Rodney and Heather Sexton – UK
Rodney: How can one ever do justice to such a wonderful weekend in just a few words? We saw diversity in unity at its best – friends from Albania, Czech, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland and the UK, all with a heart for the nations of Central and Eastern Europe. We experienced exceptional unity in diversity as we worshipped, prayed, prophesied, and sat under the authority of the Word of God. We were refreshed as we went out together in the afternoon and ate together in the evening.
On Saturday and Sunday mornings we pursued the theme I am not Ashamed of the Gospel, Romans 1:16. Our mornings began with worship, superbly led by Pete and Michelle Foster from Pardubice in Czechia. Kevin Reilly brought to us a heartfelt, personal challenge to be committed to the good news. I highlighted the fundamental change the gospel brings to a person, whatever one’s background or culture. David King painted a picture in words of a radical church community, shaped by gospel principles. Marie Reavey powerfully used her own story to demonstrate the value of telling our stories to those who are not yet Christians. There was much to take away and reflect upon. And, of course, we prayed for Ukraine.
Heather: There is a first for everything as I discovered leading a group round an historic route in Old Town, Warsaw, on the Saturday afternoon. (Next time I will bring an umbrella:) We took in the sights of the Royal Castle, St. John’s Cathedral, the stone steps, before arriving at the old market square for refreshments at one of the many cafes.
The Old Town, completely destroyed by 1945, has risen, as has most of Warsaw, like a phoenix from the ashes. Which brings to mind this thought: do you have words God gave you in times past still waiting to be fulfilled? Don’t let them die; hold onto them in faith believing they will in time rise from the ashes as God fulfils his plan for you and for his church.
Rodney: As well as the serious stuff there was much laughter to be had as well with everyone hiding from David prior to him sharing on Sunday morning and there was a good-natured demonstration of ‘the last shall be first and the first last’ at a restaurant on Saturday.
Yes, the weekend was so worthwhile on many levels. Overall, it pointed to not only a bright future for the Lighthouse Community of Relational Mission but also to a firm and secure hope, even in the current situation, for the church in the wonderful post-communist countries of Europe. Pray that God will protect these lands and the many there, who are labouring in them to see the gospel flourish.