It’s Friday night and the beat is pumping around the stone church walls. A little, long-haired skater-kid is crowed surfing. Girls with thick black eye liner squeal and hug. The DJ spins by the altar. A teen in black skinny jeans with hair to match is break dancing around a circle of admirers in an area that was packed with pews only a few hours earlier.
Welcome to Fuse Night Club.
Fuse is a outreach in York that includes a cafe, prayer room and night club. It’s a safe space for young people to hang and perhaps, encounter Jesus, or at least those who follow him. But for most of the hip 170 teens who attended, I think it was basically just the coolest church event ever. And we were there to volunteer (a.k.a. dance).
I felt like I was the new kid at a school dance. But even worse, I felt old and un-hip. But then I just let the music move me and busied myself with making sure no one crowed surfed into the air or snuck behind the curtain we’d hung up. In the end it was an awesome night and got me excited about doing more youth work in York. And let me say, old stone churches make the hottest discotheques.
We had a lovely time in the Lake District and now we’re getting to know York (the coolest city eva). Seriously, York combines the charm of a picturesque village with the excitement and variety of a lively city.
It’s also been great getting to know everyone and hear their stories, especially the story of how YWAM York started. Carl & Mel stepped out in faith to start the base despite not knowing anyone, not having enough money and the fact that Mel was 7 months pregnant! But the results of that risky move have been awesome.
So yesterday we arrived in York to begin our DTS! It’s lovely to finally be here. We’re living in a Victorian house about a 10 min drive from the city centre. There are 10 of us living here and just 2 bathrooms, but we’re really lucky to have our own tub (jacuzzi!) & sink (but no toilet). The house is gorgeous, with high ceilings, wood floors & old fireplaces in almost every room.
There are 9 students, including us, and 7 leaders from 5 different countries. Sadly one of the leaders isn’t here yet because of visa problems and a couple doing the course have yet to arrived because their infant son had to have an operation. So we could use your prayers for all of them. YWAM York is also still short ƒ100,000 needed to purchase the church hall they’re hoping to buy.
Today we’re off to the Lake District (!!!) for the weekend!
It’s been great catching up with friends and family during our time state-side. It does, however, make it that much harder to leave. I must say I really love the DC area, especially the city itself. Amazing free museums, lots of green space, an hours drive from beautiful countryside, cool bars & cafes, people from virtually every country on earth…
But thankfully we are going to be living in another great city – York! We’ll be living in a old Victorian house just outside the city centre with some of the other students. It’s exciting but also a bit scary! Prayers appreciated!
Right after Dan’s run we took a train to York where we met up with the leaders of the York YWAM base. We stayed with Carl and his wife Mel, who started the York base about 4 years ago. They have 3 adorable kids and were so welcoming and cool. YWAM York has a hip youth cafe with a prayer room in the middle of the city and is involved in all kinds of creative outreaches. We also met Jennifer and Doug, two other leaders, and got to explore the city of York. It is such a vibrant city; the centre is surrounded by medieval walls and there’s a huge area that’s pedestrian only and super-charming–cobbled streets, cute little shops, a German Market and of course, the breath-taking York Minister. Our visit was brief but it got us REALLY excited about starting our lives there in just over a month!
Meanwhile, we’d ask for your prayers (and financial support) as the York base is trying to raise ƒ150,000 to buy a church hall for the DTS course and other meetings. Our DTS will have 9 students (including us) and 7 leaders (and 4 kids!) and right now YWAM is just renting an assortment of buildings around the city so having a central building will be amazing and allow for us to develop more community based outreach into the area. Please let us know if you’re interested in supporting this!
This photo of the York Minster looking quite colourful is from an amazing light show they have in York called Illuminating York. It hope we get to see it while we live in York.