“Wake up! It’s time to wake up!” Micheal diligently shouted from the corridor. And so day two began, at the not-so-early hour of 8am, and what better way to start the day than with a prayer walk? Slowly rubbing the sleep from our eyes, willing ourselves out of bed – many of us wondering what a prayer walk could actually entail – in not so speedily a time, we eventually made our way out of the villa to the corner of Calle Virgen de Fatima (Virgin of Fatima Street). Standing in our pajamas, gazing in awe at the surrounding scenery it’s no wonder the locals stared at these 9 black kids (Dwayne had a bad ankle) holding hands in a hippy tree-hugging-lovers circle, who clearly couldn’t have looked more out of place if they’d tried. Nonetheless, we knew we had purpose, and with that, Micheal led us in prayer. Walking in a straight line almost as if we were on a school trip, we projected fellowship whilst maintaining individual growth and personal conversation with God. We asked Him to take full control of the remaining 5 days, willing Him to allow us to put the trials of yesterday behind us, harbouring no anger nor fear or resentment for the duration of the trip. We asked God to help us consider what it meant to have integrity like Daniel, to awaken truth in us that would allow our private lives to mirror our public by way of giving us the courage to use our weaknesses to minister to other people, rather than hiding them for fear of judgement. Little did we know, somewhere else in Tenerife, Pastor Bill (PB), working like an American sniper, was loading up one heck of a gun on hypocrisy that would have us all awake for the rest of the week!
Amazed by the energy and peace the prayer walk had brought, we returned to the villa with a refreshed state of mind, eager for what the rest of the day had in store. Of course, in a house with 3 bathrooms, 10 people, 5 of which are girls, and a few *cough* overly image aware guys, when it came to showering and getting ready, speed, to say the least, was not our forte. Nevertheless, we were ready at some point and continued the day with a bible study led by Shaun on Romans 1. But before this, we decided the time was as good as any to make our first vlog. Boy oh boy did this turn out to be one heck of a task for the girls, but after 2 (or 12) failed attempts, they called it quits and what proceeded was the oh so controversial discussion on *dun dun duuuuun* … make-up. There’s most definitely not enough space on this page to tell you what was said, but feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments
When PB arrived, our excitement to get acquainted was patent; we all wanted to greet the man who was so willing to welcome us – a group of strangers – to his ministry. Jumping into our cars, we followed PB to Las Americas, the home of The Living Room where we would meet Rachel, or, as she’s more commonly known on the strip, The Lolipop Lady. If size equated to effectiveness and success, The Living Room is highly deceptive. This small room, located above a lap dancing club overlooking the whole of the strip like God’s watchful eye has changed so many lives by methods we have all agreed we previously would have disregarded or deemed ineffective. But I’ll save that mystery for later *cheeky wink*. Desiring nothing but to get straight to business, we listened to what The Living Room was about and then dived into the first of many Spirit led praise and worship sessions. And what a beautiful experience that was. Emmanuel, feeling overcome by the Spirit, was lost for words yet unable to wipe the smile off of his face, so much so that it hurt! Whilst in another corner of the room Rachel felt compelled to share Esther 4:14 with Naa-Dei not knowing that it was a subject already playing on her heart. Pshh, God doesn’t exist? Now fully acquainted and all introductions aside, hunger knocked on our door daring us to test him. So McDonald’s it was! But on the way, fate would have it that an interesting conversation with a Buddhist arose attempting to discourage us from continuing with the mission trip.
Although he supported what we came to do, he warned us that the strip was ‘Devil’s Alley’ and that our words would fall on deaf ears. Little did he know, that was simply the perfect confirmation that we were in the right place. Having planned to return to The Living Room later that evening at 11pm to accompany Rachel evangelising, we went back to the villa to nap before the beginning of a long night. Haha, but of course, no napping was done, well … excluding Danielle. This girl loves her sleep! In the meantime, Micheal had interesting plans; team bonding exercises (really just an excuse to have some fun aye Mike?) and Ore had prepared to lead our second bible study of the day on Holy Communion.
Devotion on Luke: Holy Communion Please read Luke 22: 14-20
In summary, Jesus, in preparation of His death shared the Passover with the 12 disciples. This is one of the most important religious festivals in the Jewish calendar, commemorating the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses, with God ‘passing over’ the houses of the Israelites (Exodus 12:13) while striking the Egyptians with the tenth plague; the killing of the first-born sons. Jesus shared His body and blood with the disciples and asked them to ‘Do this in remembrance of [Him]’. In His own words, the significance of Communion was made clear to us. When we eat His body and drink His blood we are proclaiming His sacrifice. The sacrifice of the Lamb. The sacrifice of God’s first and only Son. The sacrifice of His life for our salvation over 2,000 years later. Deep it. We. Are. Saved. So what does this mean for us? Fundamentally, when we take Communion we are inviting God the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit to dwell within us, and therefore that calls for this to be done regularly. So at this point, we all took Communion together, courtesy of our dear Ore. By sharing it together we were acknowledging communally that Jesus’s death was yes, sorrowful, but at its core, the best news ever. It shows how much God loves us and what a tremendous gift Jesus’ death was to us. When you are given a gift of great value, how do you receive it? Of course, by nothing less than showing gratitude as an expression of great love. So, in sharing communion we remembered the love He has for us and the type of love we should have for each other.
When 10:30 finally rolled round, our tiredness was evident but we were prepared for an experience, and that’s exactly what we got. Rachel split us up into groups of twos and threes and shared with us the beauty of evangelising; showing genuine love by building rapport. Whilst one group stayed in The Living Room praying and worshiping over the strip, the other groups took to the streets, lollipops in hand, striking up conversation first with people Rachel introduced directly, but then once getting comfortable, with anyone who would lock eye contact. This was The Mission. We learned the difference between bible-bashing and true evangelism, the importance of communication, listening, understanding, empathy – fundamentally, we learned what it means to give. Give yourself to people in a way that they don’t even know they need you yet. And with 3:30am calling us to sleep, we made our way back to the villa in complete admiration and respect for the work Rachel does on a daily basis, no longer viewing the meaning of ‘sharing the gospel’ the same.
What did the guys get up to on Day 3? Come back next week for the update! God Bless x