Twenty years ago John and Linda Lanferman uprooted and moved to St Louis to plant Jubilee church. Wendy and I had lived in nearby Columbia Missouri for two years (1993/95) and on our return to the UK, with a growing number of Newfrontiers churches in the Mid-West, I felt that St Louis provided an obvious centre to establish a strong base for Newfrontiers in the USA.
Starting with a tiny handful John and Linda have been enabled steadily to build a mature, multi-site church now led by Bryan Mowrey. We so enjoyed celebrating their 20th anniversary with them.
As I spent a very full Saturday morning with a dozen young and impressive leaders and emerging leaders, I thought the future looks very bright for this church. Sunday found me preaching at their three morning meetings to enthusiastic crowds! Praise God for all that has been accomplished in these 20 years!
From St Louis, we flew to Austin, Texas where Jeff Vanderstelt had invited me to address a conference of church planters from his SOMA group. Encouraging couples who want to plant churches not only in the USA but as far as the UK and Slovakia proved very worthwhile.
Mexico here we come.
Then on to Mexico to churches I love to visit. First came a morning with leaders from churches across Guadalajara. The following morning, I spoke at The Ark, to a packed church where at the conclusion, praise God, the Lord healed many. That evening many packed into a city-wide celebration and a large crowd poured forward in response to the word.
Next we travelled to Leon where again there were opportunities to address pastors and leaders in several sessions covering many diverse themes. Our final Sunday morning saw people from five churches crowd into a large warehouse and once again many expressed their personal commitment by stepping forward for prayer. (This lady and her family were thrilled when her curved back was straightened!)
Enjoying God’s presence.
I love participating in worship in these Mexican churches! They demonstrate such joy in Christ and zeal for his glory. Sadly, I know no Spanish, so I join in by singing the melodies, but I sing enthusiastically in tongues. It usually lasts for about 45 minutes, and I sometimes recognise phrases from familiar songs translated into Spanish which themselves stir my heart.
On these occasions I feel a powerful sense of God’s intimate presence and often find that he speaks to me. Following such times I feel so stirred and fired up to preach!
Before leaving Mexico a special bonus was in store. Lee Yarbrough’s son William ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Yarbrough ) is a professional goalkeeper in Leon’s premier side. Yes, we watched a lively, noisy, enthusiastically supported game. Enormous fun!
Candles that reignite!
While we were in St Louis yet another birthday, where I was presented with a birthday cake sporting candles that refused to be blown out but kept reigniting. May they prove prophetic for this servant of God of advancing years!
Now we’ve returned to sunny Sussex, not as hot as Mexico, but I’m not complaining. It’s a huge privilege to serve the saints across the nations.