I had the privilege of spending a week in Sydney after our two week ministry adventure in New Zealand. The plan was to have a bit of a break before heading back to the UK and back to work. Pete, Laura and I had a great time catching up with the amazing Amanda Bezer (pictured below). We were also hugely blessed to meet some outstanding people who are part of Grace City Church, the New Frontiers Church in Sydney.
As part of our week I was asked if I would lead a treasure hunting morning on the Saturday. An opportunity to train some people from the church in treasure hunting; to encourage them with stories of some of the stuff we've seen in Bedford and then to have some time to go out and do the stuff. I was blown away by the number of God encounters the teams had in just one hour on a very busy bit of beach called Dee Why!
I teamed up with an amazing lady called Johanna and we had an outstanding encounter when we approached a lady wandering away from the beach. I had the clue white hat; the lady's hat was cream, but after a bit of deliberation we decided to approach her anyway. I'm so glad we did!
We explained what we were doing and showed the lady our treasure maps. She could relate to some of the ailment clues, to do with bad knees and a painful wrist so we offered to pray for her. I asked if there was anything else we could pray for as God obviously wanted to pick her out. At that moment she started to cry and then she explained why.
It turns out that she was a Christian but hadn't been going to church for a while. She'd been having some difficulties with her marriage and had that morning been reading a book on the beach by Rick Warren about how to stand firm in life's crisis'. Basically she was in need of some intervention and encouragement from God and then we stopped her! How kind is God! We got to encourage her and then pray. As we prayed I felt God speak to me about music being important to this woman and that it gave her life. That this was a gift from God and she was to feel free to listen to music more. She started to cry again as she told us she'd written in her journal that morning that music was important to her and gave her life. She was so encouraged.
As we left we exchanged details and invited her to church the following morning. It was so exciting to see her there the next day and to watch her fill out a 'stay in touch' card. God had not only picked out this lady for an encounter on the streets, He'd brought her into a new family. Johanna has been in touch with this lady since and been out for coffee with her with another friend. God is building His church (and to think we nearly didn't stop to say hi!)
|Johanna, Me, Amanda and Laura|