India Update

Day 1 – Saturday

7.30am and 12 nervously, excited travellers assembled at Heathrow airport, eagerly anticipating the flight to Mumbai. The team, gathered from across southern UK, have come together to join young believers from churches in India. Our purpose to serve them and bring them encouragement as later in the week we will be sharing with them the fun of the U:Day conference. The pre-event publicity has whetted our appetites and we are looking forward to times of worship, bible teaching, fun and games and much more. This first day is mainly a travelling day and we boarded our plane without incident.  

We landed in Mumbai at 1:30am local time to be confronted immediately with the bustle of this great Indian city. The queue to get through security was the longest and slowest that I have ever seen as it seemed that all of humanity had descended at the same moment upon the customs hall. We consoled ourselves that at least this would mean that our suitcases would be on their way through, cycling on the carousel when we got through. How naive? Another long wait, watching bag after bag pass in front of our noses, until at last we were all reunited with our baggage.   Now the simple matter of going through customs. But this is India, more queueing to have our bags scanned before we emerged into the Mumbai night air. Even at 3:00am the area outside the airport was heaving with people and full of the contradictions that everyone reports. Bashed up auto rickshaws rubbing shoulders with state of the art luxury airconditioned cars. Street vendors, beggars, people sleeping on the pavement. My only real surprise was that the smells were not as overpowering as I had been warned.   Our first experience of Mumbai traffic was moderated by the early hour. Exactly as forewarned we learnt that Mumbai drivers have three controls – a horn, brakes and a steering wheel which they use in that order! Bizarrely it seems to work, and our drivers squeezed through gaps in the traffic that I would never have dreamed of attempting.  

4:00am saw us arriving at the apartments that seemed to be managed by a convent, where we crashed to our beds for a few hours sleep to ready ourselves for an early start in the morning.  

Day 2 – Sunday

6:30am and the alarm went off. Not sure how much sleep that I had, if any! Time for a quick shower before going down to the floor below for breakfast of fried eggs, bread, coffee, doughnuts – all served by nuns!   Time now for another dash across the city, this time our driver was Joshua. He seemed to get enjoyment out of winding up other drivers by obeying traffic lights and generally observing the rules of the road. I also learnt  another principle of Mumbai driving – everything has priority over autorickshaws. Fortunately we were in a car so we had right of way!  

We arrived safely at church and just like home the worship started to a 2/3 empty room. Just like home the room filled up during the worship. I was taken for lunch by a lovely Indian family to a nearby restaurant where we enjoyed great food before returning to the apartment to catch up with the others who had been to other churches in the city.   For our evening meal we were taken to Domino’s Pizza, the sight of 16 people crammed into 2 cars was something to behold, as was the dogem drive through the Sunday evening streets.  

What is the evidence for evolution?

This challenging video shows Ray Comfort inviting various scientists to provide him with observable evidence for evolution. Their responses are thought provoking.

I am indebted to Adrian Warnock who posted this video on his blog.

The Welsh Outpouring – Victory Church Cwmbran

Victory Church Centre On Tuesday evening 5 of us from Life Church Hook headed off to Wales, to visit Victory Church, Cwmbran which has become renowned as the centre of what is being called the Welsh Outpouring. Having looked at their website and watched a few of their videos I had some idea of what to expect.

We had been warned that the venue fills up quickly once the doors open at 7:00pm and it was best to arrive early to ensure a seat in the main auditorium, a converted warehouse. The meeting began with worship which was Christ centred and God exalting. After about 20 minutes Kenny Brandie, Lead Pastor for the Cwmbran Campus, invited those who would like prayer for healing and deliverance from addiction to come to the front where the ministry team prayed for them. Over 100 people were prayed for, the vast majority ending up flat on their backs on the floor. I was impressed by the care and sensitivity being shown by the ministry team to the people they prayed for.

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After a further worship time Pastor Kenny preached a message about experiencing the presence of God. And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. Exodus 33:15 English Standard Version (ESV) Kenny showed us how fire was a symbol of God’s presence: with Moses at the burning bush, in the pillar of fire that guided the Israelites through the wilderness and on the disciples at the day pf pentecost. He encouraged us to seek and expect the presence of God; not just for a moment but to take with us into our lives. This led to a further ministry time when about a dozen people became followers of Jesus and the vast majority of those present were prayed for to receive fresh impartation of the Holy Spirit.

People have asked me since if this is a genuine revival; I think I would have to say it is. I felt extremely comfortable and the whole focus of the meeting was Jesus centred and the gospel of Jesus was proclaimed. The leaders we self effacing and at pains not to draw attention to themselves. This was night 64 of these meetings and during that time they have recorded 650 new believers and thousands of people being healed and touched by the presence of God.

I went hoping, that like Jesus disciples in the gospels, I would see Jesus at work – healing the sick and declaring the kingdom. I long to see more of his happening in our ministry here in Hook so plan to visit Cwmbran again and take more of our people with us. Contact if you would like to come along with us.

Watch this video for an invitation Pastor Richard Taylor: