The Presence of Jesus in a Van


Something fun and creative is happening on the west coast of Scotland! Moira Shanks of Saltcoats shares with us in her own words the journey she and her husband Gordon have been on with God.

In a world where there is
nonstop noise and busyness,
where we are
constantly connected to others,
where we never switch off,
we long for a space to pause,
to step out of the traffic,
a space to be still,
to reflect,
to pray,
to be.

Our vision is to create that space.

At the 24-7 Prayer Gathering in Birmingham God planted the seeds of a dream in my heart to have a permanent prayer space, not in a church building but out in the community for people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to access a place for prayer.
Back home in Ayrshire nothing seemed to be moving. The right space just didn’t seem to be there. Then I read about the prayer van that the 24-7 Prayer guys in the Netherlands were using and there was a light bulb moment when I realised our prayer space could be permanent yet mobile! A mobile space opened up so many different possibilities. Schools, community events, town centres, workplaces – all suddenly became possible prayer spaces! The van could be a fully equipped resource for others to borrow to use in their context.
With the encouragement and prayers of some old friends and some God-given new friends – and a bit of a leap of faith – we bought a basic transit van in November of 2019. Then the pandemic hit! The van sat in our driveway, and it seemed like nothing was happening.
Again, the support and prayers of friends around the world kept the hopes and dreams alive. Earlier this year we were finally able to have the van converted into the sweet space it is now. We are so thankful for God’s provision in all of this. Unexpected tax rebates (!) and the generosity of friends has funded the project so far and we hope to offer the van free of charge to churches and organisations to use it.
Since we got the van branded in June this year, opportunities have unfolded, doors have opened without us having to push. We’ve been to an SU group (and have been invited to go back to the whole school!). We’ve been to a couple of community events, to the Magnitude youth festival, a 24-7 Prayer Scotland Matchstick Gathering, a Scottish Order of the Mustard Seed Gathering as well as some small groups in our local church.
Wherever we’ve gone the response has been the same, although expressed differently:
“It’s such a peaceful space.” “You can tell the Holy Spirit lives here.”
“This is a thin place.” “I just put my head in the door and could feel the peace.”
“It’s not until you sit in the space, you realise how peaceful it is.”
“This is a beautiful place, just to sit.”

Lots of people have also recognised the potential and see the possibilities for their own context so are excited to see how things continue to unfold.

And we are excited to carry the presence of Jesus in a van, to see what Jesus does, as we leave His presence in the places we visit.

Back to all