24 May, 2014
The team of 23 headed to the airport at 2pm for a 7pm departure to Manchester England. Their flight was delayed 2 hrs due to repairs to the parking brake but the teens made the best of it by playing cards and games. They departed 2 hrs late but had a smooth 8 hr flight.
25 May, 2014
Sunday morning they landed at 9:30am and bus picked them up and headed to Sheffield through the rolling hills called Snake Pass. Sheep and cattle roamed freely along the stacked stone walls. Of course it was an adjustment to see the cars on the opposite side of the street! The Sheffield church of Christ, whom they are working with til Friday, delayed their worship until they could be all together. It was great to meet the brethren at Sheffield! We worshipped as those of the first century, in unison as instructed in the New Testament! The ladies treated the group with hot tea, coffee and cookies. About 9 youth of elementary age served the group! The team and Sheffield members walked 2-3 miles to a Chinese resaurant for lunch, where the team will eat each day and hold an hour Bible study. A time of fellowship was enjoyed. The group walked back to head to the building and be transported to locations for the nights place of rest. The congregation at Sheffield is a young congregation and they are already encouraged by the team and hearing about the number of Christians meeting in Buford. There is a 5 hour time difference and the team stayed awake all day after 4 hrs sleep on the plane. It is now 8:30pm and all are turning in early. Monday begins outreach in the city centre! Continue to pray for the efforts here. God continues to pour out His blessings! #toHisglory
26 May, 2014
Today has been my favorite day so far! I got 12 hours of sleep last night, so I was charged and ready to go. In the morning I ate an amazing breakfast, and I was ready to see the real England. We went to a beautiful festival with many people, I saw many women with ruby red lips. I got the opportunity to talk to some people, some were my age, and some were older. I spoke to a really friendly guy who was in college and he said that he didn’t believe there was a God, and he didn’t believe that there was… mostly he wanted scientific proof of the Lord. I listened, and he asked me some things about America, and some things about my beliefs. He assumed I was from California, and we had some good laughs. I think that’s my favorite thing, making people who I don’t know, laugh. I would like to think of myself as blessed that I have such a great ability to make people smile, and I feel like I have used that to its full potential today. I hope to use all the gifts that God has given me over the next two weeks, and I’m thankful for such an AMAZING day, today. To God be all the Growth and Glory!!
Today has been quite an experience! I’ve gone so far out of my comfort zone and talked to so many people in the city center of Sheffield today. Alexa and I surveyed many people about their religious background and got a bunch of responses from people who really are searching for something/someone to guide them. We even surveyed a guy who was interested in a personal Bible study… and the whole time we talked to him he was rolling joints and we’re pretty sure he was under the influence while we were talking to him. We’ve had people reject us but each rejection makes us that much more excited to talk to the next person. We ended the night by fellowshipping with the Sheffield Church of Christ in a devotional, and some of us girls had an amazing time playing with the kids of their congregation. They loved Little Sally Walker and we loved watching them having so much fun with us strange Americans. As I’m sitting here blogging I’m sitting at a table with Mr. Todd, Michael, and all of us girls reflecting on our day and it makes me so thankful that this opportunity has been presented to me to spread God’s word! Thank you Lord!!
Today has been an amazing day to be a Christian! I went to sleep at 7:30 last night and woke up at 7:00 this morning to a supper full day of going to town to eat Chinese food and spread the word to the city of Sheffield. Emily and I met many colorful people. The people that allowed us to survey them had a story. Most of them did believe in God but only believed in some of the bible. All but one of the 15 we talked to attended church. The most interesting person I talked to was a spiritist; of course I didn’t not know what that was so I asked, to find that she speaks to sprits when there is no body. (talked to the dead!!!). Some other people we talked to breed chickens for a living; I also got to hold a chicken! (pictures will be on Facebook) There was a market today so there were many lost souls that we were allowed to aid. We went into a store on the street and iced cookies while talking to our lady about how she had come to America to work with special needs kids! Also we got a picture with the only “human vegetable entertainer” in the UK!! (pictures also on Facebook) Sadly no one came to the Bible study tonight but there are four more days! I am very encouraged that we will have a successful trip with very passionate hearts for God that are part of the group. I will talk to y’all later! I have almost mastered my accent so beware when I come home!!!
Today was such an amazing day. We started out the day with a really great breakfast. It was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had. At first I was really intimidated to go out and talk to people. The evangelizing didn’t really go well for our group during our first round out. We kept getting shot down by almost everyone we approached and some people didn’t even look at us when we tried to talk about them. But after lunch when we went back out we took a new approach and it became easier to talk to people. We got a lot more to have conversations with us and discuss what they believe with us. Amanda and I got to talk to this man named Paul. He was a Buddhist-hippie type guy. He called his religion NOW because he only wanted to live in the now. He also believed that all your lives summed up to where you end up in the end. He talked to us for about twenty minutes. It was disappointing that no one came to our bible study, but hopefully people come tomorrow. I am so excited to get to out tomorrow. I am so thankful for being here!!
As I began to approach the people in Sheffield, I realized it was very common for people to tell me that religion wasn’t their thing. While walking around with Mikayla, we approached one man with his child. We asked him if he wanted to take part in a religious survey he said sure. We began with the first question that asked, “Do you believe in God?” Without hesitation he answered no. What confused me was that he seemed like a pretty nice person who enjoyed his life. This got me thinking about how much better his life would be if he knew God. This drove my determination to communicate the word to more people. I longed for more people to be as happy as I am and I felt selfish to keep the God’s word to myself. Throughout the rest of the day, I pushed myself to walk up to people and encourage them.
What an awesome day! After a morning devo at the church we headed out into the community and started to evangelize. I was nervous at first but by the end of the day, Katelyn and I were having so much fun exploring and getting to know people while still talking to them about God. Some people rejected us but others were very receptive. I knew we were doing something right when we passed missionaries from other churches who were just standing with pamphlets waiting for the people passing by to approach them. Katelyn and I talked to one lady while decorating cookies at her display table in the market. People are much more receptive when you show interest in their lives instead of just forcing the Bible on them. We ended the day by playing with the younger children from the church. It was such a joy to see those precious smiles on each of their faces!
What a day! Evangelizing in a city like Sheffield sure has its unique and memorable moments. I walked around with Isaac and Rachel when we were surveying people on their religious beliefs. Approaching people is intimidating enough, and the many rejections bring a lot of discouragement. Despite this, though, Isaac seemed to be a beacon to the English---he was so much more successful than Rachel and me! At one point this morning, I looked over and saw a disheveled-looking man approach him. When I looked again, Isaac was walking away with the man! He looked back and gestured to us that everything was okay, but I became concerned because I know that we Americans are targets over here. Isaac and the man were getting farther and farther away and began rounding a corner, so I sprung into action. I got Rachel and we began to hurry after them. As soon as I started walking, a huge ice cream truck came right at me, nearly running me over even when I tried to dodge it. Europeans are crazy drivers! Nevertheless, I pushed onward in my mission to save Isaac from getting mugged. I saw him enter a convenience store, and finally caught up to him. He was buying a coke. He explained that the man was homeless and that he wanted to do something for him. In that moment, I realized the many lessons that we can teach while we are here. We can teach kindness, generosity, and love. I don’t know whether the homeless man was interested in God at all, but I know that he saw Him through the actions of Isaac today. I should probably wrap this up, but let me just say that I have a new perspective after this day. I’ve begun to view everyone as a soul, not just a person. I’ve begun to feel a twinge of guilt when I let someone walk by without saying anything to him/her. This is a city of people who I can help give the greatest message that has ever been, and for that I am encouraged to spring to action. God bless Sheffield!
May 27, 2014
Amanda: While preparing for our mission in the UK, I didn’t quite know what to expect spreading the Gospel in a perfectly developed country, with clean water, and minimal disease. Although our journey hasn’t fit the cookie cutter image of a mission trip, I’ve found it to be one of the most difficult experiences, one that pushes you out of your comfort zone more than not, and has encouraged me to mature as a Christian woman and evangelist. Upon our arrival, it was evident that Buford was beyond blessed. Although Sheffield Church of Christ might not have been located in an optimal place, or had the most resources, it was clear that their members had souls that continually and ceaselessly shined for the Lord. The children, most specifically, had some of the brightest smiles and optimistic outlooks. Immediately they opened their hearts to us, teaching us games and learning our names. So it was only natural for the girls to start brainstorming ways to improve their spiritual life and encourage them to invite friends to church. We’ve been working on journals to leave the children and women, to record their thoughts and grow closer to God as well as games to leave behind, teaching them Bible fundamentals. I can only hope that our impact is large enough, inspiring them to let Christ and His love propel them through the struggles they may face in their futures, and encourage them to cultivate an unwavering faith in God.
Victoria (age 10):My day was awesome when we went out to town and when we bought games and we miss you all back in America.
Alexa- After arriving back at the church after a long day I got to spend time with the kids of the congregation. I have really enjoyed playing a role in shaping them in their Christian walk. I get to talk to them and play games with them. I have begun to form a bond with them that makes me see that God is working within them.
June 4, 2014
Scotland: Cumbernauld and Perth Blog –
Scotland was by far my favorite place we’ve been to so far. I so enjoyed not only our sightseeing day in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, but also the relationships that were formed just from 3 days in this country. We learned how to play Heatherball and that is definitely a game I will pass along to others. On Sunday we worshipped with the Cumbernauld congregation and their joy, happiness, and eagerness for the Lord inspired me and I know will continue to inspire me for years to come. Monday and Tuesday mornings and afternoons were spent rotating shifts of handing out flyers, giving people surveys, or sitting in a coffee shop with Scott Tominey having a Bible study (which we were only supposed to go to once but I loved it so much that I went 3 times J). All of these were extremely successful as we had around 50 people in total join us for Heatherball in the park on Monday and Tuesday night, we got various contact info from the surveys, and we grew together with ourselves and God in the coffee shop studies. It was so sad and surreal to leave because I felt like I had known the people we met (in the small but mighty congregation of Cumbernauld) for forever and they were my family. Not to mention we ate dinner (twice) at one of the best buffets I have ever eaten at in my life. We planted the seed in Perth and next year when their church building is built I know that they will be a strong and flourishing congregation of the Lord’s body desiring to do His will. As much as I love the UK I am anxious to be home, but not before our next adventure: Youth Day in Loughborough, England! To God be the glory! Thank you Lord for all that you’ve done!
Wow our time here in the UK is going by so fast! On Sunday we spent the day with the Cumbernauld congregation. They have such a sweet group of kids and I wish we could have spent even more time with them. On Monday and Tuesday we spent time in Perth letting others know about the upcoming church and youth program. Young people were invited to the park for a heatherball tournament each night. It was a great success! One of my favorite memories from Perth will be studying with Mr. Jack, Katelyn, and Rachel in the coffee shop. During our study (which was amazing!) a woman approached our table. She has been a member of the church for 30 years but had been worshipping by herself since there was no church. She heard one of our group members mention the Church of Christ and decided to see if we were really who she thought we were. Tears came to her eyes as we told her that a church was going to come to Perth soon and Mr. Jack could barely contain his excitement. It is crazy that we happened to be in the same coffee shop as the woman at the exact same time. God really does work in wonderful ways! J
I’m pretty sure that Scotland is one of the most amazing places I have ever been! I’m not even kidding. The entire trip from Sheffield to Perth was full of gorgeous countryside and beautiful waters. As soon as we arrived in Scotland I was instantly excited. I’ve always wanted to come here and see all the gingers plus the breathtaking landscape and architecture. While we did get to see all that and more, what I really enjoyed about Scotland were the people. Everyone was so nice and inviting. It was just like being back in the south, but with funny accents of course. (By the way I’ve been working on mine J) On Sunday, when we worshiped with the Cumbernauld Church of Christ, all of the members were so welcoming and hospitable. They cooked us a meal and we got to spend some quality time with the youth there. I talked to a couple of girls the entire night about America and how they think everything we do is strange. That night we also learned how to play Heatherball, which I’m almost positive will be the new favorite sport back home. The next two days we did some outreach in the city and invited a lot of people to our Heatherball tournament. The second day we had about 30 to 40 people come and we had a great time. On this trip, our friend Adam, told us that even though it may not seem like what we were doing would help in anyway, our efforts still meant a lot. Just because we didn’t have 30 people come forward and be baptized doesn’t mean that we didn’t accomplish anything. On this trip we planted seeds. We talked to people and made them feel important and loved. We encouraged them and hopefully urged them to check out the church we were trying to start in Perth. I’m very sad to leave. We were only there for a couple of days but it feels like I’ve known all of the people there for my whole life. Scotland will definitely be one place I will never forget. Today we are traveling to Loughborough and I know I’m going to love it as much as Scotland. I’m looking forward to the youth day we are having and all the people we will get to meet there. Hopefully we’ll affect as many people as possible and end our trip more excited to serve God than ever before.
What a great place Scotland was! No matter where you went you would have a great picture to post on Instagram. I didn’t think the trip could get much better after being in Sheffield and the two sightseeing days in York and Edinburgh but I guess I was wrong. I got to meet Scott, Jordan, Adam, Graham, and Jack, all great leaders. Us boys (Me, Jared, Matt, Danny, Michael, Scott, and Jordan) would meet up every night from 11:00 to 1:00 talking, eating pizza, watching movies, and just having a great time. You would think we would be tired but I guess we were running on the Scotland time during the day and American time during the night. I got to lead my second devotional, become a song leader (because Michael and Jared have lost their voice), and most importantly, play heatherball. We got plenty of people to join our games after our outreach and coffee shop Bible studies during the day. I am so impressed with how great a teacher of God’s word Scott is, considering he has only been a Christian for 5 years! Right now we are on a train for 6 ½ hours on our way to Loughborough and I had to download new games on my phone to pass the time. I guess I was finally convinced to write a blog for the guys and our experiences. I can’t wait to further my missionary journey with a great time at Loughborough and the upcoming youth day!
After busses, planes, taxis and trains, we’re on our way to our final destination of evangelism, Loughborough, England. After working for the Lord in both Sheffield and Perth, I’ve come to the conclusion that the U.K. is a very special place. The fusion of new and old created an atmosphere that we loved working in. Particularly, the Scottish people proved to overwhelm us with hospitality and kindness, encouraging us to push social limits in our outreach efforts. The church of Christ at Cumbernauld brought us many relationships. Graeme, Jack, Jordan, Scott, and Adam were an absolute joy to work with. I’m confident in saying that each and every one of the BYG members formed special bonds with some member of the church at Cumbernauld. Our last devotional was one of my favorite moments of the trip. We sat on some steps in Rodney Gardens and sang. Although it’s a simple memory, I think it emphasizes the sameness that two very different groups of people can find in Christ. Hearing our voices harmonize was beautiful and I can only hope I have the opportunity to come back after years have passed to see what the work Buford Youth Group has grown into.
I have been convinced to finally write a blog by the parents so here it is. This trip has opened my eyes so much. I was a little hesitant before we left because I felt unprepared. But after a long plane ride and some sleep I was ready to go to work for the Lord. Sheffield was hard work but was fun and I think we had a huge impact on all the members at the church there. We were able to go see a cathedral/abbey and were impressed at how beautiful it was and how grand it was. After seeing the beautiful parts of England I thought well there was no way Scotland could top that. I was wrong. Scotland has some of the most beautiful country that I have ever seen, And probably in the world. The church at Cumbernauld was wonderful. The members were so warm and inviting. The leaders of the church at Cumbernauld that came with us to Perth to help start the planting of the church were absolutely amazing. We went around the town handing out flyers and inviting people to coffee shop Bible studies and the kids to the park for heatherball tournaments in witch we had great turnouts both nights. When there were no people at the Bible studies we would study ourselves. I had some of the most encouraging studies from one of the members there. He got several of us fired up to go out and to be on fire for the Lord and to strive for our eternal dream that is heaven. We had wonderful fellowship with Scott and Jordan almost every night. We would hang out talking, eat pizza and playing games or watch TV. We left Perth with heavy hearts today, not wishing to leave the brethren from the church there, having grown so close to the members there, but we have hope to return there one day to help in the work once again. We are now on a train heading to Loughborough to host a youth day and I am preparing a lesson for Bible study tonight and am looking forward to working with the brethren there.
There are very few places outside of metro-Atlanta where I can picture myself living long-term, but Scotland is definitely one of those places. The people are kind, the accents are super cool, and the scenery is nothing less than absolutely breathtaking. The “new” parts of town are from the nineteenth century, and it seems like every building looks like a castle. Some of my favorite moments of the whole trip thus far come from the coffee shop Bible studies that we had in Perth. Even though no one from the public stopped by to participate or ask questions while I was there, the discussion that we had within our mission team were some of the best I have ever had. With a mix of new, old, American, and Scottish Christians there, we examined specific passages in the gospels in a more organized and productive way than I have ever experienced before. Scott led the studies, and I have every confidence in the world that he will be abundantly successful with the establishment of the Perth church of Christ.
And, of course, I can’t conclude this blog post without talking about heatherball. It is a game that must be brought back home. We already have Monday night Bible studies and Tuesday night singing at Buford, so Isaac and I decided that Thursday night heatherball is a must! In Scotland, heatherball proved itself to be more than a game, though. It is a symbol of unity and friendship. It both introduced the public to the church and introduced the Buford Christians to the Scottish Christians. It was a super fun way to reach out to the Perth community. It was also another outlet to show the impenetrable dominance of America, since we won in the USA vs. Scotland heatherball game. J
God bless Scotland! I’m excited to see what Loughborough has in store for us!
June 7, 2014
UK Youth Day - YOLO Choose God at the Loughborough church of Christ. More details/blogs coming about our few days with the congregation here. We will be blogging in the Manchester Airport tonight, as the group hangs out there for a 10am UK flight, arriving around 2pm in Atlanta. Please pray for continued safe travels.
We had a great time in Loughborough! As many of ya’ll have seen on my Facebook we have made many memories and new friends! The first day we had a chill day and went to the market where there was great shopping and food! I have determined that we need to open a Greggs in America and a chic-fil-a in the UK! Also on that day, I talked to Paul about coming back next year. He was very supportive and said he will help me in any way needed! I plan to go to Scotland most of the summer then go to England for a few weeks. Friday we spent the day remodeling the church building to fit our plans. We had to improvise some things but it all turned out great! We had a total of 70 people attend our YOLO youth day. We had four amazing preachers from America Skype in and empower us with the work of our Lord. We had a rough goodbye with all of our amazing new friends. I am so thankful I got to be apart of this amazing team that are God minded and can get through anything! Most of all I want to give all of the glory to God for blessing us with the funds and dedication from Buford church of Christ. Thank y’all for the prayers and thoughts. CAN’T WAIT TILL NEXT SUMMER!!!! J
The past two weeks has been so wonderful that I cannot pick out the right adjectives to describe it! I met many new brothers and sisters from Buford and the UK. I learned many things from shuffling cards to leading a devo. I feel like I really developed MANY spiritual relationships during this trip. Starting from Sheffield to Loughborough we had A LOT of things going on. It took us some time to adjust to the new environment but once we adapted to it we were going strong! Our plan was to break the “ice” for the congregation so it can start to plant seeds and grow. We out reached people from the streets in Sheffield and Perth. Many of us met new people from the streets and got to have a short talk with them about God. We handed out flyers about the congregation so the people around the area would have a general idea about the church. Also in Perth we had a heatherball competition. This was probably one of my favorite times of the mission trip because a lot of people around the town showed up and the game is simply amazing.
During Loughborough we worked with youth groups around UK. We spent a day with the “GateWay Club.” The club is designed to spend time with adults with special needs, so their families can have a break throughout the month. We greeted each other, sang together, and enjoyed fellowship as well. It was amazing to see how open they were to us and how much they were willing to just talk and interact with one and other. The next day we prepared for the big YOLO day. We got props together, made posters, skits, songs, bracelets and much more. Everyone worked together as one to get the job done. The D-Day of YOLO day was actually pretty scary because not a lot of youth showed up during the morning but as minutes passed we started to see a gradual increase of teens that were coming in. The YOLO day consisted of 4 great speakers, songs, crafts and games, and God-Time groups. I learned a lot from YOLO day because I was one of the God-Time leaders. I never actually led a group before but once I got used to it I felt more comfortable with what I was doing. Even though I was the one leading the group I felt like I learned more from the kids that were in my group. YOLO day was the last thing we accomplished throughout the trip. Even though the mission trip has come to an end all of Buford teens and the teens from the UK shared each other’s Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. It’s amazing how close each of us got together within in 3 to 4 days. Many of us spiritually grew from this trip and developed many spiritual relationships. I am thankful to God for the great opportunity He has given me to go out of states and work for Him. I also thank the Buford elders and others for the funds and prayers that were done to the mission trip.
June 8, 2014
The UK Mission Team has arrived in Buford GA! Thank you so much for your prayers during the trip. Please contiue to pray for the brethren in the UK. Encourage them when you can. Also, pray for those that heard about the congregations in the Uk. Pray for each soul that was touched during this 2 week time. Please pray for the seeds that woudl sown to be watered and grow. May God continue to use the team members to find ways daily to spread the good news of His church and the plan of salvation through Christ.
Congregations supported and prayers requested for...
Sheffield Church of Christ
Cumbernauld Church of Christ
Perth Church of Christ (future establishment; including Scott Tominey in preacher training school )
Loughborough chuch of Christ