May 21st, 2017
Warwickshire, Nuneaton, England
Quick Summary: Over the last week I have arrived in England at YWAM The Kings Lodge, already God has been speaking to me.
More in depth: The last week has been one of the fastest weeks of my life. Once I got back home last Saturday, I had a very brief few days to figure out my life, say hello and see you later to various friends. During this time God substantially blessed me with a very affordable plane ticket. Some moments after the purchase of my ticket, I had a momentary freak-out where I believed I would have to give up my ticket, due to the fact that I had forgotten to put my middle name on the ticket, so my ticket no longer matched my passport. After various calls to 1-800 numbers, and various travel-expert friends informing me that it is all good, I became satisfied that I wasn’t going to be turned away at the airport, due to the lack of a middle name on the ticket. I quickly found out that they remove your middle name from the ticket anyway. I suppose that is why they put the middle name as “optional,” however I do believe that they should put that middle name section as “we remove this anyway, so don’t bother.”
My mommy and I then proceeded to drive to Great Falls, Montana where we picked up my Grandpa and made our way towards the Canadian border. After a quick reassurance that we weren’t harboring anything illegal we made our way to the line at the Canadian border. We were greeted with smiles by a very friendly border agent who let us through within brief moments of us handing her our passports. Little did she know who she released into her country. We continued down the highway, having to switch our mentality into thinking about units the way the rest of the world believes is normal, but is about as foreign of a concept to us as driving on the right side of the road is to someone from Britain. We eventually stopped for the night in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
Upon awaking we made short work of getting out of the hotel and into the car, driving towards Calgary, our destination. As we arrived at the airport in Calgary, I stepped out and breathed the fresh, Calgary air after a brief mishap with what lane we were supposed to go into for parking. We then walked a near half-marathon (not really), in order to get me to the right terminal. Because I am traveling with carry-on only, I didn’t have to have any human interaction while getting my tickets from the kiosk. I then gave some hugs, said some see you later’s and I love you’s to my mommy and Grandpa. Aboard the plane I went, and by that, I mean sitting for a few hours after I got through security. My flights went very smoothly, except for a wee bit of turbulence between Calgary and Texas.
As I arrived in London after a nine hour flight, I was able to stand in line at immigration with a few hundred other people who had also not showered in a while. We were bonded together during our two and a half hour wait in line, they are my brothers and sisters, in the front lines, in the trenches. My brother who I had brief small talk with for a couple minutes every half hour as the line weaved around the guard fences, I salute you. Being in line so long allowed me to assess which boarder guards I would like to go to and which I didn’t. As I was called forward, the man at the border took my passport, opened it, closed it, then handed it back. My heart rate quickened “was I getting turned away?” I wondered. He looked me in the eye, and he told me, “Man it’s the end of my shift, ain’t nobody got time for this, go to someone else.” I got back into the front of the line as my heart rate began getting down to its normal pace.
I was called forward again, this time I was with a lady, it was not the end of her shift, and she was not happy about that. As I smiled at her, she was firm and immovable, like a stone gargoyle. I gulped when I handed over my passport. I had been rehearsing in my head all the way through the line, what I was going to say in this moment. Everything I had thought I was going to say went out the window the moment she opened her mouth. My heart rate quickened as I tried to answer the questions without completely lying, but answering them in a way that would grant me entry into the Country. After a 10-minute interrogation, my passport was stamped and I was finally given entry into this “United Kingdom.” As I walked forward, it felt as if it had been raining, but I quickly realized that it was just sweat.
Me thinking that it had been raining was really just a premonition of what was to come. As I walked through the literal city that is London Heathrow airport, I finally found the exit I was looking for, that would take me to the bus station. I quickly purchased a bus ticket to where I believed I was going, but something didn’t feel right, so I texted my contact. After a brief text message conversation, I found out that I had purchased the wrong ticket. Luckily the cashier was very nice and helpful and I was allowed to exchange my ticket for the proper ticket with only a five pound payment. The bus was leaving soon and I was going to be on it.
Rain. So much rain. If you are ever in awe at the green, lush landscape of Britain, just know that it comes at a cost. It rains a lot here. It is beautiful though. As I arrived I was lead to the flat I would be staying at. I was informed that I was the only person staying in the flat, so after a shower and washing my clothes in the sink, I hung up my underwear and shirts in the bathroom. Shortly followed by me going to bed. I awoke to the sounds of someone walking around, I was not alone. After quickly getting rid of the thought of this flat being haunted, I realized that they must have made a mistake and that there was another guest in this flat after all. My underwear flashed in my head as I realized they were still hanging up in the bathroom. In my sleep-filled brain I decided to just leave it alone and apologize in the morning.
This base I am at is an old mansion, very beautiful and very rustic. It is located in a small town in England, there are castles about 30 minutes from here. I hope to visit them before I leave. The real treasure of this base is the people. I have already met some incredible people who God is using for his glory in so many amazing ways. Whether it is people who are being trained up in biblical knowledge, so that they can better disciple people, or people who are working daily with local kids, in order for the kids to grow up knowing the love of Jesus. God is using them.
Over the last couple days I have read the book “the shack.” This book has just continually hit home the concepts I learned in DTS about the nearness of God and how he deeply loves me and just wants to be in relationship with me. Something God has deeply challenged me on is the fact that we are created to be human beings, not human doings. God didn’t create us to earn his love through works, God created us to be in relationship with him. Too often we think that we need to be doing many things in order to earn God’s love, but this quickly goes into a path of us finding our identity in the things we do, rather than us finding our identity as sons and daughters of God. I often find myself getting wrapped up in what I am doing and I don’t take the time that I should in order to just be with God. To just be in his presence. To just be his son. We get so focused on the tasks at hand: work, school, church, children, the future, that we miss the most important thing: being with God. Being who he created us to be: his children. However, this is our purpose, to be in relationship with God, spending our time being with him. Hence, human BEING not human doing. Nothing we do will ever replace the satisfaction of being God’s child and being fully known and fully loved by him. Also that as human BEINGS we are made to BE in relationship with each other. Growing closer to God as we grow closer in relationship and community with one another. How much we love each other can be a good indicator of how much we love God.
Another thing God has really been hitting home is that as children of God we are called to share God’s love. I would say most “Christians” know that we are made to share God’s love, yet when we go out, how often do we leave places without letting the people know that they are infinitely loved by the creator? There are hopeless people everywhere, we have a hope inside us that they need. It is our duty to share this hope with them. I am saying this just as much to myself, as I am to you, I am very challenged by this. Todd White has continually been challenging me to grow in this area, he is very inspiring how no matter where, no matter when, no matter what, he doesn’t leave an area without letting people know that Jesus loves them. It is technically a very simple thing, but because of the fear of man, we make it very, very complicated. Starting tomorrow, I am planning on telling a minimum of one person a day, whom I don’t know, the fact that Jesus loves them. We need to step up as Christians and really be the hope to the world that we are made and called to be. It starts where we are, with what we have, right now. This is my challenge to you: let at least one person this week whom you have never met know that Jesus loves them. Literally just say 3 words. “Jesus loves you.” That is my challenge, it is not an end in itself, but it is a start. Changing the world starts with us, right now. If you do this challenge, let me know about it. I’d love to hear how it goes.
Anyway, sorry about the long post. A lot has happened in the last week, God has really been doing a lot in my heart in the last couple days, where I have had a lot of alone, quiet time with God. I’m excited for this upcoming week and what God is going to do.
Thanks for reading!
Jesus loves you!
God bless you!
- Julius Trotter (AKA AJP)