Day 1 in London!
Hey everyone! It’s David, band leader of withLove. We got to London safely today, and it was quite an adventure to get here. First of all, the flight over was smooth, but we almost got detained at the border! Thankfully, we had our endorsement letters and they were able to verify them, and we were able to get in. For a moment we were nervous!
Then, on our way to the house from the airport, our driver ran out of gas since we were taking so long at the border. A police car came out and helped us, took our driver to get some gas while we were waiting on the side of the road until they got back. Finally, we reached the beautiful host’s house. Everything here is beautiful: it doesn’t get dark until 10:30pm at night, and the sunlight comes at 3:45am, which is crazy. The weather is pretty nice, about 80 degrees. For one of the band-mates, Nathan, our airlines left his bag at the last terminal in Montreal. We’re keeping our fingers crossed they are going to have his bag delivered to us tomorrow.
We had a quite a few hiccups getting here, but we’re here, and I don’t take that for coincidence that we had so much opposition trying to get here. I really believe that God has something here for us to really make huge impact and to stir up revival, and to be able to really connect with people on a different level than ever before here in London.
We had a chance to walk around Old Lane Lodge Baptist Church with Pastor McGrives who was telling us his story about the work that he’s doing in the community, and it’s pretty awesome working with basically the equivalent of a section eight housing in court council estates (in that kind of a neighborhood). They are working with everything: from trying to be the centre of a neighborhood in the sense of working with the schools, working with the kids, working with families, having various tea time to bible studies, to prayer at night orduring the week. It’s just a very active church and really doing a lot of efforts to reach people in the community in ground zero rather than just on Sunday mornings or formal outreach events.
It’s really cool in that way; they actually have a great relationship with the community, and the church. It’s a small town neighborhood church, but the hearts are brilliant, and they shine bright in that neighborhood for Christ.
In the neighborhood we got fish and chips at Danny’s, which apparently is the best fish and chips in town. It was pretty good (even then it needed some salt!)
The band fitted the PA systems today and Logan is really excited about working with that. We got to meet some of the kids in the neighborhood; they seem really awesome as well. I love the accent here, that’s one thing I really enjoy. What’s weird is that because we’re in their homeland, we are the ones with the accents, not them. It’s interesting to shift our mindset from being home, and being in their home where their culture is theirs, and we are just visitors.
Our hope and our goal is not to say, “Hey, here’s how we do ministry, and this is the way it should be done.” But more so partnering with the local ministry there, and empowering them to do the work that they are already doing, and to do it in a bigger way. To help them cultivate a culture of God loving people and doing everything with love. There is a huge need for community, and so we are excited to be able to start revival in that way and stir up hearts, stir up minds, and depend on God and his Holy Spirit to do the transformation with the transforming of hearts.
That is basically it, I’m really excited for what tomorrow brings… One goal today was to stay up till 8:00pm London time. It was a struggle! The moment that we were sitting still, people were passing out, left and right, but for the most part, people stayed up till 8pm. Right now it’s 9:15pm, and it’s weird to still see sunlight. Tomorrow is another relaxing day (we get to actually commune with the church in the community tomorrow) and rehearse for our coming show on Thursday.
I’m really excited. The high of today was just really being able to hear the story of what Nick and his church is doing in the community. I especially loved seeing the prayer wall – they have all these notes on the prayer wall of all these different prayers. There is this really cool tree they have in the sanctuary where they took an old dead root of the tree and planted it in a pot and brought in it the church. Basically, they started a community tree where every person that they meet, they write their name on it and put it on the branch of the tree. Subsequently, at the same time, the tree started to come alive. It’s really interesting, the more people they meet at the same time this tree is growing, and it’s starting to grow leaves, and it’s beautiful. They take it as affirmation that God is in this community, and that relationships are important. That was really cool to see this kind of the work that’s happening there, the excitement that’s there.
The only low today was just trying to get over this jet lag. It’s hard to think, and it’s hard to do anything when everyone is tired. People are on edge a little bit, and you try not to piss anybody off, LOL!
Anyway, we were pretty well received, and we ask that you keep your prayers up for us as we meet the community. Whatever kind of spiritual happenings takes place next is yet to come. Keep us in your prayers, and we’re definitely excited to perform our music and to do ministry. That is day one in the books!
P.S. Oh, weird fact is that nobody believes in air conditioning over here in London. Everyone says, “Open your window for some cool breeze, and if not, you’re just going to be hot.” The weather is not too extreme where you’re going to be burning up all the time, and it gets hot it will just be warm for an hour or two a day.