Last night, I had the privilege of speaking to the Intercessors and Partners of a terrific ministry here in Northern Ireland – Times of Refreshing Ministries. Headed up by Brian & Jean Patton, it was a genuine delight to be with them last night. I think it’s wonderful how God calls and equips people in different ‘areas’ of ministry, and then, quite wonderfully, brings them together.
Those of you who know me well – even quite well! – will know that, when it comes to praying for people, I’m not a ‘hit and run’ person, not a ‘pusher-over’, but I love – NEED – and want to engage with people, as everyone who comes for prayer is an individual, not just a ‘pray-ee’, so I like to take time, albeit sometimes only a few minutes, to get to know who I’m praying for.
Brian & Jean, and TRM, have a ministry that is wonderful in its counselling, its training courses (http://www.trmbelfast.org/aboutus.htm). They have endless patience, great skill and gifting, at unlocking issues in people who need to be out-of-the-way before they can REALLY become the people God wants them to be. I love the fact that they could – maybe will, in the future, who knows? – pick up people I’ve only had a few minutes with. Truth is, I’m not an intercessor or counselling: just someone who loves people: I don’t really have the patience to ‘counsel’ someone for hours and hours, whereas these friends do.
Brian & Jean asked if I’d just share some encouraging stuff with their staff and partners, and – of course! – there were lots of them to pray for afterwards! When my friends Andrew & Valerie Barr first introduced me to them, we realised we’d already met, many years ago (it’s got to be at least 10-12, maybe more), in a ministry time at a Healing Conference in St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Full circle – how does God do that? He’s so good at the fine-detail, isn’t he?
And yesterday, I had a lovely message from Wilmar, in Cali: he’s been in touch with our mutual friend Dario, the favela boss, and Dario is very keen for Wilmar to begin meetings in the middle of Siloe (Sil-o-ay!)at the home of the widow of Dario’s friend. You know, I’m still mulling over that last trip – it doesn’t seem possible it’s already a week since I’ve been home, but more and more, the impact and significance of the trip dawns on me. I’m realising that maybe as ‘church’ we’ve looked for revival in – often – the wrong places… maybe it’s on the ‘risky, dangerous’ streets that God will bring the revival revolution: this is what Wilmar said of his conversation with Dario:
- Dario and is very grateful to you and the team, but he said he would like to have your e-mail. I told him that went on a trip so I promised my return a meeting in the favela and Family … glory to God, I saw him very willing .. so please continue praying for this beautiful door and opportunity God has opened thanks to you … I love you my friend yet you’re still be here … a blessing … I miss you …
Wilmar is now in Bolivia for 3 weeks, so please, would you pray for what’s begun in those guys in Siloe: I know I’ve said this before, but the ramifications, the significance, of this, could be massive. I’m so thrilled that people in that sort of community and lifestyle seem to like me! I’m old enough to be at very least ‘dad’, more likely ‘granddad’, and, for some of the really young lads who have had no alternative to this sort of lifestyle as they’re born into it – I’m old enough to be their great-granddad!
Maybe that’s something of the favour of the Lord: I know that I’m so, so grateful for God’s favour. Please pray that God will continue to move in that poor widow’s life and family. God’s Presence in her home, despite it being a ‘siccario’ agency, was so tangible, please pray that God would just love her, and be with her and her lovely kids in these days while Wilmar is away.
I’m looking forward to next weekend, speaking at Fresh Springs Church, Seaford, East Sussex: Seaford’s where I went to Junior School, with a psychotic fiery Yorkshire woman who hated me ‘cos I was left-handed… I’m not sure I’ve really ever been back to Seaford since leaving that school! I DO remember being caned 4 times a day, at least, for the last 4 years there: but I forgave her, many years ago, don’t worry! I’ve…er… tried to create a page on Facebook for the weekend – meetings Saturday (3 pm and, I guess 7.30 pm), and church on Sunday, probably 10.30 am) – but my tech skills are sadly lacking even for such a simple job as putting that page together! If you’re free Saturday, it’d be lovely to see if you’re in shouting (or driving!) distance of Seaford: if you have no church and are free Sunday morning, then too: but I’d never want to encourage people away from their own church. The church was planted, and is led, by long-time friends Peter & Tricia Hindley: yet another relationship forged way back in the annals of time!
The meetings are in the Clinton Centre, Clinton Place, Seaford, BN25 1NP: from my memory of the town, that’s the main street in the town, the main Eastbourne to Brighton road.
I’d love to see you!