I was recently part of a ministry team from King's Arms Church sent to support at a Newfrontiers conference in western Turkey. The people at the conference came from all over the world; in total, there were 340 delegates. They are part of the Newfrontiers international work to reach unreached people groups from around the world who have never heard the gospel, and to establish self-sustaining, functioning Christian communities in those countries.
Healing and prophecy
Two of our team assisted in the young people's work; they did some prophetic training with the youth that gave amazing results. There is nothing more humbling or powerful than having a young person prophesy in a main meeting! During the afternoons and evenings the ministry team met with delegates for healing prayer, Sozo or prophecy sessions. All the slots were filled for the entire conference!
Stories from across the nations
We heard amazing stories from the delegates as they told of how their people came to know Jesus. One man became a Christian during an outreach mission and was so passionate for Jesus that he went to his home village and told them, too. Almost everyone became a Christian. He is now buying more land to build a bigger house because people now come to him from the neighbouring villages to hear about Jesus.
Another man told of the time when he asked an evangelist to speak at his home (since the village has no church building.) He had invited 70 people and, when the meeting was in full swing, the police suddenly knocked at the door. They told him that his house was surrounded and everyone had to leave. The man then asked to see the warrant. As there wasn't one, he refused. Later he took some tea out to the police, who were still outside.
In that meeting, five ladies came to know Jesus and one of them was healed from a tumour. There were many stories of how God is working in these fledgling communities and many are seeing the impact of what God is doing among them.
One morning at the hotel, a team member and I prayed for a man whose arthritis had made him unable to join his family for breakfast. He had arthritis in his wrists and feet and when we prayed for him, his pain decreased to about 20% of what it had been. He was able to move his wrists more easily, walk more comfortably and even join his family for lunch later. It was so exciting seeing lives transformed in so many ways.
Hardships in some communities
We heard stories from delegates who felt isolated because were the only Christians in their regions. We also heard stories about believers who had been imprisoned or even murdered.
It was humbling to be amongst people who had known so much tragedy, loss and hardship yet burn brightly for God and are willing to risk their lives again and again to spread the good news about Jesus. These men and women are living constantly under great oppression and risk, and yet are willing to tell others about Jesus. This especially touched me.
An international celebration
The international flavour of this conference made it unique: there was a mix of cultures, east and west, as well as many different traditions. But despite all the variety, there was a special feeling that God just loved having all his children worshiping Him together under one roof as we celebrated Him together.