When I began travelling, predominantly in the south-east of the UK, in the early ‘70s planting churches and encouraging believers to embrace teachings and practices appropriate to new wineskins, it never occurred to me that 30 years later we would be working with churches in every continent of the world.
This last week has been a massive privilege as 30 guys carrying huge responsibility in their nations gathered in Bournemouth, UK for four days of prayer and fellowship, coming from as far afield as Australia, South Africa, Russia, the USA and many other nations.
While we were together we heard reports from Edward Buria about not only the churches that he is planting and the poor he is serving but the huge opportunities he has had through Kenyan television to address his whole nation in the midst of political crisis.
Similarly, John Kpikpi from Accra, Ghana has been on national television addressing the nation in a time of political tension with huge impact. His church planting ministry now reaches into seven West African nations.
To hear Scott Marques from Zimbabwe express appreciation for the £400,000 that we gathered from among the Newfrontiers churches globally to send to help in the terrible conditions in Zimbabwe today was a huge privilege. It sounded so much like the apostle Paul collecting from the churches to care for the poor in Judea.
We had outstanding teaching, excellent discussions, wonderful times of prayer and prophesying. At times the sense of God’s presence was overwhelming. It is an immense privilege to be associated with such a team of spiritual giants and godly friends.
Our comradeship and sense of unity of heart and purpose was truly wonderful as we discussed and prayed about some of the implications of last year’s Together on a Mission and the provocative and helpful ministry brought to us by Mark Driscoll.
Doors continue to open across the nations, taking us deeper into Asia, Europe, the Far East, Central and South America. We are truly on global mission and have the privilege of a brotherhood of outstanding men of God heading up ever-growing teams into many nations.
I look forward to seeing them all again in Brighton at Together on a Mission in July. I do hope many of you who share this mission with us will be there as we anticipate an amazing time together. We are also grateful to God for a growing number of friends outside of Newfrontiers and hope that many of you will join us.
Now Wendy and I are off to Dihlabeng, on the South Africa/Lesotho border, to be with Steve Oliver, Julian Adams and Tim Davies for Steve’s Master Builders Conference. About 300 leaders from churches he has pioneered in that area will gather for four days of fellowship.
Then I’m back for New Word Alive in Pwllheli and looking forward to making new friends and hearing D.A. Carson again! As Kate Simmonds and Stuart Townend jointly expressed it, “I’m so grateful for the air I breathe, I’m so thankful for this life I live …”