Friday, September 25, 2009

Church-Hopping and Pick-Pocketing

Thus begins the part of my life that I believe will be very important in the coming weeks. No, I am not talking about the final availability of internet or the fact that my classes start in 4 days, and they're apparently much easier than my Wake classes (according to old Wake students). While the newest Season of House has started (and so has Heroes but I'm giving up on that show), that's not what I'm talking about either. LeCrae has not released a new album, John Piper a new book, or George Lucas a new movie (though I hear word has it that there'll officially be a new Indiana Jones V - REALLY GEORGE???) No - It's the fact that I've finally found the time to sit down, hop around like an ADHD kid at a candy store, and find a temporary home church.

The quest began Tuesday Night when I enthusiastically adjourned from my studies (aka facebook) and went to the tube to catch the train to Holy Trinity Brompton. Since my sense of direction is worth just about as much as Dennis Rodman's Chewing Gum, I would leave an hour and a half early to set out and find it.
It was on the other side of London after all. But a good church is worth it, eh? (Eh? <- I'm pretty sure I'm in the wrong country). We were warned of intense pick-pocketting all throughout the UK, so I therefore packed no books or Ipod, dumped all my credit cards into the back of my dresser, and went out with the expectation of inevitably being held at knife point in a dark alley somewhere in Central London. I put an extra 20 pounds in my prayer book in my back pocket, just in case he only took my wallet and I needed money to meander home. Mama would have been proud of the precautions I took.

Walking similar to that of Jason Bourne (always mindful of surroundings, looks like he has it all together, but has no idea what he's really doing), I strolled through the tube, going from place to place. I finally exited and roamed the street for a while, trying to find where on my map the streets were. But at last, I finally found it!... 45 minutes early.... well, at least I wasn't late? This for me is VERY good.

The group was friendly, social, and full of people who were like "Oh my gosh! You're American!" and made me use my American accent to say certain words, of which they would supposedly do their American impersonation back: their impersonation sounded like a cross between Uncle Sam and a drunken hick - I really hope I do not sound like this, and if I do, why do people talk to me?? I of course had to do my British impersonation back - they wanted to hear it! My words of choice: "'ello Govna!" To which everyone burst out laughing. I like these people. They invited me the next night to a going away party, which I was happy to be a part of. My new mate (a word I'm becoming more and more accustomed to using), Tom, showed me around and introduced me to "some fine English Ale." The Ale was so-so, but he was quite entertaining and showed me around all night. We've actually decided we're very much almost twin brothers in many different aspects. It's unfortunate he's going to Oxford in two weeks to study. I would have loved to go there with him too - but Wake made like the Grim Reaper and kinda killed my GPA.

The service itself was good, but I feel I am a creature who is not gung-ho over change. Anything that was different from Emmaus (college ministry back at home) I immediately did not like. I hope and pray this changes over time. That I can see ministry for what it is rather than what it is not. And I hope I can bring new ideas to whatever ministries I do here too. God-willing, I'd love to help out in whatever Student Ministry I'm in.

Speaking of Ministries, I went to the first meeting of the City University Christian Union last night. The most amazing part to me about City is that there is only one Christian Ministry, and that ministry has less than 20 people... A School of 10,000, and there are only a handful of Christians. While I'm disappointed there aren't greater numbers or choices as abundant as cases of Swine Flu at Wake, at the same time, I like this a whole lot. The goal of STS back at home was to unite the Christian body into one and to worship God. However, the goal has hardly been reached over the years I've been at Wake. Here at City, however, this is not the case. The Christians all really do meet, pray, minister, and hang out with each other. It's more like the days of old in the Roman Empire. They do not meet in a big lecture hall or a large cathedral, but just a simple, small classroom, where we sing worship to a CD because we do not have a single person in the room who can play an instrument (contrary to popular belief and facebook profile pictures , I am unable to play the guitar). All the Christians in the group are not casual Christians though. They are passionate about Christ and want to share Him with the world. There are hardly any lukewarm Christians in England. You either are or aren't. There is a sigma that comes with being an open Christian here. I almost wish America was more like this. There is no straddling the fence. I'm excited for the upcoming semester.

Ways you can be praying for me:
1. Time Management and Organization
2. Daily Quiet Time
3. My Grandfather is still ill.

Until Next Time!
- AustinLostinLondon


  1. Austin,
    I feel like we should have had several conversations about lfie in London before we left. I had no problems with pick pocketing and used my ipod many times on the tube =). I'm glad that you are finding Christians there, I know that was one of the hardest things for me. But I'm not sure if your perception of the Christian situation there is total, since my experience was really different. Although I would probably agree there are many more people who don't associate at all with Christianity there. I'd definitely love to hear how this goes the rest of the time. I really enjoyed reading this. It is great that you can make me laugh even across that Atlanic Ocean!

    Your sister in Christ,

  2. Dude that's awesome!!! Your church is the same church that the Alpha program came out of. I'm going through it now at Reynolda with some students, and it's great...Nicky Gumbel is an awesome speaker. I'm glad you're doing well.