England thus far

Ministry Testimonials, Teaching Resources

Trina and I arrived in The UK on April 1 with a plan to spend time with people that we had worked with in the past and to visit several new areas. While this exploration remains ongoing, here is an update on some of the people, places and our spiritual perspectives in the various contexts.

Greater London

London was our first port of call in England over twenty years ago and it was fitting that we began our new season in England in this city.  It is an amazingly diverse place whose population, including the outlying areas, approaches nine million.  There is a very fast paced, youthful element sewn throughout the city’s fabric, but it is impossible to sum up the culture with one or two characteristics.

Pastor Jannik Germishuys and one of the church members of King and Country Church in Earlsfield, London

We are working with people that have a range of experience in this expansive city. Some are new mission minded church planters that we know from our days in South Africa.  Others are British Citizens that we have relationships with from our initial visits to the UK in the early 2000’s.  Energy, excitement and zeal to serve Jesus are some of the real positives among Christians in this area.

Paul Moutin and Jane Dee, now reside in Dunoon, Scotland (pictured here), first brought us to London with The Good Shepherd Mission Church in East London

While it is true that God has a presence in this city, it is also clear that London is very spiritually oppressed.  2 Timothy 1:7 KJV gives us a clue to a major part of this spiritual difficulty,

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

The influence of fear on Christians in England, especially in London, works against sharing faith in everyday life.  While it isn’t illegal, many aspects of society frown on it.  The Christian population isn’t very big, but their silence is more concerning.  The vast majority are very secular in lifestyle, only acknowledging Jesus in traditional worship settings. There needs to be prayer for boldness to rise in The Body of Christ in London.

Bath and Bristol

These southwestern cities are brand new territories for Trina and I but God’s burden for the area is already pronounced in our hearts.  We spent a week walking and praying over these very historic places.

A view of Bath from Alexander’s Peak

Bath is a very tourism centric area being home to some of the Roman Empire’s earliest establishments in Britain.  But, there was an open heart among local people to discuss faith and look at spiritual things with a reasonable amount of objectivity.  The spiritual resistance we encountered was around The University of Bath.  Proverbs 3:7 NASB95 is one of many scriptures that echo a warning to those who are too exclusive in their perspective,

Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.

This isn’t limited to Bath and is pervasive throughout England.  In general, matters of faith and the spiritual world aren’t discussed with objectivity (see our article on spirit over mind for further observations click here). Specifically, the suggestion that there is a world outside of logic and reason is often harshly attacked.  When people idolize intellectual ability, spiritual evil takes root that produces such situations.  Isn’t it ironic that places of higher education, often touted for free thought and discovery, are becoming known for group think and the cancellation of anyone with a spiritual viewpoint? Despite this, we can’t wait to get back to this area and are already praying about a time to return!

Suffolk and The lower east coast

The southeast county of Suffolk is home to New Chapel Farm retreat center.  They are located in the Hamlet of Mells which is very close to the towns of Halesworth & Southwold.  This property is a retreat center for Christian leaders but also hosts a weekly meeting for a small, vibrant Christian community.  Rich and Claire Tinkler are the overseers of this work and we believe that their ministry will feature significantly in what God does in the near future in England.

Rich and Claire on one of the many majestic walks in Suffolk

Oxford and the surrounding area

We are currently searching for short term and eventually long term accommodation around the city of Oxford.  Our introduction to this area was with Blesson and Grace Kallimel of Father’s Touch Ministries in 2009.  It is a place with a rich Christian history, but intellectualism dominates the landscape presently.  Please continue to pray for us as we seek the Lord about how best to become part of this community.

Lifelong Oxford residents Neil and Valarie Grady

A note on Spiritual Joints

Ephesians 4:16 NASB95 says,

from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

God describes His people as a body that fits together in complementary fashion.  Joints are particular relationships between different people in The Body of Christ that have a direct, mutually beneficial connection.  In order for anyone to do what they are supposed to do as a part of Christ’s Body, we must understand and deliberately pursue the relationships that God tells/shows us are our spiritual joints.  Finding and solidifying these is a major component of our travel in England over the recent period.  Please pray for us and others, both who we know and those that we are still yet to encounter, to hear clearly about whether or not we fit together for the service of Jesus.

Blesson and Grace Kallimel of Father’s Touch Ministries in Carterton just outside of Oxford

Comments 4

  1. Rodney and Trina so good to see and hear the good things you are doing there. I told your mother, Jeremy White, the senior pastor at Stonewater, is getting his PH.D. at Oxford. I am not sure if he is beginning or finishing up. He has been there or was just two weeks in Oxford. I am going to email him and I hope you will have a chance to meet him. Stonewater does have a phenomenal ministry to the people. Our target group this year is the Gen-X’s because statistics reveal that is the group we are losing (18-30). I am giving the money God has shared with me toward your ministry thru Acton. I do want to make sure that add my money to what they give, as opposed, to just supporting what they give. If they do not add the money God has shared to me money to you receive as extra to their donation. I will give it directly to your ministry. I have always thought you would do well in the UK. You have a more formal and intellectual bent that I believe will go well with their cultural approach to religion. As always my prayers are with you both! Keep on walking the walk and not just talking the talk as you have always done!

  2. The Lord Almighty show you the way, direct your steps, provide for every need and anoint the words you speak and the hugs you distribute.

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