Our extended visit to Australia has provided a great opportunity for first-hand contact with our church plants in this part of the world.
While most of New Zealand was experiencing heavy rain and even flooding, 300 people from our church plants in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington enjoyed sunshine and warm weather at our weekend camp.
Peter Brooks and I were the speakers and I was invited to take four sessions on the Grace of God in order to help establish a grace foundation among these new churches. I must confess that I have spoken frequently on these themes but did enjoy an extraordinary sense of liberty in bringing the material. One of our English friends said that they had heard me speaking on these themes before but never with such freedom and authority. If you would like to catch up and hear this latest preaching on Grace over four sessions, I would encourage you to go to the Resources page of this website.
We were very encouraged also to see many people healed at the end of one or two sessions when I felt God led me to pray for the sick.
It was so good to see the progress that is being made among our friends in New Zealand.
Following the conference, Wendy and I stayed for a couple more days to see some of the breathtaking beauty of the southern island of New Zealand, returning via Christchurch to catch a glimpse of the new building that King’s Church have obtained.
Bridgeway Church (Sydney) Retreat
On the following weekend we joined with the Sydney church for its camp. 200 of us travelled to an excellent camp about an hour away.
On the Saturday morning, after Peter Brooks had called the people to remember Bartimaeus and his urgent pleading of Jesus to meet his need, I was asked to speak on the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
At the conclusion of the talk many came forward and were filled with the Holy Spirit, praising God in new tongues and encountering Him in a very powerful way. It was a truly memorable morning. I am also arranging for that talk to be put on my Resources page and you might like to take advantage of listening to it. Many testified that they had never realised how to receive the Holy Spirit and understood things so much more clearly having heard the Scriptures expounded. Maybe you would like to listen with faith, anticipating that you might receive the Spirit while listening. Several said that after years of being perplexed about this subject they now understood fully and received with tremendous joy (www.terryvirgo.org/resources1.html).
What a privilege it was to travel with Peter Brooks and visit our courageous team in Nagoya as they establish a beachhead into Japan. Tom and Julie Eaton, formerly of CCK in Brighton, joined by a growing international team, are beginning to gather a number of Japanese people who are enjoying God’s grace together.
My first appointment was to speak at a leaders’ event hosted by Pastor Akihiro Mizuno. The group of 50 leaders included 20 pastors from Nagoya. While there Pastor Mizuno invited me to be the main speaker at the all-Japan ministers’ conference, to be held in February 2010, where it is anticipated that 500 pastors and missionaries from all over Japan will gather. It is also hoped that my book God’s Lavish Grace will be translated in time for that conference. It would be a great privilege to go and I am praying for God’s guidance.
I so enjoyed staying with Tom and Julia Eaton and their three beautiful daughters, and meeting the church and its leadership. We had great meetings and the final meeting saw lots of exciting healings. I think that many were hugely encouraged to see God healing people among them so freely.
I counted it a very great privilege to speak in yet another culture and to stand alongside my dear friends who are labouring at learning a language, doing a job and leading a church. They are superb heroes and I greatly honour and love them.
It is so important that our church plants throughout this region go well and that we build up a strong resource base for the invasion of Asia. One sees this vastly populated area of South East Asia from a completely different perspective while staying in Sydney.
Maybe God is speaking to you about standing with our friends for even a short season such as a year. You could be, for instance, an enormous blessing if you are a gifted worship leader and could give a year to stand with our friends in Japan. Maybe you could be involved in student outreach in Wellington, New Zealand, or help to stand with our church plants in Brisbane or Perth, Australia. This is a very exciting place to serve the Lord. Maybe God would have you give a year to help things in this part of the world which could have huge ramifications for the future.