Monday the 1st April, 2013, 3:30pm. Today is the day we begin our journey towards the Czech Republic. We arrive in stages, some more on time than others, at Carlisle train station, in order to catch a TransPennine to Edinburgh. All of us are (eventually) present, minus Emily whom we are meeting at Edinburgh Airport. The train is late, to the good fortune of those of us running a little behind, and we begin the process of cramming fourteen people and twenty-eight items of luggage into a carriage that is evidently not designed to accommodate such an influx. However, after a few minutes of jostling and heaving the bags are away, we’re seated, and on our way to Edinburgh.
The shining sun seems to signal good things. To me it signals an hour and a half of blinding agony, but that’s neither here nor there. An hour and a half of cards at the table we managed to nab brings us all safe and sound to the beautiful capital city of Scotland. We locate the bus that will take us to the airport. We sit at the back, because we’re cool. After half an hour of trying to stay on what were surprisingly slippery seats and marvelling at the stunning architecture we all pile out and drag our luggage into the Arrivals area.
While waiting for Emily to materialise we raid W H Smiths and Costa, loading up on hot chocolate and sweets. I buy a giant custard cream because (a) it’s a giant custard cream and (b) I think the excitement of travelling has gone to my head. We loiter around the airport while clever leader people make arrangements for taxis to take us to the travelodge. It turns out that hard case suitcases are really fun to spin around on. When the taxis arrive we try unsuccessfully to fit everyone in, but it just isn’t happening, so Isaiah and myself are volunteered to wait behind with the remaining luggage while the others are delivered to the hotel.
Not too much later and we are all together again. We are given our room keys, dump our luggage, and have a team meeting and prayer time over chips and drinks – it’s around 9 o’clock at this point. We chill out in the restaurant for a bit longer before heading up to bed in preparation for what is to be a horrendously early start.
Meet our new base leader!
Miriam Lowe is from New Zealand and joined YWAM in 1991 when she did a DTS at Homestead Manor. She came up to Carlisle in 1999 and helped her husband Richard start YWAM Carlisle in 2001. Miriam worked in the background and home-schooled their two sons, Jacob and Ben, while Richard was leading the base. Several years later Richard handed over the role of leadership to Emma who has just stepped down and is moving on to new ventures. Over the past few months Miriam has been meeting with Emma and talking about the possibility of taking on the role of base leader. Miriam believed that there was some unfinished business with her role in YWAM Carlisle and so she has accepted to lead the Carlisle base.
We sat down and asked Miriam what she’d like to see happen in this team and in the city and this is part of what she shared:
“Lots of Jesus stuff! I’d like to be a community of people who are about the Fathers business, a team who is growing up and working in partnership with God. It’s about putting time into our team and maturing and becoming well developed in our relationship with God. “
We are excited to have Miriam as our leader and for this new season that we are heading in to. Please continue to pray for Miriam as she takes on this new role.
Please see below to read Miriam’s own profile.
Hi I’m Miriam from New Zealand
Doing my DTS 21 years ago I realised that there is the most amazing King who has the most amazing Kingdom – one full of all that is good and right, just and loving and that’s what He cares about -seeing His way come and invade ours and having every single wonderful person on planet earth hear about it.
What compels me is His heart for each one – that we would know the passionate love of Him as our Father, set into freedom by Jesus and living with all the life of the Holy Spirit and to go and do what Jesus did and more. So I get up in the mornings knowing that whatever I do today I want to be a part of creating possibilities to see this happen in the lives of those around me and out into all the world. I love that I can be a part of this family business where God invites us all to work in partnership alongside Him to see that each person gets to see meet Him for themselves.
Several of the DTS trainees and staff work at a youth café on Tuesday evenings that happens at St. Barnabas Church. It is run by the Network which is a youth church made up of cells whose goal is to reach out to young people in Carlisle and the surrounding areas. The café is a place for young people to come in from the cold and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, hang out and play ping pong.
Becky who is on the September DTS shares what she enjoys about working at the cafe…
“My favorite part about working at the cafe is just the fact that it’s the perfect environment to create opportunities for relationship. The kids that come week after week are really great, and since we see them on such a consistent basis, we actually get to slowly build friendships that allow us to care for and love on these kids; or if anything, just lets us live life together with them. We open up a safe environment for kids to hang out in, and a lot of the time now, those are pretty hard to find. I love that we get to offer that to them and that they are so willing to be a part of it, too. I believe Jesus was a lot about relationships, and so hopefully our ministry through the cafe, and the relationships and friendships we build there, will in turn become more and more a reflection of Him.”
We have loved making dinner for the university students on Wednesday evenings but they have come to an end for now. It has been great to get to know the students and enjoy a meal together and build relationships. We asked several students to share what they have enjoyed about the meals and here’s what they had to say…
Great food – Shannon
A highlight of the Wednesdays! – John
Community Building – Matthew [the chaplain]
Good idea, easy way of cooking – Alice, Elly
Epic idea! Love it when I can go 😀 – Naomi
Awesomeness – Charlie
Most excellent – Oz
Awesome, really enjoy the food and socialising, perfect night to Wednesday and a good time. – Aimee
We’ve also had some very dedicated volunteers from St. James Church that have come to greet the students when they arrive and serve the food to them as well and we’re so grateful for all of their help!
Heather shares what it’s been like for her…
“I’ve loved it! It’s been awesome. I like people, and I want to greet people, I like that. I’ve been overwhelmed by the people who are coming, and I’ve been really touched by the many thank yous that I get from the people of YWAM.”
Alongside the dinners we have had some special events, such as trips to the lake district, picking rubbish in the neighborhood, etc. We have also run a Student Alpha course. The participants will continue to meet together to look further into the Christian faith.
We so appreciate all the prayers and support we’ve had in this ministry. Now we’re handing the running of the Student Dinners over to the Chaplaincy at the University (although we continue to have input) and they hope to start the dinners up again after the summer. God has worked so clearly through this ministry, and we hope and pray that he will continue to do so.
The September and January DTS trainees headed down to Wrexham last week for the DTS Gathering, a week where several other bases come together for a week of teaching and evangelism. Here’s what a couple of the trainees have to say about their experience…
“One day we went out on the streets we asked people if there was anything we could pray for, had them write it down on postcards and then later prayed into it as a group. It was hard for me at first, until we hit this group of boys. They were a mixed experience. Some of them were genuinely curious, and some of them were just mocking us. They wrote down their prayers, and we left. Later I looked at the prayers. ‘Make weed legal’, ‘make me rich’ but then there was one that stood out to me. A simple message: pray for my stepbrother Matt to get better, he has leukemia. When we prayed into that, my heart just broke. I was in tears. God’s love for that guy and his family hit me like a sledgehammer, nothing less. Sharing it at testimony time that night was just as rough. And I knew that one guy, just one, made that whole day worth it. That day was titled a success after that, just because of a teenager smoking weed on the street, that suddenly understood what it was all about, and God shared his heart for the guy with me.”
“For me the gathering was a step in faith. It was really nice to celebrate the goodness of God with so many people and to reach out to the people of Wrexham. It was the first time that I actually prayed for somebody on the streets and I was surprised that the people where so positive and open to prayer. One of the most inspiring moments for me was when we prayed for 4 boys of the age of 14-16. We prayed for them and they had a hard time trying to stay cool and not let the others see their emotions; God really moved and reached out to guys and used us to be part of that.”
Hi, I’m Elsa, from here in England and its coming up to my fourth year at YWAM Carlisle. I just don’t know how time can possibly have moved so fast. You could say I’ve grown up here – I discovered that God truly loves me, here on a DTS, I made life-directing choices here, I took on more responsibilities here, during my BLS, and this is the year I lead my first full-on outreach team abroad!
What am I excited for that’s going on right now in Carlisle? Well, I’m not someone who likes to do a lot of work purely for the sake of being busy. But I love to see someone get it. Get Jesus. Understand the importance of knowing Him above all else, or just a person on the street who gets a glimpse of the extraordinary person that He is. That’s what I love. So I guess I could say, people coming each step closer to seeing Him face to face, here in Carlisle.
So, it’s those conversations on Botchergate that leave people hungry to meet God, or the times when you’re sitting with a university student at a meal and a real question comes up, or spending time with a DTS trainee as they count the cost of whether they can really give what God’s asking of them.
My favourite verse is blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled, because I’ve seen it to be a promise that’s true. And this year in Carlisle, I would love to see that even more.
I’m Linn and with me I have Eva, we are to ladies who are passionate about Theatre and Jesus. We’re heading up 1Hope Theatre and our vision is to restore hope to young people in Carlisle, England and the rest of Europe by letting them experience and know Christ through drama and theatre, and with the aim that they in turn will train others.
So far we’ve headed up an outreach to the Olympics, helped out with a drama to an evangelistic event called Mysterious, been part of teaching and doing dramas for a different evangelistic children’s event called X:Site, been part of a Holiday Club, done Christmas and Easter outreaches to Trinity school, and tried to pass on what we know to others.
Eva says: The Holiday club was a good way to engage in the community and branch out, great for building relationship. The drama I was part of engaged the kids in the mornings and made them involved. It was lots of fun and the children took part in the story by shouting to the characters.
I love drama and theatre, and being part of something that serves God and incorporates God on a daily basis is really exciting and in a way a dream come through. I would like to see a growth in ways of building network and relationships with people; I also want to see this ministry branch out of Carlisle to other places in England and in Europe.
Please pray for more people to join our team and more possibilities to reach young people with the good news through drama and theatre!
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
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.