Our conference officially starts tomorrow night but we are treated to two visiting pastors the Sunday before the start. This morning it was Peter Chatlan from South London in England. Pastor Mitchell introduced him as a saved Nigerian. As he begins I am thinking where is the African accent, then where is the English accent; because he just sounds American. He preaches from Acts 16 where doors are closed and then the Macedonian call and the final encounter with the Philippian jailer.
A perfect topic to start conference and a new year: Vision. Be the best at what you do. Whatever your hand finds to do; do it with all your might. No more sleeping around. An exciting preacher. Develop a sensitivity to the voice of God. Tuned into God’s spirit. The common experience of sensing that God does not want us to do something and then we do it. He shared a story from his new convert days. He would dial random numbers and witness to the person at the other end. One time he made contact with a woman who gave him her testimony and invited him over. He and a friend went over and were greeted by a woman with one leg. She recounted a story in which she traveled after sensing that God did not want her to travel with the resulting accident that took her leg.
My sheep hear my voice. The need for discernment. He is taking is young church on prayer walks believing God for a building. Led to a broken down building. The 50th worth building in Bristol City. He visits on a Sunday with some members of the church. Pastor injured with 3 people there asks Pastor Peter to preach. Goes the next Sunday looking for God to do something with the building. He tells the small group that they are the revival they are waiting for. The pastor gives him the key and some papers. He dreams of transforming this rundown building. He enters the building after being refused title deed and then finally getting it to a bible. He opens it up as we do as new converts and comes to Is 61:4 Isa 61:4
4 And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
Final lesson is that you must go through some pain to get to your vision. The path to the Phillipian jailer lead through the prison. He recounts his 5 month ministry in Namibia. Revival with his first baptism for 67 people. Revival among young people led to irate parents who reported his work to authorities who took action against him for not having a work permit. This lead to a chapter in his life of taking over the church in which he got saved. He called it a year and a half of hell. He persevered and now the church is a center of evangelism.
We had lunch with the Nicodemus’ and Eric and Clementina Muyeiya of Kenya. Eric recounted similar stories when he took over his church when John Macarthy left Kenya. Enjoyed the preaching and am starting to get excited about conference.