A tragedy that may pave the way for a lasting solution – Home Leone Update

posted in: In The News | 0

Hi there,

14 August 2017 will live long in the memory of Freetown.  Part of a hill simply collapsed and a mudslide buried probably over 1,000 people.  Like many, they built their homes in unsafe places and focused the eyes of the world on another disaster in Sierra Leone.

The questions over appalling slum living, recognition of no housing policy and how does a country, with no quick response agency, address such a situation loom large.  For nearly a month, all the leaders from the main NGO’s embassies and agencies meet at 9am every day as gradually the approx. 1,600 families that registered as being affected are helped.  They debate logistics, monetary payments, shelter for those families. With so many unsafe areas and the rains washing away or flooding homes across the city, some get helped, others simply mange.

For Home Leone those interested in our work significantly expanded.  We worked hard to share our vision as I was interviewed on the BBC 10pm news and a longer time on BBC 3 Counties Radio. Below I share just a few of the ways we sense our vision is starting to gain traction.

I have just returned from Sierra Leone.  Whilst others are better placed to address the disaster, we were given some funds to help those in great need.  One day, I joined our teams as we delivered rice, water, sardines and clothes to 130 families across 4 slum areas.  I stood in so many 6ft square shacks that were simply flooded, home to mothers and children where each night they sleep on boards hovering over the water.  This should not be.  We must redouble our efforts to enable thousands to leave this awful accommodation and way of life.  It’s almost overwhelming, yet we start with the first one.

Thank you for your love, financial support and prayers.  We urgently need your help to make a lasting difference.

With love

Nigel Hyde
Chief Executive

Next Stage of Building

We now have funds and pledges to build the next 24 homes. Already the foundations are being built for these, the local people deeply grateful for the employment too.  This means our aim is to move the first families around Easter next year should become a reality.

Staff at Home Leone 
Joe and Sarah, having had a refreshing time in the UK, soon return to Destiny Village.  They are joined by Toby Johnston, who is being sent out by Hope Church in Luton and is setting up a garage which will help sustainability and skills development.  They are joined by Richard Edgington from Chippenham.  He saw me on the BBC news and thought “I could go and help for 3 months.”  As the building is stepping up in pace we appreciate his help.  Maybe you would be interested in joining our team for a season?Lyndon, our communications director has worked hard visiting government office across Freetown.  His networking is enabling more to catch the vision that low-cost housing and community development is possible, even in a place like Freetown which is a very difficult environment.

A few of the current initiatives – We realised again that we were founded for “such a time as this”

It seems like God is providing breakthroughs on so many fronts.  Below is a just a flavour of a little of what is happening:

  1. 1. We visited a man with an old chicken farm near our village.  It could mean we don’t need to  build one ourselves  as we are in discussions about acquiring the premises for up to 10,000 layers.  We want to also develop a feed mill to ensure supply.  For this we need investors who will get their money back in 2 years with an interest rate of 3%. Perhaps is you have money dormant earning very little in the bank, you would consider such an investment? If so do get in touch on 07961 576769
  1. 2. The brick making factory has now produced the first 15,000 blocks.  Whilst it’s had some teething troubles, the next hand press machines have arrived and production will increase.  Once the large machine arrives, gifted by Mazars accountants, our capacity will increase to over 5,000 per day.
  1. 3. I met with Gwen Smith of Transformation Education.  She has been training teachers and those in education for 10 years in the country and has agreed to lead our education development plans.  We are grateful to Gwen and to God for this wonderful help.
  1. 4. We have had several meetings with the Vice-Presidents office.  He stated he wants to help “make the village happen”.  This has helped us get some key paperwork that despite best endeavors had proved elusive over 3 years.  The international community are sending money for housing and we are in the mix with our proposals.  The government has land about 2 miles from us and we are offering to build out our village and build several others nearby. We are ready to build out quickly.
  1. 5. We have a team coming from Luton and across the country to help on 20 October for a week.  We have a couple of spaces left if anyone else would like to join us.  In November, a team from consulting engineers, Arup, are sending their first corporate team which is very encouraging.
  2. 6. There are a few key things we need to buy or have donated – I wonder if you have any colecting dust in a garage that you would let us use
  • Any recent laptops or old phones
  • A large petrol chain saw – ideally one that cuts tree trunks!
  • A large garage rolling toolbox
  • Any generators
  • Your help would make such a difference.

A church for the poor and the launch of our 4pm service – Part 2

posted in: Hope Church, Tony Thompson | 2

In my previous blog I highlighted three lessons learnt from a book I read over the Summer,  A Church for the Poor: Transforming the church to reach the poor in Britain today (Charlesworth, Martin;Williams, Natalie) as we look to launch our 4pm service. This blog gives a further four.

 

  • A church for the poor will need to be aware of issues of race.

 

Race is hugely relevant to poverty in Britain today and therefore vitally important when contemplating how to build a church for the poor.

if a white, middle class leader stands up on a Sunday and says to the congregation that we want a diverse, inclusive church, but doesn’t ever invite anyone from an ethnic minority or working class or poor background to dinner at his house, we have to ask some questions about how important inclusivity really is.

It is encouraging that we have become increasingly inclusive over the last number of years, this seems to be a good foundation to really impact the poor in our society.

 

  • Building an inclusive church which includes the poor is not easy.

 

Materialism can be an obstacle to building a church for the poor because it can hinder our generosity and cause others to feel that they need to attain a certain standard of living to ‘fit in’ with the culture of our churches.

So we need churches where the working class and the middle class sit together, speak with one another, share food and faith and find community that transcends postcodes and income levels and educational achievements.

But building churches where people from all different backgrounds form community is a time-consuming, painstaking, decades-long process.

If the largely middle class church is unwilling to modify its culture, there will be challenges. Also, if those making the journey into the heart of that community come from significantly different class, race or economic backgrounds—relational issues will often arise.

We cannot afford to be complacent, we need to be willing to put in the hard work and continually we willing to change as God directs us.

 

  • Some keys for building an inclusive church that includes the poor.

 

So here are four key factors that usually have a place in the process of being called to work to build a church for the poor: biblical conviction, personal experience, community circumstances and prophetic leading. All of them will help us on the journey.

From a New Testament point of view, it appears that it is an important skill of leaders to set the main culture so that all the significant sub-cultures in the church feel that they have a stake in the main culture.

A mature church has a number of flourishing sub-cultures whose members feel both a security in their own sub-culture and an ownership of the main church culture, which, of course, takes them somewhat out of their sub-cultural comfort zone.

The combination of key activists with a strong and sympathetic leadership often opens the way to the growth of social and ethnic diversity in local churches.

four key foundations in the early church’s care for the poor. Practical care. Advocacy. Evangelism. Discipleship

There are four vital resources to consider.

Human resources – Social action requires leadership and organisation. This can rarely be provided effectively by church pastors as they have numerous other responsibilities.

Many projects can’t really get off the ground or develop well until suitable leadership is put in place. Once this has been done, then activists are usually not hard to find.

Financial resources

Physical resources

Spiritual resources – have seen too many cases of emotional burnout as church leaders, project leaders and church members wilt under the pressure of constant front-line caring and giving.

Start small

Wow – what a list. However, it is encouraging that much of this is happening. We have a biblical conviction that this is right, we have gained much experience (including the fact that I, Tony come from a working-class background, we also have circumstances and prophetic leading. It does seem as if God is with us.

Other things are in place.

 

  • Some specific relevant advice for us as we start our alternative service

 

Care has been taken, however, to ensure that there is as much relational contact as possible between the two congregations even though they meet separately. This has been done through social events, personal friendships and church activities. In this way, a wider unity between them has been maintained. Also, some more established members of the satellite congregation have chosen to join the main congregation.

Preaching is fairly short, but very direct and practical. Storytelling in preaching is particularly important. Strong biblically-based talks with a single well illustrated point tend to achieve the best impact.

We are seeking to apply these.

Overall, I think we are in good shape to become even more a church for the poor, to become more like the church God wants us to be. Let us not be complacent, though and seek to pray and work it into being.

 

Written by Tony Thompson

A church for the poor and the launch of our 4pm service – Part 1

Over the Summer I read numerous books, which is something I look forward to and benefit from. One of the most helpful and encouraging was co-written by a personal friend, Martin Charlesworth; A Church for the Poor: Transforming the church to reach the poor in Britain today (Charlesworth, Martin;Williams, Natalie).

I found it encouraging, and challenging. It was encouraging as it indicated that in many ways we are on the right lines in what we are trying to build here at Hope Church, challenging because it highlighted the importance of what we are trying to do as we seek to start a 4pm service every Sunday from 15th October.

I would highly recommend you buy and read a copy.

Here are some of things I found particularly helpful and some comments on them. (More next week).

 

  • We need to move beyond just social action projects.

 

The church has more to offer those in need than just social action projects. People are more than ‘clients’—outcomes are more than statistics. People need friendship and community. People need to be valued. Many need someone to walk alongside them as they try to find ways of rebuilding their lives.

We need to find ways of integrating those from poor or deprived backgrounds into church communities, especially as some embark on a spiritual journey towards faith in Christ.

A church for the poor will not draw a false distinction between social action and evangelism, and it will not just provide practical assistance. It will boldly and humbly offer the gospel message to answer the deep spiritual poverty that so often exists side-by-side to material poverty.

Social action is only a part of the story. If we stop there, then we run the big risk that, for the most part, churches will still be relationally and culturally disconnected from the people they are helping. Sometimes social action projects accidentally reinforce existing social divides.

This is something we have realised and is the motivation for starting our 4pm service which will be held every Sunday at 4pm from 15th October. This will build on the work we have been doing over many years e.g. our High Town community worker, Open House; support of Azalea.

 

  • This was what happened in the early church.

 

To summarise, it seems that the apostles were making a big effort in the Jerusalem church to create a community that accepted all comers, was rooted in personal generosity, was socially inclusive, and had systems in place to help the poorest and most in need.

The pattern is the same wherever we look: all New Testament churches focused on remembering the poor in whatever way was most relevant to them. It was a priority, not an option.

We are left with the unmistakable impression that the churches of the apostolic period were not middle class enclaves, but a wonderful social mix of classes and races and cultures with a strong numerical representation within them of people who were relatively or absolutely poor. This was indeed a church for the poor.

What we are doing is Biblical, it is about seeking to restore the church to how Jesus intended it to be.

 

  • We can learn from churches in previous generations, from Methodists to the Salvation Army to Baptists with Spurgeon.

 

The genius of the Methodist ‘class’ system was that these groups were easy for the working class poor to join.

Early converts did not feel that they were joining a middle-class church—they felt the Salvation Army was their own, part of their own culture.

Booth believed that the institution of the local church had to look and feel significantly different in order to attract and keep those facing poverty.

The Salvation Army’s straightforward liturgy, direct preaching style, military culture and clear ethical teachings were all designed to be accessible to converts from poorer parts of Victorian society.

Spurgeon’s own city centre church remained largely attended by the middle classes of Victorian London, but he used the resources of his huge church and the training college he had founded to open the way for church planting in the poorer districts of London.

These are important points as we seek to launch our alternative service.

 

Written by Tony Thompson

Preview on studying Matthew

Reading and studying the Bible should challenge our preconceived ideas. As we look together at Matthew’s gospel over the Autumn I expect this to be the case.

The dialogue between Jesus and a rich young ruler is an example of what we should expect.

Matthew 19 v16 -25

16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” he inquired.

Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honour your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbour as yourself.’”

20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

This guy is the sort of person any church would love to walk through their doors. They would welcome him with open arms. He was very moral, was a good man in every definition of the term. He does everything people would expect of him, everyone who knew him confirmed it. He was also, wealthy, having many possessions. The guy even admits he is missing something, recognised that he had a spiritual need.

But Jesus doesn’t welcome him with open arms, he sends him packing with a strong answer.

No wonder the disciples struggled. If he is out, who is in.

We see here, in a single incident, the challenge of biblical Christianity – it is not what we expect. The disciples were shocked. Who can be saved? We need to be shocked too. Take time to be shocked, to be unsettled maybe even dismayed.

He went away grieved, sad. If that happened to anyone here we would feel uncomfortable, feel it was wrong… yet this is what happened. We obviously have lots still to learn from Jesus!

What I think is going on is that…………………

The rich young ruler was looking for just one more step for a fulfilled life. Jesus says you don’t need one more step, you are on the wrong road!

I think there are 4 reasons he went away grieving.

He talked to the real Jesus. Hearing the real message of Jesus, meeting the real Jesus is disturbing and shocking. He demands more than you thought, but offers more than you thought. There are only two possible responses to the real Jesus – bow down and wonder or go away offended. You can’t be indifferent. Jesus is not just a bolt on to our lives, he takes over.

Jesus smashed assumptions of how religion works. The guy felt he needed a spiritual experience. He wanted to be sure, he wanted assurance, he wanted peace. He assumed you add Christianity to your life. Like a missing instrument in band, adding drums or keyboard to really get authentic sound. What do I lack, what do I add? You don’t add, you must start afresh. Nicodemeus was the same – Jesus told him he must be born again. He needed a whole new approach. What good thing should I do – only one good. He needed to admit he was not good, like a needle under microscope. Like glowing eulogies at a funeral but the family knows everyone misshapen. The guy wouldn’t admit it. He thought people were divided, good verses bad. Jesus says there is no line – the only way to God is on a totally different basis – on my efforts not yours, says Jesus.

Jesus got personal. Refused to stay academic, Ruler thinks it is academic, about doctrine about understanding. Today people think their problem is why does a God of love punish people, or why is Christianity exclusive, or I need proof, I need to see a miracle. Jesus breaks through all this. Jesus looked at him and loved him, read his soul like a book. Jesus sees the real issue and tells him to get rid of your money. No-one else asked to give up everything, not even Zacchaeus. Jesus dealt with him like you would an alcoholic or gambler, or sex addict.  Jesus says I want the thing you think gives you life, until you give me that, it will kill you. Jesus was offering tough love – kill this thing before it kills you. If your right-hand cause you to sin chop it off! Put me first. Be willing to walk away from it all. A challenge Jesus brings to everyone. Is money an addiction – break the addiction, be ruthless. Even not having money can be a monster! We feel if only we had more money we would have control. It causes you to be bitter, envious, jealous. Even if you get the money you feel it is because you are smart and worked hard, not that it is a gift from God. Marriage can be an addiction – desire for a partner, or a different partner – Jesus says be willing to live a single life for me. One thing you lack -live a single life for me. Sexual fantasies and activities can be an addiction, usually a secret sin but impacts so many of us – be ruthless deal with it.

Lack one thing – treasure in heaven. Jesus is our treasure in heaven – with him we are rich. Nothing compares to the forgiveness we receive, adoption as sons and heirs. The treasure of Jesus is permanent. Rely on me, says Jesus, for your standing before God. It changes our attitude to everything as we rejoice that our names are written in heaven.

This episode in the life of Jesus needs to challenge us, needs to provoke change. That is why Matthew included it in his gospel.

 

Written by Tony Thompson

Newday ‘Forever, Now’ Album Review

posted in: Events, Hope Church, Worship | 0

Each year our young people go away to Newday which is a christian festival. Over the week they go to over a dozen meetings which include teaching but also a time of extended worship. The newday worship team led by Simon Brading from Brighton each year write an array of new songs for the event which can also be taken back to their local churches to be used as well. Each year in October an album is released of a live recording from the event, however this year the team have done something a little different, they have released a studio album. This means all the songs they have taught over the course of the week at the festival can be taken home already, complete with chord sheets to play them too.

The songs on this album are a step in a slightly more creative sounding direction for the newday worship team who have for the last several years been pushing in the direction of using more electronic sounds in their worship songs but also bringing great truth and lyrics through their songs as well. This album which was produced by guitarist Jack Wintermeyer definitely pushes further in that electronic sound but with the clear newday team stamp on it. The synths on this record are complimented nicely by the guitar work and riffs throughout and vocally all the worship leaders are on point.

 

The intro leading into the first song ‘Before the Start’ is a great album opener and builds up the atmosphere into the rest of the album. This song contains one of my favourite choruses

I lift my eyes up to You

And I just smile at the view

For when I look in Your eyes

You’re looking back in love’

 

The lead single ‘Fill Me Up’ is a radio friendly worship song with poptastic melody which taps into what the young people who attend newday might be listening to back at home.

The stand out tracks which we have already learnt at Hope Church in the last couple of weeks are ‘Rock of Ages’ and ‘Gateway’. The former which aligns itself with the classic hymn ‘Solid Rock’ declaring ‘All the other ground is sinking sand’ while the latter professes how we can come to God only because of Jesus who is our gateway to him. ‘Hallowed by your name’ and ‘I’ll Never’ are more in the chilled out side of the album but I have to say the versions done live at Newday probably gave the songs a little bit more justice. Though tracks like these prove that there is something for nearly everyone here.

‘Unimaginable’ and ‘Initiate’ are more on the rock side but with what feels like a little bit of an 80s twist to it with the background synths.

Tracks such as ‘Clear’ & ‘Through the Fire’ are brilliant songs, although would probably not be easily used in a local church context. ‘Clear’ makes great use of a violin sound and droney sounding synths. These are both definitely stand out tracks to compliment the complete experience of the album. ‘Vast’ closes out with a great worship track which brings home the power in a a raw middle 8.

Overall some tracks sound a little half baked instrumental wise and could have benefitted from perhaps a little bit more time to develop before being released, which perhaps could have been down to deadline of the album being completed ready for release at the festival. There is no shortage of truth, meaningful lyrics and catchy melodies on this album though and the writing is great for a generation of young people eager to worship their God. I’ve found multiple songs become stuck in my head in my day to day in the last couple of weeks.

This is a great album to use in your personal worship time and find yourself reminding yourselves of some great truths about our God!

 

Written by Luke Middleton

Who is one our worship leaders here at Hope Church.

 

Click here to listen to the full album on Spotify

 

Click here to buy the CD

 

Click here for the full song lyrics and chords

 

Listen to the singles on YouTube below.

 

God wants us now to pray for revival

posted in: History, Tony Thompson | 1

Terry Virgo was the founder of Newfrontiers, a worldwide family of churches that we are part of. In July leaders from Newfrontiers churches in the UK gathered to prayer for our nation at Westminster Chapel in London. These are some edited notes of the talk that Terry gave about revival in which he says “I believe God wants us now to pray for revival. To believe God for the coming of the Spirit, to believe that He will yet move. That He will come with power.”

Something that I believe we need to start doing.

With love,

Tony Thompson

 

In this place, Westminster Chapel, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones decided in 1959, 100 years after the 1859 revival, to preach on revival right through the year. He was stirred and provoked. He said, in one of those sermons, “If we don’t see revival in our nation, the downward drift has reached such a point that we’re in terrible peril as a nation. We desperately need revival.” 

That was even before the so-called, “Swinging Sixties,” before so much that has changed. We’ve seen the dramatic transformation taking place in our nation. But we find that Bible history and Church history isn’t a steady graph. There are seasons of terrible decline and there are these amazing times where God moves. Often in the Old Testament, for example the stories about the different judges, terrible decline, every one was doing what was right in his own eyes. Then they cried to God, and God anoints a Gideon or anoints a Samson and breaks through.

We know from the time of the end of the kingdom of Solomon until the time when Elijah comes on the scene, that was just 58 years. That’s shorter than our Queen’s reign. Fifty-eight years. And by the time Elijah came on the scene it was illegal to worship the Lord. They’re worshipping Baal and Jezebel behind Ahab is running the nation. In 58 short years, how culture can change.

Well that’s been the case in our nation. Revival has been the time that God, in His infinite mercy, turns things around. We’re aware probably of the Wesleyan Revival. Whitfield and Wesley preaching in the open air. Huge crowds coming. And then a nation being so turned that many would say, “This country was saved from the equivalent of a French Revolution because such a powerful thing was happening across the nation.”

You can’t legislate for righteousness. You can’t pass laws at Westminster that change a nation. But it’s the culture and the hope that gives the change. Then you’ll find that legislation will catch up with it. And you’ll find after Wesley, so many things changed. The hospitals, prisons, education, the way children were treated, work in the mines, so many things, all recorded, detailed recordings of England how it was mightily transformed after Wesley.

We may not know about the 1859 Revival. 50 years on from the Wesleyan revival, there was need again for another revival. Jeremiah Shropshire in New York began to pray; he began to set up a lunchtime prayer meeting in New York. And he set aside an office and said to people, “Would you like to gather up and pray?” For the first half hour no one turned up. And then after half an hour a few dribbled in and by the end of the hour, six people had gathered. Next week, he’s gathered another 20 people. And then the following week, 40 people. And then that by the next month more and more people were gathering to pray and seek God. Then there was a run on the banks in New York and people began to get alarmed and concerned and began to pray. And so in the end, there were tens of thousands of people meeting to pray every lunchtime. Churches began to open for lunchtime prayer meetings. Some of them weekly, some of them daily – a growing amount of prayer. That lasted for a year or two and then suddenly, God broke out and many, many were saved and added. They reckon something like a million people were added to the American church.

And then it came across to Ulster and then Scotland and then right back down into the rest of the U.K. And time after time, revival broke out in town after town – very similar to what happened in New York. Initially after just a handful of people began to pray. So town, after town, after town, people gathering to pray. Often it starts with people just catching the news from other places.  There’s a cry out to God. So, the momentum of prayer grew. Evangelists were raised up from the millions who’d been praying about it. They say a million people were added to the British church in the next two years.

I was filled with the Spirit in 1962. I joined a little group and we were praying for revival because that was what was on our minds – revival. A little group on Monday nights, we started to pray, “Oh, God, come and revive. Come and revive.” And I began to feel God calling me to give more time to pray for revival. I thought well how can I do that? In the end, it became so intense that it was time to leave my job. But to do what? To pray for revival.

So every day, Monday through Saturday, we met together every morning to pray for two or three hours a day for revival. And the intensity of God’s presence sometimes was remarkable. I remember one morning I was scared to open my eyes, wondering what I might see in terms of a sense of God’s power. I thought we were on the edge of revival. It was the start of a long, long journey over these years. We began with people getting filled with the Spirit. People getting baptised in the Spirit, speaking in tongues. It was, at that time, an extraordinary new phenomenon. Then I began to see a glorious Church, making room for the gifts, filled with the Spirit. Not a Church changed into a slightly new wineskin but a glorious Church. Then I saw the grace of God. Then apostolic ministry and a body, a functioning body. But revival? No but let’s get on with these things You’re showing us. Let’s get on with these things.

Very early on, a woman called Jean Darnell, preached at the Capel Bible week. She said, “I’ve seen a vision of England, and over her I can see spots of light. Light. City after city. I believe God is going to raise up an army of light all over the nation.” One of the first times I spoke at the Downs Bible week, I spoke on Gideon. How Gideon’s army was reduced and reduced and reduced, until it was actually just 300 of them. And I felt God really stir this in my heart lately. It says in Isaiah 9, “the people have seen a great light”, which is what happened at the battle of Midian with Gideon. Suddenly the people in darkness saw 300 bright lights all around them. The Son has come, this mighty God. It’s going to be a great victory.

We started the journey planting more and more churches – let’s see restoration first. So revival kind of stuck on one side because in 1960 the church was so cold, so formal. No one was speaking into your life. There was no community, family, grace, engagement, many hadn’t got it. And we’ve worked hard. Rebuild and restructure. Doing something that will glorify together, that holds together through love and loyalty and common faith. So I believe God wants us now to pray for revival. To believe God for the coming of the Spirit, to believe that He will yet move. That He will come with power.

I had letter recently from Ginni in Sheffield. She was saved in the 1970s and she was given a vision. And in the vision she saw a map of the whole of England. And she saw pinpricks of light. Pinpricks of light, which grew bigger and bigger, growing bigger and brighter as she looked at them. And she saw as she looked closer they were fires that were bursting into flame like beacons across the nation. She realised that the nation itself was getting darker and darker and darker. But the beacons were getting brighter and brighter and brighter until they flared into one huge burst of flame.

She thought that God promised her that revival would come and that God would give her two confirmations – that this was His voice to her. And she thought they would come in the next few days but she had to wait some years. Some years later, she said, she turned on the television and saw a helicopter flying up and down many beacons that had been lit across the nation for the Queen’s silver jubilee. And as she saw this on television, that’s what I saw in the vision. All these lights burning and then she had to wait a few more years. A few more years she saw another of these television programmes and it was 50 years on from V.E. day and they were lighting beacons all across the nation. And she felt these were the two confirmations that God had promised her.

And then some time later, she asked God to give her some encouragement to remind her again of the things that God would do. The following morning, at the morning service in the middle of the worship time, she was told there was a man at the door asking for her. She went to speak to him rather defensively. The man said to her that he’d been working in Leeds and was on his way home to the south of England when God has spoken to him and told him to come and find her to tell her something. He had no idea where she would be or what church. But God would direct him, street to street, to find the church. And he arrived at the church in Sheffield and asked after her.

He said that he had tell her what his job is. He didn’t know why. He just had to tell her what his job is. He said, “Do you remember the beacons being lit for the Queen’s silver jubilee and for V.E. day celebrations? My job is working on the Millennium beacon committee responsible for organising the lighting of the beacons up and down the land. I work directly with the man who gives the Queen starter equipment to light the first beacon.”

I truly believe God wants us to anticipate His coming in power. I feel God spoke it to me, recently. It’s been quite a demanding year this last year, very taxing, very demanding. It’s like nearly everything fell through. Why are we going through such tough times? So then one day I set myself to seek God in prayer. And then I knew it was okay. Things would go through. And then I thought, “Lord, why?” And He said to me, “I want you to have this same certainty that what I promised you about revival  will come.” I want to have that same certainty. And I’m know I’m praying into that. I can’t say I’ve arrived, but I am praying diligently for that so I can say with utter, utter, confidence I know it’s going to come.

I had a prophecy from one of our people in India given to me before all the recent incidents in the UK. “You will see revival in your nation following a wave of national fear.”  I think the nation is becoming ripe for a move of God. And we, the Church, need to lay up with God.  J. O. Frazier says, “Don’t be lazy. Don’t just keep repeating things. Fight them until you know you’ve got them.”

I was thinking about Elijah the other day. About his servant looking seven times for the rain cloud. Every time he looked, is it now, is it now? No, it’s not. About to give up and don’t just get into vain repetition. Pray, expecting it’s going to happen. I believe it. I believe multiplying prayer is happening all over, all over. People are gathering, little twos and threes. People are beginning to pray. Thousands are praying half a night, let’s believe God. The Church of England recently prayed for Thy Kingdom Come. Cathedrals filled with praying people. There is a growing prayer life in the nation. Let’s go with it. Let’s believe God, that He will move, that He will break through. Let’s believe God for it. Amen?

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