Home. The Merriam and Webster Dictionary defines home as "one's place of residence; the social unit formed by a family living together." I much prefer the second definition. But in the economy of God family isn't just a mom, dad, brother, sister, and the occasional pet. A family is a group of people who strive to show each other Christ as they live life together, whether that be in a house or not. I recently got to spend 10 days with about twenty different people living in the same house in Caernarfon, Wales, UK. Those people became my family, and the house we stayed in became my home. We laughed together when someone broke out doing the coin jiggle. We cried together when the attacks came. We talked about things of eternal costs, like our lost family and friends, together. We wore wolf shirts on Wolf Pack Wednesday together. We went to Spar to get Lucozade and snacks before the United States took on Belgium together. We celebrated Jesus together! We lived life together.
When I left for Wales this summer, I didn't really know what to expect. I had been to a small town about 30 minutes outside of Cardiff last summer. God moved there, but I knew this summer would be different. Every trip is different. But especially this one. I wasn't going where I was last summer, I had no idea what narrative mapping was, and I was really struggling with what God was doing in my life.
I had heard that Caernarfon was beautiful, but I was in for a shock when I got off the bus that took us from Manchester to Liverpool (where we would spend the majority of the first day we were in the UK to shop around just to stay awake) then to our final destination of Caernarfon. I knew our house, Isfryn, was built into the castle wall, and I was ready to be a princess (Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!). I was ready to get started with what we had come to the city to do, talk to people, see if they knew anything about Jesus, and if they would let us have a conversation with them about who He was.
My group was so excited to get started after orientation on day two, but we had to wait until day three. Can I let you in on a secret though, I was nervous. I had no idea what I was doing, even after doing orientation. Prayer walking was easy, and so fulfilling. Being able to see different parts of Caernarfon, Bangor, and Penygroes, my heart fell in love with the people there. I knew that we were to be praying for the Cymry Cymraeg (Welsh speakers of Wales) and begging for the souls of those people.
Throughout the six days we were prayer walking God showed me so much, and much of it I can't and won't share here. But what I can share is that these people are loved, significant, important, wanted, needed, and beautiful in the eyes of Duw (God). I want nothing more for the people of Wales than for them to see Jesus and how good he is and how much He loves them.
So before lunch we prayer walked different areas. One day was Bangor, one day was Penygroes, and we spent a few days in Caernarfon. After lunch we did what was called narrative mapping. Basically you tried to talk to people, whether it was in shops, or out on the street and get the feel for what they thought about church and Jesus. That was hard. Going up to strangers is hard. Talking to them about a subject you know they want nothing to do with is hard. Having to fake your way through a conversation if they aren't interested is hard. I struggled with this for days. I didn't get it.
Part of the reason I didn't get it was because I had been pushing God away on something He had been telling me to do for weeks before the trip. I've been a Christ-follower since I was 15 years old. I'm in my early 20's now. When you go all in with Christ, there's this thing called baptism, which is a symbol of faith showing that the old you has died with Christ, and that Christ has made you a new creation. I had been thinking about this for weeks. I never followed my salvation with baptism. God was telling me I needed to do it. I kept saying no, I'm fine. Well my heart and head finally said enough is enough one night in Caernarfon. My college pastor, Nik, and I were out talking about some stuff that was going on in my life, and I was going to talk to him about this issue of me not being baptized, but then that moment was ruined by some guys asking about where we were from, offering us pot, and playing football. Then a few days later we went to a baptism of some of our Welsh friends, and they asked if there was anyone else. I searched for Nik, who was just a few people over from me and I tried to get his attention. Nothing. I guess it wasn't the time for that talk either. Then finally on the last full day we were in Caernarfon we were having our quiet time before lunch and I found David, who is the head pastor at my church. I told him the whole thing. He asked me a few questions about different aspects of my walk with Christ. Later that afternoon I found Nik. He knew. Everyone knew. We celebrated. I got baptized in the Menai Straight, in Caernarfon, Wales, in front of my church family and part of my new Welsh family.
So many other things happened on this trip, and if we ever meet up I would be willing to tell you if you have a few hours. I'm convinced of one thing, I didn't go to Caernarfon on accident or by chance. I went so that people may see all of what Jesus has done and can do. I went to live life with people I never knew I would ache to be with. I went so that even if I was the first to tell someone about Jesus, then the people who share about the Gospel after me would have an easier land to til. I went to show Jesus.
I may never see the spiritual outcome of this trip on this side of Heaven, but I'm praying that I see something. I'm praying for an awakening in Wales. I'm praying for my home.
Mae'r Duw sy'n eich galw chi yn ffyddlon, a bydd yn gwneud hyn. 1 Thesloniaid 5:24
The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24
Currently listening too: Hillsong UNITED- Zion