The weather in Wales can be unpredictable, as the hundreds of student leaders who gathered just outside Oswestry were to discover last week.
One would have to say that their spirits were not dampened but guys and girls seemed untroubled and eager to be in the meetings, not to mention enjoying one another’s fellowship. I personally found it a great pleasure once again to take the morning Bible Studies with this very vibrant group of young people.
On this occasion I spoke from Ephesians chapters 1, 2 and 3, and found the students attentive, warm and very appreciative.
It was great to renew fellowship with many friends and to make new friends. I was particularly encouraged to hear how Newfrontiers churches are regarded as warm, friendly and very approachable. Several UCCF students now attend Newfrontiers churches up and down the country and staff workers expressed great appreciation for our support. ChristChurch and Revelation churches in London were particularly mentioned to me as being very helpful in their attitude to local Christian Unions, and I was warmly thanked for the attitude that prevails.
Phatfish were also well received as they performed a couple of gigs. They have won many hearts in this context, as has Stuart Townend. I thank God for these wonderful musicians, not only in terms of their great songs but their great attitudes, and I am very proud to be associated with them.
I detected a genuine openness to the activity of the Holy Spirit and was particularly delighted when some who were plainly thirsty came to receive the Holy Spirit as well as hear the Word of God expounded.
I enjoyed being interviewed by Dave Bish and hearing of the advance of the gospel in the Newfrontiers church in his region there in Exeter.
For me, the week came to a glorious conclusion. After a day of prayer and fasting with some wonderful zealots, I attended the laying on of hands for my son Simon as he becomes the leading elder of Kings Church, Kingston on Thames. They are a great church full of prayer, full of faith and full of hope for the future, and Simon is so well placed with them. They have shown such love and kindness in receiving Simon and Caroline and they are full of faith for a great future as they press on in a town full of students. I mentioned at UCCF that this was about to happen and the news was greeted with tremendous enthusiasm.
I do pray that many student leaders, having been exposed to serious teaching on the Church based on Ephesians, will feel ever-growing passion to embrace the work that God has prepared in advance for them, maybe many of them into full-time Christian ministry.