Last Sunday morning, I had the privilege of speaking at Brook House, the Gatwick Airport Detention Centre. In many respects, it’s a sad place: but there was FAR from an atmosphere of sadness, anger, or any other major negative emotion, as the praise time, and the preaching time, had a real air of praise from the men there. Bearing in mind that all the men are in the process of being deported, for whatever reason, they were excited about God, and very, very friendly. I don’t know how many different nationalities were represented – among them were Nigerian, Ghanaian, Indian, Dominican, Kazakhs, Romanian, Kyrgistani …more, but my brain fade has just kicked in! – and it was terrific. A few guys said that they were healed, including a lovely man from India, who had suffered very poor sight in his right eye, and could now see, another who had had a lot of pain in his shoulder, back, and neck, which went… It was good to be able to say a few words to the Romanian man, who was delighted that I knew his home city of Ploiesti, and even more delighted that I could say a few words to him in Romanian, as he doesn’t speak any English. It didn’t have a ‘detention centre’ feel about it: maybe that’s in part because the Chaplain, my long-time friend Nick Harding, is such a lovely man, who clearly has a great relationship with these guys, some of whom he’ll only know for a few days, others longer as their appeals drag on… I’d love to go back soon.
The highlight, though, was after the meeting: I can’t say too much, but suffice to say that one of the guards – who’d been there throughout the meeting – suddenly opened up with problems of his own, a man carrying a lot of pain from the past, and it was a joy to talk with him, pray with him, and really sense that God touched him.
Facebook readers, and others I’m sure, will know by now, that dear Sergey passed away last Friday. Obviously, I’m desperately sad, and even more so as I couldn’t be at his funeral on Wednesday, in Melbourne. Please, please – if you were praying for him and Svetlana and Mary, continue to pray for her and Mary. These days are devastating for them: please remember them in prayer, for the peace and presence of Jesus to be ever-present in their home, and for ‘right’ grief to be their experience. In one sense, there are NO answers as to ‘why?’, even if there are reasons in the heart of God.
Last week, too, I had the privilege of praying for a lovely young man, Carl, in one of London’s top hospitals. He’s a young man with a huge call from God on his life: and it’s evident that the enemy is scared out of his mind by what Carl can – and will – achieve. He’s had leukaemia: but the treatment has given has given him such a raft of other dreadful issues, it’s almost unreal. It was good to be with him, his parents, and a couple of elders from their church, to pray, to tell the enemy where to go, and speak accelerated supernatural healing into his life. I’ll update you as I get news…
This coming week, I have visiting me in Northern Ireland, two wonderfully dear friends, Ian and Bev. They are Aussies, but I met them when I was in Virginia, as they’ve lived in the States for 30 years or more. Ian and Bev and I related so well in those times in the States – much as I love Americans, there’s far more of a ‘common bond’ between Aussies and Brits. When I had my traumatic 6 years ‘disagreement’ with United States Immigration and Customs (not my fault, as it turned out, for those of you who remember!! – a ‘Yankee’ issue that had profound and very expensive effect on me), Ian and Bev were brilliant, kept me sane (some might disagree with that, but you didn’t see me without them!!), and have been very dear friends for some years. They’re going to Cali, Colombia, with me, too, at the end of the month, which is, for me, a dream!