Returning from England…

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Cliff and Amaris having Tea outside the Ely Cathedral

 

Flying back to the United States of America, I can’t help but sing our national anthem.  I love our country of great freedom!  Yet, as we left England, there was also a new feeling of deep respect for that country and its people, who really do ‘Keep Calm and Carry On”.  Sometimes it takes going to another country to realize what your country has.  I know that often it feels as if America is quickly slipping from its Christian Values, but all I could feel returning was great HOPE!!! We have not lost it! There is still hope for America, and more than that, I believe that America has the HOPE that Europe needs.  Jesus is the hope for all nations, and He wants to continue using Americans as His witness to the world. Thank you Jesus for the faith that America still holds onto and those who are fighting to keep it that way!  God bless America!

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St Albans Cathedral, named after St Alban, the first martyred in England during the third century.

 

England is a beautiful country, rich in history and Christian heritage.  It was amazing to go into a Cathedral that was built almost 1,000 years ago, and has been holding church services every day since!   Throughout the centuries, England has stood strong as a bulwark of the Christian faith.  Christian tradition runs deep throughout the British Isles, but today they need fresh revival of the faith that British missionaries brought to the world in the past.

Our time in England was a refreshing and challenging time of vision, relationship, education, and clarification.

Refreshing:

Being in England with the beautiful old buildings and Cathedrals, seeing the open green fields, and for the first time in our married life being outside of YWAM community life- ‘playing house’ –  was very refreshing!  Not to mention the endless rain!  Rain makes things grow and we feel like we have grown too.

Challenging:

For me [Cliff], studying and writing this book caused me to dig deeply into areas of science, history, and philosophy that challenged my beliefs, and exposed many assumptions in my understanding of the Bible and its relationship to civilization.  Those issues needed to exposed.   England itself has been a unique experiment in Christian civilization since the first century after Jesus.  Today, Cambridge has become a center of the atheistic view of the world.  In hindsight, it seems that God wanted me to write within this challenging environment to reinforce the gravity of what will befall the world should the Bible’s Truth-honoring worldview continue to be rejected by the West. In the end, I believe the Lord gave me greater clarity of understanding, thus maturity, and finally the authority to write the book which God had put on my heart in the first place.

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Cliff had at work on his book at Statbucks

 

By the end of our trip, I finished with a massive amount of research and writing, but not a finished product.  What God gave us is better:  Amaris and I developed strategic partnerships with leaders in the Biblical Transformation movement, who helped us see how The Garden Heart will initiate a brand new type of Christian literature that will change the way Christians engage with academia. It’s great to have mentors and partners!!!

Vision:

Cliff and I have walked away from our time in England feeling like we have a clear vision for our ministry lives together.  As many are aware, our hearts have been and forever will be to teach people how to study the Bible inductively.  By analogy, this work is the “engine” of our ministry vision.  We never want to stop teaching believers how to study the Bible for themselves.   But before this time in Cambridge, we did not know the details of the “car” that our Biblical teaching “engine” fit into.  Now we know that “Biblical worldview transformation of the community” is our new ride-  and it’s a powerful machine 😉  We have discovered that the Lord is reforming the Church in a mighty way, and He has a place for us to fit right in.

Relationship:

Before leaving for England we shared our hopes for this trip.  We had been invited by Vishal Mangalwadi to help him on a series of lectures in Cambridge with a group called Christian Heritage UK.  And being YWAMers first, we made contact with the YWAM presence in Cambridge and Harpenden.

We were so blessed by the relationships that we were able to form while in Cambridge, including Vishal, Ranald Macaulay (the founder of Christian Heritage UK and L’Abri UK), Martin and the team at Christian Heritage; Connie and Andrew Taylor with YWAM Cambridge, as well as Emmanuel and Janice Entee with YWAM Harpenden.  It truly was God’s grace that brought these wonderful people into our lives in England and we believe we will be partnering with many of them in the near future.

Vishal Mangalwadi:

Vishal Mangalwadi was a great help to us.  We were able to spend significant time in communication with him and in person.  For Cliff, Vishal’s input was a crucial part of the preparation for his book.  Before we left the U.S., I (Amaris) was hesitant to say we were in partnership with Vishal, but now we can say with confidence that we have found a friend, a mentor, and a partner in ministry.  For this we are so blessed.

Vishal wearing the Chronological School of Biblical Studies sweatshirt in our flat in Cambridge
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Amaris outside the Round Church in Cambridge. Built by the Normans around 1130

The Round Church and Christian Heratiage UK:  We also gained a relationship with Christian Heritage UK, the ministry which initially invited Vishal to Cambridge.  I was able to volunteer with them, and Cliff was able to take a Biblical inerrancy class with them.

The founder of the ministry, Ranald Macaulay, was a great blessing to us due to his  wealth of knowledge in Christian history, and his experience running L’Abri UK and Switzerland.   The ministry aims to preserve the Christian heritage particularly of Cambridge, by putting it on display in exhibit and video form in a Templar-era church called the Round Church, situated right in the middle of Cambridge.  Can you imagine that when Jesus was walking the earth, Romans were present in Cambridge?  Amazing!  Along with these exhibits the ministry offers walking tours that further emphasize the centrality of Christianity in the University’s founding and subsequent development.

YWAM in England:
What a blessing it was to connect with our greater YWAM Community in England.  We got in contact with Connie and Andrew Taylor through email and were so blessed by their great welcome to Cambridge.  It is their prayer to start a Discipleship Training School (DTS) in the fall of 2013-  Cliff and I are excited at the open invitation to join their team in Cambridge with a three-month Chronological Bible Core Course (BCC).

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The Taylor Family at Andrew’s Ordination into the Anglican Church

While Cliff was hard at work on his book, I would often join Connie on the streets to evangelize.  I was so blessed by her passion for street evangelism!  When the Olympic torch came to Cambridge, the Christian Community had a tent for evangelism and Connie and I were able to lead two young moms to the Lord.  Cambridge is the place where revival first started in England, and it is our prayer that it will again be a place where truth will be declared!

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The Olympic Torch arrived in Cambridge

We were also warmly welcomed to YWAM Harpenden, just an hour’s bus ride from Cambridge.  YWAM Harpenden is a well established YWAM location running a number of training programs.  We had originally met Emmanuel,  a Harpenden leader, in Los Angeles at the same time Vishal was inviting us to come to Cambridge.  Cliff and I were also welcomed to come and run our CBCC in Harpenden.

Cliff and I believe that in the coming year we will return to England and run a three-month CBCC.  Our trip to England has set us up with the necessary relationships and a good understanding of how things work in England to easily slip back to England and teach the Word in our program.  We are praying for the wisdom to work out the details of when and where.

Previously in our Blog:
I had mentioned that Vishal and I were working on a project in regard to Damien Hirst and the Diamond-Studded Skull.  Unfortunately we found that the Skull was not going to be on display through the Olympics, removing the whole premise for our project.  Sadly, we were unable to get the article published in a British Paper, neither did we create it into a tract.  However, Vishal was invited to a YWAM festival called “Go 4 Glory” which gathered artists before sending them out into Olympic outreach throughout England.  Vishal revised the article, I created a Keynote for it, and Vishal taught it to the group of young artists.  Cliff also taught with Vishal in one of his three speaking times during the festival.

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Vishal and Cliff speaking at the Go 4 Glory Festival at YWAM Harpenden

As I worked with a visionary person who is also a great thinker, I saw how ideas shape society- and I also found that visionary plans can quickly change.  As I have heard said, ‘Self-made millionaires have been bankrupted at least once in their lives.’  Having great vision to change the world might not always pan out as hoped, but we will never stop trying.  In the end, our goal remains the same: to influence and affect people with the truth of the Gospel and its ability to change and transform society.

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Outreach in the Park, part of the Go 4 Glory Festival

In Conclusion:

For me, personally, our time in England was wonderful and challenging.  It was not a typical outreach of daily evangelism, but it was a great preparation for making a long-term impact among the nations by teaching Truth.  I have found that, of course, God calls us to immediate results through evangelism- but it doesn’t stop there.  He is also calling believers to careful planning, with mature wisdom and understanding, which will later yield big pay-offs by changing society as a whole.

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Thank you so much for supporting us in prayer and finance in this time.  As Cliff and approach our second anniversary in October, we realize that our time in England has set us up with the foundation for our team ministry.  How exciting!

Coming up:

This coming Fall, Cliff and I will be working with YWAM Los Angeles again.  Cliff will continue his role on the Base Eldership Team, as well as continuing work on his book and overseeing the Bible Programs on our base.  I will be a full time staff for the first quarter of the Fall Chronological School of Biblical Studies (CSBS).   In January Cliff and I will both staff another three-month CBCC after which we are free to see where the Lord leads us, (most likely back to England to run another three month CBCC)!

We have been invited to speak in a few of CSBS schools which have been started by Cliff’s former students in Mexico and at All Nations Church in LA.  He is now a happy “Grandfather” of these programs which are reaching many with the truth of the Word!

We continue to seek God for the next thing we can do to be a blessing and bring His Truth to the Nations!!!!

Thank you again for your partnership!  We are so blessed and look forward to hearing from you!!

Blessings,

Cliff and Amaris Davis

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