After a season of prayer, Heavenly Father showed us to reconnect with some of our friends who are pastors and leaders in the Middle East. Over the years, we've conducted our training schools and events at many of their churches in the region. Due to the instability in the region, in terms of job security and persecution, we've observed and appreciated among believers a strong hunger for the LORD. We've appreciated their thirst to see His kingdom established. We remembered with great fondness the richness of faith these believers exhibited. We remembered how the Holy Spirit used our training events to build up the churches during our previous ministry trips!
As we contacted our old pastor friends in the region, the LORD began to direct us in the planning of a 7 week Ministry Trip. Scott would fly to the UK to conduct preaching and ministry for 10 days and then I would meet him in the Middle East. As I was still recovering from a foot injury, this gave me extra time to complete my rehab treatments before boarding the plane!
As Scott began to book all the airfares and hotels for the trip, I experienced some waves of anxiety over the financial cost. But then I glanced up from my computer and reread this quote from Father God, "It is an insult to doubt that I will provide! I have always been faithful. It is an insult to doubt My provision for the ministry I've called you to." So, I took a deep breath and then rolled the huge financial costs of the trip onto Him, choosing to rest instead of fret.
The ministry in the UK was quite fruitful with Scott preaching at various churches we are connected with in Oxford, Bicester, Worcester and Whitney. Many churches were built up spiritually as their people encountered the Word and Holy Spirit. Scott also met with pastors and leaders one-on-one to exhort and pray with them. People were so appreciative of the ministry and we give Jesus the glory and adoration for doing the things which we cannot do.
The ministry in the Middle East has reflected the power and glory of God. Scott preached at a couple churches and the power of God moved through the preaching!
Then he conducted an Expository Preaching Seminar for pastors and leaders of an established church. This seminar was a condensed version of our CIC Preaching School. They were sharpened in their skills and challenged to strive for excellence in preaching, whilst relying upon the Holy Spirit. These pastors and leaders are building up their churches and bringing the gospel to their unsaved coworkers, neighbours and friends.
Next, I led Beloved, as women's retreat for pastors and congregants of several churches. As I preached and ministered from the Song of Solomon, many of the women were deeply touched by the Holy Spirit's revelation of their true value and identity in Christ. After the preaching and ministry, songs of the LORD were released over the women as they cried in His Presence. Many were released from bondages of performance, shame, unworthiness, fear and self-deprecation.