Partnering with YFC to ‘Be The Change’

be-the-change

We cancelled our usual rhythm of DTS teaching, small groups, prayer and worship so that we could spend the half-term week serving with YFC’s ‘Be The Change’ mission week.

They’d signed up several youth groups from Cambridge and the surrounding area to come and be part of reaching out in simple missional activity to three different parts of the city: Arbury, Barnwell and Cherry Hinton. Me and Taryn were part of the Arbury team, which was fantastic as this is actually our local community. We were involved in an afternoon kid’s club based at our very own Church of the Good Shepherd, and I also joined in with some of the cage football that the visiting YFC Nomad team were doing to draw in local kids.

In the mornings we started off with worship and teaching, and then in the afternoons we split up into our different teams to head to the different projects that we were part of.
I had the chance to preach on one of the mornings, as an emergency back-up for one of the speakers who had just fallen ill. I was able to talk about Jonah, and the incredible encouragement it is that if God can use a missionary like him (a single man in need of some serious discipleship!) to bring revival and reformation to a great city (about the size of Cambridge!), then he can use any of us.

It was interesting being involved with a missional event organised by a different organisation — Cambridge YFC is definitely not YWAM Cambridge. But it’s so good to see that what God is doing in our city is so much bigger than our little team! But I have to say that the highlight of the week was, without a shadow of a doubt, Isaac standing up on his own two feet for the first time in his life.
isaac-stands

Slow Boat In The Fast Lane

slow-boat-in-the-fast-lane

I had the privilege of being involved with this event celebrating one hundred and thirty years since the Cambridge Seven set sail for China. It was organised by OMF (the mission into which I was born), but was very much a collaborative effort with YWAM (the mission with which I now work) and WEC (the mission CT Studd founded), and there were also representatives present from most of Cambridge’s mission-minded populace.

The day started with David Harley, former OMF General Director, sharing some thoughts from Luke 10. Then we had Basil Scott, one of the Cambridge Seventy (a group of Cambridge students who came together in 1955 — seventy years after the Cambridge Seven — and pledged themselves to missionary service).

Unexpectedly, and most excitingly, we had Patrick Johnstone — the mastermind behind the inception of Operation World, the definitive guide to praying for the nations. He has an endless collection of fascinating slides showing the challenges and opportunities facing the church — but also a surprisingly mischievious glint in his eye. And he seemed to enjoy telling us about CT Studd’s ‘Don’t care a damn!’ motto as he did about the opportunities to reach the unreached in the Muslim world. (Well, almost!)

In the afternoon I took a large portion of those there for the day on a Tour of Cambridge’s Spiritual Heritage: pointing out the Corn Exchange, where DL Moody’s preaching caused something of a student revival; the Eagle, where William Wilberforce spent his time drinking before being radically saved into a life of evangelical activism; the Church of St Edward King & Martyr, where the first Reformation sermon was preached… et cetera. The group was I think the most interested and appreciative I have ever taken. It was certainly also the largest!

Most of those who had been there for the day left once the afternoon was over, and in the evening we had a different crowd of mainly students aged 17-21. The challenge went out to follow the example of the Cambridge Seven to fully obey the Great Commission — and a notable number stood up in response.

All in all a fantastic day to be a part of!