The summer here in England is as cold as a California winter and far more rainy! It is appropriate that I begin this update with talk about the weather since it is a common topic of discussion in England. They say, “if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.” It is true! A rainy day can turn sunny and then stormy again in a matter of minutes it seems. Despite missing the warm California sun, Cliff and I are having a wonderful time and are blessed with the connections that God has opened up for us while we have been in Cambridge.
Our last update came to you as we were just getting settled in Cambridge after a bit of travel. Since then we have been able to teach at the King’s Lodge (www.thekingslodge.com), connect with Vishal Mangalwadi (www.revelationmovement.com) -the Indian Philosopher who first invited us to come to Cambridge, as well as YWAM Cambridge, and Christian Heritage (www.christianheritageuk.org.uk) with the Round Church. Cliff has been putting in long hours at the local Starbucks working hard on his book.
Teaching at the Kings Lodge
The first week of June I had the privilege of teaching Haggai and Zechariah at YWAM’s King’s Lodge SBS. This is one of the longest running SBS in YWAM. With Zechariah being said to be one of the most difficult books in the Bible, I stepped up to the challenge, trusting God and leaning heavily on Cliff! Thankfully, it went well, some of the students commenting that they would never think Zechariah a difficult book because the teaching was so clear. What an encouragement that was! Now I am one step closer to finishing a personal goal of teaching all of the Books of the Bible in SBS!
During our stay at the King’s Lodge, we were able to visit with an old friend, Phil Leage, and long time staff of the SBS. He gave us his blessing to begin an SBS in Cambridge, saying that King’s Lodge SBS would love to help us in any way they could. This was a blessing and an important step in our “scouting”.
A Project with Vishal Mangalwadi
Due to some personal situations, it turns out that during most of our time in Cambridge, our friend VIshal will be taking a well-needed private retreat in England. However, he was able to visit us here in Cambridge for a few days and we remain in constant communication with him.
His lectureship with Christian Heritage has been rescheduled for a later time, but God has given us a project to work on for the time being. Vishal has recently written an article entitled A Diamond-studded skull instead of a crown of thorns. In the article Vishal responds to Britain’s richest artist, Damien Hirst’s For the Love of God. This diamond-studded skull is currently on display at the Tate Modern in London (www.tate.org.uk). Looking at Hirst’s art, it is clear he follows the nihilism of Nietzsche (1844–1900): “A philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value” (Wikipedia, Nihilism). As Christians we know this way of thinking is destructive and ultimately not true.
In his Article, Vishal observes that the exhibit of Hirst’s Skull is immediately across the Thames from St. Paul’s Cathedral (www.stpauls.co.uk), a symbol of Christianity. He points out that where one offers the emptiness of death, another offers life eternal. (I would be happy to send a copy of the article, if you Facebook or email me).
There are now four elements to this project which I am working on.
1. Getting the Article Published in a respectable British newspaper.
2. Creating a quality documentary video based on the article.
3. Creating a quality evangelistic tract based on the article.
4. Gathering and training YWAMers/Local Christians to distribute the tract outside the Tate Modern durning the Olympics.
Its quite exciting and we are plodding steadily along in our progress. Ultimately our aim is to bring people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Please keep this project in your prayers as we are up against giants. Vishal wrote to us saying:
“This project is as simple as David picking up a smooth stone from a brook as he went to meet Goliath. That one brief encounter changed history for David, for Israel, and for the world – that is, for the world of politics, religion, philosophy, music, poetry, art, and much more, including personal faith and the daily walk of billions of people during the past three thousand years.”
That meeting with Goliath opened up David’s relationship with Saul and his military leaders. (He had already served as one of Saul’s musicians, though Saul may not have noticed him as anything more than another servant in his court, until the day he confronted Goliath.)”
So, while the project itself is only a small evangelistic effort, it may eventually allow Vishal to become a voice for Christ to London’s political, intellectual, financial and media moguls.
Please pray that God would make this possible!
Photo: Cliff, Connie and Andrew on a Walking Tour with Christian Heritage
Cliff and I have greatly enjoyed getting to know the couple representing YWAM here in Cambridge. Andrew and Connie Taylor gave us a very warm welcome! Although YWAM is not more than two individuals praying fervently for God to move in this place rich with Christian History, they have great plans to see the ministry expand.
Cliff and I have enjoyed times of prayer and planning. We have some idea of what the future my hold for our involvement with YWAM Cambridge, but are still praying through the details. Along with prayer, I have enjoyed joining Connie and a local girl, Nic, going out on the street for evangelism. We meet a young Chinese student who had never heard the gospel before! I love sharing the gospel with young people on the street, yet I have been surprised at the indifference with which it is sometimes received. All the same, Connie, who is a passionate evangelist, having gotten saved in California durning the Jesus Movement, told me that people often need to have the gospel shared with them seven time before they will be open to it!
Please pray that God would continue the work started in YWAM Cambridge!
Christian Heritage and the Round Church
The Round Church is the second oldest church in Cambridge. Build around 1130 by the Normans, it is made to look like the Church of the Holy Sepulture in Jerusalem. Christian Heritage is a ministry that does just what its name says- inform visitors of the Christian Heritage in Cambridge. And WOW! is there a lot. The ministry does walking tours which cover the basics of the history of Cambridge from a Christian perspective, as well as keeping the Church open for visitors to enjoy an informative video and exhibit of Britain’s Christian history from the First century to today. At the time Jesus was walking the earth, Romans were in Cambridge building roads! Its really hard to comprehend that scale of history, coming from the US which only dates back a few hundred years. The walking tour ends in a Puritan Chapel where a plaque says, “Near here is buried the head of Oliver Cromwell”. It was at Emmanuel College that Puritans planned the migration to America… imagine!
I have volunteered at this Round Church for the duration of our stay, where I greet visitors and explain to them the various exhibits the Church has to offer. Its been great learning the history. Secretly I hope to one day be able to give the Walking Tour, but I don’t know if time will permit that to become a reality!
Cliff has been laboring away at his book. He says writing is “an education in itself.” And it is exciting to hear of the new discoveries he is having as well as the challenges that he is facing. I have full faith in Cliff that he will do an excellent job! What a great place Cambridge is to write! (Here I will invite Cliff to share of his progress) Please pray for focused progress. I’m picking some fights that I believe the Lord wants to be fought. I just need to be reminded that the Word of God is the One that wins those fights!
And so we have about six weeks left in this beautiful place, rich with history. The first weekend in July the Olympic torch will makes its way through Cambridge. Cliff will continue to work hard on his book and I will continue to serve where I can! Thank you for your prayers and support!
We are truly blessed to be a blessing!
Cliff and Amaris Davis