In the UK, September is seen as a time of new beginnings and fresh opportunities. We feel the pace start to ramp up from the quieter summer months as we begin to plan and prepare for all that the next term has in store for us.
The Unreached Residential felt like an antithesis to this cultural drive to get busy doing, creating space for like minded people across the Newfrontiers family to gather and wait on God together.
The Unreached Network represents a community of people across various apostolic spheres and in different nations joined by a common commitment to reaching the unreached, through partnership, training, supporting and caring for cross-cultural mission partners, with the goal of seeing the gospel preached and church communities established that are contextually appropriate. The Residential is an opportunity for those connected with the Network to gather and connect together, to hear from God and receive fuel for the journey ahead.
It was a privilege to meet and pray for the Unreached Interns who will be spending the next year on placements in the UK and elsewhere, learning about cross-cultural mission and serving their churches with a heart to increase our engagement with the nations, both around the world and on our doorsteps.
We enjoyed times of raw, passionate worship, cried out in intercession for our world, heard countless stories of lives lived for Jesus among the unreached and dreamed together of how God could use us to make his Son famous in our communities. God spoke powerfully through prophetic words to the whole gathering and to individual hearts to bring conviction, healing and direction.
Anna flew in from the Middle East and brought a simple, powerful message exhorting us to keep our eyes fixed firmly on Jesus and challenging us to share stories from his word with those who he is asking us to welcome into our lives. Who do we say Jesus is? Will we take the time to wait on him? And will we let our lives be poured out as an offering to him?
Children made easy, joyous friendships, bonfires blazed into the night, a visual reminder of Jesus at the centre of everything. Old friends were reunited and new connections were made, wisdom and experience were freely and generously shared. A sense of belonging resonated through every conversation, here were people with the same passion and desire, the same conviction to go wherever God sends them and the same longing to see the bride of Christ reflecting the beauty of the diverse world that he has made.
On Sunday morning, Andy McCullough read the words of God to the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 6.
‘Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”’
Let that be the cry of each of our hearts today!