Friday, September 22, 2017

14th May 2017

Happy Mothers Day!  I did my duty and served up bacon and eggs with fresh coffee this morning for BethJ.  It is great to have a day were we can take the time out to honor our mums and all that they do for our families.  We have Rachel Ford speaking this morning, and I know she has a great message to share.  Well it’s been a very busy week with the Hanmer Retreat coinciding with Greg & Joy flying out to Canada on Thursday and the rest of the family following over the next few days.

The 2017 Hanmer Retreat ran from Tuesday night to Friday morning.  It has been running for 9 years now for pastors and leaders of the Baptist movement throughout New Zealand.  The format is very similar to our monthly Sunday night worship services, where there is primarily worship and ministry.  Some of the sessions ran for over four and a half hours!  A record number of 145 people attended including many new pastors.

Early feedback from the people attending was that it was the best retreat yet.  There was a real freedom to pray and minister to people and see breakthrough from the first session.  Maurice and Miriam, our previous Senior Pastors coordinate the Retreat, and the bulk of the intercessory prayer and music teams come from Oxford Baptist.  It really reflects the DNA of this church.  There was a strong flow of consecration through the laying down of burdens, past disappointments, forgiving others and repentance.  Through that positioning of humility, God moved powerfully to impact the leaders.  We saw a huge shift in many people who were worn out, broken, hurt and needing deep healing and a fresh touch from God.  They left with a real sense of joy, hope and expectation for the future.  I am aware of 12 people who were healed of back and joint pain!  We have a few testimonies this morning of some of the highlights.  And the good news is we don’t have to attend the Hanmer Retreat to see God move, we can see it every day if we humble ourselves, listen to the Holy Spirit and step out in faith and obedience.  

Just a reminder, Greg and Joy are away over the next 5 weeks, we are significantly down on resources.   Please be patient if you contact the office.  Communications may be delayed a little with just myself and Tamar present.  Have a wonderful week.

Blessings, Iain.

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