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!

Young Ladies Conference in England

IMG_1111 Sarah talking with one of the mothers. Behind her is one of the buildings of Brunel Mannor–the location where our last conference was held.

IMG_1175 Discussion time with the girls late Saturday night. The highlight for me was when one girl shared, almost teary-eyed, how she’d had so many questions and Sarah’s session on “Before You Meet Price Charming” gave her answers that really helped her. Praise the Lord!

IMG_0980 We have also had some exciting times sight seeing. Here were are on top of a huge rock in Dartmoor.

I have soooo many pictures and reports, but have not had much free time to post. I will be posting them soon, though!

Five minute NEA Gospel Outreach Report Video

We’ve had another fantastic day in England and I’m looking forward to blogging about it later when I have time. In the meantime, I wanted to share the latest video that Nickie and I put together about the witnessing outreach at the NEA last month.

Nickie and I always feel sharpened after returning from the outreach at the NEA Convention. We learn a lot from listening in on the witnessing conversations of those who’ve had more witnessing experience than we have!

We’re excited to now give you a little taste of what the Lord did last month in Denver. This 5 minute video has witnessing footage from the booth as well as reflections and tips from team members.

You can also see a really exciting story from the NEA recently posted on Ken Ham’s blog here.

In England!

IMG_0148 We have just finished our 5th day in England! Each day has been wonderful. Here’s a picture of Windsor castle I snapped as we were driving by! Feels strange to actually see REAL castles :).

The “Equipping Conference” ended this afternoon. Great fellowship, many new friends … we were encouraged! This afternoon we drove to London, and the next conference starts tomorrow, hosted by a Chinese church here.

We’d appreciate prayer that the next two days the Lord would be working in a mighty way in all of our lives. It is definitely exciting to interact with people here, and see what the Lord is doing in this part of the world.

More reports coming later.