All posts by Ywam Carlisle

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.

City Centre Evangelism & the Botchergate Project

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On Saturday 15th October YWAM Carlisle hosted it first city centre outreach that was open to the local church to join in. It saw a good turn out with 7 people from churches in the area coming along, including some from as far away as Tebay. It was a great time which saw good conversations one of which resulted in a healing of a lady’s ankle & also with her accepting Jesus into her life. Join us next time: 19th Nov at 1.30pm at the Old Vicarage!

 

Since the 30th September we have also restarted our Botchergate ministry. Every Friday night we start off in Hebron cafe from 9:15pm with Worship & Intercession before going out onto Botchergate from 10pm-2am to hand out Tea, Coffee & Hot Chocolate. Every week we get to have good conversations with people, connecting with where they are at in life. As we connect with people on more than one occasion with a few people becoming “regulars”.

 

Just last Friday Andy who was with us for the 2nd time got in a good conversation with Terry & Ron  & has since realised they have a mutual friend which gives an opportunity to meet up on a more regular basis.

 

It is great to see people from the local church wanting to get involved & join in, with someone new joining each week so far. If you would like to get join us please get in touch & we’d be happy to have you join in.

Interview with Axel

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Meet Axel from Sweden, one of our trainees on the School of Evangelism currently on outreach in Newcastle.

What has the SOE been like?

It’s been very challenging. It’s made me depend more on God in different situations and has challenged me to do evangelism. I have also got to know some good friends on the school! I would like to see so many more people doing the SOE, I can definitely recommend it. God has given me a heart for the people in England and Europe and I would so love to see more people released to do missions in Europe. I wish more people would see the potential they have, and to know that the Great Commission is for them. It’s here and now: it’s real!

What have you seen God do during outreach?

It’s been great! We’ve seen God do lots of awesome things. We prayed for a homeless guy a few days ago; he’d been in a fight the night before and his face was bruised. We prayed with him and he said the pain went almost completely! He looked surprised and was very grateful.

We spend time hanging out with some kids outside. On Monday night there was a boy who had hurt his knee and wrist. We prayed with him and asked if he knew what a miracle was. He said no, so we explained that a miracle is when God does something we can’t do, and that Jesus wants to heal people. We prayed for him and he said the pain went away. He was shocked!

What’s been most challenging on outreach?

Well, we love Byker and the people here, and would love to see so much happen here. So it’s been a challenge to remember that Byker isn’t my responsibility, it’s God’s. I can only do my bit, and then I have to trust in God for the rest.

What’s been most rewarding?

It’s been rewarding to work with the kids in the community and encourage them. And seeing the neighbours become increasingly friendly, having conversations with people and listening to their stories, and sharing with them.

How can we pray for you guys?

Pray for more people to encounter God’s power and his love through healings, etc. And for favour in the community. We would also appreciate prayers for our finances.

 

If you’re interested in the School of Evangelism, check out our website for more details: http://ywamcarlisle.com/training/school-of-evangelism/ or contact Craig: soe@ywamcarlisle.com

The next SOE starts in April 2012

Testimony

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Here’s a testimony from Laura, one of our DTS trainees.

During our City Center Outreach René and I walked across City Center. We felt God had spoken to us, told us to go to The Lanes, and we had some clues about who we were looking for; but I don’t think either of us felt like God was really going to do something through us that afternoon.  About a minute later we came to a woman I felt God was leading us to.  As René and I began a conversation with this woman I felt like we were falling flat on our faces.  Almost as soon as I thought that, however, the woman spoke.  She was shocked that God had sent us to talk to her; she kept saying “To me, I can’t believe you came to talk to me.”  She told us how she had a ton of problems in her life right now and it was clear that this was the perfect time for God to step in.  As we conversed, this woman opened up about a lot of her hurts and the wrong things she had done.  She began the conversation seeming fairly closed to God and by the time we parted she asked us to promise to pray for her.  René and I were both blown away!  This dear woman has so many wounds in her heart and though she didn’t accept Christ on the spot, we know God met with her in a very personal and life-changing way; she left us seeming much more open to God and more understanding of His special love for her.  It was fabulous!  Both René and I were ready for the two other women God wanted to meet that windy day in City Center!

Staff profile: Ben

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We thought you might be interested in learning more about each of us on the YWAM Carlisle team, so we’ll do a profile of a staff member once in a while, starting with Ben.

I’m Ben Rowley, from the west of Canada. I did my DTS at YWAM Carlisle in 2007 and have been on staff here more or less ever since, mostly staffing and leading DTS. Including my own DTS, I’ve been involved with 7 DTSs here in YWAM Carlisle. I love what God does on DTS, how much growth we all go through, and the amazing places we get to go spiritually and geographically. It definitely is worth getting out of bed for every day! Right now I’m leading the Basic Leadership School that’s running alongside the DTS, and I’m loving it. The people I get to work with everyday are really quality, and God is doing some pretty slick things.

When I became a part of YWAM I didn’t really have a whole lot of plans or vision. I did have some faint dreams and some ideas, but the biggest thing I came with was a desire to know God and know what His plan for my life was. And God really met me where I was at in that. Over the last few years He’s given me a lot. I’ve discovered what His heart is for me, learned more about who I am, gotten a vision and a plan, and more than anything felt his heart for the world, especially Asia.

My vision is to see Jesus be King in Asia, to see a radical shift from selfish values to His Kingdom values, and to see the people there truly come to love God and each other the way Christ loves us and for that to impact every aspect of society. I believe God wants to show Asians that He is definitely King and Master, but He is also Father. And I believe God wants to see Christ-like, unselfish, empowering leadership in every level and sphere of society.

I really can’t explain how excited I am to be a part of this. For the last few years I’ve been receiving some really quality training here in England in preparation for heading to Asia. I’ve had loads of fantastic opportunities to serve Him and it’s been a lot of work but a lot of fun. In the next year I’ll be heading out to Asia. Honestly, I feel a bit nervous; it’s a big change. But I know God has given me the equipping I need to be effective, so I’m not worried.

Pray for me.

If you’re interested in frequent updates from Ben, or if you would like to support him financially, please e-mail: info@ywamcarlisle.com

Garden Party

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Last week we hosted our first garden party! For all those who came along, it was a great opportunity to find out more about who YWAM Carlisle is, what we are about and to get a taste of Europe, as our vision is to reach this nearby part of the world. It was a fantastic time where some of our staff and trainees told stories about their recent experiences of sharing Jesus with the people in Carlisle and celebrated what God has done this summer. We were excited to share about the healing miracles that God has done, with the people we met on the streets and to invite our guests to join us in the future. We enjoyed desserts from all kinds of (mainly) European nations to literally get a taste of Europe =), and sat under the marquee in our walled garden chatting until the light was gone. It was a lovely evening of conversation and inspiration. Thanks to all that came!

Treasure hunting in Portland

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A few weeks ago the SOE spent a week in Portland, in the south of England. We went and joined the DTS evangelism gathering that was there to learn about, and do some, evangelism. They chose the area f Portland as some of the Olympics are being held there, so a team will be going back there next August and in a way we were preparing the way for them. We did a lot of different things there… We did healing on the streets and also lots of treasure hunts.

For the treasure hunts we basically asked God before we went out who he wanted us to meet and asked him to give us clues and words about the people… so we put things under 5 categories which are:

Name
Appearance
Location
Random
Prayer needs

We prayed and just wrote down what ever came to mind however random it may have been.

So on the last evening me and another girl went out with our lists and we spotted a group of 3 people sitting out the front of a bar on the seafront, which I had on my list for location. We also had for appearance blond hair, sunglasses (which was random as it was the evening, but she was wearing them!!), pink top and white trainers and they all fitted with the clues. I also had strawberries and chocolate under my random category and i did wonder whether my mind was just on food, but as we walked up to them there was a picture on a window next to them which had chocolate and strawberries in which was so fun!! So we went over to them and explained that we had prayed before we came out and we felt like God has led us to them. We showed them the lists so they could see all the clues that matched up and they were quite overwhelmed. I also asked them if any of the names meant anything to them and one of them was Connor which was their 12 year old son who was back in the USA so they were completely blown away with that too! We started chatting to them and it turned out they had just been to the funeral of their mother and grandmother so they were just in Portland for a few days. We explained to them that they were Gods treasures and that he loves them a lot and knew what they were going through. We asked if we could pray with them and they said we could so that was an amazing privilege too. They seemed so touched, and i think it really meant a lot to them that God has sent us on this really significant day for them.

There are many more stories from the week. We experienced others being touched by the love of God and his healing power. Other members of the team met a man who was partially deaf and they prayed for him and he was healed and he was able to hear perfectly without his hearing aid. God did some awesome things!

~ Georgie