In Denver!


Greetings from Denver!

We’ve had a wonderful trip home so far. We’ve had very, very rich time with family and friends in Indianapolis and have now driven half-way across the country to Denver, Colorado. I don’t want to make this a lengthy update, but just wanted to let the Colorado folks know that we are here!

We’re anxious to see as many of you as possible and are working to try and have a gathering of some sort for that. As some of you may remember from earlier updates, we had Angela’s address book stolen when we were in England in January. So, if you’re in the Colorado area, please email us and let us know your number and we’ll give you a call and try and set something up. We’re here until May 6th but the last week we’ll be in a conference most of the week.

Finally, just wanted to let you know that I’ve updated our web site (a little) with some new pictures from our last Outreach in England and France. You can find them here.


Can’t wait to see you all!

God Bless,
David

On y va!


March 8, 2002 Our last day of outreach in Strasbourg

Dear Family and Friends,

We’re starting with our big news first and going backwards!

In the Leigh version, Hebrews 11:8-10 reads as follows:

By faith the Leighs, when called to go to France, which they would later receive as an inheritance, obeyed and went, even though they did not know where they were going.

9 By faith they made their home at a language school like a stranger in a foreign country; they lived in a furnished apt., as did other missionaries, who were heirs with them of the same promise. 10 For they are looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God, (that He has yet to show them!)

This was the verse that confirmed our decision last week to jump off our Scottish stepping stone and onto the other side, in the form of a 10-month Christian language school in Albertville, France, starting in September! We realize that we are ineffective in France if we can’t speak the language well, so it is an important step to take, no matter what we do in the future. We will live in a furnished apartment on campus, and the children will walk to the local school each day, starting off with French classes only, before tackling other subjects. They are most excited about a snowy winter – “Yes, we’ll leave our friends, go to school, learn a new language – anything! Just get us out of this rain!!” We will return to Paisley at the end of June 2003 to re-group and decide what is next. Our combined tuition will be about $10,000, and we would like to raise that in one-time gifts during our upcoming visit to the States.

Now to back up, our last newsletter was written mid-outreach. Our students have graduated, and most of them are moving into Paisley for a time as their next step in missions. They will facilitate the next school in May, replacing us, and maybe renting our home while we are in France, covering our housing costs. We are honored to have been a part of the launch of these incredible families into their missions odyssey!

To sum up our outreach, God told us that it would be about dependence on Jesus and relationships. Dependence on Jesus took the form of letting God deal with unsolved logistical issues and financial needs, etc. instead of worrying or solving these problems ourselves. “Relationships” meant healthy marriage, children, and team relationships while living out of our suitcases and in each other’s faces for a month, and relationships and contacts with those in France. In all of these, we had opportunities to encourage, serve and point people to Jesus: Practical in terms of scraping paint and deep-cleaning Ministry in terms of preaching and leading worship Relational in terms of praying for and sharing with people, as well as modeling healthy, loving families – a rare thing in Europe! Strategic in terms of prayer walking and on-site intercession for England and France

And now we look forward to our visit to the States and some overdue quality time with family and friends in a couple of weeks! Our rough itinerary looks like this: March 20 – April 5: Indianapolis April 7 – May 5: Denver May 7 – May 15: Indianapolis
We want to see as many of you as possible, and hope to organize a date in each location for a big get- together, complete with authentic Scottish food door prizes!! We’ll e-mail dates as soon as they are settled!

We close with a reminder that France is the focus of world-wide prayer again this year during the Lenten season, and insightful ways to pray can be found here: https://www.prayforfrance.org/

See you soon!
Angela and David

Outreach begins!


For those of you reading this as an HTML-format e-mail, I’ve chosen the notebook motif purposefully. Yesterday morning, 12 families (58 people in all including our family,) left in 9 vehicles for the Family DTS “Outreach”. While I don’t plan on chronicling the entire journey, perhaps some glimpses into our Outreach Notebooks will help you understand some more aspects of Leigh Family missionary life.

“What is ‘outreach’?”, you say. Well, the school that began back on September 1st, finishes on February 23rd. But…before it’s over, the culmination of what we’ve all learned and lived about being Godly families in ministry must be given a practical try. That “practical try” is outreach. So, for the last weeks of our school we are “taking the show on the road”, so to speak. Our mission…and we HAVE chosen to accept it…is to travel away from our base and, in the motto of Youth With A Mission, “Know God And Make Him Known”.

Our first outreach miracle occurred before we left. Several families needed funds to pay their school fees and to pay for outreach. We had a prayer and blessing time where, among us giving to each other, we raised over £6000 (about $9000) and every family got their fees paid and were able to go on outreach! God is indeed good!

We’ve commenced our journey en masse, though we will later split into multiple teams. We arrived yesterday in Wooler, England, a town in the northeast of England very near to a place called Lindisfarne. Lindisfarne, a.k.a. “Holy Island”, is a significant location in the history of the spread of Christianity in England and Europe. We are here for 3 days to learn about the ancient paths of how our faith spread, and endeavor to walk in them. This is alluded to in Jeremiah 6:16…

Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you shall find rest for your souls.

So, we’re spending our time in these first three days asking God for those ancient pathways. On Friday, we will split into several smaller teams (traveling as 12 families is QUITE impractical…as you might imagine). All together, we will participate in Evangelism, Intercession, Service, Encouraging/Building up Christians, Worship, Laying Foundations for New Ministries, etc. This will take place in England and France and China. There is a sense that we are in a time/situation much like the church in Antioch as referred to in the beginning of Acts 13.

January 17th, 2002

Yesterday we visited Lindisfarne and learned about the origins of Celtic Christianity and how, from Jesus, through the apostle John, and a succession of disciples, the Gospel was carried through the ages into Europe and the British Isles. This was fabulous to understand the original path of the Gospel through the very lands that we wish to reach with the same Gospel today.

Today, we visited a modern-day “monastic” community to hear how they are carrying on in the same traditions. We then took a short pilgrimage walk in the lovely Northumbrian hills to St. Cuthbert’s cave. St. Cuthbert was a famous missionary from Lindisfarne. It was quite brisk and windy but finally the clouds were gone and a beautiful countryside opened before us. It was interesting to imagine ancient missionary monks walking the same paths. We want to walk in their same spiritual steps, just as we walked in their physical steps.

Tomorrow, we split into our separate teams. Our “France” team (just 2 of the 9 vehicles thankfully!), heads towards Coldstream to spend the day and night and then onto Leeds, England for a week before moving on to France. I’ll probably send our next report just after the DTS ends.

Jan. 21, 2002

We’re now in Leeds, England. We’ll be participating in a conference called “Sowing the Seeds for Revival”. In this week, our focus is serving the church and community of Leeds. We got a confirmation that we’re in the right place at the right time yesterday, when our car got broken into at church yesterday and my camera was stolen as well as our home-schooling books and some books on prayer for France. The devil is not too happy about our presence…which makes me glad! The busted window of our car will be fixed tomorrow hopefully and we’ll be back to normal. We were blessed by gifts of £110 immediately after it happened. God knows how to provide!

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— Exciting News —
We’re coming home to the States for 2 months! We fly into Chicago on March 20th and then drive down to Indianapolis. We’ll be in Indianapolis until the first week in April. We then travel to Denver where we’ll be about a month and then back to Indianapolis. We leave the 16th of May from Chicago to fly back to Glasgow. It’s our desire to see as many of you as possible both in Indy and Denver. We’ll let you know our schedule in more detail as we get it.

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The efforts at gathering a circle of prayer around us for each day are going well. We now have have of the month covered. If you would like to sign-up for a day a month to pray for us, please let us know and we’ll let you know which day to pray.

Bless you all and we’ll let you know more next time! David and Angela and Rachel and Noah and Olivia

Rare mid-month update and time-sensitive prayer request


Dear friends,
I think this may be the first time I’ve written with a call for specific prayer that is somewhat time-sensitive.

A “wee” bit of background. We’re part of an arm in YWAM called Family Ministries. There is a group of people in YWAM Switzerland who are wanting to really launch YWAM Family Ministries in French- speaking Europe. They feel that they have found a property/facility to house their activities. It is located in the Swiss town of Montcherand, a few kilometers from the French border, northwest of Lausanne. From this facility, they hope to concentrate on ministering to the particular needs of families…beginning in 2002.

The facility is owned by a Christian organization and has been up for sale for over a year…the asking price is about £1million ($1.5 million). YWAM is asking to rent the facility for 5 years by paying the costs of running the place only. The owners are open to YWAM’s offer but obviously would love to sell as well. YWAM has asked for a decision from the owners by the beginning of December and is beginning some specific discussions with them and a real estate agent tomorrow.

What does this have to do with us or you? Well, we’ve been in contact with the family who is leading this Family Ministries effort in Switzerland and are praying about taking an outreach team from this FDTS there in Jan-Feb to help work on the house if they get it. Additionally, our family is praying about whether there is some future for us there after our FDTS is over. So, we’re keenly interested in what happens with this house.

Related to this somewhat is an MMI UK/Europe conference that Angela and I are attending in the South of England this coming weekend (Thanksgiving). Another couple with YWAM Switzerland, involved in Family Ministries and also in MMI will be there. We look forward to talking and praying with them about the future. Angela and I are really looking forward to the get-away as well!

BOTTOM LINE – This is a period in the next few weeks where we really want to see God move and reveal “next steps” for: Family Ministries in French-Speaking Europe FDTS Outreach direction Post-FDTS Leigh family direction in YWAM and MMI

Please pray for God’s wisdom and provision in all these areas so that He may be glorified and His Kingdom expanded.

Finally, I want to say that I’m very excited that about 1/3 of our month is covered in daily prayer support. Thank you to those of you who have responded. There’s still 2/3’s of a month open though! So, if you’d like to pray for us one or more days a month, please let us know and we’ll add you to the list. I’d like to see that fully going by December. We feel that your prayer support is vital to the next steps we’ll be taking!

Bless you all!
David

Happy Bonfire Night!


Angela sits at home tonight with a sore throat, listening to bottle rockets going off all over the neighborhood, while the rest of the family heads to Gourock for a big fireworks display, all bundled up in their winter coats and mittens!

What are we celebrating? 400 years ago (!) Guy Fawkes and his cronies were smuggling 20-some kegs of gunpowder into the basement of the Parliament building in order to effectively eliminate King James I and his nobles with one blast. The issue at hand was that Catholics were being severely persecuted, and this king, son of the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots, had promised to ease up on the persecution when he became King. Well, he didn’t (and this is also when the King James version of the Bible was written) and the Catholics decided to take matters into their own hands. The “Gunpowder Plot” was foiled, and Guy Fawkes was hanged, drawn, and quartered for treason, along with the rest of his gang.

Besides fireworks, there are many bonfires and a mock Guy Fawkes is burned in effigy as a grand finale. Long live the king!

This is a new cultural experience for us because at this time last year, we were roaming France, where this holiday does not exist! So, in the spirit of the holiday season, I thought I would keep this newsletter light, and write about more amusing cultural differences that we are enjoying / adjusting to!

We just experienced our first Halloween here as well, and that had a different feel. Most shops had decorations, but homes did not. Noah commented how relieved he was not to have to see all that scary stuff everywhere (we don’t take him shopping much.) The local grocery store had pumpkins for sale, but I never saw anyone buy them, probably because they cost $4-5 a piece. Instead of stocking extra candy, they had huge displays of raw peanuts in the shell, and when one is used to the roasted and salted variety, they are a huge disappointment! (And while I’m on the topic of the grocery store, you ladies need to know that I have no less than 5 different grocery cart-which they call “trolleys”—size choices at our local Safeway!) We live in a pretty densely populated area, but there were no roving bands of kids that evening. We see a lot more activity after important soccer games or on school vacation weeks. I think Halloween parties were more popular than actual trick or treating.

The biggest stress for me after living here for a year and a half continues to be driving. I still won’t drive more than 5 miles outside our neighborhood. I loved living in the foothills of Denver where I always headed towards the mountains when I got turned around in the city. I could also use a map in crucial moments, because most of the roads run in fairly straight lines, but driving in this country is a completely different ball game. 50% of my prayers these days are spoken while I’m driving: praying I don’t get in an accident, praying for a parking space within a few minutes walk of my destination, and praying that I can find my way home! I successfully parallel parked last week in one fluid movement right in front of the entrance to my health club, and that’s ALL it takes to make my day!! (Remember, I’m doing this from the passenger side in a station wagon!) Unfortunately, no one was in the car with me to share a “high five” with! (And can you Americans imagine joining a health club with no parking facilities??) We’re attending an MMI conference at the southern tip of England during Thanksgiving weekend and here are the directions from London: “Take the M25 anti-clockwise to Junction 6 and then take the A232 through Godstone, East Grinstead, Forest Row and down to Horsebridge (the Boship Hotel roundabout)……After leaving Boreham St., the A271 turns left, signposted Battle. After about 2 miles, you will see Ashburnham Place on the left hand side at the brow of the hill.” I get dizzy just reading this! (We’re hoping to take the train!) You never see the words north, south, east, or west in directions, I guess because every road is so crooked. You just meander your way around, hoping that the signs will be clear enough!

Back to the topic of parking lots or “car parks”, the big box stores do have them with lots of handicapped spaces, just like in the states. But what is different here is that those spaces are always completely filled, because Paisley has the highest rate of heart disease in the country. They also have special spaces up front for mothers of small children, which I applaud, but they are also usually filled up as well! I’ve always believed that mothers of small children should be considered “handicapped” and be able to use those unused spaces in America!

Obtaining a driving license here has become very difficult in recent years, even for UK citizens. The narrow roads are so congested and confusing that they are forced to keep standards very high to keep accidents at a minimum, and according to a driving instructor I talked to at a recent MMI training weekend, they actually are required to fail a certain percentage of students. (They are especially tough on the 18-25s, and young drivers are very rare.) We Americans are also pretty intimidated because our driving habits are so ingrained, and it feels impossible to change your mindset at this age! One example of a new mindset is that you are actually responsible for the driver behind you! You have to be careful not to “dazzle” them with your rear brake lights, using your parking brake instead when stopped in long lines of traffic.

So now I understand why this is such a pedestrian society – even though the weather is miserable to be out in most days! Tough, expensive exams and gas costing $4-5/ gallon is a pretty big hurdle for many people! It amazes me to see mothers pushing big prams (baby carriages) downtown on cold wet days – it must be part of raising hardy Scots that don’t bat an eye at the weather. Once they are walking, most of the kids don’t even bother with raincoats!

David and I have passed the written test, so at least we know what the road signs mean now! But we’re not sure it’s worth our money to go forward with driving school if we aren’t going to be here much longer. I’ll only do it if this license is valid in France! In applying for a UK driving license, there is a section dealing with any physical limitations. Most were run-of-the-mill concerns until we got to this one: “Do you suffer from severe or recurrent disabling giddiness?”

Hope this newsletter at least lifted your spirits! Love, Angela

*** Addendum ***
As we look at the last couple of years from our DTS in Germany in the Spring/Summer of ’99 until now, our life has been defined by challenges and transition. We don’t see that changing any time soon either! Without God’s strength and support, we cannot embrace these challenges and this transitional season. God’s support sometimes comes directly from Him and often through you in the form of notes, phone calls, packages, prayer and finances.

Before coming to Scotland, we sought to arrange financial support to come in on a monthly basis because, naturally, most of our financial needs come in monthly. While we currently hover around 50% of what we calculate that we need on a monthly basis without depleting savings completely, it has been a very steady source of support and we thank God for that.

Of even greater value, has been your prayer support of us. It’s this area, however, that we really want to solidify now and build for the future. We believe that greater challenges lay in front of us…in fact we’re praying for them! There’s too much of the world in darkness and our light doesn’t shine brightly enough or far enough yet…we need to “expand our borders” and we need God’s hand increasingly for this.

For this reason, we’d like to ask at least 30 of you to commit to pray for us at least 1 day each month. We know that some of you already pray for us more than that, and you can certainly “sign up” for more than one day each month. But…we would like to have every day covered. Additionally, we’d like to have a group of people to whom we can address specific prayer requests as they come up.

So, if you are willing to pray for us at least one day a month, please reply to this e-mail and let us know. Also let us know how many day’s you’re willing to do, if it’s more than one. We’ll assign you your day(s) to pray and we’ll create a special mailing list for specific prayer requests.

Thank you for your willing and faithful partnership with us!

We love you,
David and Angela and Rachel and Noah and Olivia (and Julius Acorn…the hamster)