February 25, 2019
To the YWAM Cambridge leadership team: our beloved friends Andrew & Connie, Andy, Hannah, Simon (– I confess I’m no longer sure which of you technically constitute the leadership team),
Much love to you all! Praying for all that you are doing in Cambridge to continue to bear fruit and multiply: evangelism, House of Prayer, Call of the Wild, SBS, DTS – and whatever else you put your hands to!
Chris Mudd has invited us to Consuming Fire at YWAM Harpenden in May, so hopefully we will see you there :)
I’m writing because, six years after that first sudden flood of several 1000s of pounds (now almost six years ago!), I have been given another 1000!
As it happens, not £1000 in cash, but a thousand books, as a gift from Tree of Life Bookshop to help me start a new bookshop. ‘A new bookshop?’ you ask, ‘weren’t you just getting started at Tree of Life?’ Indeed, since July I have been involved, hoping that it would be possible to rethink what a Christian bookshop might be – not just a giftshop that sells trusted Christian books to Christians, but a shop that uses business as a strategy to engage as wide a set of people as possible, stocking as broad a selection of books as possible as a demonstration of hospitality to all sincere seekers of Truth whatever their perspective. Anyway, after seven months it has become clear that if I am to run with the vision that God has given me for a bookshop as missional hub/house-of-prayer I would do better to try and work it out somewhere new. In some ways this is disappointing, but I know that God has called me to be a starter. And I deeply believe wherever possible multiplying small things is a more effective Kingdom strategy than adding to big things. (Though most ideally big and small would work in partnership.)
So, new wineskins for new wine. My hope has always been that Tree of Life Bookshop might give me a model that could be multiplied–though it is only recently that it has occurred to me that perhaps this might best happen sooner rather than later. So I have been looking at renting a shop: for £500/month there are several possibilities, eg. Taryn & I visited this one in Wavertree a couple of weeks ago, and as well as a beautiful shop with kitchen, bathroom & shower, there’s a nicely done-up basement that would make a perfect 24 / 7 prayer room). I’m thinking it could be called ‘Word & Spirit’!
Anyway, to help start me on my way the Tree of Life trustees have pledged a thousand books.
And the night before I was told of that gift, another couple were having dinner with us and said ‘you know that vision you’ve mentioned of starting a bookshop – well, we’d like to give £600 towards it!’.
So God is again releasing provision for a vision of Revival and Reformation, of Word & Spirit coming together!
What is the vision? ‘The vision is Jesus…’
The vision is a multigenerational worshipping missionary community called by God to do whatever we can to help bring revival & reformation to the city of Cambridge and to the ends of the earth. (http://ywamcambridge.org/about-us/)
The vision is a thousand 1000s saying ‘Worthy is the Lamb’ (Rev.5:11) to receive the reward of His suffering, and as a donation ‘for the baby’ – for this vision of revival and reformation to be brought forth in the groans of prayer like a woman in labour – and for a place that would be a house of prayer and a disciple-making missionary hub.
We haven’t given up on the vision. We did “whatever we could to bring revival & reformation to the city of Cambridge” – and then when God called us to move on, we did.
And in stepping out from the YWAM Liverpool team we haven’t renounced our YWAM calling to Know God and Make Him Known, by Hearing His Voice, Practising Worship & Intercessory Prayer, Being Visionary, Championing Young People… We just tried to obey God’s call to step out from A Ship to Tarshish so that we were free to immediately obey whatever He asked us to do, without unduly rocking anyone else’s boat.
But what does this have to do with you?
Well, apart from hoping for your encouragement and prayer, I feel I should ask if you would give £7000 of the thousand £1000s that were given to me for a building for a disciple-making hub/house of prayer, for Revival & Reformation.
Specifically SEVEN, because of God’s word to Elijah when he was feeling alone and defeated (in spite of having seen supernatural fire fall from heaven) that God had kept 7000 for Himself – and God has given me that promise as a word of encouragement in feeling discouraged at not having seen the fulfilment of all we had prayed for in Cambridge.
I am very aware this might seem a little rude and presumptuous – isn’t the money safely in a YWAM account, waiting to be used to purchase a property for YWAM Cambridge? and haven’t Taryn & I stepped out of YWAM?
But the sense that I should ask won’t go away, and so I write in the hope that this might be an opportunity for us to show that I still need your help and support, and still want to be connected, and indeed that I am still running with the same vision that we’ve been praying for together since that day when I first met Andrew and Connie at 25 Portugal Place and within minutes were on our faces interceding for the nations.
With your permission I would like to personally get back in touch with the people who gave £1000 and ask for their permission to invest the pounds to help start up this missional bookshop. If all goes well then hopefully the profits will grow, and who knows – in due course I might be talking again about purchasing a million-pound property! Just by our house there’s an old abandoned orphanage that I first saw during a prayer-walk when we first visited the city for the Small Teams Gathering which YWAM Liverpool was hosting, and which is just the sort of place that is waiting for faith-filled missionaries to transform it into something worthy of its founding purpose.
But this time I’d like to aim for something smaller as an initial goal ;)
I realize you’re very busy but please let me know what your thoughts are. If you’d like to Skype I could do anytime on Friday. Then our baby is due next Monday and life will be crazy! – but like all our babies (Is. 8:18), I believe that this signals a prophetic shift in season, and so I won’t be surprised if God goes out of his way to speed things up just for added narrative effect :P
Of course it may be that as you pray and respond you feel that what I’m asking isn’t the right thing. Which of course is fine. I’m not saying ‘God says you should give me this’, I just felt I should ask. Please just weigh whatever I’ve said and then “do whatever is in your heart – I’m with you heart and soul” (1 Sam. 14:7).
Much love, Peter