DTS Reflection Part 2: The Arrow and the Freedom to Fail

The second of Mark Carson’s DTS reflections was just before his mid-term outraech to Stockholm, Sweden.

Our team were sent to Stockholm from our base in Scotland in the formation of an arrow. We were given the words that the Lion of Judah was with us, then we were propelled out the door with prayers and a lion’s roar. It was a mix of Braveheart and Narnia, a powerful symbol of our teams’ unity and the mission to see God’s kingdom come to Stockholm.

It reminded me of Ireland’s victory over the All Blacks and their formation of a figure of eight before kickoff. It wasn’t just a symbol of remembrance for a fallen comrade but turned into a rallying, powerful statement of unity in the face of the haka that brought historic victory. It’s safe to say the team were buoyed by the send-off. Not even the language barrier of a Swedish prayer meeting on the first night could deflate us.

We were at a church in Stockholm central praying for the Awakening Europe event we were participating in. I found I could focus on the passion behind each prayer as Swedes poured out their hearts for Gods kingdom to come in Stockholm. I cried, fell asleep and spilt tea on myself so it was an eventful evening.

Awakening Europe was birthed out of a passionate vision of one man, Ben Fitzgerald, to see thousands of Christians fill stadiums across Europe and be released onto the streets to share the Gospel. In the lead up to the event we partnered with local churches and went out as evangelists on the streets of Stockholm.

The atmosphere on the streets of central Stockholm was joyless. I felt that when we first arrived but that was about to change…

I had ended up on the busiest shopping street in Stockholm with two other trainees. We got talking to two Bulgarian street performers Mehmed and Maria. We told them that Jesus loved them and I requested some songs that they had never heard of. I mainly communicated through broken Spanish as we found most of the Bulgarians we encountered on the streets could speak it.  We threw some money in the pot and the band struck up. We all started dancing and suddenly a crowd started gathering. People were clapping, smiling, filming on camera phones. The atmosphere had shifted, some people even joined us dancing. Mehmed took off his coat and we had a dance off. It felt like a real breakthrough, freedom had arrived on this street in Stockholm. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom!!

It says in the Bible that greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. I found our very presence was overcoming the world. The world being this busy street in Stockholm and it all started with simply loving and appreciating Mehmed and Maria.

The Swedes have this perfectionist thing going on. I recalled even the translator on the first night’s prayer meeting was stressing because he wasn’t getting everything right and was ashamed. This led me to taking the attitude onto the streets of Stockholm that with regards to evangelism, it wasn’t about getting the perfect message across but about being at odds with this culture, being vulnerable in being God’s hands and feet because God uses broken vessels to shine his light.

I felt like God was giving us freedom, freedom to stand up to perfectionism, freedom to love regardless of what it looked like and freedom to fail in the eyes of the world. It’s not about us anyway. It’s about him.

Look out for part two soon, more testimonies of what God was doing, this post was just setting the scene…

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