It’s a still, clear and dark evening. Abraham looks to the night sky and hears God whisper in his ear, ‘Come away with Me.’ ‘Where to?’ Abraham asks. ‘I will show you,’ God responds.
Doesn’t this sound super exciting, romantic and even adventurous? I once longed for the day that God would whisper in my ear that we should run with Him on an incredible adventure. And then that day came! Since then, God has whispered some amazing dreams and promises into our ears. The simple truth is that God wants to reach those who don’t know Him, and He is looking for people to use. In our case, His heart is breaking for the people of London, and He wants to revive this great nation by the power of His Spirit – and we get to be a part of it!
The simple truth is that God wants to reach those who don’t know Him, and He is looking for people to use.
This invitation has been the most incredible invitation we have ever received. We also immediately realised that this would cost us the ‘earthly treasures’ Jesus had blessed us with. Treasures such as an amazing church family, birth family, deep friendships and one of the most beautiful cities and nations in the world. We knew we had to ‘let go’ of everything we had established and which made us feel safe and secure, and this became a challenge.
A Promise from Proverbs
Thankfully God knows how weak we are and by His grace, He encouraged us with a promise from Proverbs 14:11, ‘… the tent of the upright will flourish’ (ESV). Though we would have to move out of the beautiful home He had blessed us with and move into a ‘tent’, His promise remained that He would bring life and life in abundance. So we stepped out, because we believe that Jesus does what He promises, even when we don’t know what that looks like. What we do know is that He is the Great Shepherd leading us on the righteous path.
With many tears and broken hearts (I almost start crying as I write this), we said goodbye to Port Elizabeth, South Africa, family and friends, and were sent out by Oxygen Life Church to London. In times of sadness, there have been moments of wonder at how amazing Jesus is. We started seeing Him provide financially – we got flights that we had been trying to get for three months – and we experienced miracles at the immigration counters in South Africa and the United Kingdom. And, best of all, God’s whisper for London became louder and louder.
What a privilege it has been to be here planting King & Country Church! We arrived to a warm welcome from some of the team who went before us, which was the best blessing! God has begun to build our beautiful new church family. He loves making family. He loves team. We are excited to be planting this church with an amazing group of people who have heard God’s call and desire to see the lost in London reached. We currently have a group of 10 people who are in the process of moving from South Africa and Zambia to London. Of this group, Duncan and Anna Toogood, Alexandra (Sandra) Wilmot and Janice Engelbrecht have already joined us.
God’s kingdom advancing is more important than titles and positions.
Sandra is originally from South Africa and was part of Oxygen Life Church in Port Elizabeth. She had moved to London to study her Masters in city planning. Having now finished her studies, she is working in London as an architect/urban designer. On one of our prayer and ‘spying out the land’ trips, we met up with Sandra (over the biggest pizza I have ever seen) and heard what God was doing in this city. As she began sharing, her passion for what God is doing in London was clear. Kristle and I felt like we were the two spies sent to Jericho, hearing the report from Rahab saying, “The time is now. God is giving you this land.” God also began to stir Sandra’s heart to join us.
Duncan & Anna Toogood
The Toogood’s, originally from the UK, had been serving on the eldership team of Gospel Central Church, Zambia. The Lord began stirring their hearts to return to the UK. As they were seeking the Lord, they were introduced to us at the Four12 Conference in South Africa. We began sharing what we believed God wanted to do in London, and from that moment, God began to knit our hearts together with His dream for the city. The Toogood’s are an inspirational example of following God no matter the cost. Duncan laid down leading a congregation to submit himself and his family under what God is doing through a younger, crazier couple. His response to my reflection on what they had done was, ‘God’s kingdom advancing is more important than titles and positions.’ Amazing! May we all have that heart.
Janice was also a part of our Oxygen Life Church family in South Africa. Although she had found her dream teaching job in Port Elizabeth, when she heard about our church plant to London, she felt God challenge her to lay down her job and community to join us on the plant! Despite many challenges, God opened a way for her to be here with us. Janice will be doing her Master’s in Art on a student visa with the purpose of being here for the church plant. We’re blown away by her determination to lay down everything for Jesus and are so blessed to have her here with us!
God has been faithful in providing so much for us, we’re beyond excited to be on this adventure with Him. There are many things we are trusting God for in this season – please join with us in trusting for them.
Here are some practical things for which you could pray:
• People who don’t know Jesus: This is why we came: to see the lost saved. Pray for friendship groups, neighbours and communities to be opened up so that we can preach the gospel. We are excited to see the lost saved.
• God’s presence: We always need more of God. He is so amazing and He is the Reason. Pray that we keep in step with Him and grow deeper in devotion daily.
• God’s power: We need to see God’s power demonstrating that the Kingdom is at hand and to confirm this message we preach. Pray for signs and wonders, words of knowledge and healings.
• Boldness and courage: Pray that we would be bold to make and take opportunities to preach the gospel.
• Accommodation: As the team arrives, they are going to need places to stay. London is expensive, but God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Pray that we would get the right accommodation in the right neighbourhoods and at the best price.
• Work: Pray for jobs with the necessary income to meet everyone’s needs.
• Meeting Place: Pray for a venue for King & Country Church to meet in.
Though there is so much uncertainty, the one thing we are sure of is that Jesus has called us on this great adventure with Him. He is going to do something incredible. We are so privileged to watch God at work in London and to the ends of the earth.