Sharing the Gospel at the Mayflower Steps

20140812_070730_29275 We had the privilege in August to go to the location where the Pilgrims boarded the Mayflower in Plymouth, England.

20140812_070724_29274 It was an interesting feeling to be there and think about what must have been going through the Pilgrims minds when they took off.

20140812_101705_29313 This was the last phrase of a plaque put up as a memorial to the Pilgrims overlooking the steps.

While we were there, we decided to see if we could get into a few conversations with people about the gospel. We knew we a great starting place – we could ask them about their perspective on the Pilgrims!

Both of the encounters on the video below ended up being great conversations (most of which happened after we turned off the camera!) I thought I’d put a few bits and pieces from the conversations here for Thanksgiving! I’m sorry it’s a little choppy and windy!

I received an e-mail from this man later, saying he enjoyed the conversation. Please join me in praying that the Lord raises up laborers unto the [very needy] harvest in England. I believe many are interested in conversing about the true message of the Bible, and very few are sharing it.

Sight-Seeing in London

With just one day to tour in London, we decided to squeeze in as much as we could!

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It was pretty neat to walk up the stairs out of the underground subway (the “tube”) and see Big Ben towering above us! The next thing I noticed was Mirren witnessing to a guy handing out brochures for a tour company. As she pulled out a gospel booklet to “trade” with him for his tour booklet, he asked her, “What is it about?”
“Well, it’s about what is true, and what is the meaning of life, and why we are here,” she replied.
“Why are we here?” he asked her curiously.
Mirren explained that we were here to glorify God – and that her God was Jesus Christ.
He responded by saying that he thought all the religions could get someone to Heaven. Providentially, that was the very topic of the booklet Mirren had just pulled out of her purse to give him – (Second Greatest Lie). His name is Christian and we praise the Lord for the opportunity we had to share with him about the salvation that can be had through Jesus.

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I noticed evidence of what must have been a fantastic ministry at one time … “Samaritan Free Hospital.” It would be great to see some more of these in existence today!

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My favorite part of touring London was definitely the Tower of London. Built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, the castle (which actually has many buildings and towers) contains so much interesting English history. Henry VIII beheaded his wives here, Isaac Newton lived here for a while, Sir Walter Raleigh was held there, and the list goes on and on. Of greatest interest to me was the Christian and Jewish persecution that took place. Six hundred Jewish men were imprisoned in the tower in the 13th century before the whole Jewish population was expelled from England in 1290. Many Christians were tortured and persecuted there.

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After this Yeoman (they aren’t actually tour guides – they are caretakers and historians) had taken us to the place where beheadings within the Tower were held (and shared more details about the process than I cared to hear!) I told him I was interested in studying more about those who had been persecuted for Christ there at the Tower.

I mentioned one persecuted prisoner in the Tower I had read about, of whom it was written, “he is exceedingly obstinate and a great friend either of God or of the devil, for they say they cannot extract a word from his lips, save that, amidst his torments, he speaks the word, ‘Jesus’.”

The Yeoman knew of the story and gave me more details, such as how this prisoner became close friends with his guard who would sneak him oranges.

Talking with the Yeoman was a reminder to me of how when one life is lived for Christ, people 500 years later are still impacted by the story. Even unbelieving historians researching the story could be drawn to Christ through stories such as this one.

20140806_054529_28572 I never knew that fig leaves were soft on the underside! No wonder Adam and Even chose to use them for clothes! =) (Okay, well, my dad thinks there were other reasons than that…)

20140806_105210_28682 At the Piccadilly Circus intersection

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Stephen had noticed an article of the “25 coffee shops to visit before you die,” and since one was in London, we decided to visit. =] It’s called Kaffeine’s – and it was unique and delicious. With us is our good friend Sinming who invited us to come to London and organized the conference at the Chinese church. She spent the day taking us around in London and was an amazing tour guide! Thank you, Sinming!

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Our evening concluded with a wonderful dinner with some friends who are actually from Texas, but living in London for a few years.

20140806_154503_28719 This is their neighborhood =)

London!

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In London, we ran a family conference at a Chinese church. We felt “right at home” as most of our previous overseas conferences have been with Chinese people in Singapore and Malaysia. [smile]

20140804_142524_28446 Mr. Martin speaking

20140805_115802_28465 Dinner with the pastor (standing behind my dad) and church staff. We were encouraged by their heart for discipleship and their desire for the 5 branches of their Chinese church in London to have families that are strong in the Lord!

20140804_064846_28404 Teaching fathers and sons

20140804_103841_28423 Sarah talking to girls and moms

20140804_084100_28420 Mirren and Taryn Martin teaching girls and moms

20140804_140625_28439 Book table

20140730_032458_28077 I’ll admit, I wasn’t so sure it was a great idea to fly over with this much extra stuff (10 duffle bags filled with books), but we were sure glad we did!

20140804_074210_28408 Singming (right) is the one who invited us and coordinated the conference. We are so grateful to her for all of her work and coordination! Linda Lim (left) was a huge help in the whole process.

20140804_153629_28454 Susannah, her mom, and Isabella have started going through the Bright Lights material with some other friends who were also at the conference. We really enjoyed meeting them are excited to see how the Lord will use them as godly examples and role models in their communities!

20140805_122711_28467 A delicious dessert of fruit, meringue crumbles, and cream (called eton mess)

Please pray that the Lord would give grace and strength to these families to walk in a manner worthy of Him!

Swanick, Derbyshire, England

20140802_130755_28316 Our first conference was held in Derbyshire. The great fellowship during this conference was a huge blessing!

20140802_090757_28293 During a break, several of us sat around and heard a powerful testimony from Barry, who recently trusted Christ to save him (after months of resistance).

20140803_090124_28370 Our family and the Martins with the Living Water’s representative, John and Danielle Harris (front right) and Ben Scotten from AiG UK (standing behind them).

Meeting them was definitely a highlight on the trip! The Harris’ described with enthusiasm how they see people often “repenting on the streets” as they go out and engage them with the gospel. Check out this short You Tube Clip of them interviewing people on the streets. You’ll enjoy seeing what they do! (Note: the talking on the video starts at minute 1:00).

They also shared how they see the Lord raising up laborers for the harvest – they are currently training 60 people in evangelism (3 classes of 20 people each every week). Wish I lived closer, I’d love to join them! They also have a lot of neat ideas and vision for the future. If you live anywhere near the Nottingham area, I would highly recommend you join one of their training classes! You can find their email address on the contact page of their webpage to get more information.

It was also encouraging to hear from Ben about how the Lord is growing the AiG presence in the UK. They are currently gearing up for the UK Creation Mega Conference!

20140802_144609_28323 A question / answer time at the end of Mr. Martin’s last session on negative influences in our society, and how to keep our lives clean and set apart for Christ.

20140802_092403_28294 Rani (next to Sarah) with her younger sister and two cousins. After meeting Rani, we felt she’d be a wonderful Bright Lights leader, and we were encouraged when we received an e-mail from her yesterday reviewing some of what the Lord has done in her life and stating, “I felt like all the things I was shown in my spiritual walk was preparing me to this call to be a a Bright Light Leader …” We are so excited to see how the Lord will continue to use Rani!

20140803_015630_28333 I took a picture of this plant as an inspiration to our staff here in the Bright Lights office, haha! We have a rubber plant just like that but unfortunately we haven’t done quite as good of a job caring for it!

Reports about London conference and sightseeing coming soon! =)

Birmingham, England

We have been home from England for a few days now. We are filled with gratefulness to the Lord for allowing us to be a small part of what He is doing in that country. Thank you for all who were praying. We truly saw His hand at work in each place.

Since we were basically with people the entire time, we made many new friends. Well, rather, we met many of our brothers and sisters on that part of the world for the first time. [smile]. It looks like we will have continued contact with many of them. At least three new Bright Lights groups are starting, which is a big answer to prayer. One of them is having their second meeting tomorrow evening!

To share some of the highlights from the trip, I think I will categorize reports by city. So we’ll start with Birmingham, where we spent a day before going on to our first conference in Derbyshire.

20140801_055930_28212 The Davies family, upon hearing that we were considering coming to England, emailed us back in February, inviting us to stay with them. They also offered to organize a family gathering where we could speak to more families in their area.

20140731_145709_28194 My dad sharing with the parents

20140731_145731_28196 Sarah sharing with the girls

20140731_155031_28200 I really enjoyed meeting the Hughes sisters who live near Wales and drove quite a distance to come that evening. They are now planning to start a Bright Lights group. We praise the Lord for their lives and for what He is going to continue to do through them.

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At the Davies home, we had a lot of fun, enjoying their wonderful hospitality, and learning about English ways and … vocabulary!

For snacks in the break at our meeting at the church, they had “tea and cakes.” It was delicious – though it wasn’t actually cake, but brownies, cookies, etc. This produced some fun conversation afterward, defining terms. [smile]
“Well, what would you call what we ate during the break?” they asked me.
“Well, we’d probably say ‘snacks or treats’ or just call it ‘brownies and cookies’ … so for you, you just put it all under the category of ‘cakes,’ right?”
“Yes,” they agreed. We continued from there to defining cookies and biscuits. (As many of you probably already know, a biscuit to them is what we would call a cookie.)
“Oh, so your biscuits are like dinner rolls?” they asked me.
“Yes,” I said, going on to describe what “biscuits” are to us.
“Well, that sounds like our scones,” Mrs. Davies said.
“Oh, what are your scones like? Are they sweet?”
“No, not really,” she said, continuing to describe them.
“Well we have scones too, but ours are sweet, and they are triangle,” I said.
“Now I’m really confused,” she replied.
We laughed. This conversation was taking place while I was drying dishes.
“The cutlery can go in here,” she told me.
Now I’m thinking, And what would that mean?” and then realized she was referring to silverware.
All the differences in our vocabulary is just too fun.

20140801_063453_28249 English home school room!

20140801_071514_28267 The Davies introduced us to a card game that helps you learn the Kings and Queens of England.

20140801_063146_28246 Another 3rd born baby of the family! [smile] I learned a lot about hedges and mince meat from Jemimah!

20140801_094054_28273 Off to the next place!