I quite like living on the Oval (YWAM Harpenden’s property) I must say. It’s multi cultural. I have good friends here, and good working relationships, and a lot of fun. I can chop wood, do BBQs (more accurately known as braais, thank you very much), drive a tractor, the little and profoundly simple joys of working with a chainsaw and other wonderful power tools.
The Oval is a place where there is space to dream. It is as if other people have laboured a lot to ‘make room in the Spirit’ for us to seek God and do crazy things. I love it. It is by no means a perfect place, but we are growing.
This week I stood up front at a community meeting and presented something God had been leading me into. It is a big thing, and I am unaccustomed to many of the challenges it brings. It was kind of hard to share for some reason. Not exactly sure why. I felt kind of rubbish after I shared. I went over the allotted time, and was not too eloquent in speech (whereas on other occasions it has gone much better). Basically I felt I could have done a much better job. Still learning…
But the fact of the matter is this. I have everything I need right here to get done what God has made me to do. I can hear God, dream big with Him, and there are people here who can help me to get things done (and pray with me for support or when I mess up). I can walk out in faith and fulfill part of my destiny through being right here. And it is often a lot of fun as well. Very often! (Not always in the loads of meetings, but sometimes even in those…)
There are great senior leaders that will speak into my life (when I mess up or when I seem to be succeeding). And that is good.
A couple of years ago I staffed a discipleship training school. It was pretty hard I must say; for a number of reasons. My mother had just recently passed away, I was quite inexperienced in leading a team, and even though I had walked with the Lord and seemed to be mature in many ways, it still was not easy.
After the DTS we did a staff evaluation and I was asked whether I would recommend some of my other friends to come and staff here on the Oval. My answer was a blunt no… Maybe that is shocking, but that is just how it was. But that was more than two years ago, and since then, things have changed!
Of course we need to go deeper with the Lord (young and old), and I cry out for that. Let us not slacken up, but rather seek the Lord more and eradicate all that is not the best of God in our midst! He has more intimacy and power for us yet… And we will continue to take territory in the Spirit; amen!
Another thing: If you want to live in community you have to fight for it [and you ‘have to be willing to be interrupted’, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, and as every young single guy with some muscle and even a slight willingness to carry things has found out on a YWAM base 😉 ]. It does not just happen by itself.
Now, more and more, I like living on the Oval, and HIGHLY recommend it! Selah. Amen.