When I was stateside at Christmas one of my childhood best friends, Charles Trammell, told me he and his son would be in London for Spring Break with a team of teenagers from his church, Hunter Street Baptist Church, in Birmingham, AL. I started making plans then to join them for a few days because, generally speaking, airfares within the EU are pretty cheap. Sure enough, I was able to get a round-trip flight from nearby Debrecen, Hungary for under $200.
So off to London I went last Tuesday. I took a cab to Chop, along the Ukrainian-Hungarian border and then caught the train to Debrecen. My IMB friend Darrel Hathcock picked me up at the train station and got me to the airport on time.
I arrived that evening in London in time to catch a movie and begin a week of eating western restaurant foods. (Actually, I ate a Kebab from a street vendor that first night!)
I spent all day Wednesday shopping and then met up with a friend that works in the neighborhood of Southall; it's a community dominated by Indian Sikhs and Pakistani and Somalian Muslims. It's a pretty rough place, at least after dark. I was blessed to attend a Bible Study at her church that night.
On Thursday morning I met my friend Charles and spent the day with the mission team from Hunter Street. Charles and I spent most of the day with 3 of the girls on the team and together we prayer-walked the Camden community in London and the girls engaged British teenagers in conversations. They did a fantastic job and learned a lot and sowed some tremendous gospel seeds. In fact, the British teens were so open and civil in their conversations that the girls were able to very freely share the gospel with them.
HSBC Girls and some of the Brit teens they shared with.
On Friday the team (9 teens and 6 adults including me) spent the day and night being "tourist". We visited The Tower of London, the Passion Play at Trafalger Square, Buckingham Palace, a river cruise on the Thames, the London Eye and some other places.
Great kids and adult leaders from Hunter Street, including youth minister buddy, Smokey Gibson.
The team returned to Alabama Saturday morning and I slept late before going back into Central London to be a tourist. The city was EXTREMELY crowded because Easter weekend is such a big holiday, not so much because it's Easter, but because it's a long weekend. Anyway, it was terribly crowded everywhere. I ended up seeing two movies because I have so little opportunity to see movies in English.
On Easter Sunday morning I attended Hillsong Church in Central London. It was awesome of course and had a very Revelations 7 feel to it...ie, people from LOTS of tribes and tongues were there! After church I met enjoyed an amazing Easter Dinner with the ITeams-London Team. It was awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing them all again in August in Germany at an ITeams Conference.
Finally- I had to catch a cab to my bus stop at 3 am yesterday morning to get to the airport and catch my flight back to Debrecen. Darrel again picked me up and I stayed the night with him and his lovely family. I caught the train back to Chop and a taxi back home this afternoon. I'm tired but it was a great week. Now I have to get ready to "go" again. Lots of traveling in the next few weeks!