Monthly Archives: December 2012

St. Barnabas

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Together with the Anglican Church we are working to pioneer youth groups in different churches all over Carlisle. One area of focus is Raffles where we are working with St. Barnabas Church. The hope is that many of the youth will get to know Jesus and begin following Him. We aim to do this by building relationships with the youth where they hang out, and invite them to youth groups where we can share about Jesus.

The DTS students go out on Tuesday and Friday nights to spend time with the youth in this area and have had a great time getting to know them. They make hot chocolate to hand out and bring a football to kick around.

“My favorite part about ST. Barnabas is that it’s such a practical way to help and show that you care, we’ve had some great conversations with the youth. At first we were thinking that the youth wouldn’t want to go into the church but one time they were playing football and they ran straight into the church! I think people are very open if you meet them where they’re at, in their own environment; because of that we’ve had a very positive response. “ -Lisanne

DTS Gathering in Glasgow

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At the end of October many YWAM teams came together in Glasgow for a week of teaching and evangelism.  The DTS students attended and had a great time. Janina shares her experience….

The goal of the gathering was to show the love of God to the people in Glasgow. Therefore, we went on different outreaches during the week. For example; serving people hot drinks, offering a boat tour, organizing a carnival for kids, and offering prayer for people.

Besides the local outreaches, we had teaching about evangelism and times of praying for Glasgow, listening to God for what he wants to say about Glasgow and do (through us) and just focusing on God and how great He is.

At the end of each day we had a testimony time where we shared what God did during the day. I personally really liked these times because it was very encouraging for me to hear about God’s work in people’s lives.

I also enjoyed the aspect of meeting new people from different YWAM bases and getting to know some of them. It was a special pleasure for me to get to know some German/Austrian people – who are also doing a DTS – and speak German to them.

The outreaches were sometimes challenging for me to talk to strangers but generally it was good to show different people that God cares about them and that we as Christians also care about them.

For me personally the best experience of the week was to really see God working in other people’s lives as well as in my own life; to see that God really cares about everyone.Another great experience for me was hearing God’s voice, which is often difficult for me to believe in. But I experienced it: He does.

 

Meet the staff: Hannah

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Hi! I’m Hannah and I’m from the United States.  I joined YWAM Carlisle in 2010 and little did I know that three years later I’d still be here. My DTS completely changed my life. It was an incredible experience and I grew so much in my relationship with God.

I came back in 2011 to staff the January school and during that time God really gave me a heart for Carlisle and I felt called to stay here for a longer period of time.  After my BLS in 2011 I went home for a year to work and raise money and I’ve been back on staff since September of this year.

I’m helping out with several of our ministries such as botchegate, student ministries, and youth clubs. I also work at a café run by St. James church called Cornerstone. It’s a great chance for me to get to know people and I’ve had several great conversations about God with other volunteers who work there as well as people coming in.  God is really working in this city and it is so exciting to be a part of it and I’m really looking forward to see what happens in the New Year.

 

Christmas Outreach

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This past Saturday, December 15th, was one of our first outreaches that was planned, organized and executed by us! – the trainees of YWAM Carlisle’s first 9-month DTS. We had been planning it almost since the very beginning of the DTS, so needless to say, this made it a very exciting day for us!

Originally, our plan for the outreach was all over the map. We had a ton of ideas, but nothing that stood out too much at all. Then, of course, as with every good story, we let God step in, and it kind of took off from there. Basically, our heart behind it was this: To bless, encourage and engage the local community through interactive creativity and conversation. That was the mission statement, and that paved the way for our new ideas.

So last Saturday, we spent two hours of the afternoon in the City Centre, in the midst of Christmas shoppers and a multitude of seasonal festivities. We set up a table to serve free coffee, tea and hot chocolate to any who wanted, enough to serve up to 200 people. We also made two boards, painted with Christmas trees and decorations that asked simple questions like, “What do you want for Christmas?” and “What is Christmas to you?”. It was really cool to see people come up to write on the board their answers, and with the hot drinks being served alongside it as well, it definitely opened up great opportunities for conversations throughout the day.

Also, we felt like we wanted to really be a source of encouragement to people, so with the board and the free hot drinks, we also made up about 200 little gift bags, containing sweets and encouraging notes in them. They were all personally hand-written, and prayed over before being handed out, and we continue to pray that even small acts of kindness like this can draw people to Jesus.

All in all, many people responded, and we really enjoyed being in community with people in such a way. It’s always fun to be able to answer the “What are you doing this for” question with simply, “No reason at all! We hope you feel blessed/loved/encouraged today.”

So after many hours planning, organizing, preparing and executing, we can safely say that our DTS’s Christmas Outreach for December 2012 was a success, and we had such a great time! Pray that God continues to work in the heart of this city.

Next Year in Krakow

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Next Year in Krakow (NYK) is a year for young people year 11 to 13 from different youth groups from all over Carlisle to come together to experience and grow in God through worship, prayer, talking, learning, serving and going. It is a year for seeing what God can do with one group of teenagers living for Him. It is about learning and experiencing more of who God is, His heart and intention for each individual’s life and the world, and how we all fit into the big picture.

We are a group of 22 young people and 6 leaders, and we’re meeting once a week for a year leading up to an outreach to the Czech Republic during Easter 2013 (So not Krakow, even though that’s in the name). We’re wrestling with big questions, eating, laughing and crying together and getting challenged in different areas in our lives. The young people love it, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Student Ministries

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It’s been such a great journey to get our Student Ministry up and running over the last few months. We started back in September and on the day of the launch I got a phone call from the local vicar, John, to prepare me for the masses he was expecting to come for dinner that evening. So we went out to get extra food and cooked for about 100 people. We had about 20kg of mashed potatoes, 8kg of peas and hundreds of Cumberland sausages – we were ready for the students to descend on us. Imagine our surprise when not a single student showed up!

We were all a bit disappointed, but also felt compelled to keep trying. The next week we went out with flyers to speak with students before the meal, and that night about 10 students showed up. The week after, we had about 25 students. And so it has continued: last time we had between 40 and 50 students! It’s been a privilege to get to know some of them as we’ve sat around the dinner tables chatting with them.

Of course, our focus isn’t just to serve dinners but to build relationship with the students and share God’s love with them. So alongside having dinner together with the students, we have also run a few events on Saturdays this autumn and are planning to run a Student Alpha course in the beginning of next year together with the church. Already we have had some really deep conversations about life, God and the universe and have been able to pray with students. Together with a few different people in church leadership in Carlisle we’re also exploring how to be church in new ways and how to be relevant to an 18-30 population. It is incredibly exciting to work together with local church to work out how to better serve the people in our cities, and we can’t wait to see how God will work in people’s lives through all this.

‘I have so many questions about Christianity; like I find it intriguing that Christians believe in the creation story rather than looking at the scientific evidence for how the world came to be! I’d love to hear more about that’, said one of the girls around the dinner table a few weeks ago.

‘No, I don’t go to church, but I believe in God’, said one of the guys when asked about his faith.

‘Oh, that’s cool, because we’re in this process of exploring what relevant church could look like to somebody like you and me. You know we’re thinking church is important, but it maybe needs to look a bit differently to what it commonly looks like now, in order for it to work for people like us?’, said I.

‘Yes, yes, I totally have loads of ideas about what that could be like!’, he answers, and so a conversation begins…

‘I asked a girl out yesterday and she said she’d call me back, how long should I wait before I contact her again?’ asked one of the guys when one of our girls sat at his table.

From the very beginning we felt that God wanted this whole ministry to reflect his heart of hospitality and generosity, and we have been astonished at how this has been reflected in all kinds of aspects of the ministry already. As we’ve raised money and prepared to launch this ministry we’ve been so thankful for people’s generosity both financially and in helping with anything from serving the meals to chatting with the students around the tables. As we reach out to the students, we’re convinced that the hospitable, generous and loving God that cares so much about each one of them is drawing people to himself, and we so look forward to seeing people come to know him.