Wow... another Holy Spirit Encounter gathering (for 2012) has come and gone! It was another wonderful time of celebrating all that Christ has done in the life of the church and in the life of His leaders of the church! It always brings hope, vision, encouragement, teaching and leadership to the pioneers (your UMC Pastors & Evangelists) that are changing the spiritual course of this wonderful Zambian country. It is laying a strong foundation for them to live in confidence in Christ Jesus. These dear men and women of the faith are my heros and worthy of all my attention, my love and my life. There is just no other way to say it…
The visiting evangelism team; Rev. Blake Lorenz, Chris Bright, and Melanie Shelton from Orlando, Carl Bergeson from First UMC-Ocala, FL, Dan & Marsha Mullett and Jean Kendra from Heritage UMC-Clearwater, Florida, did another wonderful job of carrying out the goals of the HSE. We never really know what each year will be like. I was believing that over 400 pastors and leaders were going to be here, but just over 200 came. However, this made it more intimate and focused than in years past. The theme this year from Evangelist Blake Lorenz was "Ring the Bell". I would go into detail about this, but Blake just sent out an update to his people and you will want to read it too. He did a much better job then I could…(Click Here).
The rest of the US team did such an outstanding job of just letting the Holy Spirit move and touch lives. We saw so many wonders and miracles. We even had an evening of "anointing the feet with oil" of all those that promised God to carry the message of Christ to the four corners of Zambia and the world. We had each person or couple stand on a map of Zambia symbolizing their promise to God… "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news"…Romans 10:16. While taking the pictures something interesting happened to them!
We also learned what it meant when Jesus called Lazarus to come out of the tomb and "take off those grave cloths and let him go". Our Zambian drama team (lead by Pastor Kenneth Kalichi) did such a wonderful job of making it so real to our hearts. We now have over 100 evangelists in the Zambia Provisional United Methodist Conference. These men and women work hand-in-hand with our local UMC pastors. These are born again, Holy Spirit filled leaders of the faith. It is a joy to see God work through them!
Also, let me add… we just received word that next year, if all the visa's and paper work can be worked out, that another great leader of the United Methodist Church will be joining us for the Holy Spirit Encounter 2013. I'm not going to tell you who just yet, but this is a call for prayer right now. Please join in with us that God would open the way for this to happen. You won’t believe who it is once I tell you this mystery person’s name….but it's great!!
Just after the HSE, the team from Heritage UMC Clearwater, Fl. (Dan, Marsha & Jean) went to Kabompo to see their sister church for the first time. We were there for two days holding a Kids Bible Camp, working with the UMW, & UMM. We left just after the morning worship service Sunday. I knew I was still wound up from the HSE because I preached out of Acts 2. I’m finding I do that a lot these days!! It was a great service and we all were rejoicing for the time God had given us to minister to the new church congregation. God is so good if we are faithful to His call to go and tell others about Him.
We thank each of you for your continued faithfulness in prayers and support for the many ministries of the New Life Center. May God continue to bless each one of you for all you are doing as part of this ministry!