New Life! Spring 2014

 

Little Jonah Grace, joining our ministry team this August!

 

Kissin my Baby
Kissing two girls!
Bellies
Belly Battle…

November in England

Having lived mostly in warm climates, being in England for the Autumn has been brilliant! We love seeing the colors of the leaves turn and the weather grow cooler making gloves, hats and scarfs a necessity rather than a fashion statement.

My parents just left from a wonderful visit and the trainees of the Chronological Bible Core Course (CBCC) have finished reading through the Old Testament, are wrapping up their assignment on Ezra, and preparing for our second Outreach Week before “meeting Jesus” in the New Testament.

Now faithful reader, fasten your seatbelt, grab your spectacles and prepare yourself for a pictorial journey through the past month of CBCC Ywam England…

First Outreach Week

Our First Outreach week was October 9-12 and we rented a van and took the whole crew to Hull for the weekend.  (Yes, Cliff drove us for the first time on the Left side of the road!  He did great.) Hull was recently voted the Worst place to live in England 😦 But instead of letting that stand, the churches of Hull got together to have a week of “Believe in Hull”, and we joined in with evangelism, Bible teaching and just hanging out in the community Center.

IMG_3441
Outside the Community Center in the evening. Someone had pulled the fire alarm and we all had to wait outside for the fire department to come. False Alarm 🙂
DSCI0369
Cliff Bible Storying to young people and our group in Hull.
DSCI0363
Taking our group and the leaders of RESPECT, a drop in center in Hull out to breakfast.
DSCI0360
Spending time at RESPECT with the young people.
IMG_3440
Baliwood dancing with little girls in Hull. It was so fun to join in and dance with the girls. The community center offers a variety of activities to bring the community in.

Our time in Hull was both encouraging to the Community and ourselves.  It was great to see and work with  ministries that “get their hands dirty” and reach out in practical ways.  A Youth With A Mission Discipleship Training School was also on outreach in Hull and our group has an opportunity to teach them an Inductive Bible Study seminar.  Personally exciting for me was Friday evening when a talk on Science and Christianity was hosted at the Community Center.  Earlier in the day we went out to the local University in invite people.  I invited an Iraqi guy and he came!  Its always nice to see small outcomes like this.  He was introduced to the center and hopefully he will return and come to know the love of God.  Our group was greatly encouraged by our time in Hull.

Back in Class: Kings- Ezra

We came back from Hull and jumped back into the Bible studying Kings, Hosea, Daniel and Ezra.  Here are some highlights from the past four weeks…

IMG_3468
Saturday mornings we often go out on the streets to evangelize. Cliff decided to take the opportunity to Bible Story. It was a first and hopefully the beginning a more public Bible Storying. Our staff girl Heather has the privilege of praying with a Chineese student to receive Jesus. We keep praying for Cambridge and sharing the good news. Its a strategic place as many of these students will go on to be leaders around the world.
IMG_3471
Connie, our YWAM Cambridge leader, shares the gospel with a young girl.
IMG_3364
Cliff is holding an “Evangelism Bracelet” that we have been giving away in Cambridge. Its a creative way to share the gospel.

Evangelism Bracelet

The evangelism bracelets have six colors that help to share the gospel.  Everyone does them a little differently, but the end goal remains the same- to share the truth about Jesus to people and invite them into relationship with Him.

Simply put, we begin with a GREEN bead that represents the garden.  God created mankind to have relationship with Him.  This is what God wants.  Then the BLACK bead, but man sinned and that sin broke relationship between God and man.  This is a good point to introduce what sin is.  Then the RED bead, but God sent His son Jesus to die for our sin, to the pay the price the we should pay.  The WHITE bead shows that Jesus blood washes us ‘white as snow’ and cleanses us from sin so that we can again come back into relationship with God as He always wanted with the green bead.  Then the BLUE bead, is representative of being washed, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the forgiveness of sins and freedom.  Ending with the YELLOW or GOLD bead, showing now we can live in relationship with God, full of hope and the promise of eternal life.

We’ve found people are usually interested and like the idea of a free bracelet.  The time it takes to tie it on allows them to them is enough to share the story and often leads to conversation.  We’ve been surprised at people’s openness, although there are many who are not interested.  Many say, I have never heard the story told like that and make so much sense.

 

Church in Madingley 

IMG_3402
We have been regulary attending church in Madingley, a short walk from our house. Our hosts attend there and so we have joined as well. It is an Anglican Congregation, small but faithful. Their services are liturgical. Here Cliff has the privilege of reading the second lesson, a portion of scripture from the New Testament. He did very well.
IMG_3428
Making friends is something we enjoy, God has put us in contact with many people from different walks of life. Either to encourage or be encouraged, we’ve greatly enjoyed these relationships. One being Steve. He is the caretaker of Madingley Hall, an extension of Cambridge University. We meet him because of his beautiful car, and it resulted in a grand tour of Madingley Hall and tea time, which you see in the picture. Beautiful days such as this are rare in England, enjoy while you can!
photo 1
Our trainee Dalton shares his testimony with Histon Baptist Church. We are planning to teach an Inductive Bible Study Seminar with this congregation on our Second Outreach Week.
image_2
Michael and Iris Weitman, Amaris Parents, visit us. Here by the river in Oxford.
IMG_3483
We got my parents on bikes in London. Here outside of Buckingham Palace!
image_1
Enjoying the future burgers outside Madingley Hall. Amaris has been in charge of the Kitchen and fresh is always best! (and our students are fattening up, as well. Nice work, Amaris!)

Prayer Points

  • 2nd Outreach week:  We have opportunities for our trainees to teach Bible Overviews and Inductive Study to local believers. Pray for their encouragement, equipping, and success.
  • Our last month!  Our trainees will finally be able to fully dig into Jesus’ life, nature, and character, and then the same for Jesus’ body, the Church.  Pray for HUGE REVELATION!!!
  • A 3-week break.  ‘Nuff said.
  • 2 new opportunities in 2014!!!!!:
  1. CaCHE (www.cacheglobal.net) finally has a real-life opportunity to create a local university, staffed by local believers!  Academic mentors from several East-central African nations will come together to be trained to facilitate an online college curriculum, and they asked us to direct the training “Bootcamp” in January.  We need tons of prayer, plus support partners.
  2. China and the Philippines:  in February and March, we have been invited to teach in multiple brand-new Bible programs in China, and a new BCC pioneered by one of Amaris’ Philippines staff members. Again, please pray for the Lord’s guidance and provision!

The ministry of great Bible teaching and equipping is growing leaps and bounds throughout the world.  We are finding ourselves at the front of the Chronological program movement- it’s growing like CRAZY, as more and more people are exposed to the fullness of the Bible narrative in the right order.  Thank you for your prayers for Amaris and I!!!!

Is this Real Life??? Drip, drip, driP…

I took some of our trainee girls for tea to get to know them a bit and enjoy a rare bit of sunshine on a Sunday afternoon.  We ended us asking each other questions and one stood out to me; What job would you have if you could have any? As I sat and thought about it I realized I am doing it!  My answer:  I would marry a tall, funny guy and travel the world teaching people the Bible.  Heehee… I’m so thankful.

As I think through what changes a nation, it comes down to knowing WHO God is through His Word.  God’s word renews one’s view of the world, it causes individuals to change their actions.  As many people change, one by one, a nation is changed (See Loren Cunningham’s book The Book the Transforms Nations).  You only need a few;  about 20% to change a society.  God does work with the minority (See Judges 6&7).

I often teach that “Small things make a BIG difference.”  Think of a dripping faucet, its only one small drop at a time, but in time it has the potential to fill a huge swimming pool.  Now imagine many little drips together, like rain for example… God does in an instant, with many seemingly small people, doing small things to bring change.   Just as the rain can water more in a moment than I can in weeks.

Cliff and I have dedicated our lives to teach people to understand the Biblical story.  One by one, hearts and minds are transformed and as they ‘drip’ together, change happens.

Here is a weekend Photo Journal
(I am finding these more fun to create and probably to look at then reading loads of text 🙂

Image

Riding like a bike club on Saturday morning to pray in the newly rented YWAM Cambridge’s Discipleship Training School house!!!!  We have a DTS starting September 23.  Cool times!  As the five of us road together, we are like a mini van (which they do not have here in England… trying to find a pick-up truck in England is not going to happen.  Most cars are small little hatch backs).  Amaris taking a photo while Cliff, Thomas and Heather follow closely behind.

Image

View from the back seat of our “Mini Van” ride.

image_2

Making Evangelism Bracelets.   Using small beads in six colors, we can tell the Gospel to people by offering them a bracelet and explaining the different color.  Its a great tool for evangelism.  (Look for a coming post with the detail of these bracelets!)  From right to left: Connie Taylor (YWAM Cambridge Base leader, Cliff, Grace & Colette)

image_1

Right to Left: Dalton, Thomas, Elyse, Heather and Chelsea making Evangelism bracelets.

image_4

Near our home, The Oak Villa, is a place called Madingley Hall.  Its a part of Cambridge University that offers continuing education.  I think it was the former home of the Earl of Madingley, amazing to look at and beautiful grounds, Take a closer look at this photo for a fun surprise.  To me it really is Pride and Prejudice come to life.  Make me want to jump for joy!

image_5

Taking the girls for tea at Grantchester Meadows.
Part of discipleship is getting to know people.  How better than to have tea in an orchard.  Quite lovely if I may say so myself.
Already I can see growth in our ladies.  What a joy and privilege to be a part of God’s work in their lives.

image_3

An Apple a day keeps the doctor away… Yes  I did pick this apple off the tree behind that bench during my quiet time.  God does provide.   I then took it and let Cliff have a bite.  Typical.

Thank you for your prayers for our program here in England.  Cliff and I feel truly blessed.  As we begin studying Deuteronomy this week and YWAM Cambridge’s DTS begins, we are expectant for God to do good things through us in the city!  We continue to pray and share the good news when opportunity is there!

Cheers.

A Glimpse @ CBCC Cambridge

We are well into the second week of our Chronological Bible Core Course here in Cambridge England and all I can say is that we are blessed.  Our six trainees are picking up the study method quickly and are a really great bunch.  We have made our way through Philemon and this week we are studying Ephesians.

Last night we had a time around the wood burning stove with hot coco sharing testimonies.  How encouraging it was!  One trainee from the UK, who was raised an Atheist, shared how he simply had a thought, “If God is real, I would know” and within a few weeks began hearing God’s voice and gave his life to Christ.  What an amazing God we serve!  It is testimonies like this that remind Cliff and I why we do what we do as well as encourage us that God is able to do anything!!!!

This weekend Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Cambridge will begin its first ever Discipleship Training School (DTS).  God has been faithful to provide a house for them to stay and 6 trainees to attend their nine-month program.  We are looking forward to  partnering with this program for outreach into the city on the weekends.

I have recently been reminded about time.  So often I can become anxious and worried about life and things- ‘How will this  work??’- wondering whether our vision is even possible.  But in the end, I see God come through and blow my mind.  Ultimately, in time, things will work out when God is fighting for you.  We are so blessed and thankful for all God has done to bring us to England to Start this program!

Thank you for your prayers an support.

What a mighty God we serve!

Enjoy a photo journal of our time so far…

!Image

Our six Trainees with Moustashes (uk spelling)!
top from left:  Thomas (Holland), Tom (UK), Chelsea (Washington State)
bottom from right: Dalton (Tennessee), Annalie (UK), Elyse (West Virginia)

Image

Testimony time in the Snug with the wood burning stove.
Heather Wilson, our staff girl, shares her testimony as Annalie and Dalton listen.

Image

Cliff giving a lecture in our classroom.
Image

Prayer and Worship time with Cambridge’s House of Prayer.
Every Friday we meet with other believers from Cambridge to join together in prayer for the city.
Connie Taylor (the red head) is our YWAM Cambridge base leader.  Praise God for her faithful dedication to get YWAM Cambridge off its feet!

Image

Dalton and Thomas on a tour of Cambridge with Christian Heritage.  Notice the colored pencils in Dalton’s backpack, the sign of a good bible student ready to observe his Bible!

Sunday we joined this tour to give the trainees a better understanding of the Christian significance of the city.

Each Saturday and Sunday the trainees will volunteer with Christian Heritage, a ministry focused on preserving and telling the Christian history of the city!

Image

The beautiful chapel of St. John’s College

Image

This post would not be complete without a picture of Cliff with a cow.  Cows roam freely in many of the meadows around Cambridge.  They are like natural lawn mowers, but watch out for what they leave behind!

Revival & Reformation Chronological Bible Core Course (R&R CBCC) Cambridge

Cliff & Amaris in Cambridge England: Week One

August 14 Arrived in England & took the coach to Cambridge!

Image

Amaris with our luggage after just arriving in Cambridge.

*So glorious to be back in Cambridge with a Bible Program on its way!  We were warmly welcomed by John and Inge Rudduck, with whom we are staying over the next 6 months.  Our new home is called The Oak Villa, formerly a “semi- detached” (meaning two homes connected by a shared wall, but recently renovated into one large, beautiful home) with 8 bedrooms and 5 baths.  In addition, a garden that stretches 1/8 of a mile long!!!

Image

The beginning of the garden

Image
the Oak Villa

August 15-19 Time spent getting over Jet lag & Setting up our home!

Image

Cliff & John setting up our bed

* England is 8 hours ahead of Los Angeles & traveling east is quite a challenge!  One night you can sleep, the next you can’t, the voila! You’re adjusted.  One thing you need is a good bed!

August 16 Joined the Friday Prayer Meeting

Image

John & Inge, our hosts, praying.

*Members of various churches and Christian groups have been meeting for prayer each Friday for a number of years.  On our previous trip to Cambridge we had frequently joined so it was wonderful to reconnect.  The prayers of these faithful few are paving the way for Truth to be declared & people to know Christ in Cambridge.  How valuable in a city where the greatest minds of the next generation are being molded.  I can honestly say nothing is more welcoming than being prayed for!

August 17&18 Bicycles: Our main form of transportation.

Image

Amaris' bike complete with a wicker basket.

*Cambridge is a cycling community.  University students are actually not allowed to own cars, and only public transportation is permitted within the city center.  Most transportation is done on Bicycles.  It’s good fun and exercise, especially up the hill to our home.  We live 3 miles ride from Cambridge City center.

August 18 Volunteered @ the Round Church with Christian Heritage

*Last summer while in Cambridge, Amaris volunteered at the Round Church, an 11th c. church in the city.  Immediately upon our return, they requested our help once again.  This ministry allows tourists to have a walking tour of Cambridge with a focus on the Christian History of the city.   (www.christianheritageuk.org.uk) As a volunteer, one greets guests at the door and directs them to the video presentation as well as an exhibit explaining Cambridge’s history back over a  thousand years.  We plan to have our trainees volunteer during the weekends as a way for them to learn the history of the city and interact with visitors.

August 19… Getting Down to Work!

*There are currently 5 young people coming to study the Bible with us and one who may shortly apply.  This will give us a possible total of 6 ( 2 Brits, 3 Americans and one Dutch trainee!),  along with Heather our staff girl!   Since we are running our program in a home rather than a Ywam center there is much planning to be done, from beds and meals to printers and papers.  We are so excited to be getting down to work planning and preparing.  Along with our Revival and Reformation Chronological Bible Core Course (R&RCBCC), Ywam Cambridge’s first Discipleship Training School will begin September 22!  They currently have 3 accepted trainees and 2 pending!  We are praying God will provide a location for them to run this program.  Connie Taylor, our Ywam Cambridge leader, often declares; “We are having twins!”  God is definitely beginning a good work in Cambridge!

Prayer Requests & Thank You’s!

From Visa’s to airplane tickets and students to finances, God has provided for us with miracles and people’s generosity.  With each step of this new endeavor, we are trusting God and thankful for the faithful support of our ministry parters.   We know that it is not us alone who makes what we do possible.  Thank you to those of you who pray for us and support us in our ministry.

Our prayer is that the lives of our six trainees will be greatly impacted and rooted in truth through the 14 week course.
*Please pray that they all will arrive safely with hearts prepared to be transformed by the Word of God.

Our location is also strategic, we want to impact those around us with Truth and see God glorified in this city, especially with the university students.
*Please pray we will be lead to those whose hearts are ready to believe in Jesus and are in need of encouragement. 

*Please pray for our hosts, John & Inge Ruddock as we trust God together for Inge’s health.

*Please pray that God will give Cliff & Amaris wisdom in running the program and for God’s continual provision.

Thank you again!  God bless!

HOPE for England

I’ve often heard it said, “Hopes for the future color one’s view of the present.”  The Bible tells us, that “Hope does not disappoint”  (Romans 5:5)  Hope, I believe, is like a heartbeat for humans.  Without it people seem to shrivel up and die; like a plant without water, but with Hope, they have something to live for, a drive that keeps them going.   Hope is a big motivator as I think of Cliff and I going off to England this coming fall.  Hope in Jesus and all that He has done, can do, and is doing in Europe.

This morning I was with a group of people from all over the western world; Switzerland, Norway, England, Germany and America .  We joined together to intercede  for Europe.  We began sharing one by one the prayer point we felt God speaking to us for Europe.  Many of those in my group shared about how their country needed this or lacked that.  It was hard not to suddenly feel hopeless for change.  Hope I realized is what this Continent  needs.   The ‘good’ my be small, but in reality when we come together to pray, we MUST focus on these positive things, no matter how small.  Call me an optimist, but I believe its true.  I know the character of our God and He can use even the smallest of groups, or the smallest sliver of willingness in individuals.  England and Europe are not without HOPE!  But when we feel there is no Hope, that is when there might actually be no Hope.

I want to share for a moment from my heart, not perfectly researched material, but what I feel God is speaking to Cliff and I about England.   Over the summer in Cambridge, we learned loads about the history.  In America something old has been around for maybe 200 years, but in England its sometimes over a 1.000 years!  While Jesus walked the earth, the Romans were in England.  The first Martyr of England, St. Alban, was over 1,500 years ago.  What a history!  And honestly, learning about it I felt a great weight upon my shoulders.  England has an old history, but throughout the years and all the changes of the world, England has stood strong as a Bulwark for Christianity.  In some of their beautiful cathedrals, people have been worshiping God for 1,000 years and more.  True it may be seeped in tradition and highly liturgical, but they are speaking truth.  When breathed upon anew by the Holy Spirit, the truth spoken is powerful!  All this to say, there is HOPE for England.  Although few in number, there is a community of believers who are praying and working hard to bring a fresh breath of the Holy Spirit back to these lands where the Gospel first came long ago.  England was at the forefront of modern day missions, I pray that it will step into that role again!

God bless England, Jesus bring life to those who speak your truth everyday, to those who teach in the schools, to those who pray daily for a revival of this land!  I pray that Hope may arise to see what the LIVING GOD can do!

I remain Hopeful both for England and for America.  When I look at the God I serve, I know this HOPE is not misplaced.  I am so excited and blessed to be able to be a part of God bringing a revival of truth and the Holy Spirit to England!

May HOPE fill your hearts today, knowing we are never hopeless with Jesus, and that hope does not disappoint us.  Sometimes a little Hope is all we need.  May your hopes today for the future, color your view of today!

Blessings,

Amaris