an atmosphere of worship, teaching, outreach, prayer, and of course, fun. The idea is to show them that they are extremely capable of feeling and walking in the presence of God and also that they are able to make a huge impact in the world around them because of that.

Why did you get involved with Firestarters initially?
I have always had a heart for youth ministry, and when I got to Scotland I got to know some of our staff’s teenagers. They were the ones who invited me to check it out initially.

What has surprised you about working with Firestarters?
I originally was off-put by the idea of Firestarters and giving up a weekend when I thought about all of the energy it would take. But I tried it out anyway, and I found that I was more energized by the end of the weekend than when I started. When I was pouring out to the youth, God was constantly pouring into me so I was never empty or drained.

What inspires you about the young people?
I have seen growth and change from a majority of them over the past few months, and a few in particular have grasped the idea of “I can worship God with complete abandon and not be afraid of being judged.” It’s fantastic to be able to see that in folks so young. You get to see these leaders in their developing stages and help them along, whether it’s through their spiritual journey with God, or sussing out what they are passionate about, and inspiring them to step out and pursue both.

Why do you think youth ministry is important?
Without the influence from the youth ministry when I was a teen, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I might not even be here in Scotland! Whether in the small or large things, it helps shape the lives of these young people into the leaders and world changers that God has called them to be in the future. If our generation isn’t calling them up and speaking life into them, then who is?

Ian on Belief

Belief

 

Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
John 6:29 (NLT)

Take a moment and think about how you experience God’s accounting of your normal everyday life. What sort of emotions come up? What are you expecting Jesus’ response to be? Do you think you will get “Well done, good and faithful servant”? Or do you have a nagging fear that you haven’t done enough to make the grade?

For us in a Western mind-set it is very easy to fall under guilt like this, never feeling fully adequate. However, in John 6 Jesus starkly contrasted this mind-set by telling us that “this is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” Why? What is so important about belief and believing in the one God has sent that it would be described as the only work God wants from you?

Let’s look at the context for this verse. Jesus has been teaching his disciples and ministering to crowds through many healings and is worried that they’ll faint on their way home, so he provides them with a miraculously multiplied packed lunch. They all go satisfied, and he sends his disciples over the lake of Galilee to give them a breather. He goes up the mountain to spend time with his Father; then in the middle of the night he walks down the mountain and keeps on going over the water to meet with his disciples.

Those who had been healed and received the supernatural packed lunch wake up and realise that Jesus and the disciples are gone, so they jump in some boats and come to find Jesus. Jesus has demonstrated without question his superiority over physical bodies (healing), food supply, and the sea. They are in no doubt of his power, but Jesus sees that their hearts are not focused on him, but rather on what he can do for them. Jesus declares: “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

From Genesis we have been given the mandate to bless the world, to bring the Kingdom into every sphere, from animal names to horticulture, from discipleship to family life. However, we blew it, instead trying to get more for ourselves. Not being satisfied with who God said we are and what he gave us, we looked for the blessing for ourselves. The rest of the story of Scripture is a sad emphasis of that same story; over and over we see God’s people hoarding the blessing God gave them instead of releasing the blessing to others. This is what Jesus saw in the hearts of the crowd that came to him on that shore. That was what he was confronting with his declaration of the true work of the Kingdom.

God sent Jesus not because the world needed saving, but because he loved the world. True love is for the benefit of the other party. In John 20:21 Jesus explicitly tells the disciples, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And in John 14:26 Jesus promises that even though he is going back to the Father, the Holy Spirit will be sent in Jesus’ name. The work of God is to believe in the one he has sent. That is Jesus. That is Holy Spirit. That is also you. As we choose to activate our faith and believe not simply in Jesus, but also in what he is saying to us, we start to build the Kingdom.

How are you believing today?

Ian on Belief

 

Ian is part of the leadership team at YWAM Seamill. He shared his thoughts on belief at this year’s first Open Evening, a monthly gathering for worship, teaching, interaction, and community held at Seamill. Open Evenings are open to anyone– check the YWAM Seamill Facebook page for upcoming dates!

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DTS Outreach testimonies part 2

The Stanely House DTS finished a couple of weeks ago. They had a great outreach in Cyprus. Here are some of Peter’s and Destiny’s stories of what God did through them:

“I met a guy from Bangladesh who was studying in Cyprus. He was from a Hindu family, and I started to build a relationship with him during our time there. I had several really good conversations with him, I got to share the gospel with him and I prayed for him several times. I prayed that God would fill his heart with His love and that Jesus would reveal himself to him. At the end of the outreach he said that He really believed in God, and he believed that what I said was true. So He really had encounters with God during this time.”

 

“I met a lady named Zehra about a week into outreach. She is a Turkish Cypriot who lived in the South of Cyprus until her mid-teens when war broke out between the Turks and the Greeks she was forced to leave her home and move to the North. Now, she owns a little shop on the North side of Cyprus where I first met her. I asked her a few questions about the area, and she told me the story of the war between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots from a very personal point of view. We talked for a few hours and when I asked if I could pray for her she said that she was not interested in “anything like that”, but seemed grateful that I had offered.  I tried to visit her over the next month or so, but she was always out when I got there. I felt God wanted me to keep going back to check. A few weeks before we went home, I went back one last time and finally she was there! I had only been in her shop a few minutes when she hung up the phone and explained to me that her daughter had just been diagnosed with cancer and she was so overwhelmed with what to do next. Before I could even respond, she held out her hands to me and said “Now. Now I would like for you to pray for me.” I was so honoured and blessed by that simple gesture. I prayed for her and for her daughter and I was able to share my testimony with her about my walk through similar struggles as my mom battled cancer. God really touched us both that day. I am keeping in contact with her and I am excited to see how God continues to work in her and her family.”

Glasgow testimony

God is doing good things through our team in Glasgow. Watch Gaylin share a testimony from this week

Testimony from Glasgow

Our new team in Glasgow has just started, and already they are getting lots of opportunities to share Jesus with people. ‘It is easy to do ministry in Glasgow,’ says Michael.

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DTS outreach testimonies

Our DTS at Stanely House came back from outreach to Cyprus on Tuesday. Colleen and Peter share some of the stories of what God did through the team whilst on outreach:

“We met a man who was in a difficult situation. He was around 60 years old. His wife had left him, and he was basically homeless in Cyprus and without a job. He was sad and didn’t know what to do. We talked to him several times and prayed for him that God would open doors in his life and give him the provision he needed. Shortly after praying for him, we met him again, and he told us that he had got several jobs. He now had so much work that he almost couldn’t keep up with everything. He changed during the time we were together in Cyprus. He went from a place of sadness and despair to a place of joy and peace”.

“We were working at a Sri Lankan church one Sunday in Cyprus, and at the end of the service our team started some prayer ministry and we prayed for every person in the church. One of the women we were praying for was complaining of back pain and knee pain, so we laid hands on her and started praying for healing. A member of our team then sat her down and checked to see if her legs were the same length and they weren’t! So we continued to pray and then a member of our team felt a pop in her knee and another said ‘In the name of Jesus, leg grow!’ And the leg grew an inch or two! It was incredible to really see the healing hand of God moving in this church and the love that God has for these women.”

“One day as we were walking into town we passed an old woman who was begging for money. I gave her my packed lunch, blessed her and continued, but God wanted something more. One of my friends felt really strongly the call to go back. So we did. She had pain in her body. She didn’t speak English so we struggled to understand her, but she had health issues. So we prayed for her, and invited the Holy Spirit to minister to her. I felt God’s presence so strongly at that point, and I felt Jesus’ heart for this woman and how much He loved her. She started crying, and made the sign of the cross on her chest. We prayed that God would open doors in her life and provide for her in every single way, and I hugged her, and my friend gave her a necklace with a cross. We also gave her some money. She was so thankful and praised God, and kissed our hands. I don’t know if she got healed immediately, but God really touched her, and I was so blessed by ministering to her.”

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Making Him Known

I love YWAM’s slogan: To know God and make Him known. To me, these are the two essentials of being a follower of Jesus. I have also seen that it is very hard to MAKE HIM KNOWN without KNOWING HIM. So for myself, these two have definitely always gone hand in hand. In some seasons I might focus more on one of them, but they will always be very connected.

For myself, the desire was always there to tell people about Jesus. It was probably a gift from God, because I didn’t particularly know God well. In fact, despite the fact that for the longest time I couldn’t even say I loved Him, I had this desire and inner drive to tell others about Him!

Inga MayI recall one of the first times that I sensed ‘hearing’ God’s voice. I had an impression that God asked me to go to one of our neighbours and share the good news with them. I postponed it for days, and finally, one day I psyched myself up, went to their house and rang their door bell. I believe it was the man in the house who opened the door. I felt sooo little, if I had had any words to share before that moment, they had definitely left me by now. The only thing I could think of saying was: ‘Can I pray for you?’

Honestly, I cannot remember what he answered. The only thing I remember was a relief because I had dared to step out in obedience to God, and a hope that this would lead them closer to God somehow.

There has been a lot of opportunities for me to share about Jesus to people since then. And I believe I have grown in both boldness and wisdom in how to go about this. I don’t know where you find yourself? Perhaps you identify with me before going up to the neighbour, timid and insecure? Or perhaps you have a lot of experience with sharing the good news and very confident?

Regardless of where you are at, I don’t think we will ever become ‘professional’ in this. I pray that we will become very fruitful and win a lot of people for Jesus, but at the end of the day, it boils down to staying close to Jesus’ heart, and responding when He prompts us to talk with someone. Sometimes people will listen, sometimes they won’t. The important thing is to not let the negative encounters stop us. Even the best evangelists have those moments, but the difference is that they have learnt from their mistakes and keep telling others about our King. Who knows, the next person you talk with could end up giving their lives to Jesus..

So my challenge for us is to not let the past direct our future. Instead let us ask God to send us out with boldness and wisdom. And let us also find those people who are really good at this, and learn from them! I’m a firm believer in a God who loves to partner with everyone- no matter how timid and insecure we feel. He loves to transfer lambs into lions who MAKE HIM KNOWN! Because He is a loving Father, desperate to call His children home.

Oban

Oban //

YWAM Ignite: a team of passionate people, from different countries with different cultures and languages. Together they form a YWAM family with their mission focus on Oban, Scotland. Rolinke Bremer shares a look at who they are, and where this new pioneering project is going:

“A smaller town on the West Coast of Scotland, Oban has about 9,000 inhabitants. In summer though this amount can triple! Many tourists and travelers come through Oban making it a lively place. Our vision is to reach out to the people of Oban and beyond. To show them God’s way for their lives, to launch them into the Kingdom and to be a resource for training and growth.
We are pioneering which means starting from scratch. This makes it sometimes difficult, but always interesting. The last few months we have learned to really wait on the Lord for the many steps we need to take. All we want is to follow His lead, because He knows exactly what He wants for Oban and its people, and also for our team. Coming back to His heart for Oban and acting upon what he says has been one of our primary goals. We want to build on this solid foundation, so that each team member knows who they are in Christ and what they are called to. This means we start every day with prayer and listening to God, and then simply doing what He ask us to do.

A key value for our team is hospitality. We want to open up our house and our lives to the people around us, to meet them where they are at and let them leave better than they came. We believe hospitality and being relational are parts of the new evangelism – ways of reaching out to the people around us whether they are in our house or on the streets.

Some ministries God has highlighted to us are developing an expression of prayer & intercession, with prayer walks, 24/7 prayer, practicing the prophetic and ministering to each other and the churches in Oban. WTeam Ignite2e also have a heart for evangelism, through hospitality and other creative, artistic and prophetic ways. Being relational is – again – the key. Two big areas of focus are reaching children and youth through sports, and travellers and pilgrims through hospitality, nature and the arts. There is a lot to develop with this, but for now we are planning to run a Sports DTS in September 2015. We are very excited about that!!

Currently we are waiting for the right housing in Oban, but are longing to move very soon. Pray with us as we are in the midst of a negotiation for a wonderful house!

Pioneering is hard. It is also fun; because, in all of it, we are so dependent on God. Its like a big adventure, or roller coaster. As we lay down our rights and put our focus on God’s heart in all of this, then faith, peace, and great joy are the fruits. If you have a pioneering heart, or if you are willing to step into this unknown adventure with God, feel free to apply! We might be small now, but we want to grow into a larger, faith-filled, radical family. Not because of us, but because of God’s kingdom here in Oban, Scotland.

Check out our website and join in!

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Knowing God

“To Know God and make Him Known.”

YWAM is committed to know God, His nature, His character and His ways. Its from the overflow of knowing and enjoying fellowship with Him that we seek to reflect who He is in every aspect of our lives and ministry.

I heard Joy Dawson speak on this in 1978 with a passion that was strange to me.

As she shared with so much conviction about ways to get to know God my heart filled with faith that this is something I could also do. Vividly I remember walking into a bookstore and asked for the biggest notebook they have because I knew He was BIG and therefore I needed a BIG book. So for the next 3 years I made God my study and filled those pages with Bible verses and insights and revelations about who God is. Oh the joy of knowing Him. It was like a doorway of fellowshipping with this Trinity God and treasures were unlocked.

As Joy always reminds us “He is the event! The Bible is not primarily about man – it is about who God is.” I also discovered why it needed more grace for Moses to leave God’s presence than to go up the mountain. I went for a 30 day retreat alone with God on a mountain and it was more difficult to leave that place  than to have begun. My Mom said to me a week afterwards: You need to come down from the mountain because you never leave your room!”

Here are a few of the ways of how to get to know God (learned from Joy Dawson):

Let us acknowledge to God how little we really know Him. Tell God that you want Him to be the supreme desire of your life and ask Him to increase your desire and begin to seek Him. I love the way that Jeremiah reminds us “You will find Me when you search for Me with your whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13)

Begin to pray the prayers prayed by those who went before us. These are some of my favorites that have helped me to hunger and thirst for Him continually.

“As a deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God! My soul thirsts for you” ~ Psalm 42:1-2

“O God You are my God, early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You, in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary to see Your power and Your glory” ~ Psalm 63:1-2

MarietteAnother focus is to study the ways of God which are the principles by which He operates. His ways reflects His character. Meditate on and obey His word. I quickly learned the difference between knowing His acts from His ways. As I studied His ways it became obvious that it needed deeper digging and more time spent with Him.

If we want the imprint of the nature of God on us then the study of His Son is imperative because He carried the imprint of His Father. From 2 Peter it is clear that it is the knowledge of God and not the knowledge about God.

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)

~ Mariette Louw has been a leader and speaker in YWAM for many years both in Scotland and internationally. She currently lives in Glasgow.