On Friday, Peta and I set off for our missional focused training weekend in Milton Keynes. Anyone who knows us, knows that any adventure we go on opens the doors for hilarity to be had. And this trip did not let us down!
It began just as we had boarded the plane in Inverness. The man beside me was an older gentleman with long grey hair and a beard. His opening lines to those of us at the back of the plane (i.e. me) were ‘this would be the ideal location to sit on the plane if we were terrorists wanting to high-jack the plane.’ After a nervous but polite laugh from the air host, the man went on to say ‘I know I may look like Osama bin laden but I promise I’m not him. After all, I’m sure he wouldn’t have such a good sense of humour. He seems like he would be a doer kinda man if you ask me…’ At this point it was hard to contain the laughter and I was beginning to wonder about this man’s sanity. But the airline host took it all in his stride and did a good job of laughing it off with us. The crew then took a pair of crutches off a lady next to us and popped them in the over head locker, to which the man remarked ‘that’s it, your weapons have been taken off us now!’ What a man!
Once we arrive in Luton there seemed to be a bit of an issue with steps to let us off the plane… There weren’t any! So we patiently waited while the pilot made jokes about easy jet not expecting us to be on time, hence the lack of steps!
We got off the plane and were greeted by friends and maltesers. What a winning combination! It was then time for introductions and some amazing Chinese food.
God gave us some amazing words through some wonderful people. The presence of God was so tangible it was a privilege to be there.
Saturday afternoon was spent prepping for an evangelistic event in the giant shopping centre. My group went out in pairs and endeavoured to strike up conversations about Jesus by just being interested in the people we met and asking them about what they believed and if they had a faith or had thought about it. God really blessed these conversations and Jenny and I had some amazing conversations. We met two teenage lads who started off very closed and too cool to chat about God. But the more we listened and the more we chatted, God moved in their hearts and they really began to open up about some of their beliefs, what they thought about God and were asking some awesome questions. Thank you Jesus for Aaron and Ben. I pray you would reveal yourself to them and help them to find their identity in you! I pray that the testimony I shared with them would help to give them hope and a purpose and bring them to you.
Another amazing conversation was had with Kim who was one of the security guards there. She was married to a Muslim but had no faith of her own. The only experience she had had with Christians was the ones at work who had tried to tell her about Jesus but had been a little too forceful in their delivery, even if their heart was in the right place. She asked some really interesting questions and when she told us about her bad back, as a nurse, God opened the door to ask some questions and we offered her prayer which she accepted. Thank you Jesus for Kim. I pray you would heal her back and she would remember the two girls who told her about Jesus – the ultimate healer.
We then had an awesome time of sharing, praying and worshipping Jesus for all He had done and is going to do.
There’s so many more highlights, I could be here all day telling you about them but God is going to change nations and we have the privilege of being a part of the process.
Getting home was funny, but not in the funny haha kinda way; more the stressful but it all worked out in the end kind of way. Firstly, I was dropped off at the bus station with no idea where I was but the information that I needed to get to Luton airport within the next hour. So I purchased a ticket for the bus that was leaving in 10 minutes and took a seat. 10 minutes came and went and I was beginning to wonder if I’d missed the bus so I asked the very helpful man at the ticket disk who checked on his fancy computer and reassured me the bus was running late but would be here in 5. Around 10 minutes later a very chilled out coach driver arrived clearly unaware of my stress levels. So I got on the bus, very relieved that I would soon be on my way. But obviously the driver was oblivious to my need to be early and dislike of going somewhere new, by myself and on a ticking clock; as he sat for a further 10-15 minutes without a care in the world. At last, we were moving and soon enough we stopped outside Luton, yay!!!
Did I mention this was also my first time flying on my own? As my frequent flyer counterpart was on her way to America? How inconsiderate! Only kidding!! I pray she has an amazing time and can’t wait to hear about it.
So as I reassured myself I had checked in online and could head straight to the departure gates I was beginning to feel a bit better. Gate 16 was opening in 20 minutes so I even had time for a quick drink and bite to eat. Things were looking up.
Now, the next challenge… The silly metal detector thing that I set off more often than not and yup, you guessed it, this time I didn’t disappoint as I had to stand in my bare feet and get searched to ensure I wasn’t hiding some crazy weapon… (Which I obviously wasn’t)
You have to laugh really as the very nice lady is trying to make small talk whist making sure I’m not a threat. Once this was established I was on the home straight.
I was on the plane. We were getting ready to leave and then the pilot announces we would have a short wait as someone had forgotten to put fuel in the plane. Now I’m no expert, but surely fuel is pretty essential when trying to fly a plane?
Never mind. We made it home and I’m now sitting with a cup of tea and getting ready for bed after an amazing, enlightening, wonderful weekend with old and new friends hoping and praying into all that God had revealed/ confirmed this weekend.
I’m going to leave you with a picture/ text I thought sums up the church really well…