Friday, 28 October 2011

TSM Class 2010-11

As I was flicking through some of my old blog posts I realised that I never introduced you to our second TSM class - the amazing bunch of people who graduated this past July.  We had 36 students last year and they ranged in age from 18-70.  It was such a privilege to see them all flourish in God.  The spiritual ceiling created by our first year of students definitely became the floor for this second year.  The breakthroughs they saw in their own lives and also in the lives of those we encountered out on the streets was outstanding!

Below are some of my highlights from the year and photos of some of the most amazing people you're ever likely to meet:

- The way that some of the students were described by friends and family as actually looking physically different because of the amazing work God had done in them through the year
- The time when TSM class of 2009-10 came and imparted all God had done in them through the first year to our new class.  The fire tunnel was quite something!                                                          
- Seeing students walk through fear as they sung out prophetic songs in front of their revival groups.  I love the freedom this brought! (To students and team alike)
- Revival group acting - 'Pick a story from the Bible that inspires faith in you and then act it out in a specified genre ranging from sci-fi, western, silent movie, soap, Bollywood, action.'  SUCH a lot of fun
- Seeing a girl who's still part of our church give her life to Jesus in the hospital car park during our last TSM outreach!
- Incredible freedom in worship; tongues, interpretation, dance, flags, scriptures, the prophetic, songs, raps!
- Seeing God's favour on our 'adopt a block' team.  Homes opened up to them, residents asking for prayer and halfway through the year a drug bust on the very block they'd been praying round.  God's Kingdom well and truly broke in!
- Graduation - hearing amazing life changing stories from the year; seeing a phenomenal group of men and women receiving the honour they deserved and then watching them take steps of courage once again bringing words of knowledge from the front of church off the back of Simon's preach.

I have the best job in the world!  This year we have 40 students and it's already been a blast.  Let's see what the Father will do!  Here's to many more new ceilings!  

Thursday, 27 October 2011

One of my Favourite Things!

I love to prophesy!  There's nothing quite like it.  There's the mixture of fear and anticipation when you walk into a room knowing nothing about the people in it but knowing you'll soon be prophesying from the stage - stepping out of your comfort zone - keeping in check once again that your identity hasn't slipped back into your performance!  There's the thrill of the risk, when you begin to share a word of knowledge that you know could be totally wrong; the fun of making mistakes, modelling what it looks like to live free from having to get it all right and the absolute joy of getting it right and seeing another one of God's kids realising at a deeper level that their heavenly Father knows them and loves them.  Prophesying is one of my favourite things!

I feel like I've had some personal breakthrough recently in terms of accuracy.  The more I prophesy; the more I step out and take risks; the more I'm beginning to recognise my Dad's voice with greater clarity.  I was at a ladies day in Poole recently with some friends from church.  (As an aside, Carole Wilthew and Caroline Holley were speaking and were absolutely outstanding!)  I spotted a girl early on in the day and God started to speak.  He told me that she was a netball player and that she was captain of her team, that I was to share this and then prophesy over her about the leadership gift on her life.  So I stood her up and just so I could cover my bases (that's code for 'so that the possibility of me looking stupid was minimised') I asked her about hockey as well as netball:

Me: Do you play hockey or netball?
Her: I play netball - it's the only sport I play
Me: (note to self - don't add to what God says!) Are you the captain of your team?
Her: Yes!
Me: 'Prophetic stuff about leadership'

It turns out that this girl had been having quite a tough time at school - this prophetic word was just what she needed to feel encouraged that God was with her and had big plans for her life.  Result = massively encouraged girl, massively encouraged mum (sat over the other side of the room), massively encouraged me!

At another ladies event God spoke to me about a girl sat a couple of rows behind me, that she'd recently (in the last 2 weeks) had a horrible nightmare.  God wanted me to pray for her and encourage her that He wanted to start to speak to her through her dreams.  As I shared the word of knowledge with this shy and unassuming girl tears began to roll down her face.  She'd had a really bad nightmare about a week ago and I guess had just 'suffered in silence'  Now she knew that God had been with her. More than that, He had a plan for her sleep, she wasn't to fear nightmares because He wanted to begin to speak to her.  God is so kind!

I think some people believe I just woke up one morning and was able to hear God's voice with real clarity.  I'm so glad that's not what happened.  I have spent many years being intentional about hearing God's voice, about stepping out of my comfort zone and taking risks time and time again.  I've got a whole load of stuff wrong, but as I've continued to be faithful with what God has given me I've also got a whole load of stuff right.  Why am I glad I didn't just wake up with this gift?  Because the prophetic gift (like all the gifts) is rooted in relationship.  A growing relationship of love and trust between a Father and His Daughter.  I wouldn't want it any other way.  How's your relationship going?

Monday, 17 October 2011

Impact in South Africa - Adventures in Harding

View on route!
There's more to tell about my trip to South Africa; God was so good!  Even though I'm now well and truly back into the swing of things here in Bedford (we are into our 4th week of TSM with 40 students from all over the country and 2 different nations!) I wanted to blog one last time about my trip to Harding.

Drew had a genius idea for my second weekend in South Africa.  He and Megan are good friends with a couple called Paul and Shannon Simpson who lead a church in the farming town of Harding (about 2 hours drive from Durban)  The plan was to take a trip there over a weekend with about 14 people from Hope Church as ministry team.  Those who came as part of the team had received much from God during the previous 'Impact' weekend and now they had the privilege of giving it away.  (What was really fun was that during the Saturday evening fire tunnel most of those I would be taking were laying on the floor totally drunk in the spirit - I knew then that it was going to be a good weekend!)

Sunday morning meeting
We had a great time speaking to the church in Harding about God as Father and our identity as His sons and daughters.  It was such a privilege to minister in a place with such diverse cultures in the same church - rich white farmers and poor black children from the townships, worshiping the same God and being family together.  Amazing!

In the afternoon we went out onto the streets treasure hunting.  I went in a team with Paul and we walked through Harding 'High Street' looking for clues.  We got a lot of attention as it's not common for white people to be walking in public - most drive.  It was so fun to experience a culture full of people so open to spiritual things and receiving prayer.  At one point at the local hospital we were speaking to a security guard who was mocking Christianity and saying that ancestral worship was the only way to go.  Then God spoke to me about a problem he had with one of his ears.  At that point, he began to pay more attention and he asked us to pray for his ear and also his heart which was causing him problems.

A highlight of the trip for me was the hour that I and the team spent prophesying over people in the church.  I experienced a new level of accuracy in the prophetic and for a much longer period of time than ever before.  One of the ladies I prophesied over experienced significant emotional healing as Jesus broke off lies she had been believing about her significance in God's Kingdom.  That afternoon as she took one of her children to a birthday party, she offered to pray for a friend of hers for the first time for healing - Her friend's headache disappeared immediately as she commanded healing.  Even this week I've heard more stories of breakthrough this lady has experienced as she's stepped out in confidence and boldness.  Absolutely love it!

Durban and Harding couldn't be more different in terms of their size, landscape, culture - yet the same God is powerfully at work in both places.  On the Sunday morning I spoke in church about the importance of creating a culture of honour,  At the end of the meeting, a girl gave her life to Jesus and a lady who a team had met on outreach the day before was healed of a painful leg condition - it was her first time at the church.  We are living in such exciting times!  I hope to visit Harding again sometime soon.
The Team (minus a couple)