Be Filled Goes North

After a successful Be Filled dinner in Bristol, the team took to the road to visit 3 northern UK cities: Edinburgh, Durham and Leeds.

Edinburgh

After a long drive, which involved lunch at the UK's 'best service station' near the Lake District and a Polish hitchhiker in Scotland, Hugh and Harry arrived in Edinburgh on Monday evening. We were very warmly hosted by the wonderful McLean family who have a beautiful home right in the heart of the city.

On Tuesday, following an early morning prayer meeting on Arthur's Seat, we visited Central Church and joined in with their Ten8 initiative (pioneered by Izzy Archer and Josh Oommen). We spent the morning worshiping with friends new and old before hitting the streets in the afternoon for some 'Treasure Hunting'. For those of you who are new to this concept of treasure hunting (as we were), you spend some time prayerfully writing down 'random' names, places, notable articles of appearance, or just random words. Then you try and find those people. Terrifying as it was, we had some success. We prayed for a lady called Fiona in a pub who had an arthritic back. We prayed for a couple of women (whose names were phonetically-challenging for us) who owned a chippy, we prayed for a whisky salesman, and offered prayer to a few others which sparked some engaging (and some less-so) conversations. 

Then on Tuesday evening we met with friends of the STrust for a fabulous BBQ in a stunning shared private garden. We weren't the only group hoping to make use of the garden's BBQ, and so also had the privilege of meeting new faces (who kindly cooked all our burgers for us) as well as encouraging and catching up with familiar ones. 

Praise God for the McLeans, and for the students in Edinburgh who have an amazing vision to see the city transformed by the power of Jesus.

 

Durham

The following day (Wednesday) we set off for Durham where we were joined by Jane as we hosted 

another Be Filled dinner this time in a restaurant called 'Funky Buddah'. Needless to say we redeemed the restaurant's name as Harry preached the name of Jesus with an extended grace. Harry had recently read the book of Ephesians and was encouraging us all to do the same. Ephesians speaks of how God is extravagant and lavish and that He wants to fill every part of our lives with His love, joy, peace and hope. Harry shared with us a particularly insightful quote that reflects God's heart and how He wants to fill us in every way; "Any area of our lives that is not infused with hope is under the influence of a lie". Great news and challenge to pro-actively let God flood us with His great love.  

Leeds

After recharging overnight at Jane's beautiful home in Thirsk, we were back in the car on course for Leeds. Having spent much of the last 3 days in the car, Harry had been doing some more deeply profound thinking. He realised that if you add the letters 'b-y' to the end of pretty much any word, it'll sound like a Yorkshire town: 'Chairby', 'Carby', 'Grassby', 'Cowby', 'Windturbineby', 'Sellby' (turns out that last one actually is a Yorkshire town).

In Leeds we were hosted by the amazing Heston and Lydia Groenwald. Heston used to be a Stewards' Trust Youth Worker a few years back, and he and Lydia have recently moved to Leeds to lead (or should I say, 'leed') a vibrant and colourful church near Hyde Park. They welcomed us with such generosity having already sourced some food for our BBQ! That evening we welcome an amazing mix of students and locals, shared food, played some games and shared the Word. This time Jane spoke about the need to empty ourselves spiritually before Jesus. Whether we fill half-full or half-empty, we need to empty ourselves so that Jesus can fill from head to toe with 100% Him! 

 

As the sun set over the city of Leeds, it felt like a fitting way to finish an exciting and event-filled trip. We thank God for the McLeans, the Knoops and the Groenwald's for their hostpitality; for the amazing students and residents that are leaving an indelible mark of Jesus on their communities; for David Whitworth for lending us his car; and for the Holy Spirit for inspiring and driving the trip.

We pray that those affected will continue to be filled with the Spirit of our loving, gracious and mighty Lord.