Sunday was, for me, a day I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of being in many wonderful meetings in many wonderful countries. In churches that have surprised me, too. A lot of been in charismatic ‘new’ churches, some in much more traditional denominational churches. Others, yet, in churches where I’ve not understood a single word – like in Samuel Lamb’s church in Guanzhou, China – but the presence of the Holy Spirit has been so powerful: or understood a little, where the presence of God has again been overwhelming, like in the Catholic Church, Santa Rosa, in Cali, Colombia.
Sunday, in France, was ‘Christ the King’ day – bringing back many recent memories of being at the amazing statue of Jesus high in the Andes, looking of the city of Cali, which has the same name. I’d been invited to speak at ‘The marriage Feast of the Lamb’, an event scheduled – I thought! – from 1100 – 1700. Hmm!! It brought back other memories, too – as far back as 1984, when I was at Roffey Place Christian Training Centre, as, for a period of six weeks, it was the joy of a lifetime to have an amazing man in the room next door, visiting on a sabbatical. He was Father Ian Petit, a Benedictine Monk, one of the Pioneer leaders of the Catholic Charismatic movement in the UK and Europe: it was like having Jesus next door. Ian was as ‘evangelical charismatic’ as anyone I’d met, which, then, I guess, was pretty radical.
This wonderful day Sunday was in Cerizay, quite some distance away: and it was beautiful. The presence of Jesus filled the room, there was lovely worship, and then a time of waiting, for the Bridegroom to arrive. If I hadn’t known, and I’d been asked to ‘guess’ the make-up of the people gathered there (about 70), I’d have said it was just a bunch of Jesus-loving radical worshippers, all totally in love with the Lamb of God…some friends back home will be surprised (maybe some shocked!!) that they are charsimatic Catholics. I was so welcomed and accepted by them, it was wonderful. Jesus certainly did turn up, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit flowed thick and fast.
A short time of speaking, translated by my great friend,Jean-Philippe Roullier, was followed by a long time of ministry, praying for the sick – with some wonderful miracles and healings! When I arrived, a lovely lady and her husband made a bee-line for me, to tell me that, at Louange Côte Ouest, in May 2013, I prayed for the husband, who was pretty much stone deaf, with expensive powerful hearing aids…. that prayer-time, he took them out, and has never worn them since, as he can hear perfectly….
What we THOUGHT was going to be a 5 pm (1700) finish – after a wonderful meal prepared by the lovely Nico, a top notch chef, and his equally lovely wife, Lucie – turned into an 11.30 pm (2330) finish, and then the drive home – only 1½ hours, so a 1 am (0100) aeeival home! To say we were knackered, totally exhausted would be an understatement!! But what an amazing day… loads of others healed too, and just the most wonderful presence of Jesus touching and filling everyone. Thank you, Nico and Lucie, for your vision, your faith, and your culinary skills!