That’s right! As of today, July 7th, it has been exactly one month since we left the security of our job and home and the comfort of our family and friends – all that we’ve ever known – to follow God’s call on an adventure in ministry across the ocean in the United Kingdom. It’s hard to believe that much time has passed. If you are just joining us on our journey, I encourage you to read our previous posts for the story of how God brought us to this point. It’s pretty amazing stuff! I mean, I’m living it, and it still blows my mind on a daily basis! Meanwhile, here’s an update for this week! Enjoy!!
UKFJ MINISTRY UPDATE: Serve – Evangelize – Teach
Serve: Wow! All I can say is “it is on”! Things are changing quickly, in good ways, and there is an excitement in the air! Trevor has always been a dreamer, a visionary. He can see so far beyond the present reality into the depths of future potential that most people would never conceive could even be possible, and he is an amazing problem-solver. This is how God wired him and it’s part of why He brought us here… to join fresh vision with seasoned vision and press forward into a new chapter of ministry and, we believe, revival in this town, county and country! As I mentioned in my last blog, a lot of our service to Pastor David Flanders and Souls Harbour is completely practical in nature. We have certain talents, skill sets & experiences that fill some critical needs and gaps in the ministry here and will enable forward progress in changing the perception of “church” and reaching the community for Christ.
Society’s perception of church in this country is mediocre at best, but typically more negative. In many ways, church is perceived as old-fashioned, irrelevant and untrustworthy… just old buildings full of candles, rituals and (sadly) perverts and hypocrites. So, bringing a modern, relevant feel to the services is an important part of connecting to and reaching present and future generations. TO BE CLEAR: We aren’t talking about a watered down Gospel, but simply presenting it with relevance, excellence and integrity. When visitors come and hear a more contemporary style of worship and see projection screens for the words and scriptures and so on, they are sincerely shocked. Someone once asked David, “Is this church? Where are all the candles?!?!”
Of course, with all the changes in the works, Pastor David likes to joke that if the congregation likes the changes, then he’ll share the credit. If not, he’ll just blame Trevor! He’s only kidding of course, and so far the changes have been met with approval and appreciation… especially Trevor’s clever solution to the screen/projector issues that have been an ongoing problem. Last week, Trevor and David removed the old set-up and built two new screens, hanging them in such a way that nearly EVERYONE in the awkwardly shaped sanctuary can now see the display AND the people ministering from the platform are no longer held hostage in a single spot so as not to further obstruct the view. It’s been a nagging issue that is now solved and checked off the list… and it looks fantastic! Proper job! (It’s a Cornish saying… as we are in Cornwall, England.) Plus, his rearranging of the chairs (including a new middle section that connects what were previously two separate rooms) adds much needed space for more chairs and people (another pressing issue). I don’t mean to brag, but I am quite proud of my hubby and his clever ideas!
Evangelize: You might recall the local school outreach I mentioned in our blog last week. The modern hip-hop/dance group L.E.D conducted assemblies and class sessions all week in the school focused on “moral issues,” then held a concert in the school hall on Friday night, to which all students were invited. At that concert, the Gospel message was boldly presented and an opportunity to respond was given. There were 60 students in attendance at the event and 29 of them responded in some way. PRAISE THE LORD! In fact, on Sunday I had the privilege of meeting one of the girls who was saved that Friday night. She is nearly 15 and eager to understand and embrace her new life in Christ. For her and the others, we will be working to help Souls Harbour be a place for growth and discipleship throughout the summer.
Another way Souls Harbour has taken faith boldly outside the church walls is with baptisms. There is no place at the church to do them and swimming pools are rare in these parts. However, there is a gorgeous ocean (albeit quite cold) just a few miles away. And on a warm sunny day, you can be certain it will be crawling with adults and children frolicking in the sun and surf. It’s tricky business to get the timing right. It’s a huge beach set among large rocks and cliffs and the tide goes in and out each day, but the tide times shift. So, trying to target a sunny day (warm is optional) with the right timing of the tide is an art… and Pastor David nailed it! Because the tide goes in and out, there are shallow pools of fresh seawater in various coves among the rocks. This makes for the perfect baptism pool. So, there by the sea, we sang hymns, prayed, cheered and applauded as four people (a married couple and two teenage sisters) boldly and publicly professed their faith in Jesus Christ. While many among the crowd seemed to move past us without paying much attention, there were others near enough to hear and see that were really watching. We are praying for the seeds that were planted that day.
As visionaries and believers in taking Jesus Christ out to the community (rather than waiting for them to come in to the church looking for Him), Trevor and David are two peas in a pod. They are talking, planning, dreaming, strategizing and so on, so be on the lookout for news and updates regarding outreach efforts locally and beyond as God opens doors.
Teach: Trevor is honored to get to stand behind the pulpit to preach at Souls Harbour church for the second time on July 24th. (The first time was during our brief “covert” visit in January.). On this day, he’ll be speaking on worship – sharing the deep burden God has placed within him for the body of Christ to truly “get” worship - to understand it as a vehicle by which we are able to connect directly to God and usher in His presence, individually and corporately. Then, throughout the month of August, we’ll be taking the lead for the worship portion of the services. Beyond that, we continue to pray and seek God regarding the UKFJ School of Worship. To this point, we have simply listened and obeyed and God has laid out the path before us down to the tiniest details, so we are keeping this goal in the forefront but aren’t going to force it. We will let God lead us, and we know that it will naturally flow as He is ready and knows that we are.
Well, that should cover most of the key updates from a ministry standpoint. As always, if you want to know more about anything or have any questions about us or our ministry, please respond to this post, contact us on Facebook or send us an email at email@UKforJesus.com.
Additionally, just a reminder that we are not being paid any wages here and are fully funded by supporters in America. Based on our visas, we expect to be here in full-time service to UKFJ and David Flanders/Souls Harbour for at least three years. We are so deeply grateful to everyone who has committed to support us financially for these first 12 months and has been faithful to that commitment. Additionally, the many generous one-time gifts have given us a great running start and have helped build our emergency fund. THANK YOU… you are making all of this possible and, though you are not with us physically, you are a vital part of all that we are doing here, because it would not be possible without you.
I have also updated our “prayer needs” page and hope that you’ll take a moment to see what our current needs are and stand in faith with us. We also so deeply appreciate those who are so faithful to cover us and our ministry with prayer… THANK YOU!
Abundant blessings over you and yours,
- Connie, Trevor & Brooklyn