JD Avila

Scotland Missions

Since I have been a kid, I have always had a desire to GO. I would get antsy being in one place for too long, often daydreaming of exploring the distant hills on the horizon, or moving to a place where I have never been before. Though the desire to explore the vastness of God’s creation has always been strong, there was always a deeper call, and despite my mood or circumstance, nothing could hinder this deep conviction; to be an instrument in our Heavenly Father’s hands.

Throughout the years of my youth and into my early twenties, I would spin myself in to an angsty blur trying to figure out how I was going to be used by God. I constantly tried to reinvent myself into who I thought He wanted me to be, never satisfied with the result that was produced in trying to understand how I could be of value to the expansion of the Kingdom of God. With every frustration that I felt during those years, they were always met by the tender Grace of the Father; turning my frustration into sweet surrender. My heart began to soften to the Holy Spirit’s call on my life, and I began to see and accept that God had given me a heart for people, both inside of the Church and those who had not accepted the gift of Salvation yet.

This calling became ever clearer to me after my second missions trip to Cornwall, England. Upon returning home from overseas, the burden to share the love of Christ to those in the U.K. began to grow, and while the burden grew, my peace and ability to rest in God’s perfect timing began to grow as well. Several months later, I was asked to pray about an opportunity to move to Dundee, Scotland in order to serve alongside the Young Adults ministry. Peace followed my prayers, and doors began to open for me to move there.

I will be serving alongside the Young Adult leadership team, helping to coordinate outreaches to the local communities, as well as serving on the worship team and playing my original music in local music scenes. I am incredibly excited to embark on this year long adventure in Scotland, and I am eager to see the love of Jesus Christ spread through the United Kingdom.

Update September 10, 2019

Hello Metro!

It has been a while since my last update, I apologize for the gap in time! Life has been full and busy for myself over here in the Queen’s land. Since I last wrote, I traveled down to Cornwall, England and back, moved into my own place, and have grown a whole lot both in my walk with Jesus, and as an individual.

Creation Fest was a whirlwind of a time, and I feel as though I grew five years worth in a matter of weeks. When I first arrived there in England, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing there. I was a bit frustrated and confused as to why I left Scotland to take a role that I wasn’t confident in doing (lots of administrative stuff), but alas, I soon found out why I was there and why the Lord had brought me there to serve. Working with the Creation Fest core team was a breath of fresh air. Though I had just met many of them, I quickly felt like they were old friends - to banter with, to hang with, to pray with, to serve with. The friendship and chemistry between the team quickly blossomed, and I had many laughs in the sunny English countryside. By the time that the festival actually kicked off, I still wasn’t ready to take on the role that I took on, but I said “yes” to God’s invitation to grow me up, and in doing so I faced one of the more stressful weeks of my life. But again, during that week of festival preparation I grew into my role of leader/delegator more than I thought possible, and by the grace of God, we had a festival. Seeing Travis, Luke, Thomas, and Adam was so refreshing, and in a big sense it felt like I was home once more. Seeing them leave was hard, but it wasn’t bitter without the sweet, and I will cherish those times serving at Creation Fest with them; the pouring rain, driving wind, and lack-of-sleep laughs have gone down as my favorite Creation Fest year yet. After festival pack down was over, I was able to stay in sunny Cornwall for a bit and say long goodbyes to the new friends made; friendships I believe will last for years to come.

Arriving back in Dundee was harder than I expected it to be. There is an element of loneliness here that I didn’t realize was so prevalent until I had spent time down in Cornwall. Though I do have some friends here in Dundee, I don’t have that comfortable community I had for those few weeks in Cornwall. It took a week or two to get adjusted, especially because there wasn’t a whole lot for me do with The Gate/Young Adults as a lot of people were still away on summer holiday. The last few weeks have been better however, as I’ve been able to reconnect with some good friends here, and my schedule has filled up quite a bit.

That’s really all of the highlights over the last few months, but I do have more I would like to share on my heart. I would ask that you all would join me in praying for a few different things.

Metro Team coming over in October/November.

- There is a lot of preparation to be done to get ready for their arrival. It’s exciting, yes, but as I am the one with my feet (foot) on the ground, I am taking big faith steps in God opening some big doors to get the team involved with schools/youth. It’s a bit scary, and I am more than a bit over my head. I know in my mind that “where God guides, He provides”, but in my heart and stress gland (if that’s a thing) it’s a different story. Please be praying that doors would fly open to get Marlon and Jeremiah of Wellness Together into High Schools, that doors would open for Danny and Aaron to play pubs, coffee shops, and universities, and that there would be plenty of hearts ready to hear the good news of Jesus Christ from the rest of the team coming over.

What’s to happen after January

- I’m not stressed out about it, but I believe I have a healthy wonder towards what is to be happening after my visa expires in January. There have been a few offers given to me, some doors that seemed to be open have closed, and some doors that seem closed may open later on. I am a bit torn in two as to what I would like to happen, but emotions aside I am ready to go where the Lord is leading. Please be praying that I would find peace to go where He is leading.

Now, the practical and financial. First of all, I want to thank each and everyone of you who signed up to read these emails and to pray for me. I covet your responses, prayers, and cares, as I really do feel the love and support from across “the pond”. I am so thankful to have such a loving and supporting church family, and I am reminded day by day that I am not alone here in the U.K. I also thank those of you who have helped by donation and monthly financial support. It is the end of another month, and the beginning of a new one, and this means that I am humbly asking for your financial support once again. I am still looking to raise $1000 dollars a month in support. This will be covering rent, council tax, utility bills, food, and money to take people out to lunch and bless them with food and fellowship. If the Lord leads, you can either donate through check, cash, or through the Metro App. If check, please make the memo out to “JD Scotland”, if cash, please write on the envelope “JD Scotland”, and if through the APP, under the ‘Fund’ option, please select “Missions-Scotland”.

As always, I so appreciate and love all of you. MISS YOU GUYS!

Bless ya,

JD

UPDATE APRIL 30, 2019

Hello Metro Family!

I pray this email finds you well, and that all of you had a sweet time celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus. I sure did miss all of you over Easter! I had a very sweet time celebrating with The Gate, but I did find myself more than once reminiscing about former Easter services with all of you back home. It is bittersweet being away from home, but I am enjoying my time over here so much, and I am grateful for each and everyone of you.

Things have certainly been picking up! Much has happened in the last month, and I have been staying busy with projects. One of the bigger things that I am currently working on is writing up small group studies for the Young Adult community groups. As I have never done this before, I am finding it equally challenging as it is enjoyable. I am grateful for this opportunity to grown in the knowledge of the bible, as well as the opportunity to create studies, ask questions, be challenged and challenge other people in their faith. We are going through a 10 week study on the “heroes of the Bible”, and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting back behind the keyboard to gather information, organize my thoughts, and write everything out in an orderly fashion. I am praying for more opportunities to write in the future.

On top of writing studies, I have had several chances to lead worship for various services. The sweetest of these times was on Good Friday morning, where about 40 members of The Gate met on top of a hill overlooking the entire city of Dundee to worship and pray over the city. I have been learning new songs to lead and sing, as they don’t sing the songs in which I am most familiar with. It’s been a good for me to expand my repertoire from my usual “go to’s”.

After taking a break for Easter, the jr. high and high school ministry, TRIBE, has started back up. Our first week back was good, though it was a bit quiet. I am praying alongside with the other leaders that more youth would join us to be refreshed and built up in their faith. During our last meeting, I was able to hang out with some of the older boys from the group. They are great guys, and I genuinely enjoyed getting to know them. Please pray that I would continue to be able to cultivate those relationships and pour into those guys as they transition into college.

For all of you who have been praying that I would find a home, I firstly want to thank you for your prayers, and celebrate in telling you that a house has opened up for me to stay at. Starting June 1st, I will be staying in a newly renovated flat that is an eight minute walk to the church. The flat is owned by the parents of a young adult in the church who is moving back home, and they are renting it out to me at an affordable price. I am very much looking forward to having a place to call “home”, and I am humbled by God’s provision.

In other news, I am also excited to say that I will be going down to Cornwall, England in July to serve alongside the Creationfest office to prepare for the festival. This all came to be in the last few weeks, as I got a call from Sarah Yardley asking me if I would be interested in coming down to help prepare for the festival. After talking to my pastor here at The Gate, Gordon, he encouraged me to go down and help, as it will be a slow season for the church with many people away for the summer holiday. Through prayer and confirmation, I said yes to Sarah’s offer and will be able to help out a the very end of June/beginning of July. Not only am I excited to be apart of Creationfest once again, but I am also excited to be able to see the Metro team come over to England.

I appreciate all of your prayers, and humbly ask for more of them. Specifically, if you could pray for focus, favor, and clarity while I continue to write the small group bible studies, and also for our Young Adult “Grow” night on May 19th, as I will be speaking that night :) .

Now, the practical and financial. First of all, I want to thank each and everyone of you who signed up to read these emails and to pray for me. I covet your responses, prayers, and cares, as I really do feel the love and support from across “the pond”. I am so thankful to have such a loving and supporting church family, and I am reminded day by day that I am not alone here in the U.K. I also thank those of you who have helped by donation and monthly financial support. It is the end of another month, and the beginning of a new one, and this means that I am humbly asking for your financial support once again. I am still looking to raise $1000 dollars a month in support. This will be covering rent, council tax, utility bills, food, and money to take people out to lunch and bless them with food and fellowship. If the Lord leads, you can either donate through check, cash, or through the Metro App. If check, please make the memo out to “JD Scotland”, if cash, please write on the envelope “JD Scotland”, and if through the APP, under the ‘Fund’ option, please select “Missions-Scotland”.

God Bless all of you,

JD Avila