Being a light in the darkness is what Bones Camp is all about. When I felt God asking me to participate in this year’s camp, I was hesitant. Crowds and carnivals aren’t really my “thing,” but I realised very quickly that I was a perfect fit here; I love talking with people about Jesus, and I love to perform/do parades. (I blame my high school band days on this).
The days leading up to the carnival were packed with evangelism, drumming and/or stilt walking lessons, teachings about renewing our minds, holiness, and humility, as well as mundane tasks like cleaning or cooking.
During our times of street-evangelism, crowds would gather to watch the London drummers and trEd, a prophetic dance team, perform. It allowed us to talk to the crowds that came around us about Jesus, and how God is a creative God and has a purpose for their life. I found it interesting that in all of the 12 days, I never once talked to a Londoner, but rather, I talked to people from Portugal, Romania, South Africa, Italy, and Poland. I had good conversations with each of them, and while none of them decided to follow Jesus, I hope that they walked away with a more positive outlook of who God is.
In the days leading up to the carnival, we were able to talk to many people about who God is, and what worship is through our work on the four beings in Revelation 4:6-11:
“Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:
“Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!”
Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
“You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honour and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created.”
On the days of Carnival saw the streets invaded with the presence of God. From the battle cry of the drummers to the joy of the stilt-walkers to the explosion of the triad of smoke colours (yellow, the Father; red, the Son; blue, the Spirit), we declared a call to worship in Notting Hill. Those on stilts showered the crowds with confetti blessings, and people would light up and ask what these things meant, wanting more and allowing us to openly share the Gospel with them. Many people would hang around us as we played and danced, telling us they felt so much peace and love when they were around us.
I can honestly say that I expected the Notting Hill Carnival to be a lot crazier than it was. Since Bones Camp began 8 years ago, the leaders of the team have seen a decrease in crime, and an increase of openness to the Gospel during Carnival. God is doing some amazing things here in England, and I hope to see more of it here in York as well!