The story of Dad’s homecoming

As you will remember from the last edition, Dad was taken to hospital at the end of April with a badly fractured femur, and what turned out to be major secondary renal cancer. We are taking up the story from the morning of May 26th when Ros and Dad were waiting for the transport to bring Dad back home from Worcester hospital.

He was given a lovely send off by a whole line of nurses, plus one of the chaplains, all of whose lives had been touched by his witness during the month he had been in the Trauma and Orthopaedic ward.

The discharge team (which, amazingly was led by a lovely woman whom Ros and I both know very well and who I had been praying for only the week before and wondering if I would ever see again,) had organised a care team to make four brief visits each day to Dad, as well as to cover us for three nights a week. Dad arrived back home at lunchtime (although he has not been wanting to eat much at all for the past week) and was transferred into the hospital bed we had set up in his living room.

As things turned out there was time for one visit from the Neighbourhood care Team before Dad surprised us all by passing into His Father’s presence, with Ros with him and peaceful right up the last few minutes.

Only Ruth, ever the most discerning one amongst us, was not taken by surprise. She had heard two whistles from steam locomotives that day (being a Bank Holiday which is the only time they pass this way I think). Knowing his passion for steam, she felt that this was significant, especially as he had testified only that day to Carol that he had now reached his last junction.

When Ruth heard the whistle again on the locomotives’ return trip later on in the day the whistle was blowing much faster, and she had a sense that things were going to accelerate.

A few weeks ago, Linda had prophesied that this was going to be an extremely intense, but ultimately brief, roller coaster ride for us. It certainly has been! The ‘ride’ started when Ros was summoned from her bed at 2 am just over a month ago to find that Dad had broken his femur very badly. It turned out that this was because secondaries from the renal cancer he had three years ago had grown as a tumour in his bone – and, as we finally discovered a fortnight later, had spread to many other parts of his body as well.

On one evening, Dad had a minor heart attack in hospital, which, to Ros at his side, looked like anything but a minor attack!). This actually served for him as a catalyst for a really deep time of prayer. It marked a significant milestone in helping Dad to prepare for his call home. We are so grateful to God for this; it is not always possible for people to have such a ‘phased’ opportunity to get ready.

Despite umpteen delays and challenges in hospital, Dad preserved his cheer and continued in something close to full flow, and had numerous opportunities to share his faith with staff and visitors and to pour himself out for them in prayer.

He was delighted be able to pray with an enthusiastic nurse believer in the recovery ward following surgery, as well as in tongues with the senior Palliative Care Nurse on the ward, and members of the chaplaincy team as well as with other visitors.

Thoughtful cards from friends and loved ones meant a great deal to him, especially those which contained precious reminiscences from people as they shared how much he has done and meant to them. We will share some of these at the funeral service, which is going to be at St James, Welland, on 20th June, at 11 am.

These were lovely endorsements that helped him to reconnect with people and ministries from years past, and greatly added to the joy he has had more recently in the company of the Bible study group he has been leading in his home until just a few weeks ago, and which means a great deal to all the members.

Dad and I had also exchanged the ‘Mizpah’ blessing while he was in hospital that we have often prayed together in the past: “May the Lord watch over us (between us) while we are apart from each other.”(Gen. 31:49)

It was perfect timing and a great joy that Tim, Martine and family, as well as Ruth, were all staying with us this Bank Holiday weekend. They were able to visit Dad in hospital on Saturday, and then again on Sunday afternoon at home.

John and family

 

With more space available at home, they were able to take Dad’s three great grandchildren too, a visit he really loved, as one after another produced great treasures from the garden to give to him: a feather, a green leaf, some buttercups and daisies and so on.

Another lovely touch was that Carol Sampson, whose songs you will all be familiar with, also popped by, and they started to sing Laurie Klein’s song together: I love You Lord and I lift my voice.’ Dad had been thinking a lot about this song during the past month, and Laurie herself has been praying for him.

Ros has spent a very great deal of time helping at Dad’s side in hospital this month, (as opposed to just ‘visiting!’) not least in doing an essential job of ‘joining the dots’ with regard to his care, then settled down to begin a ‘night shift’ with him. She turned the lights down low and positioned his bed to enable him to look out over the garden, at which point he said, ‘That’s nice.’

These turned out, very fittingly, to be his final words. Once again, Ros has been an end-of-life midwife to help ‘birth’ a dying person into the Kingdom of Heaven, just as she was so recently with her own Mum.

There is great mercy in the Lord ‘taking him up and out’ with his head still held high, and his mind and awareness still alert. So, although all of us felt as though his passing came rather sooner than we had been expecting, he remained to the end the man we have all known and honour for his faith and vitality.

Tim and his family had had to leave before this happened, but Ruth and Ros bathed, dressed and prepared Dad together, and then the three of us sat praying around his bed, starting with the liturgy of the Northumbria Community for evening prayer for May 26th, and blessing him on his way into the Father’s presence.

We had another of the lovely God-touches this morning that have characterised the whole experience of Dad’s homecoming. When we went to the funeral directors, the usual person was away and a manager had come over from HQ; he turned out to be a lovely Christian, who knew a number of pastors and friends who we know really well from all over the country. It was lovely to pray together as well as to plan the funeral.

Just a reminder that the funeral will be at St James, Welland, where we celebrated Mum’s passing six years ago, and where Dad will be buried alongside Mum, on Thursday June 20th at 11 am. You are most welcome to join us, but please let us know if you would like to stay for a sandwich lunch.

We are so grateful to you all for praying for for us all during this intense period. It has been extremely challenging, but also interspersed with moments of the Lord’s clear leading and interventions. Thank you so much.

In His love,
Robert, Ros, Ruth, Tim and Martine and family and Dominic

PS It seems particularly fitting to post this lovely piece by Francis Cummings, who knew him well, which he called Homecoming.

Home Coming

 

The Scent of Water

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I wrote in the last edition that I had long wanted to write a song based on the verses from Job 14:7-9 about how the Lord loves to revive and restore the roots of a tree that has suffered loss, whether from God’s specific pruning or from some other form of setback.

The Lord gave me the ‘flourish’ theme that recurs in this piece many years ago immediately after my Granny, full of the Holy Spirit, passed into Heaven as she neared her ninetieth year. And now she has been joined by her son, John!

It was a great joy to incorporate that theme in this song. May the Scent of Water speak life into your heart, whatever you are going through.

The musicians you will hear in this recording are Harmony Greenwood, Nicola Gerrard, Thomas Herzog and Natalie Halliday, with Sally Prittie on piano.

Scent of Water (Job 14:7-9)

For a tree that’s been cut down, there is always hope,
at the scent of water, new shoots will soon spring up
and those shoots will never fail.
You have dreamed of doing great things, bringing God great glory:
best to leave those dreams before His throne.
He will show you what He wants for you;
He is thinking far ahead!
What you sow must fall into the ground,
it must even die – you must let it die.

If you have been laid low there is always hope.
Make the Lord your tower of refuge –
new shoots will grow
and these shoots will never fail.

Fall upon your bed and seek His face –
He will renew your mind.
Make a cell within your heart and turn to Him,
He will help you clear the air and put matters right;
He is seeking your very best.
Lift your eyes to Heaven now, let your spirit soar,
God has planned all your days in Him.

Marvel not at all He’s doing as you reach out to Him.
For He loves to bless the humble
He will refresh your heart,
His Spirit leads you onward.
May Yeshua bless you now, lift your spirit high,
Your new shoots will never fail.

Robert Weston 2018

High King of Heaven have mercy on our land

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There is no hope
Unless You provide it,

There is no grace
Until You intervene.

There is no glory
Until Your Spirit comes.

Come Spirit of Hope
Pour out Your Mercy on us.

Come Spirit of Grace
Bid condemnation flee away.

Come Spirit of Glory
Anoint Your people now.

Fountain of Favour
Renew the hearts of Your people

Fountain of Worship
Restore the hearts of Your people

Wellspring of Joy
Renew and Restore the hearts of Your people

In the name of the One who was, and is, and is to come. Amen.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

‘Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy, According to Your unfailing love have mercy, According to your unfailing riches in Christ, O Lord hear our prayer.’

May your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need.

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy.

Forgive us Lord that we are the generation that believes in our disbelief. There is no limit to the depravity that we have embraced, Lord, or to the cynicism we have embraced.

Are You not right when You decree your judgement against a land that has enthroned ways contrary to Your laws? Yet just as we have experienced Your mercy in our own lives, so we dare to pray that You will yet look with favour on our land.

Hear the longing of Your people for righteousness to prevail and for Your glory to visit our land.

Be not a passing stranger or an unwelcome guest, but come as the Bright Morning Star, as the ruler and leader of Your people, and the Saviour of the Land.

High King of Heaven
Remember not what we have done,

Nor all we deserve,
But for Your own name’s sake

Renew and restore Your people.
Send a fresh wave of Your Spirit,

And raise up Your co-workers to rebuild Your church
And win this nation for Christ.

We ask in the name of Jesus and for Your glory Lord,

High King of Heaven, as nations rage in turmoil,
We proclaim the coming King
Who has promised to return
And who is standing at the door.

Break open the doors that are closed to You,
That those far away may be drawn to You,
And those at odds with each other find each other again in You.

Even though we live surrounded by people who love us, Lord, there come times when we feel utterly isolated, when only You can know the sorrow in our heart. Perhaps You have designed it like this, Lord, so that when the trials feel too heavy for us to bear on our own, we have to hand them over to You.

Help us not to doubt You in the darkness, nor to hold back from following You. And though it sometimes seems as though the hour of opportunity has passed us by and darkness has tolled its bell, yet we praise You that You never change; You are always the same.

Water now the roots of our hearts, that our spirits may not wither. At the scent of water, let them spring back to life again.

From the book of Isaiah the Lord God speaks:
‘Do not be afraid,
I have come to save you.
You are special to me,
and I know your name,
When the deep dark waters of trouble
swirl around you,
I am with you.

Grant us courage to attempt what You have put within our hearts to do. For it is as we set out to do things that Your blessing comes.

Help us to light a candle rather than to bemoan the darkness.

Iran

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You can hardly fail to be aware of the rising tensions between America and Iran, with Europe caught rather uncomfortably in the middle.

Top European figures are wary of the hawkishness of the American administration, but are caught between a number of rocks and hard places, and would certainly not deny the realities of the things the Revolutionary Guard have been doing in the region. At the same time the spectre of war is an appalling thought and one to pray actively against. Type into Google   ‘The risk of war US Iran’ and you will find many links. . .e.g. this one:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/05/14/conflict-with-iran-would-not-be-like-iraq-war-itd-be-worse/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b50298626d28

See these articles in the New York times concerning Iran’s attempts to develop ballistic missiles, and what America is doing about it.

US revives secret plan to sabotage Iranian missiles and rockets and

US sanctions cut deep but Iran seems unlikely to budge

But while America is piling up pressure for ever increasing sanctions on the people of Iran (as if of themselves such things could help the Iranian people!) it continues to offer support to Saudi Arabia, which has launched a truly brutal war against the Yemenese people, and continues to clamp down ruthlessly on its own people.

Above all let’s pray for the people of Iran themselves, that many may come to know Christ, and be blessed. After suffering from a decades-long drought, Iran has seen unprecedented rainfall since 19th March. The Red Crescent tweeted that one province received 70% of its annual rainfall in one day with truly devastating consequences.

These videos of the widespread devastation – especailly the one concerning Shriaz – would make a powerful foundation for praying not only for all immediately affected by them but for Iran generally.

You might indeed like to have the songs I have included at the end of this edition playing in the background (Victor’s Crown and Jesus at the Centre) to help you absorb these images of destruction and to pray.

Elam Ministries report that

  • Floods have hit 26 of Iran’s 31 provinces.
  • Flood-related deaths have been reported in 11 provinces
  • Tens of thousands of people have been displaced, with many being housed in emergency shelters; others have been left without shelter.
  • 141 rivers burst their banks and around 400 landslides were reported.
  • Nearly 7,500 miles (12,000km) of roads are damaged – 36% of the road network.
  • Agricultural losses are estimated at $180 million (USD).

Nearby Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria have also been suffering with severe floods. In Afghanistan nearly 13,000 houses have been either partially or completely destroyed.

Many Christians in Iran are doing what they can to help amid the turmoil and distress. They need our prayers as they seek to provide for people’s basic needs. Pray for strength and compassion, and that they would shine the light and hope of Christ in this painful situation.

Please also join us in praying:

  • For all those affected by this disaster, including those grieving the loss of loved ones, homes, livelihoods and communities.
  • For wisdom, integrity and effectiveness for the authorities and relief agencies who are responding.

Inside Venezuela – cry out for this country

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Out of sight is so easily out of mind – and those presiding over humanitarian disasters often prefer that intense suffering should be kept out of sight. Praise God for the courage, skill and persistence of journalists like Alex Crawford and Stuart Ramsey who have done outstanding work for Sky Television in lifting the lid on people’s suffering and bringing their plight to the attention of the world.

This link to their video, Inside Venezuela provides a really insightful and graphic glimpse inside Venezuela – a country which was given its name by Spanish sailors (as a diminutive of Venecia – Little Venice). The waters have risen very high here: this beautiful country so needs the power of God to break through.

Do watch, and let the Lord expand your heart in prayer for the people of this country.

Something like four million citizens have made the heart-breaking decision to leave their nation and find a way to make a life for themselves as best they can in a neighbouring country.

For many who have not been able to leave their plight is still worse who are left behind.

This is a nation where inflation is expected to reach a mind boggling 10,000,000% next year. What does that look like in practice? By the time someone has taken an item off the shelves at the back of a supermarket and made their way to the checkouts, it has tripled in price. A few rolls of toilet paper cost so much, it can be cheaper to use paper money instead.

This is what was witnessed over three months ago: ‘Lines of more than a 100 people were formed in front of bank machines. The Venezuelan government limits cash withdrawals to 3,000 bolivars, the equivalent of one US dollar, at a time.

A local resident told me that due to hyperinflation, there are never enough banknotes in circulation, no matter how much money the government prints. 3,000 bolivars get you three rides on the public bus system. People have no choice but to line up regularly at bank machines.

There was a crowd in front of a bakery, too. Purchases are limited to two loaves of bread per person each day, and one loaf costs about 3,000 bolivars, compared to 30 bolivars a few years ago. Prices have risen 100-fold over several years. Public servants earn an average of 18,000 bolivars a month, so they can only afford six loaves of bread a month. People are surviving on very small rations of commodities like wheat.’

From: NHK World

‘Messianic’ hopes

Venezuela is suffering one of the greatest humanitarian crises of our times: people are scavenging through dustbins and drinking from sewers in order to avoid starving to death, medicines are non-existent, and the homicide rate is terrifyingly high (73 Venezuelans died a violent death for every day of 2017.) In the face of such challenges,

It is normal for people in despair to look for a Messiah-like figure and, having found one, to invest great hope in them. We all know the hopes that people have invested in Juan Guaido in their hope that he will take over from President Maduro, and that the sheer number of people protesting will turn things round. Inside Venezuela includes images of him in church with his wife, and a brief interview with him.

Juan Guaido himself is well aware of the need for help from the international community. Endorsements for him personally have come from far and wide. The attempt to bring in aid from overseas however failed lamentably. Only the Lord knows what will come of the hopes they have invested in Juan Guaido, elected leader but not permitted to take office.

Venezuelans appear to be a very proud people, who truly long for their nation to be strong and united. In the face of immense desperation, many are showing remarkable resilience.

There are many, of course, who continue to support President Maduro, sincere in their desire to continue Hugo Chavez’s policies.

Cuba is continuing to provide extensive support for President Maduro, and Russia to a lesser extent. Maduro’s armed ‘enforcers’ are above the law and highly dangerous. As to the much-mooted question of whether American military intervention would help, see this article in USA Today concerning the advisability or NOT of America trying to enforce regime change.

We are fortunate enough to be able to watch this video of the sufferings of the Venezuelan people and then resume our normal lives. For the millions of those who have left the country, their plight is extremely difficult, and this comes across well in this video.

Prayer

Jesus, we lift the future of Venezuela to You now. Come close now to all who are suffering, all who have lost loved ones due to lack of food, medicines or through acts of violence.

Mission Africa report – April 2019

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God at work in the Prison Ministry / Mission to Namirembe 6th-13th May

The Lord really is blessing the prison ministry! Two hundred and twenty nine more prisoners together with eight prison officers have come to faith in the first three months of 2019. Highlights include:

    • Not only have all these prisoners come to faith but eight prisoners were also healed and twenty-five were delivered from evil spirits oppressing them.

    • The governors of the two prisons who objected to the Gospel being preached have been removed and replaced by new officers who have a passion for our teams to go in and preach. One of them has requested a visit every single Sunday!
    • Four prisoners from Bulaula prison went to Fred Makubuye’s church to give thanks to God for setting them free.
    • Seventy more prisoners have since been freed from Kamuli prison (in addition to the one hundred last year). This prison has now gained for itself a reputation in Uganda for being a centre of rehabilitation. We have just purchased a full set of traditional African drums to use in worship there!
    • Some of you will have heard the amazing story of how a Muslim, Ahamad Muhumuza stood at the back of that prison in December during a time of worship shouting “Allah Akbar”. Despite these interruptions the worship continued and the Holy Spirit struck this man down. When he came to his senses he immediately gave his life to Jesus! He had been part of a gang of suicide bombers who had attacked a crowd watching the World Cup on a large screen at a stadium in Kampala in 2010.His three cellmates started beating him saying that they would kill him the following night if he did not renounce Christ. He refused. The next day he was miraculously released – just before they were able implement their deadly threat! Two weeks later he telephoned Jane Naigaga, the worship leader, (whose photograph is on the right) to say that he was still going strong in his new faith. All glory to our one true living God!

Mission to Namirembe 6th– 13th May

Please can you gird up your loins once more to be much in prayer for our forthcoming mission to Namirembe. This extremely poor village of peasant farmers in the District of Kayunga lies fifty miles north east of Kampala. No large mission has been held here for over a decade. Fifteen churches from the surrounding area will be supporting this.

Pastor Daniel Muliranyi will be the mission leader and we are thrilled that our very good friend Paul Verheul from the House of Prayer in Brussels will also be joining the team!

 

Particular spiritual challenges include:

* A total lack of church unity

            * Much backsliding

            * A lack of training for the pastors

            * The strong presence of Islam

            * Low levels of education. Not a single person has ever graduated in this region.

            * High levels of alcoholism

            * Much witchcraft, with over ten shrines in the area.

 

Join us in believing for a great spiritual breakthrough despite these challenges!

Thank you so very, very much indeed for all your prayers, encouragement and the hugely appreciated support which is what makes it possible for us to continue our work.

With our love,

Terry Charlton,

 

 

 

 

Steve Trint

 

 

 

 

Daniel Kato on behalf of the Evangelistic Team

In Heavenly Love

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Carol Sampson’s version of this beautiful hymn by Anna Laetitia Waring, who was clearly a very special Welsh poet and hymn writer seems particularly appropriate for all of us.

In heavenly love abiding
No change my heart shall fear;
And safe in such confiding
for nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me;
My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me
And can I be dismayed?

Wherever He may guide me,
No one shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me,
And nothing shall I lack.
His wisdom ever waken
His sight is never dim;
He knows the way He’s taking,
and I will walk with Him.

In heavenly love
In heavenly love I abide;
In heavenly love
In His heavenly love I abide
Forever.

Green pastures are before me
Which yet I have not seen.
Bright skies will soon be over me
Where darkest clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure;
My path to life is free;
My Saviour has my treasure
And He will walk with me

In heavenly love
In heavenly love I abide
In heavenly love
In His heavenly love I abide
Forever,
Forever,
Forever.

Singer and composer Carol Sampson, taken from her album ‘Always Near’.

Copyright Carol Sampson / Ruach Breath of Life Ministries 2018

Wings like Eagles

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Here’s another of Carol’s lovely songs that brings deep peace and hope to all in need of strength and encouragement.

The Lord is the Everlasting God.
Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives His strength to the weary one.
Increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall.

Have you heard, do you not know?
The Lord is The Everlasting God,
and those who place their hope upon the Lord
will find their strength renewed.

They will soar on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will soar on wings like eagles.
Yes those who place their hope upon the Lord
will find their strength renewed.

Singer and Composer Carol Sampson, taken from her album ‘Always Near’

Copyright Carol Sampson / Ruach Breath of Life Ministries 2018

Japanese Prayer

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Prayer for Japan
A few editions ago we provided an extensive series of pointers to help us pray for the land of Japan. Do follow up the excellent links for prayer that you will find on that page!

Following a powerful prophetic trip that Sheena Tranter and other intercessors made to Japan recently, and the abdication a few days ago of the long serving Emperor Akihito (who has served his country faithfully and sought repeatedly to apologise for previous Japanese atrocities) share in this extended extempore prayer, set to a piece of music that I wrote with the nation of Japan and her people in mind.

Japan has often earned itself the unwelcome reputation of being largest unevangelised country in the world, where barely 0.5% of the nation are active believers, and millions know next to nothing about the Lord Jesus.

At this time when much that has given Japan stability in recent times is being shaken to the core, why not set aside some time to join in this heart cry for a land that is famed for its mountainous beauty and fiery colours of autumn forest and flowering cherry trees – as well as for its fishing and industrial savvy – but also for its earthquakes and tsunamis. Let’s push in and pray for Jesus to be known more widely!

The notes below seek to encapsulate and focus these thoughts so you have something to read as well as to listen to.

Join in this heart cry for many more to come to know and love the Lord Jesus in this land famed for its mountainous beauty and fiery colours of autumn forest and flowering cherry trees, and renowed for its fishing and its industrial savvy but feared for its earthquakes and tsunamis, where much that has given it stability in recent times is being shaken to the core.

The Lord knows how devastated the people were when they learnt that the emperor was not divine, and their cause not destined to win the Second World War; He saw how they took refuge in old traditional ways, and in new found prosperity through material things.

As these things are in turn being challenged, may the Lord sound a call that makes sense to restless questing hearts.

Yes we pray for true and honourable government, for stable conditions best favour the spread of your word – and Japan needs united and focus government at this time when it faces many external as well as internal challenges at this time for which it needs real wisdom. But we know that You use times of turmoil, Father, to shape and sharpen and people’s hunger for eternal things.

May He raise up prophets, pastors, and evanglists who put the cause of Christ above and beyond their own, and who shine a bright light that others can safely follow. May integrity mark the spread of the gospel to these islands that He has long longed to welcome into His courts.

May He raise up a people for His own possession, so filled with love for Jesus that they will model and reflect the ways of the eternal kingdom.

Then let it be that ancient traditions of courtesy find their true and proper mark, with their focus increasingly directed toward the one who is Lord of all and Prince of Peace.

In a land where the dangers of too much overtime at work are finally being recognised, may there be time for men to attend church functions, and for whole families to come to Christ.

Then may family loyalities and ritualistic traditions, qualities that appear attractive in themselves but which have so often proved a defence and stumbling block against wholehearted discipleship. May much be redeemed and find its truest highest mark.

In a land where congregations tend to be small, and almost entirely metropolitan centred, may the Lord raise up new and strikingly fresh initiatives across the land, including in the many towns and cities where there is currently no witness.

May voices be raised for You, Lord Jesus in schools and univiersities, and Your word be known and loved in places where there is so little voice for Him. Let there be a renewed drawing power from Heaven for when and wherever the invitation of Christ is extended: a warming of heart to embrace it, and a lowering of resistance in the mind as a result of understanding that the claims of Christ are clear and absolute in ways quite foregin to the Shinto and Buddhist ways.

Yes, may the Lord pave the way for a great opening of the heavens over Japan, for many to see and hear and gladly take to heart that that there is something here that takes them far beyond outward rituals into a reality of truth and grace, of life everlasting, and of Love made flesh – and to be willing to follow the One who warned that He had not come to bring peace but rather a sword that could not but divide.

Redeem the samurai ‘warrior’ quality, and let it find its true and final mark in a people prepared to take their stand for You and to advance Your kingdom in these islands steeped in tradition, but which now are being shaken to the core by many changes.

Remember the fate of the thousands who took their stand for Him and paid for it with their life in the early days after the Christian message reached the land. Water and honour the seed of the martyrs and cause a latter day harvest to emerge. Use every input from Radio, TV and Internet broadcast to stir hearts and to kindle curiosity. Stir up a hunger that will lead many to seek and quest until they find their peace in You.

Many of you may want to continue this prayer by considering the wider context of the region. Japanese invasion and occupation of both Korea and China in years past have left profound roots of resentments not far below the surface. There are also new challenges to face from the heavily militarised powers of both China and North Korea, both of which are adopting a more aggressively robust stance in recent days, leaving Japan feeling acutely and increasingly vulnerable. May the Lord use this to soften hearts and pave the way to break through into more and more people’s hearts.

An Orcadian Odyssey

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Utterly out of the blue, Robin, from church, (who in the past I have travelled to France with), rang to invite me at next-to-no-notice to accompany him for a week to Balfour House, a castle on Shapinsay, one of the Orkney islands, that his sister and brother-in-law own. He was taking a friend there with a view to him moving permanently up there and was keen for me to come too. As I was waiting on the Lord to discern if this was a prompt for the Lord, He suddenly impressed on me that He wanted me to take up again for a very brief time the mantle of a watchman from the north praying down into Europe at this pivotal time, just as I had done when organising the Fire from the North intercessory conference in Shetland in 2005. Continue reading