Friday, 9 September 2011

Impact in South Africa - Unit 11

Church at Unit 11 - Church, but not in a church.  In an indie club, Unit 11.  I had the privilege of speaking at Unit 11 the first Sunday evening I was in Durban.  It was a first for me.  Church in an Indie Club!  The team had arrived a few hours before the evening kicked off to clear broken glass off the floor, left over from the gig that took place the night before.  The lighting in the club was low, the chairs were scattered around tables to create an informal feel and because I was a guest I got my first drink at the bar free!

After playing  a bit of table tennis with one of the guests, the evening got underway.  After a few testimonies from the Impact weekend we went straight into worship.  A guy called Dan led us on his guitar and God's presence was immediately tangible in the room.  Looking round the room, I noticed that this 'church in an indie club' was reaching people who probably wouldn't think to step foot in a 'typical church'.  I think that's why God was so quick to come.  Worship; in an Indie Club; attracting those who wouldn't normally go to church - now that's a great combination.  Just the kind of place that Jesus loves to be!

I got to share the gospel when the worship came to an end and we had a great time of ministering God's love to people.  I prophesied over a guy who'd been going along to church for a bit but had been struggling with homelessness and feeling hopeless and lost.  God spoke directly into his situation and began to speak about some of the dreams on his heart.  It was so fun to notice the difference in him by the end of the evening as he chatted freely with me and with much passion about his desire to one day be a church pastor.

Let me end with my personal highlight - Before I spoke I brought some words of knowledge for healing.  Towards the end of the worship time, God had spoken to me about someone in the room who had pain in the back of their neck at the top of their spine.  As I brought the word, a lady at the back of the room put her hand up to respond and receive prayer.  It turns out that she'd actually hurt her neck just before her and her husband had come out for the evening.  It had hurt so much that she was debating whether or not to leave the house at all, but they had come and now God had picked her out.  Even more I'd started to share the words of knowledge God had given me, she turned to her husband and said, 'if she says someone with a bad neck, then I'll be convinced!'  The next word of knowledge?  Someone with a bad neck!  Needless to say, she was convinced and as it happens, totally healed!  Yay God!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Impact in South Africa - The Father and the Kingdom

I arrived in Durban on the Wednesday and had a few days to chill before the Hope Church Impact Weekend, running on Friday evening and all day Saturday.  I'd decided to do two sessions looking at God as Father and two sessions teaching about the Kingdom (two topics that I am increasingly convinced are necessary foundations for every church - Jesus loved revealing the Father and demonstrating the Kingdom!)

We had amazing times of ministry as God showed up and revealed Himself as the perfect Father.  Earthly parents were forgiven and many received revelation of their adoption as sons and daughters of the King.  Those who'd lost their parents, or never known their parents wept freely as they received ministry hugs from others in the church.  It was such a precious time of internal healing and freedom.

I talked about healing on the Saturday evening and spent some time equipping the church to get words of knowledge.  At the end of the session about 8 people from the church who'd never brought a word of knowledge before came up the front to take a risk and have a go.  As they all stepped out one by one it was so exciting to see people responding all over the room.  We spent time praying for the sick and had testimonies of God breaking in and bringing healing!  (I've realised during this trip just how passionate I am about equipping and releasing everyone to hear from God and see God's Kingdom break out - I never want to leave a place with people thinking that the naturally supernatural life is something just for me - or particularly 'spiritual' people.  I want entire churches to be mobilised and all believers to realise that this is the normal Christian life!)

We did a prayer tunnel at the end of the evening to do some impartation.  God came and many were impacted by His power and presence.  The meeting was meant to finish at 9pm but I don't think we left the building until about 10.30.  God was in the house and people were hungry to meet with Him.  Hope Church was impacted and the fruit we began to see on the streets off the back of the two days was so encouraging.  See just a few of the testimonies below:
Courageous Eloise (far right)

'Mini Revival at Pick n Pay Hyper By The Sea- I went shopping this morning and saw a lady walk past with a bandage on her ankle - so I asked if she is in pain and she said yes - so I prayed & pain instantly left her- she tells people around her - the next thing, I prayed for about 10 people - back pains, stomach pains, chest pains etc ALL healed - Thank You JESUS!!!!'

The beautiful Nobu
'This morning I prayed that I'd be able to spread a little of GOD's love today. And He put the lady that helps clean at my place in my heart. I was a little scared cause I thought oh man what if I am wrong, what if it's my imagination. Went to her and she said she had a head ache for past week and a sore throat.  Said a quick prayer for her. And BOOM. She said ALL the pain is gone!!!! Praise GOD'


My Friend Megan
'So I got to pray for a lady in the coffee shop this morning. She is a mom I know a little from the kids school. She was tearful and having a hard day. I knew I just needed to pray for God's presence and peace to be with her. She let me pray and kept saying she knows she needs to come to church.'

Amazing stuff!  Well done Hope Church!! Keep going for it!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Impact in South Africa

At 4.45 this morning I was coming in to land at Heathrow Airport having spent just over two weeks with friends in Durban, South Africa.  To try and sum up what God did over the course of my stay in a few blog entries won't do it justice, but I want to just share a few highlights anyway.

God is so very good!  This was my third ministry trip abroad and my first on my own.  I went back and forth for a while trying to decide if I should have a team with me for this trip or not.  I even asked a few people if they could come, but no-one seemed able to commit.  In the end I felt God speak to me about going on my own.  That this was to be an adventure for just me and Him and that it would be a significant time of me growing in my identity in Christ.  I quickly realised what a blessing it was to be on my own.  Not only was there no-one around for me to be responsible for, being alone also meant that I had the privilege of connecting with the people I met and spent time with at a much deeper level.

I have met some INCREDIBLE people and I am the richer for it!  Those of you who know Drew and Megan will know what an outstanding couple they are.  I absolutely loved spending time with them.  They are doing such a great job leading Hope Church!  I got to re-connect with friends I met during last years trip and I also met new friends.  Amazing people, in an amazing city, hungry for God and pressing in for all He has for them.  Facing different challenges to the kind we face here in Bedford, but just as passionate about seeing God's Kingdom break out in everyday life and choosing to take risks to see a city transformed.  God is doing a great work in Durban.  I feel like I left a bit of my heart there (Shame...I guess I'll just have to go back!)

Phum, Me, Nox and Nobu
Over the course of the two weeks we saw people healed emotionally and physically.  We had incredible times of worship and encountering God as His presence came.  We had encounters on the streets (both planned and unplanned!) We saw one girl give her life to Christ.  We had incredibly accurate times of prophetic ministry that brought healing, freedom and destiny to people.  To summarise, God broke in!  I don't think Hope Church, Durban or Grace Community Church, Harding (we took a team there during the second weekend to!) will ever be the same again!

A little story to whet your appetite.  On the first evening of the Impact Weekend before I spoke, I brought a word of knowledge about someone who had pain in one of their shoulders.  A guy responded, and without praying I asked him to check it out.  As he moved his arm back and forth and rotated his shoulder he found that all the pain had gone - No one laid hands on him and no one prayed.  God just broke in and did it because He can and He loves to heal.  Great start!