Cooper Update

A lot has happened since our Summer newsletter.  We moved into a lovely house in the Midlands, re-joined the staff team at The King’s Lodge, went on holiday to Norfolk and had lots of little day trips including seeing the Kiley family (Mike has been friends with them since high school) in London for the day. What a treat!

Since the start of September, Mike has been staffing the School of Biblical Studies (SBS) at The King’s Lodge , a nine-month school which involves in-depth reading and study of every book in the Bible. There are 26 trainees and 7 staff from 17 nations! He is thoroughly enjoying the school – especially the privilege of personally encouraging and guiding the trainees. He grades the trainees work, attends numerous meetings throughout the week, leads the week occasionally, coordinates transportation and trainee work duties, and will be teaching 1&2 Timothy at the end of the month. The work is intense and time-consuming but well worth the effort because nothing is better than seeing people grow in their understanding of God.

I am loving my time as a full-time mom. Emily is full of energy and keeps me on my toes! As we go through the joys of the terrific and terrible twos, I find myself so grateful for the community around me who support and love me. There are many families with children around Emily’s age who live at The King’s Lodge, so I don’t have to go very far for a listening ear and a cup of tea! Emily and I stay very busy with various baby groups, play dates, dancing classes, and special times together at home (as well as lots of coffee-shop chats with my friends). She loves going to the zoo which is just down the road from us, and astounded this past weekend when we went to the Peak District as she climbed over rocks without breaking a sweat! Definitely her father’s child in that regard!

 SBS class

 SBS trainees doing group work

 On holiday in Norfolk

 With the Kileys in London

This season will be a lot quieter for us than previous years, with Mike focusing on the SBS until next summer. We don’t have any international trips planned and will be spending Christmas together here in the UK. Mike will get two weeks off at Christmas so we are looking forward to exploring the area more, getting some rest, and starting some of our own traditions – trying to merge 3 cultures and 2 family’s traditions to make our own!

May you have a wonderful Autumn/Fall/Spring (depending on where you are when you read this!) and a Blessed Christmas season with friends, family and loved ones.

Prayer Requests

– For the SBS – that Mike would be effective as staff and teach 1&2 Timothy well
– for Emily to keep growing and learning and thriving
– For health for all of us as we enter the cold and flu season.
– For more financial and prayer supporters (We do not receive a salary and raise all our own personal support)


Email Mike

The King’s Lodge

Seeing lives transformed by the love of Jesus through personal discipleship and Bible teaching.

Cooper Update – July 2015

A young mom walks into the hall with her 19 month old son. She looks around nervously and gives us a pensive smile. We welcome her, offer her a cup of tea and she seems to relax and feel at ease. This is one of the first mom’s group she has tried because of her fear of them being cliquey and exclusive. She feels welcomed, safe, and secure with us. What a privilege to serve this community and these women, and to offer them a place to meet other moms and learn about and experience the love of Jesus! 

Since coming back from America in March, we have been busy with local ministry in Reading as well as traveling around the UK for various YWAM events. One awesome event was held in YWAM England’s biggest location in Harpenden for the YWAM UK and Ireland Family Gathering. There were over 500 YWAM missionaries gathered for 4 days of teaching, worship and catching up with everyone. It was our first Gathering since having Emily and people were so excited to meet her.

Mike continues to volunteer at Rahab ministry to prostitutes and Hope House ministry to ex-addicts. He is still studying through London School of Theology, though progress is slow being a new dad. He’s added some new things: A men’s Bible study that our team is pioneering; another night at Hope House teaching Bible basics; and is a new staff member of the eSBS (the online version of YWAM’s School of Biblical Studies) in which he grades students’ work and oversees their progress.

Taryn continues to help out at a Moms and Tots group from a needy area of Reading, and is also starting a Moms Bible study group with women from her church. She is really enjoying the new friendships she is forming with other moms in the area!

Our team dynamics are changing quite a bit right now. Our team leader, Matt, has just married Marlene who now joins our team, Ed is going part-time, and Patricia and Beth are leaving. As a result, over the summer we will be seeking God as to how to best move YWAM Reading forward. We all love the local ministries we are involved with but we need to know if God has something more or different for us.

We are moving!

Quite suddenly we find ourselves in the middle of moving house. This is great news because the new apartment is larger, has a private yard, and is in a great location for us. We have loved living in our first little apartment but we knew it would become too small with children, especially now that Emily is almost walking!

As some of you know, finding an affordable apartment in Reading is like finding an affordable apartment in Manhattan! Thanks be to God that a family from our church is renting to us privately and making it at least possible to have a bigger place. Granted, we are still trusting God for more financial provision, especially for moving costs and furniture. We move in 3 weeks time and are very excited to move closer to our church and into our new place.


Cooper Update – August 2014

We hope this newsletter finds you well and having a lovely summer (or winter for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere). We haven’t sent out an update since March, so we hope you enjoy hearing our latest news…

Our spring quarter was a mixture of teaching, traveling, volunteering in local ministry and team events. We both had the opportunity to teach on a Discipleship Training School in Wales in April, after which we enjoyed a wonderful holiday in the Lake District. Back in Reading, Mike enjoyed leading Bible Studies at a church home group for ex-addicts as well as volunteering with Rahab, a mercy ministry which empowers prostitutes to change their lives. He also is completing his first theology module with London School of Theology. Taryn stayed busy with team administration and volunteered at a charity that works with excluded school children, as well as helping out at the local Salvation Army’s charity shop.

The summer quarter has been less busy which is a good thing for the two of us. We are taking some needed time off and have used it to move into a new flat and prepare for the baby’s arrival.

For the autumn quarter, our team will be running another Discipleship Training Course (DTC) and continuing with the ministries we have already been involved with. Taryn will be on maternity leave for the rest of the year but hopes to stay well connected with the team’s activities. Mike will help lead the DTC, continue studying, lead Bible Studies, and volunteer with Rahab.

Praise Reports!

In July, we moved into our own flat which is a huge answer to prayer. Quite honestly, we were becoming discouraged because of the scarcity of flats and the financial requirements needed. But thank God – a small local estate agency went above and beyond in helping us find a suitable place, and some amazing friends helped us out financially. As the photo above shows the place is bright, modern and cozy…a perfect place to start a family.

Our daughter is due in just 2 weeks and mom and baby are both doing very well – the pregnancy has been a relatively easy one. Birthing classes, midwife appointments and getting the nursery ready have kept us both busy and excited for her arrival. We also look forward to Taryn’s mom coming from South Africa to meet her first grandchild in mid-September.

Cooper Update


Walking down Oxford Road in Reading, we are struck by the diversity we hear and see around us. Shops selling food and goods from all over the world (including South Africa), people speaking many different languages, and lots of ethnicities and cultures. This road is only a few minutes walk away from our new team house, and we definitely feel the transition into urban life. The house our team just moved into is an amazing answer to prayer as our Christian landlord is giving us a huge discount off our rent.  We are now right where we hoped to be.

So what have we been up to since January?

The Alpha Course

We started an Alpha Course every Tuesday night for new believers and non-Christians

The Discipleship Training Course

…as well as a Discipleship Training Course on Wednesdays for those wishing to go deeper in their faith. What a privilege and joy it is to share the gospel with people who are searching for God. Especially men from Yeldall Manor – a local drug and alcohol rehab centre.

Our new team house

Reading is bursting with opportunities for ministry. We are very excited to find our niche here.

Mike teaching on the SBS

Opportunities like ministering to prostitutes; helping at homeless ministries; continuing to run discipleship courses; evangelism with local churches; and serving our neighbours.


Mini Cooper on the way!

We are thrilled to announce the coming arrival of our first baby, due September 4th!

Here is a picture from Taryn’s 12 week scan…

Please pray for mommy and baby’s health over the next 6 months, and for a safe delivery.

Prayer Requests

– For the people on our courses to accept Jesus and grow in their faith
– For provision of our own place to live in September
– For Taryn’s pregnancy
– For more financial and prayer supporters (We do not receive a salary and raise all our own personal support)


Seeing lives transformed by the love of Jesus through personal discipleship and Bible teaching.

Cooper Update – Aloha from Hawaii!


Hosting a coffee event for the School Speakers and Leaders (Taryn with our 4 wonderful work duty girls)

We’re not going to lie to you – Hawaii is simply paradise and we are loving our time here. It’s been just over a month since we arrived. We find ourselves living in the very heart of the campus, daily seeing hundreds of people of every age pass by our room. This the largest quarter in YWAM Kona history and its very exciting to see so many people serving and learning more about God.

Catering for the Film Summit at the base of Mauna Kea

Catering for the Film Summit at the base of Mauna Kea

We came to Kona to get a fresh perspective of the mission and our future role in it, and to serve the campus together wherever they needed us most. One of their pressing needs is for people to help manage events and conferences, so we were immediately recruited into this role. Basically our job is catering, venue co-ordination, and transportation for events and meetings. For example, this last week we helped The Film Institute (the YWAM ministry that produces movies) with a conference they held. One of the evening meals we catered saw  us driving a big van  full of trays of hot food to the base of the volcano Mauna Kea 50 miles away. This is one of the filming locations for their upcoming movie (see It was great fun and an honor to be a part of this project.

The coming months…

Starting from this Thursday, we will be working on 9 conferences happening during February, March and April. They call it March Madness and we will let you know how we survived it  in our next newsletter!

We will also continue to seek God about our future direction in YWAM. We are planning to return to England in September and possibly pursue a new ministry opportunity that has been presented to us. So over these next months we will be asking God for confirmation and peace – we will keep you posted!

Please keep us in your prayers as we seek God together.


Help Needed

There is a little trouble in Paradise 🙂 Mike’s laptop is barely holding together while Taryn’s older laptop is on its way out. We need to replace at least one of them as soon as possible. If you would like to contribute to the New Laptop fund, we would be very grateful. Please email us and we will send you our banking details: or

Mike and Taryn.

What I’ve been up to… (from Taryn)

Hello friends near and far!


Well, this term has been a busy one for me. I have found myself wearing many many hats over these past three months. Primarily, I am in the Schools Administration Office, so I deal with all the incoming student enquiries and applications, also dealing with Visas and all that good stuff. Its a job of administration, and I LOVE it! I also now lead the Basic Leadership School (BLS) which I myself did here at the Lodge from 2007-2009. Its a 9 month school where you learn all about leadership, mostly through staffing DTSs (Discipleship Training Schools) and input once a week from a speaker. My job is to organise input once a week for the BLS students, organising and maintaining one-on-ones and mentoring for them, as well as other admin bits and some teaching and input as well.

My friend Grace and I on the YWAM Stand at a local University's Missions Night

I also am involved a little in the SBS (School of Biblical Studies), because I one-on-one (mentor) 2 students from that. As well as that, I am helping to organise a big conference happening here in May next year called the DNA Infusion. Its a two week conference, where our founders (Darlene Cunningham) will come and speak, as well as other leaders from Youth With A Mission. I am helping out with all the communication and administration, so emailing people and dealing with the registration process.
On top of that, I have been taking Spanish lessons twice a week from a lovely Chilean lady here, and I lead exercise classes three times a week in the afternoons. I also volunteer  occasionally at a Salvation Army drop in centre once a month. So you can see its been a busy busy term for me, but I am so happy and fulfilled!

I had the pleasure and privilege in November of going back to Caceres, Spain, to teach on their DTS for three days. I spoke on Destiny and God’s Calling. I LOVED it! Its a topic that is close to my heart and I am passionate about, and I loved teaching it. And as always I loved being in Spain with the base there, people I have come to love and respect and call my friends.  So being with them is always good.


As of about a month ago, I was asked to join the King’s Lodge Leadership Team. We are a team of people, ranging in ages and nationality, who are responsible for the direction and oversight of YWAM’s ministry here at The King’s Lodge. It is an honour and a privilege to be a part of this wonderful team, and I’m praying that God uses me in this role. I am leading my first week in January (which means I am responsible for our base meetings for that week – Monday worship, Tuesday Intercession and Thursday Staff meeting) as well as generally looking after things for the week. I am very excited about this role!

What’s in store for 2012

The first half of 2012 will probably be quite similar to this term. I will continue to work in Schools Admin, and prepare for the upcoming DNA Infusion Conference, and lead the BLS. I hope to become more involved in local outreaches my church is doing, and will keep volunteering at the Salvation Army every now and then.
We also have the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games to look forward to – the whole of YWAM England is gearing up to host thousands of volunteers as they serve throughout the Games. I will be helping out some in planning outreaches and making contacts in Coventry, one of the Olympic Cities and only half an hour away from us.

Mike and I in York recently

In March, I will be taking my boyfriend Mike to South Africa with me for 2 weeks, to meet my friends and family and my country! We are both very excited about this trip and God had been so faithful in providing the money needed to go. I hope to go to the US with him in July to meet his side of the family and his country too 😉

Prayer Requests

Please pray…
-for me as I embark on a new journey being a part of the Leadership Team here. Pray that God will give me wisdom and courgae and humility to lead well
-for Mike and I, that we will keep God in the centre of our relationship
-for the finances I need to travel to the USA in July 2012
-for strength, energy and passion as I keep serving in many areas and departments into the New Year

The End of the Road

All of us in Northern Ireland

All of us in Northern Ireland

The Mobile DTS, my life for the past 24 weeks, is done! On Thursday, we had our commissioning night, where we gave glory to God for what he did in and through us over the time of the DTS. We commissioned the students on to the next stage and season of their lives. It was a very special evening, esepcially for me, where I could look back over our time on this DTS, and meditate on God’s faithfulness in bringing me through this DTS and fulfilling a desire that’s been on my heart for many many years.

The last time you heard from me, we were leaving Italy and moving onto Germany. After 12 hours of traveling by train from Italy to Germany, we arrived in the little town of Hurlach. Its a cow village about 30 minutes away from Munich, and home to the YWAM base – a Bavarian castle that was bought by some crazy YWAMers back in 1972 for the Munich Olympic outreach.

Josh, Me and Hester - The Staff Team

Josh, Me and Hester - The Staff Team

It is a beautiful location, and a great spot for long walks and quiet times and prayer and peace. While there, we had a lecture week on Worldview and Postmodernity for a week, before we moved on to Hamburg for a week of outreach. And what a busy week it was! As a team we did: Ministry in the Red Light District (twice), working with the YMCA, with some kids from the ghetto, in a refugee camp, helping at a kid’s ministry in a mall, leading a young adults group from the international church there, teaching English lessons at a school (twice) leading base intercession, prayer walking round a University, going to a boxing ministry with Muslim teenagers (twice) and helped renovate a house.

Me and the girls in Spain

Me and the girls in Spain

We were very busy! Then we went back to the castle for another week of lectures before moving into more outreach for our last week in Germany. We worked with another organisation who does outreach to Gulf Arabs in Munich – so we spent the week walking around handing out Arabic bibles to Gulf Arabs and talking abour Jesus. It was pretty hardcore stuff, and definitely threw us ot our comfort zones!

After Germany, we flew back to the UK. We had a week at The King’s Lodge, helping out at a YWAM England Staff gathering. Then we took a train up to Liverpool, where we spent 10 days doing outreach. We had a fantastic and very busy time there – we were involved with a few local churches, did some practical garden work with the YMCA, did some evangelism and pub and club ministry in the evening, and some prayer walks. After Liverpool, we moved down to London for 4 weeks. We stayed with the YWAM base there, and had 2 weeks of lectures and 1 week of outreach. Our lectures were on Discipleship, Clean Conscience and our Identity in Christ. In our outreach week, we did worship in the parks with “Free Prayer” signs up around us, offering prayer to people (and a few even took us up on the offer!), did some prayer walking around the city, and helped a church with an evangelistic fun day in a local park.

Some of the team in London

Some of the team in London

We had a wonderful time there. After London, we flew up to Northern Ireland for 10 days. We again stayed with YWAM, who have a beautiful base right on the border with the Republic of Ireland, right on the ocean. It was a wonderful way to end the DTS, as the base used to be a Christian Retreat Centre for prayer, and we could take many walks around the village into the mountains of Mourne – the place where CS Lewis got his inspriation for Narnia! We had our last lot of lectures on the Holy Spirit, and did some practical work around base too. It was a very restful time, peaceful and full of the grace of God for all of us.

Now what?

Now that this school is finished, I’m going to get some rest! I have about two and a half weeks now to rest, process and recover from this DTS. On a very exciting note, my wonderful boyfriend Mike is flying back to the King’s Lodge on the 31st August to be on staff on the SBS (School of Biblical Studies) here for the year. In our almost 7 month relationship, we’ve spent nearly 5 months of those apart from each other. He has been back home in Washington State since his SBS ended in July, raising support and getting ready to become full time King’s Lodge staff! So we are both looking forward to this next season, being in the same place for at least a whole year.

On the 14th September, we have Staff Days at the King’s Lodge, where we look ahead to the new academic year and seek God for what he has for us as a base. I don’t know what my role at the King’s Lodge will be come September. I probably will still be involved in the DTS department, although I don’t see myself necessarily leading or staffing another DTS this year. I will be spending these next few months seeking God about what my (and Mike’s) next steps should be. I am very much looking forward to this next season of my life, for some stability and for an opportunity to put down some roots for a year.  This Mobile DTS has been amazing, but I am definitely tired 😉


– for this next year ahead for me. That I will hear God clearly on what He has for me
– for my relationship with Mike
– for these next few weeks of rest and recovery for me
– for my finances: that God would keep providing for me

The DTS has started!

The DTS has started!

After 4 years of dreaming, planning and praying, the Mobile Euro DTS has officially gotten off the ground!

On the 11th March, the first of my students started arriving. It took a few days for them all to arrive, but now we are a complete team. On my staff team, I have Hester and Josh, who were both on the September 2009 DTS that I led. They are a great help to me, both practically in getting the jobs done, but also in helping me carry the leadership of this school.
I have 6 students, all from North America (3 from Canada and 3 from the United States), 5 guys and 1 girl. They range between the ages of 18-20 (not a very big range, I know), so I feel slightly aged around them all 😉
But seriously, they are lots and lots of fun to be around, and I know I’m going to have a blast with my team as we travel around Europe and the UK, sharing the love of God, learning, impacting and being impacted by God and the people we come into contact with.

I am so grateful to God for His faithfulness over these years and for giving me the fire in my bones needed to get this school off the ground

The Journey…

On Friday April 1st, we fly to Caceres, Spain, for 4 weeks. Caceres is one of the biggest cities in the province of Extramadura. I have been to that YWAM base three times now – on the Sept 09 DTS, to teach there in April, and again in July when I was doing a recce trip for this DTS.
Then, we fly to Rome, Italy, where we also stay for 4 weeks. We will be working with local churches while there. I am very excited about being in Italy, as I have never been there before, and I love pasta, pizza and ice cream! 😉
After that, we’re off to Germany, where we will be in Hurlach, Hamburg and Munich for a total of 4 weeks. In Hurlach, we will be receiving lectures, and in Hamburg and Munich we will be doing some outreach.
Then, its back to the UK. We will spend a week at the Lodge, having a few days of rest and helping the staff here prepare for a big staff gathering. We then go to Liverpool for 10 days for outreach, London for 4 weeks of lectures and outreach and Northern ireland for 10 days of lectures and some outreach, too. We then come back to the King’s Lodge for our debrief week before the school ends on the 26th August.
Talk about being a MOBILE DTS! I am so excited about going to all these places, to serve and impact, to learn and enjoy, to pray for and bless these cities and the people in them. This is a dream come true!

So, what is it?
For those of you who have no idea what a “Mobile EuroDTS” is, its a 6 month Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). Most DTS’s are divided into 2 – lecture phase for 3 months, and then outreach phase for 3 months. This school is slightly different, as we’ll be mixing up lectures and outreach over the entire 24 week school – in fact our last week of lectures is Week 23! The lectures we will be receiving are topics like Hearing the Voice of God, Evangelism, Intercession, Worlview, Identity in Christ, the Holy Spirit and many others. The types of outreach we will be doing will include working with local churches, doing street evangelism, prayer ministry, practical help around the city, running youth groups, prayer walking and I’m sure lots more!

Check out these links if you’re interested:


Thanks everyone for your support and prayers over these past years. Me being in YWAM, being able to do what I love the most – discipling young people, reaching the lost – is only possible becuase of your love and support. I appreciate you all so much.Thanks for walking this road with me, for believing in me (and the Spirit of God within me) enough to release me to do this. I ask for your continued prayer and support as I go through this school, and continue into whatever God calls me to in the near and distant future.

Prayer Requests

Please could you keep me and this school in your prayers as and when you think of me
– Pray that our team will be effective and fruitful in everything we put our hands to, that we are obedient to the will and purposes of God and walk in step with the Spirit
– Pray for Unity, that our team will bond together more and more as we get to know each other
– Pray for safety and protection as we travel, against harm, hurt, damages, accidents and whatever else could harm us
– Pray that we will always walk in humility, with a heart of service toward others

Prayer Requests

– Pray for me and for Josh and Hester as we lead this team, for wisdom and guidance and strength
– Pray that we all encounter God in new ways on this trip, and are changed and transformed by Him daily
– Pray for our finances: Josh and Hester and I still need a fair amount of money to come in within the next week, please stand with us in prayer as we wait on the Lord for his provision

Thank you so much for your prayers!

Mobile Euro Discipleship Training School (DTS)

It’s that time of year again for me – outreach time! In just under 9 weeks, on the 11th March, the Mobile Euro Discipleship Training School (DTS) will begin here at The King’s Lodge. And then on the 1st April, the school will start its adventure through Europe – Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Belgium – for 20 weeks of training, lectures, evangelism, prayer and adventure with God. This is the first DTS of its kind to run in YWAM England, and it is a dream come true for me. This vision is something God placed on my heart in 2006, and I am so excited to have the opportunity to lead this school.

I am writing this letter to ask for your prayers and support. Pioneering something new comes with its own set of challenges, and I value all your prayers for me and for this school over the next 9 months or so. Please pray for the right students and staff to join me, and that the school is everything God wants it to be – faith-filled, impactful, meaningful, fun, servant-hearted, humble, risk-taking, out of the box, adventurous and a school that brings glory to God and people into his Kingdom.

I ask you also to please stand with me in prayer as I trust God to provide the £3200 I need for this school. If you would like to contribute to this, I have put my banking details at the bottom of the page. I also have a PayPal account if that’s easier for you.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support. Please feel free to get hold of me if you have any questions about this school, or me personally, or anything! I would love to talk more about what God is doing in and through me.

God bless you all


South Africa:
Absa Savings Account
A/C: 9079134879
Branch: Pinetown
Natwest Current Account
A/C: 21708150
Sort Code: 542113

DTS Outreach to Spain and Belgium

DTS Outreach to Spain and Belgium – Mar 2010

This year’s Discipleship Training School  (DTS) was a very special one for me. Not only was it my first school as leader, I also got to go into Europe on outreach – the continent I have been wanting to reach for many many years.

On the 27th December, our team of 9 students, 3 staff and Abbey, Rick’s daughter (one of the staff) left London and flew into Madrid, Spain. From there, we drove for 3 and a half hours until we reached the town of Caceres, a large important city in the province of Extramadura. We were greeted by 6 Brazillians (3 couples, with 2 children between them) – the staff of YWAM Caceres. The ministry was almost brand new – only 8 months old, and we were the first team they had ever hosted.
We spent 6 weeks in Spain, joining with the YWAM team there as they pioneered the base and ministry. This meant a lot of praying – Spain is a very hard country for missionaries. There are thousands of cities in Spain without any evangelical church and no known born-again Christians. So we spent many hours in intercession, praying for the Kingdom of God to come down in  the area. We also spent time running some weekend youth camps with the local churches, and visiting Christians in the surrounding towns, encouraging and praying for them.

After a wonderful time in Spain, we then flew to Belgium for 4 weeks. The YWAM base in Brussels had organised us a very full, very varied outreach there. We did some evangelism on the streets on Brussels, went to another town and worked with a youth club for the weekend, spent a week in a Christian primary school, playing with the kids and encouraging the teachers. We also preached at a local youth group, and helped out the YWAM Brussels team in their evangelistic pub in some evenings.

All in all, it was a very meaningful outreach. And for me, it was wonderful to finally be ministering in Europe – it felt like a dream come true! Thank you Lord!