Bathed daily in glorious sunshine, the Newfrontiers conference held in Delden, The Netherlands, proved a great success. Led by Henk Kersten from Harderwijk, Mike Betts from Lowestoft and Joseph Kristensen from Copenhagen, and attended by people from The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Germany and England, we enjoyed a great sense of unity expressed by wholehearted worship and awareness of God’s presence.
Julian Adams from Cape Town joined us and his contribution proved a great blessing. A wonderful highlight was when he discerned that God wanted to heal a number of people, one of whom was suffering from a bone-crumbling disease.
On the following day we heard the moving testimony of Jurjen de Hoop from Maastricht who had courageously attended the conference in great pain, suffering the sickness that Julian had described. As he walked forward for prayer, he felt all the pain and physical restrictions lift from his body. He radiantly gave God the glory for his remarkable release from pain.
On the previous evening we had also been thrilled to receive an offering for our work in Northern Europe three times greater than was originally hoped for. As I heard our brother’s testimony, I felt impressed by the Holy Spirit to pray for the many present who had walked forward with their offering in serious obedience to the previous evening’s sermon and invitation. I felt that God showed me that as Jurjen had been released from pain, so that they had stepped into a new dimension of confident commitment to giving and that God was dealing with their previously ‘brittle’ faith, imparting new grace and to many the gift of giving (Romans 12:8).
Many stood in response to my invitation and I felt that God told me to declare Paul’s confident promise, ‘My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus,’ over them, not simply as a wonderful Scripture (Phil. 4:19) but as a prophetic blessing and affirm that they would go on to experience God’s provision in the same way that our brother had experienced God’s touch.
To my surprise, at that very moment, one lady in the meeting experienced sudden and strange spiritual and emotional distress and cried out publicly. After prayer she felt released and set free. We were later informed that serious financial problems had blighted her life.
I believe that God was powerfully present in this prayer time and look forward to hearing news of good fruit in the coming days.
Peter Sleebos Another particular joy for me was to meet Peter Sleebos, the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in Holland. What a gracious man! He told me of churches being planted and growing in The Netherlands, particularly a large English-speaking congregation in Amsterdam and also a Spanish-speaking church of 900 started originally by some ex-prostitutes.
He told me of fading numbers in the historic churches but that a recently-published statistic claimed that now 80% of church-goers in The Netherlands took the Bible seriously, but sadly only 60% of ministers do.
I was also particularly encouraged to see my book, God’s Lavish Grace, translated and published in Dutch and also to learn from Kerstin Doyle of Trons Värld (a leading Swedish magazine) that my Grace book, which has also been translated into Swedish, has been having impact there. She interviewed me for the magazine. It was excellent to have fellowship with these friends from across Northern Europe and sense fresh life and encouragement coming from God.