I’ve just returned from a fascinating time in the U.S.A where I was primarily involved with our Newfrontiers U.S.A. annual leaders’ event which, praise God, continues to grow in numbers year-by-year as we plant more churches and others join us.
It was a special pleasure to meet guest speaker, Bob Roberts (from Texas, as he kept reminding us!) He is an amazing man with a delightful sense of humour and also a PhD! He is not only a zealous church planter but a man of huge passion for the Lord Jesus involved in mission in Vietnam and also remarkably in the Middle East.
His costly passion for Christ was profoundly challenging although mingled with great humour and warmth. What a guy! And what a privilege to get to know him, have meals with him and hear about his motivations and involvements.
The conference itself was a huge blessing, overseen by John Lanferman who is loved and respected by all the guys in the Newfrontiers scene in the U.S. A morning of prayer (a regular Newfrontiers feature!) was brilliantly led by Ian Ashby from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
While In St. Louis, I was fascinated to be approached by two leaders of large churches from different States who have left their former denominations because of the drift of having women in pastoral oversight of those churches – something they couldn’t settle for. Also a former Presbyterian missionary with a PhD from Aberdeen University, came to see me who had recently been powerfully baptised in the Spirit, leading to his church being similarly visited by God with some dramatic healings. Sadly this led to his having been dropped by his mission supporters. Fascinating developments! I am sure that God will not bless a man into extinction! He has become a true son of Abraham with the future all unknown, but with God just as faithful now as he was in Abraham’s day.
Darrin Patrick, Vice-President of Acts 29, invited me to be interviewed for the Resurgence site. We enjoyed a great time together covering lots of very interesting subjects. A week later I spoke to the Acts 29 Mid-West pastors’ day hosted at Darrin’s church in St. Louis where about 300 guys gathered. At his request, in the morning I spoke on prayer which was very warmly received, and in the afternoon, answered a Q & A time for about 1½ hrs which again was blessed by the Lord’s presence. I am personally very new to the world of “Twitter” but I am told that “Twitter-land” was going frantic as I was speaking and find that I have now two hundred more followers on my “Twitter” than I had before I spoke! I seem to have found a lot of new friends! Certainly I am delighted to regard Darrin as one of them. What an excellent guy!
Jubilee Church, St. Louis
I was particularly encouraged to see how the Jubilee Church, led by Bryan Mowrey, which has recently doubled its morning meeting to two services is growing. I enjoyed the meetings which were excellently led in worship by Jordan Dillon. Following the preaching I loved praying for the sick. Several were healed, including a woman whose spine was wracked with arthritic pain who testified that she felt it simply “melt away” when I prayed. Tears were flowing down her face as she gave testimony to this wonderful release – her fist time in the church. Praise the Lord!
Wendy and I enjoyed a reunion with John and Kim Lalgee, who not only took us to the top of the 96 storey Hancock Tower for a fabulous view of Chicago, but also invited three congregations together for us to have time with leaders and churches, share Q & A and tell the story of Newfrontiers.
It was a memorable and extremely enjoyable weekend.
My time in the U.S.A. was a delight and I am so grateful to God for the growing number of friends we are making, with all the blessing that we receive from who they are in God and also the awareness that, praise God (!) Newfrontiers churches are beginning to have increasing influence.