Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Meet Ann

It's been a couple weeks since the Cambridge mission trip, but there are still a few things to update you on and ask for prayer for.

Specifically, I want to introduce you to Ann.
Originally from Taiwan, Ann recently graduated from Nottingham University in Nottingham, England and found herself in Cambridge during the first week of Team Cambridge's mission trip. Although she became a Christian 5 years ago, Ann had very little experience sharing her faith and she was eager to join us as we witnessed in Cambridge. We were impressed by how Ann jumped into explaining the Gospel to people who came from all different religious backgrounds.

After sharing the Gospel for the first time, Ann reflected, "It's very important to share your faith. In the past, I was only comfortable sharing with friends, but as Christians, we have not only the obligation but we want to share because it is our calling. It's important to be brave and go beyond your comfort zone. This trip has showed me that in some ways I lived in a Christian bubble and I didn't realize how much the world lacks knowledge of God. I feel sadness because of that but also a willingness to persevere."

After 4 years studying in the UK, Ann is now headed back to Taiwan to work for an accounting firm. Please keep her in your prayers as she makes the transition.

Here's what Ann prays for: "Taiwan is primarily Buddhist with lots of different rituals. Pray that I can overcome cultural barriers. I'm afraid of offending people, so pray that I can overcome my fear and be bold. Pray that I can stay close to God and that He will give me the ability to continue His work in Taiwan. Pray that I can get plugged into a good Christian community. I've been in Western culture for so long, so pray that I can adapt and connect with people in a Eastern culture."

We were blessed to have Ann join us for half of our trip and pray she will continue to shine God's truth wherever she goes!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

God Showed Up

As we sat down to debrief our time in Cambridge, we made a list of the ways we saw God's glory revealed. We thought we'd share it with you so you can praise God with us!

Sharing the Gospel

We were stretched beyond our comfort zone in sharing with strangers.
Sharing the gospel with Louis: it was just the right timing (He even asked, “Who sent you?”).
Conversation with Halili about the gospel: “this is like magic.”
Pearl and Rebecca introduced to high school girls for the first time the idea of a personal relationship with God
We are convicted to remember that having a relationship with God is a huge thing!
Variety of conversations that are all good gospel conversations: a universal message.
God’s drawing even the British people to Himself: used cave analogy with girls in the park.
God helped us believe more and more when we shared the Gospel.
God is bringing people to Cambridge to learn English so we can communicate with them.
Getting to start the relationship with Two and Livingston and seeing their desire to learn about Jesus. 

God handpicked 24 different people to come to the Jesus film: all stayed for discussion, all different and so many more than we expected.
We’re thankful for the visual representation of the gospel in the Jesus Film.
We are thankful for the materials in other languages at Henry Martin Hall.
God brought more and more people to play games with us in the park.
He opened up a few of the local footballers a bit more towards Christianity.
God opened our eyes to the city during the prayer walk.
Thankful that Pearl and Cree got to talk to Steve during the walk, learning how to pray for people here in Cambridge.
God blessed us beyond our ability and level of preparation in the drama performing.
The drama performance at the park to great conversations in the park and made people think.
The skit taught us a lot about our relationship with God.
Praise God that we learned it so quickly and for Sean’s direction.

Sunday night biblestudy singing "In Christ Alone" with people from many countries.
Community of Christians working together: ministry is very alive in Cambridge!
Team devotions, learning together, praying together.
Grateful to pray with friends international team.
Unity among our team, no major conflicts, we enjoyed being together.

Physical Blessings
God used Pearl's illness by leading her and Rebecca to run into friends from Austria on their way to get medicine.
Great weather! Never had to pack up and move; God denied the weather forecast.
No serious bike injuries.
Cree got to feed a homeless guy.
God provided money abundantly for meals; we never had to worry and were able to take people to dinner.

And lastly, but not leastly, we are thankful for your support! We know the power of prayer and are so grateful to know that we weren't here on our own, but had you striving with us for the truth of the Gospel.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"The International Film Event"

Last night was our big event: a showing of the Jesus Film.

We passed out a bunch of fliers, but had no idea how many would come. We were blown away when 24 international students from Italy, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Japan, China, Germany, Nigeria and Taiwan packed into our room to watch a film about Jesus.
Not only did the students watch the two-hour movie, but most stayed another hour to ask questions. We were able to explain to Muslim students why Jesus, being God, didn't save himself from dying and explain the concept of grace and mercy for the first time to a student from Japan.
Cree explaining the gospel to Michel from Saudi Arabia
Thanks for praying for our big event. Keep the rest of our trip in prayers that we can continue the relationships we've made and take opportunities to share the Good News.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Volleyball and Biblestudy

We have been blessed by the last couple days.

On Monday, we tested out volleyball as a way to talk to people and ended up with a court of people from 4 different countries! In the evening, we attended another international cafe where we played Uno, chatted and joined a discussion on the Gospel of Mark.
Today (Tuesday) was filled with conversations. We decided to dedicate today to inviting students to events and sharing the gospel as we had opportunities. Man did God give us opportunities! Here are some highlights:

  • Sean got to have a long conversation about religion with one of the guys we've played football with the last few days. Answer to prayer!
  • Ben and Laura shared the gospel with Louis who responded by saying, "Who sent you? I was having a rough time and then you showed up!"
  • Pearl and Rebecca ran into some Austrian girls we played frisbee with two days ago. They had diner together and shared about having a personal relationship with God.
There are many more stories, but those will have to do for now. We do want to ask for prayer for tomorrow. We are hosting a screening of the Jesus Film and though we have been inviting people, we have no idea how many will come. Please pray that God will pack out the "theatre" with people who need to meet Jesus.

We know that we can do nothing on our own and so we love having you join with us in prayer to the One who can do all!

Monday, June 25, 2012

A New Week

Last week left us tired.

Friday afternoon, we attended another international cafe. This time we had the opportunity to share the drama we had been practicing all week. The drama was an enactment of the gospel and opened up the door for good follow up questions as we discussed in groups. Some of the students from Japan and Korea had really insightful questions about God and we were happy to answer!
A scene from The Everything Skit we performed
On Saturday we had planned to perform the skit again outdoors in addition to playing music, but Pearl, one of our team members, came down with an ear infection. Instead, we had some much needed down time concluding with a biblestudy with international students on Sunday night.

Now that we've arrived at our second week, we could use lots of prayer for energy and stamina. Please pray:

  • for health and energy for Pearl and the rest of our team.
  • for iCafe, another international cafe we will attend tonight. Pray for many students to attend and that we can share the Good News effectively.
  • for the football game we have scheduled with the guys we played earlier on the trip. Pray for opportunities to share God's truth.
  • for good weather for the game.
Thank you for being on our team!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 3: Prayer Walk and The Barn

Today opened our eyes to new ministry in Cambridge.

Praying in front of St. Matthew's Church after
2 hours of  small group prayer walks. 

First, Cree led the team in a meditation and discussion of God’s care for cities and the people in them, and then we split up in 4 teams to 4 corners of Cambridge for a Prayer Walk. We prayed for God to give us insight to the spiritual realities and needs around us, and set out. We walked with our eyes open to pray for people, stopped any time we passed a church or a college to pray for the people there and for God to move powerfully in each place. This was a really eye-opening time to explore the city, with a purpose: as prayer agents, not tourists.

There are hundreds of years of Christians coming before us here; we’re praying for their faithful witness to continue and to grow in this city and in this generation.

All afternoon, we practiced and prepared the skit – Everything – and received confirmation that we’ll perform it on Friday afternoon at an outreach event hosted by a group of Christian students at Cambridge Uni.

And finally, we finished Day 4 by attending ‘The Barn’ – a CafĂ© for international students upstairs at St. Barnabus Church. We had a great time joining this weekly gathering and interacting with students from all corners of the world through conversation, folk dancing, and bible study. Pray especially for Janine and Qing-Qing who are learning about the Christian hope for the first time, and asking great questions. They are coming to the Garden Party on Friday, and we’ll have more opportunities to talk with them all next week.


1. For Janine, Qing-Qing, and many others who are hearing about Christ for the first time.
2. For the Everything Skit: Friday at 5pm at the Compass Cafe outreach event
3. For our Street Performance on Saturday at 3pm in crowded Market Street walking and shopping area. Pray that people listen and are challenged.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 2: Ministry Begins

This was a full day.

After a morning of drama rehearsal and other planning, we headed out to Parker's Piece (a local park) to test out our sports ministry ideas.
A few of the girls after a game of ultimate with international students
Praise the Lord! Our "test" turned into a 4-hour game of football (soccer in America), some chatting with the local guys who joined and a potential rematch in a couple days. We pray that these newly-formed friendships will lead to conversation about the Gospel.
Team Cambridge guys with new friends
While the game was going on, some of the team spread out across the field, using surveys to start conversations about God. Many of these conversations were frustrating because so few British students were interested in talking about spiritual things. International students were more open to talking, but most of us left with a sense of sadness for the lostness of those we met. For instance, we asked one student if he was interested in hearing what Christians believe and he replied that he was "27 and set in his ways." Another man we spoke with was willing to share his beliefs in Hinduism and accepting of other religions, but unable to dialogue about what is truth.

We feel we've had a taste of what people believe and our hearts break for those who don't have hope in Christ. Keep praying with us:
  • that God would pour out his Spirit in Cambridge and defeat the spiritual apathy here.
  • for continued wisdom in our ministry plans.
  • that God would bring many international students to the Christian cafe that is going on tomorrow (Thursday) night.
Your prayers are important to us and powerful in the ministry we are doing--even on the other side of the world!

Team Cambridge

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We're Here!

After many combined hours of transportation, Team Cambridge has arrived in the same place for the first time ever: in Cambridge, UK.
Our first day consisted of brainstorming and delegating ministry plans, orienting ourselves to the stunning city of Cambridge, and rehearsing the drama we'll be performing.
The ministry ahead of us still feels like a daunting task and we could use all the prayers we can get! For tomorrow (Wednesday), pray specifically for the following requests:
  • We are trying out for the first time our "sports ministry." Pray that God will open doors for good conversations with people we play with.
  • It is the first time witnessing for some of us. Pray for boldness is proclaiming the gospel while at the same time cultural discernment so that we may know what to say when.
  • We are still finalizing our schedule. Pray for wisdom as we plan out the next week and a half.
We are grateful for your partnership with us and will keep you posted!
Team Cambridge, signing off...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pre-Flight Meditation (And Lots of Numbers)

It still doesn’t feel real.

Terminal 3, Gate 41. Flight 136 from LAX to London Heathrow, to arrive at 14:15 Greenwich Mean Time.

14:15. That isn’t even a real hour.

I am alone but not lonely, isolated and surrounded on every side by saints that number the stars, the millions who have gone before me into strange and distant lands in pursuit of a calling. In pursuit of a purpose.

Already it is hard to remember all that I am leaving behind. I had a conversation some months ago with a like-minded friend, lamenting the hundreds of distractions that assail us each day and prevent us from being wholly devoted to holiness. This is the luxury of a Missions trip abroad: those distractions are suddenly 5412.52 miles away. Convert that to metric, and you have 8710.37 kilometers. I figure that’s about one kilometer for every distraction.

Goodbye work, goodbye phone, goodbye car, goodbye home.
Goodbye family, goodbye friends, goodbye ocean, goodbye trends.
Goodbye heartache, goodbye strife, goodbye comfort, goodbye life.

Between Dana Point and Cambridge, God is the only constant.

My suitcase weighs 52.4 pounds. That’s 2.4 pounds over the limit, but they let it pass. They extra weight? One black leather-bound ESV Journaling Bible. God’s sticking with me, even if he has to break a few rules along the way.  

To America, with Love,
Andrew Sears

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Hello friends of Team Cambridge!

As the time grows ever closer for the start of the mission trip, the team is continuing to make preparations logistically, financially and spiritually. Yet in a recent conversation with one of my teammates, we came to the realization that the team needs something else. We can plan, fund-raise and arm ourselves with scripture all we want and still fall short of something great. Why? Because we're shooting for a miracle.

Planning, fund-raising and scripture-reading are all things which we can (and should) do ourselves. But the key is that we can do these things by ourselves. If we only make plans and efforts which require human strength and support, we will only accomplish something that's humanly possible. We want to accomplish something supernatural. My teammate and I decided that we need God to break our hearts with compassion for the people of Cambridge. We also need Him to fill our lives every day with an overflowing passion for the message which can raise the dead to life, make the lost found, and cause the blind to see.

So...we have begun to pray for this for Team Cambridge, asking God to commit our hearts loyally to serving the people we will meet in Cambridge out of a deep love and compassion for them and a love and passion for our God. As soon as I started to pray this, I immediately began to notice a difference. I'd like to share a little bit about this experience of mine as much for your benefit as for my team members'.

I recently ran into someone at a conference who had spent a little bit of time in Cambridge. I mentioned that I was actually planning to go to Cambridge on an evangelistic mission trip this summer. He looked at me seriously and said, "prepare for a high population of Muslims."

Okay...high population of Muslims. That was certainly news to me.

Throughout the next several weeks, I truly believe God started intentionally opening the eyes of my heart to have more compassion on Muslim people. I encountered some Muslim people on the Capitol Mall over Easter weekend who I got to share the good news of the grace of God with.

I got to dialogue with one Muslim man in particular who shared his views on Jesus. He said that he, as a Muslim, believes that Jesus was just a prophet, he was not the Son of God, and yet that he is going to return one day.  Several other Muslim individuals shared this viewpoint. I was intrigued, so I questioned him further. He explained that he was Muslim because his parents were Muslim, not because he had questioned it. Again, several of the Muslims I talked with shared this quality.

After we had talked for a while, he conveyed that he believed following the law of the Que'ran is the only way to get mercy from Allah. With a silent prayer, I decided to see if God would use me to help him understand that it is by God's forgiveness that one is saved...not through works.

I asked the gentleman if he was married.Getting an affirmative response, I posed the following scenario. "Let's say one day your wife did something terrible which really offended you. Something which made you very angry." I let him imagine what the crime would be. "What if you went to bed very angry at her and the next morning woke up to breakfast in bed and she was out washing the car? Then all through the day, she only spoke kindly and took good care of the kids and the housekeeping, even going out of her way to get you anything you needed. Is any of that any good without you offering her your forgiveness?"

He was silent so I continued, "Or on the other hand, what if the next morning she came up to you with tears in her eyes and told you how sorry she was and that she loved you and asked you for your forgiveness. You'd be more inclined to forgive her, right?" Then I explained how God gave us that same forgiveness out of the goodness of His heart when he sent Jesus to pay the death penalty we deserve. Our good deeds could not force His forgiveness, but He chose to give it. He offers us forgiveness, which is the only way to be in a right relationship with him.

The man looked very thoughtful at this point. I asked him, "What do you think of that?" He replied, "I don't know yet, but I am going to think about it." I asked him if he had any Christian friends who he could have further conversations with. He said that as a matter of fact he did, he talked with his Christian friend often and would talk with him about this.

I was so moved that God had given me the opportunity to see how He could take a simple message of forgiveness and make it mean so much to someone who hadn't really thought about God that way before. I think if I were a Muslim I would fear and doubt my own salvation because there is no assurance in life about what exactly you will get after death. You don't know for sure if Allah will choose to have mercy on you. I know, however, that both justice and mercy meet at the cross of my savior and I can be sure that I am forgiven and loved.

...What a magnificent chance we have, Team Cambridge! To witness to people such as my Muslim friend and be vessels for God to reveal His forgiveness and love! I believe in Cambridge we will find opportunities to clear up misconceptions about Christianity and surprise some people with the truth. I hope that in the name of Jesus Christ and for His glory that our conversations will fit into His plans to open people's (especially Muslims') eyes to Jesus' dramatic victory over sin and death.

On that note, I wish you all a Happy Easter. Not only is He God, not only did He die for us, HE IS RISEN and will return as a conquering King. May His Passion for us translate in our lives to a passion for His love and a compassion for the Muslims and other individuals we will encounter in Cambridge



Sunday, March 25, 2012

Missions, and Scones, and Tea, Oh My!


Last week was Biola University's annual Missions Conference, and the theme was Consume. Let me tell you, the campus was consumed by the passion of God for the lost. Seeing the body of Christ united in such a way is so beautiful.

One particular way the body of Christ united was through supporting Biola's short-term mission teams! Team Cambridge, along with other teams going to Japan, Australia, and beyond, set up tables at the Marketplace, and sold goods to raise prayer and financial support for their trip.

Here's Rebecca and Pearl selling yummy scones and tea for Team Cambridge! 

Our team sign! One town, so many nations!
Sean, Cree, and Andrew dazzled passerby with their musical gifts, as well, but we didn't get a picture of it, sadly. They sounded great, though, and glorified the Lord through their gifts and talents! :)

At the end of three days of fundraising, we had more money than we started with (always a plus!) and more people praying for our team than ever before (even more of a plus!). So, thank you, all, for your thoughts and prayers!

Please be praying that God will really give us wisdom and insight for exactly how He wants to use us in Cambridge this summer. We have a lot of free reign on this trip, and want to take advantage of every moment for the sake of the Gospel.

Thank you! And keep checking back for more updates!

Rebecca :)


Saturday, March 3, 2012

An Introduction


This summer, from June 18th-July 1st, Biola University's Torrey Honors Institute (THI) is partnering with the California School Project (CSP) and Cambridge International Outreach (CIO) in an attempt to have the longest acronym in the world.

We are the THICSPCIO.

Just kidding.

We call ourselves Team Cambridge, and our mission is this: share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the International students who come to Cambridge every summer to learn English. With God's help, we will be able to literally reach the world for Christ from one town.

Cambridge, UK.

Please take a minute to check out the page, "Meet the Team", so that you can learn about each member, and begin to pray for us. If we need anything at all for this trip, we need the boldness of the Holy Spirit and the peace of Christ as we head out on this great adventure for the sake of the Gospel.

This blog will serve as a way for you to keep updated with what we are doing as we plan our trip throughout this semester, and especially what we are doing once we get to Cambridge. We hope and pray that this will be a blessing to all who read it.