Saturday, February 26, 2011

What’s in YOUR pocket?  This week we have been blessed by having Steve Sullivan teach on God’s “family business” that we are a part of; God has said that we are blessed to be a blessing!  Steve talked about the covenant that God made with Abraham in the Old Testament that said he would be blessed and he and his descendants would be a blessing to all peoples.  Abraham had the “contract” in his pocket, and so do we!  We are all being challenged this week to not only receive the blessing of God (His kingdom on earth) but also reach out beyond ourselves and bless all peoples (the nations). 
                              The sun has been out today for the first in a long time, and even now as I sit in the lounge its rays pierce through the curtains brightening up the room a bit more, reminding me that the joy of the Lord is my strength…and that sunshine still exists.  Tomorrow Eva, Lisanne, Juil and I will journey down to Keswick (pronounced Kezick; any other pronunciation and you will be instantly branded as an identifiable tourist and looked at as, well, a tourist).  This place is in the beautiful Lake District, and we will hopefully hike around the lake and see some beautiful scenery with the sun smiling on us and a gentle breeze in the air (although I imagine that even if the sky is pouring rain the scenery will still be beautiful).
                              I have also been learning to laugh at myself this week; instead of getting frustrated or offended when I am teased for something, I’m learning to put aside my pride and be amused with my own humannessJ  Haha, it’s quite fun.  When I process things I tend to either sing, draw, or write as somehow the arts let out things inside of me that can’t be let out any other way.  Here is a little poem I wrote when I was processing through some things I didn’t, and still don’t, quite understand.  I’m learning to search out the things I have questions about, and instead of looking to my own understanding I look to the Holy Spirit to give me the answers I seek:

So many questions flying through my mind,
I cannot count them all
To think or not to think; answers I must find
Are there answers at all?
Jesus says to seek and discover,
Proverbs says the same.
My curiosity I cannot cover,
My mind will not be tamed.
You alone can fill my need,
Your word will provide.
Now my mind your wisdom feeds,
In You I will abide

Monday, February 21, 2011

And more pictures....

This is Kelly, Lisanne, and myself on Banker Street in downtown Carlisle:)

These are all of the "trainees", or those being trained in the DTS program.  From left it is Lisanne (from Holland) me, Kelly (from Canada), Juil (from South Korea), and Eva (From Arizona).

This is the whole team (plus Craig).  From left back is Juil,  Ben (DTS assistant leader), Kelly, Craig, Eva, Lisanne.  Crouching in the front is Lucy (DTS leader), Hannah, and me.
Well, this has been quite a week!  There has been a new face added amongst us at the base in the form of Craig, a native of Carlisle who did his DTS (discipleship training seminar) here a few years ago and since then has been staffing a YWAM base in Norway.  He came back last week because he is going to be leading the SOE (school of evangelism) here in the spring, the first held in England since around 1990!  Craig is staying with his parents who live near the base, and he stops by quite a lot during the week, in addition to coming with us on our outreaches.
                              So far we have had three evangelism “events” in the DTS, and there will be at least one per week for the remainder of the lecture phase.  The first was the Thursday before last when we had a “Thinking Allowed” event which is based on a book by David.  The book is a compilation of excerpts from his blog that take different topics in society and look at them from different perspectives, challenging people to think.  The turnout was fairly small, but considering it was our first attempt it went very well.  We have another one next Thursday, and the topic will be atheism (the last one was evolution).  We hope to have more people come this time, David will speak on the topic for a few minutes and then there will be a discussion time where each table will address the questions handed out and share opinions and thoughts. 
                              On Wednesday we did an evangelism activity where we had a sort of scavenger hunt to find different things in the city, such as people who had heard of YWAM, people who wanted prayer, getting someone to take a weird picture with us, attracting a crowd, and other things along those lines. We were in groups of three (I was with Kelly and Juil) and we went out into Carlisle for about an hour and a half. It was great because it got us out into the area and helped us to get more outside of our comfort zones, but it was also difficult because the people here are rather suspicious and not super friendly. Actually, it was a bit funny because the two people who said that we could pray for them would only consent if we prayed somewhere else.  One lady in Starbucks said that we could pray for her general well-being, but that she would prefer we do it somewhere more “discrete”.  No matter how many people we asked, how many places we went, or how many ways we put the question we could not get anyone to take a picture with us.  Even when we said we were on a scavenger hunt and just needed a picture with a stranger in it, everyone acted like we were stalkers looking for a target to follow.  However we did have a good time, and we learned some strategies on how to best approach the people of Carlisle, as they are quite different from those of Southern California.
            Friday night we went out to Botchergate Street, notorious for being the central of pubs, dance clubs, and other party places.  The street is closed off to normal traffic at night as people have gotten hit in the past,, and police have a constant and extensive presence there.  YWAM has been doing outreach there for about three years now, roughly every other Friday evening.  We have a table set up in front of a charity store (long closed by the time we arrive) which has given us permission to use the space, and we give out free coffee and tea to the passersby.  The reactions vary; most either decline the offer or ignore us all together, but there were a fair amount of people attracted to the free beverages.  I had multiple people ask me if I was from America, and then ask me why in the world I came to Carlisle.  Sometimes people don’t want to talk, but most are curious as to why we are there and what we do.  There was one good conversation I had with  a man who thought it was amazing what we were doing and kept on saying how we should feel so good about ourselves because we were allowing people who didn’t have any money to get a drink if they were thirsty (he also tried to give us money).  I told him we were there to bless people and be the love of  Jesus, and he proceeded to ask me what I believed.  I was able to tell him about how I believe in the God of the Bible, Jehova, and how I believe He is part of the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Because of sin, relationship was broken between God and man, and that is why the Father sent His Son to earth so that His death could restore the broken relationship and take away all shame and guilt.  He was definitely searching, so I invited him to the Thinking Allowed event on thursday and after he left Hannah and I prayed for  him.  I hope he comes thursday but if he doesn't I trust that the Lord will water the seeds that were planted.
                                           I am so grateful for all of your support, thank you so much for your prayers!  The enemy hates what we are doing with a passion, so he will use every thing he knows how to distract, frighten, and discourage us from pressing further into God, your prayers matter!  Bless you all, I send my deepest love!

<3 Aubrey                                                      

Monday, February 14, 2011

Oh my how time flies!  Weeks turn into days and days turn into weeks, and even when we do have free time it seems to be taken up by all of the seemingly endless things to do: laundry, running errands, straightening up our living quarters, etc.  I apologize for the long delay in blogging; I will try to write one at least once or twice a week, although unfortunately I can make no promises as certain weeks can be busier than others.
            Anyway, oh where do I start, well for one thing we are all adjusting to the new schedule rather well, although I suspect it will be a couple of weeks before we are completely adapted.  An average weekday for me would consist of waking up at around seven to my phone alarm and slowly walking either to the shower or downstairs to eat breakfast and drink some tea.  By eight we all start our work (“worship”) duties which, depending on the week, consist of cleaning a bathroom or doing breakfast dishes.  By 8:45, Lisanne, Juil, Kelly, Eva and I all grab our coats and head out the door for the ten minute walk to Eden community church where we have lectures.  The staff will have been there for about 45 minutes already, and we join them at nine.  We usually start out with either intercessory prayer or worship, and then whoever is speaking that week teaches for roughly two and a half hours (with coffee breaksJ) and then we walk back to the Old Vic (the base).  This week Lisanne and I had cooking duty, so we prepared lunch and dinner every day.  We usually have about one hour of free time during the day, but some days it gets taken up by other things and usually is between three and four in the afternoon.  After l unch we have small group where we (Ben, Lucy, Hannah, and the trainees) come together in the “lounge” and discuss our thoughts on the lecture.  We ask questions and glean from others’ perceptions, which also help us to process what we heard.  Usually two nights a week we have ministry prayer, one night a week is evangelism, and the other two are free.  Weekends are not as structured; we are at liberty to go and do as we like, although Saturday is generally sleep-in morning and Sunday we can go to one of the churches in the area. 
            That summarizes (roughly) our schedule, although it changes slightly from week to week.  The lectures have been really amazing; this first week was about the nature of God, the character of God, and what it means to really know Him.  David taught all this week, and he put some very thought-provoking questions before us, questions that basically laid out how we view God at our core.  It’s been good to have small groups and such so that we can all process what we are learning, and it also gives us opportunity to support and encourage each other as we draw closer together as a group. 
            Thank you all so much for your support and prayers, it is much needed and much appreciated!  Blessings to you all,

Love Aubrey

PS Happy Valentines Day!  May you know and receive the love of God for you; you are very precious to Him and He is seeking relationship with you  and all you have to do is say “yes”J

Friday, February 4, 2011


Lisanne and I climbed down a grassy bank and over two fences to sit under the brigde because, apparantly, in Holland they "Do this all the time":)

Standing under who-knows-how-old arches outside of the cathedral

Carlisle Cathedral

Inside the walls of Carlisle castle there is a tower.  On the outside of this tower there is an old well.  Inside this old well, there is a giant hole.  Inside this giant hole, there is darkness, and a little bit of water at the bottom.  This old well used to be the primary source of water for the inhabitants hundreds of years ago.  Pretty crazy huh?