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Report on Cape Town Ministry Trip

Gill and I returned home on Sunday night tired but filled with gratitude to God for the great time of ministry in Christian Life Camps Bay, Cape Town. I must confess: I did not take photos of the church and/or leadership meetings, or even the Saturday quiet retreat! I just took pics of beautiful Camps Bay itself! Forgive my carnality! Camps Bay with Lions Head mountain

On the first Sunday (15 April), and during the week, I taught on the call for every follower of Jesus to minister healing to others in the name of Jesus – what we call “equipping the saints.” This included me teaching the practical 5 step model of healing ministry. All those who came to this session practiced it with excitement and good feedback. For many, if not most in the congregation, it was a first to lay hands on people, and to see God work through them in ministering some measure of healing to others. Hopefully some will become really “hooked” on the joy and adventure of doing this Kingdom stuff … laying hands on anything that moves, speaking God’s words of healing by the power of the Holy Spirit!A room with a view!

This past Sunday morning (22 April) was a blast! I spoke on receiving healing in one or more of the six dimensions of human personality: spiritual healing, psycho-emotional healing from past hurts and bad memories, healing from demonizations, physical healing, relational healing, and healing of death and dying.  Many people responded all over the congregation in both the 0800 and 0930 morning services. All we could do was general ministry to those who responded, with everyone else standing up and laying hands on them to impart God’s healing presence. It was really wonderful. There is NOTHING like the quiet moving of the Spirit, the pregnant presence of God that fills the atmosphere, with people crying softly, others trembling, and many being touched and freed up in all sorts of ways. There is NO substitute for God’s manifest presence. It cannot be engineered, manufactured, hyped, or pretended, just invited. My beautiful wife on the rocks (don't tell her I said this, she doesn't read my blog!)

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Ministry trip to Cape Town, 14 – 22 April 2012

Gill and I travel to beautiful Cape Town on Saturday 14 April to minister in Christian Life Church in Camps Bay. It’s one of most beautiful places in the Cape, and on the planet! I will tell them this: when we all die we’re going to Camps Bay to be with them because that is the Kingdom of God, heaven on earth!! When they die they’re going nowhere – they’re staying right where they are!!

Anyway, the church has invited me to teach the sunday services for 15 and 22 April – and other meetings during the week – on healing. We will focus on equipping ordinary Christians to minister healing in the name of Jesus by the compassionate power of the Holy Spirit. We will also meet with their leadership team and staff to further enable healing ministry in their congregation.

I’ve also been invited to teach on Sunday night (15th) on Praying the Psalms, at Grapevine Christian Fellowship in Durbanville. And I will be meeting with a Vineyard church leadership team for some consultation during the week. As if this is not enough, Gill and I have been invited to lead a quiet day of retreat, prayer and meditation in Hout Bay from 0930 – 1600 on Saturday 21 April. The New Life Vineyard in Pinelands is organizing this retreat. We return home Sunday afternoon 22 April.

So, after the disappointment of our trip to Pakistan being cancelled due to no visas being issued, we are SO looking forward to this time of ministry. Please will you pray for us that God’s power will advance the Kingdom in the lives of people and churches, for God’s glory! Thanks so much!

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Story of the Pakistan Visa!

Late yesterday afternoon (Thursday 29 March 2012), after a long wait and “assertive” discussion with a consulate representative at the Embassy, I went home without a visa. Islamabad (capital of Pakistan) had not sent through approval to Pretoria Pakistan Embassy for our visa, despite our visa application being in the Embassy for four weeks ago, and despite the inviting pastor, Sarwar Masih in Lahore, going to their Ministry of Interior with letters and copies of passports, etc. It’s rather disappointing.

We were scheduled to fly today (Friday 30 May), but have now cancelled the ministry trip, despite Sarwar Masih having done posters and organised the whole pastor’s conference, etc. Our friend and Vineyard colleague from Norway, Odd-Ivar, who planned to join us as part of the team, will arrive in Lahore on tomorrow and will participate in the conference.

I found the Pakistan Embassy a shambles of disorganization and rudeness. I had been personally three times to the Embassy and made well over ten phone calls over four weeks. Yesterday they said my passport was locked in the office of the commissioner who had left the Embassy early and no one had keys to go in and get the passport. I waited for over an hour and talked to no fewer than three people, and then made a phone call to a Pakistan official, before a senior consular official came.

He explained that Islamabad had not yet sent a reply, so the visa was not approved in time for our trip – after having our passports and application for four weeks – have you ever heard of such a thing? I expressed my strong disagreement and dissatisfaction with their process, then simply insisted in getting our passports and begin our hour and half drive home – two hours in traffic! Anyway, after further insistence on my part they managed to get our passports and I came home.

Thanks for the prayers. I am relieved its all over, but sad that my son and I will miss our ministry trip to Pakistan. And I’m sorry for Sarwar and the pastors there, but I feel relief. God’s in charge and I believe he will work this for our good. Part of the good is that I have some uninterrupted time this coming week – when I was supposed to be in Pakistan – to work on my book “Doing Spirituality – Introducing Christian Spirituality as Discipleship to Jesus and his Kingdom”. I plan to write fourteen chapters and right now I am at the end of chapter six. I’m excited to have a week to write, it’s like heaven for me!! I always think of the athlete in the movie Chariots of Fire who, when he ran, put his head back and “felt the pleasure of God”. When have uninterrupted time to write I put my head down and I feel the pleasure of God – it’s one of the things I was made for!

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Pakistan Ministry Trip and Visa

Hello friends! This Friday morning (30 March 2012) my son and I are scheduled to fly to Lahore, Pakistan to do a pastor’s training conference and some church meetings, returning on 8 April. The snag is our visa has not yet been approved!! I submitted it over three weeks ago and there has been a hold up! So please pray as we try to get permission from the Ministry of Interior in Pakistan. We need to hear by Thursday or else we will have to call it off. Thanks so much and God bless!