Anna and I arrived in Johannesburg, S. Africa yesterday morning and here in Pietermaritzburg in the afternoon. We've almost been gone a week and things are going amazingly well. We are having a lot of fun together, starting every day in Paris with fresh pan au chocolats and croissants-- and lots of amazing meals. Anna however says she's tired of fancy things like roast duck and misses peanut butter and jelly! Here are some highlights and some new prayer requests:
1) I preached and ministered Sunday at the Eglise Reformee de Belleville-- a big reformed church in Paris. I invited people to come forward if they wanted to give Jesus permission to really take them deeper into baptismal death of the flesh so they could be wholly given over as sons/daughters of God, empowered more fully by the Holy Spirit. People came forward in droves and the Spirit really touched people. Then we had another session all afternoon, praying for many many people. There was lots of deliverance, quite amazing really. I was really moved by how many people are suffering from deep loneliness and isolation.
2) On Monday we met with Gilles Boucomont and his team from another Paris church. They had just taught for a week in Burlington. This is an important connection. Then I went out with Elian Cuvillier, the New Testament prof from the Eglise Reformee seminary in Montpellier who just happened to be in Paris when we were. We really connected and I am once again amazed to see how mainline intellectual French Protestants are so hungry and open to the Holy Spirit and to entering more fully into the ministry of Jesus. We stayed the entire time with the President of the French Bible Society, Bernard Coyault and his wife who is a pastor. We had great conversations.
3) On Tuesday I ministered "prophetic presytery" style to the pastoral team of Eglise Reformee de Belleville and then did a book signing at the main bookstore of the Eglise Reformee de France's national office. The French translation of Reading the Bible with the Damned is out and doing really well.
4) Then we were wisked off by taxi (since there was a train strike) to the airport for an all night, 12 hr flight to Johannnesburg. Last night I spoke to a gathering of all the Biblical studies professors from the seminaries in this city (Catholics, protestants, evangelicals) based at the Univ of KwaZulu Natal and elsewhere. They asked me to share about my new book A New Christian Manifesto. I shared openly about the new move of the Spirit that I see, where word, spirit and ministry to the poor/marginalized are coming together. The profs were very excited and we ended up having a long discussion. I am amazed at people's openness-- especially since these people are not from charismatic camps but are theologians of liberation, contemplative Catholics, feminists, post-colonial theologians, academics. The Spirit is truly at work bringing together the body of Christ.
5) Today I speak at a "theological cafe" before professors and students and the Univ of KwaZulu Natal and then have dinner and breakfast meetings with profs and others. Please keep us in your prayers. Tomorrow the NT prof and my good friend Jonathan Draper is taking us to a game park. Yeah! Then we fly to Johannesburg and fly out Saturday morning for Iris ministry in Pemba Mozambique.
Please pray for ongoing divine appointments and God's wisdom, direction and annointing for conversations with professors/leaders.
Pray for Ilona Dobeyn who is suffering from cancer here. We have prayed for her and she seems to be improving.
Pray for protection for us as we travel, and for Gracie and Luke back home and for Isaac in Argentina.
Pray that God would really prepare us for our 10-11 days in Mozambique (June 16-26).
Pray for Anna, for her health and an open heart. Pray for our time together as dad/daughter-- that it would be the best.
Feel free to write if you get any impressions for us (email@example.com).
Blessings in Christ,