Last Saturday morning we celebrated the end of the Discipleship Training School lecture phase with a full English breakfast and sunlight streaming through the window. The clear blue skies outside seemed to match my delight at the thought of a whole week of holiday before me, and I felt the joy of the Father celebrating with us over all that has happened these last few months.
When Cheyenne, one of our trainees, exclaimed ‘holy!’ during worship that morning, we all expected her to continue with ‘holy, holy!’ Instead, the word that followed was ‘crap!’ Perhaps the most edifying choice of words, but the penny had just dropped that all of her fees for our upcoming trip to Albania and Macedonia had been paid. Not only hers, but mine too, and everyone else who still had money left to pay! The deadline had been twelve noon that day, but a ‘cloud of anonymity,’ as our accountant put it, had stepped in at the last minute and saved the day. Thanks so much to all of you who have given and prayed over the last months. You really do make a difference.
God’s faithfulness to act just in time has been a recurring theme for me over the last few weeks. One of our hopes for the discipleship training school (DTS) is that trainees will be set free from lies and behavioural patterns that hinder them from living out their God-given destinies. A few weeks ago, one of our girls had a big breakthrough in opening up about things that had been troubling her. I’d been aware that she hadn’t been particularly happy for a while and, with the end of lecture phase approaching, had felt a bit disappointed about this, but I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what the problem was, let alone how to fix it. Then God, with his sovereign timing, stepped in! He brought the issue to the surface through the challenges of a local missions week and spoke to her through teammates and reading Psalm 118 together one morning. Now that the issue has been shared, there is still an ongoing battle to fight, but I trust that Jesus will be faithful to finish what he’s started and that bringing things into the light is the beginning of victory (1 John 1:7-9). Please pray for ongoing freedom from depression and other things that weigh our trainees down as we move into the outreach phase.
Another way in which I’ve seen God’s faithfulness over the past few weeks is through the healing of one of our trainees from chronic pain. Becca joined the DTS back in September with fibromyalgia, and a few weeks later a guy in her mum’s church shared that he’d felt God say that she would be completely healed during her time in Cambridge. We’ve since been inspired by Jesus’s story about the persistent widow to pray regularly for Becca and other members of our team with chronic ailments, but apart from sometimes seeing a reduction in her pain following prayer during a ‘flare up’ we’ve seen no dramatic difference. Then, two weeks ago, we went to a conference at church in Cambridge, some of our team gathered around Becca to pray and the pain went away! She’s had twinges when she’s done particularly strenuous things since (as most people would), but the constant pain has stopped.
Interestingly, the week before the conference, our speaker for the week had shared that she used to suffer from fibromyalgia too, but that the pain had lessened and eventually disappeared after she’d started saying, ‘sorry Jill, sorry God,’ every time she felt it. It’s also interesting that Becca’s physical healing was preceded by an emotional healing and the release of forgiveness, but most interesting of all is that God was faithful to fulfil his promise and set up the timing of things perfectly!