I am happy to be able to report that transition in Newfrontiers appears to be progressing very sweetly! I have just returned from what many regarded as the best ever Equipped For Mission Conference in the USA, under John Lanferman’s leadership. Numbers of regulars and visitors were both considerably increased, and indeed guest pastors from as far apart as Los Angeles and Rhode Island, seemed genuinely stirred and very appreciative, expressing real desire to press forward in relationship.
A conversation that was repeated to me gave me reason to rejoice: a waitress serving during our banqueting evening commented that she and the hotel staff enjoyed our annual visits because we were somewhat ‘unique’ guests. We seemed like one big family; happy, uncomplaining and evidently enjoying one another’s company.
John Lanferman started the conference with a magnificent word beginning in Jeremiah and leading us to the sufficiency of Christ. An excellent prayer time was led by Ian Ashby, and David Devenish saw a phenomenal response to his appeal for commitment to mission, with scores pouring forward to express their openness to God’s call; and Brian Mowrey sent us on our way with an extraordinary, helpful word based in Hebrews 11, which was both encouraging and challenging. This was all interspersed with superb times of worship led by Jordan Dillon.
I enjoyed speaking at a couple of sessions, the first based on 1 Thessalonians 1, and the second opening up the subject of healing, in which several were healed. I was also especially encouraged to hear an amazing testimony of healing, following my previous visit.
Back in the UK
Unusually, jet lag was no serious problem on our return, which was a good thing as Wendy and I went straight to Sidcup to attend two days of prayer and fasting. Led by David Holden, about 150 gathered, including some from France, Holland and Italy.
If the first day was good, and it was, the second day was so rich with the sense of God’s presence! Tears were shed by our Italian guests, excitement expressed by those from Holland and determined purpose by those from France. There were some powerful prophetic words, particularly by Steve Alliston, and Andrew Wilson brought some particularly helpful observations about how we view the transitional changes. Worshipping Jesus together was wonderful, accompanied by a great sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence. Nick Sharp was a pillar of strength and Phil Moore and Stuart Gibbs led excellent prayer sessions.
David Holden shared plans for next summer’s camp at Ashburnham and these were enthusiastically prayed over. It is exciting to realise that next year’s five Newfrontiers weekends, together with Newday and Mobilise, will possibly result in over 20,000 people attending camps, which is not so very far short of the total that gathered at Stoneleigh!
I have also received encouraging reports of similar days of prayer gathered by David Devenish, and Guy Miller in their respective spheres. Now we go to Turkey for an International Leadership conference where leaders and wives from our apostolic spheres around the world will gather. We are anticipating a great time exchanging news of what God is continuing to do among us, and receiving fresh words of encouragement, inspiration and direction as we go forward on many fronts but still enjoying our family relationship.