If you're following our journey on social media (@TheWestLondonLife) then you know that we were in London last week. We want to share a little more about what we were doing in London and how God is continuing to pave the way for this church plant.
We Had Loads of Meetings
We enjoyed a short week in London just the two of us. We were able to catch up on conversations from the last month, talk about a few new things, and simply enjoy time together. We treasure these moments in this busy season of life. Over the week we met with many of our partners. The week was mostly busy but we worked in a few hours here and there to slow down and simply enjoy the city.
We met with our friends at Co-Mission Network. Richard Coekin took us on a tour of Parliament where we were able to see a lot of behind the scenes looks at life within one of the world's oldest governments. Especially exciting for us was getting to go in the House of Commons, House of Lords, and private Chapel. We loved touring around the beautiful facilities in The Palace of Westminster. After touring the facilities we sat down for coffee to talk about the progress of our planting plan. We are grateful for the encouragement and support of Co-Mission Network.
In the middle of week we went on a walking tour of the City of London with Ben Virgo and Christian Heritage of London. We absolutely love this walking tours. Ben is fast becoming a friend and ministry partner to us, and we are very grateful for his investment in our lives. Ben leads a reformation walking tour of London reminds Christians of what God has done in the city before. We draw strength from these reminders and dream about what God might be willing to do in London in our own generation. If you're ever in London then you must go on one of these walking tours with Ben!
At the end of the week we sat down with our friend H Miller who is Head of Development with the Centre for Church Planting and Growth with the Church of England. H was the first person we met in London back in December when Daniel and Thomas took the first vision trip to the city. H's encouragement and blessing on that December morning went a long way to catalyzing the progress of preparing to plant in London. H and his wife Shelly were so warm and hospitable. We look forward to learning more about church planting from them in the years ahead.
We enjoyed conversations with a few dear brothers who run a street preaching/evangelism ministry in West London. We are excited about their work and inspired by the progress God is giving to them. We also sat down with friends with the International Mission Board to discuss strategy and progress of gospel work in London. While both of these were encouraging conversations we were blown away by our time with Carl Porter who leads One-to-One Bible reading. He has a thriving equipping ministry where he is encouraging church staff teams and equipping businessmen and women to be gospelers in the workplace. We love what he is doing!
City Church Tallahassee
The heart of our week was spent with City Church from Tallahassee, Florida. A friend connected us to City Church this past summer and we have enjoyed a growing and encouraging friendship with them every since. The heart of our week was spent getting to meet some of their executive leadership team and church members. They planned their mission trip to London to correspond to our week of meetings so we could spend some time together.
We spent two days touring London in general and the neighborhood of Queen's Park in particular. In London we went on the Christian Heritage walking tour together. In Queen's Park we spent time praying for the area and engaging in conversations aimed at understanding the needs of the community. We are blown away by their encouragement, generous spirit, and adept insights into church planting. Ashlyn Portero is a powerhouse of encouragement and Dean Inserra (senior pastor) and Thomas were instant friends. We are excited to partner with them in the years ahead.
A Whirlwind in Raleigh
This past week back in Raleigh has been a whirlwind for us. Thomas just finished leading the fall retreat with our college ministry and did a great job. We are feeling all of the bittersweet vibes in transitioning out of this ministry over the next few months. We are keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and following him to London in faith.
Perry and Shepherd are doing great. They dressed up as Peter Pan and Tinkerbell for Halloween and had a lot of fun "flying" around the neighborhood. In the midst of it all, God is teaching us to be present wherever we are. That really does seem to be the secret sauce for how we've endured such a busy season: wherever we are, we try to be completely there.
Next week will be a big one for us. We are back in in residency meetings for Summit Network and hosting our next Interest Meeting for London on Monday night. If you're in the Raleigh area then we would love for you to come out to hear the latest updates about what is going on with the church plant. We're meeting from 7-8 at The Summit Church, Brier Creek Campus. You simply need to RSVP (free childcare is provided!).