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?

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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.

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Street Art Evangelism

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‘What’s you biggest dream?’ I asked the man.

‘My biggest dream is to be in heaven and see angels,’ John answered. ‘And I hope that if I was to go to heaven, I would feel at home there.’

‘Well I believe God has a home for you in heaven. Could I pray for you?’

‘Yes, that would be great. I have anxiety and depression that I have been hospitalised for. I’ve not been able to work for six months. It’s awful.’

‘I’ll pray for that now then…’

 

‘What’s your biggest dream?’

‘Good question. I think my biggest dream is to be happy,’ Matchek from Poland answered.

‘That’s a very general dream, what if you were to be a little more specific?’

‘I have gone through a lot of change in the last year and I dream about feeling peace in my life…’

‘Well I believe God wants to give you His peace. Can I pray for you?’

 

‘What’s your biggest dream?’

‘To pass my exams!’

‘Are you studying here in Edinburgh?’

‘Yes, but we are from Thailand and China’

‘Oh wow! Well I believe in God, and I believe he wants to bless you guys, would it be ok if I pray for you and for your dreams?’

 

During the Mission Explore Weekend in Edinburgh we took to the streets with the youth to do evangelism. We were there to talk to people about their dreams and to offer to pray with them. We got to speak to loads of people: Koreans, Qataris, Swiss, Polish, English, French, American, Thai, Chinese, Singaporean, Scottish, etc and nobody I spoke to refused prayer.

It struck me how many people I met that don’t have anyone at all that pray for them. What a blessing it was to be able to share God’s love with them in such a simple way and see their faces light up as they encountered the living God on the streets!

Mission Explore Weekend (part 2)

Last weekend we had a Mission Explore weekend in Edinburgh. It was a great time with a bunch of youth from Scotland, Wales and Scandinavia. One evening we did some exercises in hearing from God. The youth both got to hear from God for themselves, and for each other.

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As we asked God for words for each other, one of the guys felt God say that he sees his friend as a warrior. Another heard God say ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ over her friend, and that God meant that he has so much he wants to say to her but there aren’t enough words to explain to her how much he loves her.

Everybody was encouraged both by what God had said, but also that it was so easy to hear from God.

The next morning we split into small groups to do treasure hunting. We started by sitting down and asking God who he wanted us to meet when we went out, what they would look like, where we would find them, and even what their names would be. Then we went out in our groups to try and find them.

When the groups came back and we asked ‘did you find your treasures?’ it was great to hear how group after group had found the person God had spoken to them about.

One group was looking for a man who would be sitting on the street. They had a clear description of what he would look like and what his name was. They went out and found him and decided to buy him a meal from McDonald’s. As they gave him his meal and talked to him, they found out that they had all the details right and it also happened to be his birthday. They got to pray for him and he was very thankful.

Another group was looking for a man in a bright yellow jacket with hip problems. They found him explained what they were doing, and asked if by any chance he had a problem with his hip? Yes, he did. So they were able to pray for him and he and his wife were very thankful.

It was wonderful to see the young people stepping out in faith as they listened to God and then blessed people on the streets of Edinburgh!

 

Mission Explore Weekend in Edinburgh

Our Mission Explore Weekend in Edinburgh has just finished: it’s been an action packed weekend, full of God moving in and through us all. We spent time in God’s presence, worshipping, praying for each other, washing each other’s feet, listening to God, eating together, doing evangelism, eating together and sleeping on church floors – all in a weekend with a bunch of youth going for it with God!

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On Saturday afternoon we were out on the streets doing evangelism. We had four different groups: one group was asking people to join our chalk street art project and draw or write down their biggest dream, another group was handing out treats and bible verses, another group was playing the swap game (which is a game where you start out with a pen and go up to somebody to ask them if they want to swap the pen for something of higher value, they might give you a different item, which you then try to swap with somebody else. Once you have something nice you pray about who God wants you to give it to and then you go and find them and bless them). And the last group was giving out Gospel bracelets (a Gospel bracelet is a bracelet with differently coloured beads which represents different parts of the Gospel story).

We have lots of testimonies from the time of evangelism, but here is one: One of the groups that were giving out bracelets got talking to a couple about what their dreams were. To begin with the man said his biggest dream was to be happy, but as they dug a bit deeper, it came out he had problems with anger and that he dreamt of being free. They spent a long time talking to this couple and, using the Gospel bracelet, they got to share the Gospel story and got to pray for both the man and his wife who were very thankful.

Passion for Jesus

On Saturday morning we asked God for an increased passion for Jesus and boldness to take risks with Him.

In the evenings we had time to worship and listen to God together, and to talk some about who God is. Here are some of the things the youth took away:

‘I connected with God when I was drawing. I had lots of pictures in my mind as I was listening to the songs.’

‘God speaks in different ways and I can hear from him’

‘I was given an encouraging prophetic word, about how God sees me’

‘God has a plan for me, even when there seems to be no way; he still has a plan for me’

‘I was inspired by the outreaches and the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone’

‘I made new friends’

‘There was such a sense of family’

After an intense weekend we are all tired but also very thankful for all God did.