Greetings Res Family!
Thank you so much to all who are reading the blog, sending texts of encouragement, and/or praying for me and the Gafcon meetings. I am so grateful! I personally had a wonderful day today but could sense that things were a bit “off” around mid-day. As one delegate told me, things are feeling heavy today. We soon found out why.
At the beginning of our afternoon meetings, Archbishop Foley addressed the whole conference and announced he had some very sad news. In a “I can’t believe this is happening” moment, he told us that the Archbishop of Rwanda, who is the host of the conference, a leader in Gafcon, who had addressed us last night, and whose daughter has been a wonderful conference coordinator, lost his son this morning. All we were told is that his son didn’t wake up and died in his sleep over night. This was a shock to the whole conference and we spent time in prayer for the Archbishop and his family. Needless to say it highlighted that we are in a very big spiritual battle in this ministry.
After breakfast with the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic delegation, we were treated to the most anointed Bible teaching on Colossians 1 from the Gafcon Bishop of New Zealand. It was truly inspiring as he laid out the Supremacy of Christ, the Sufficiency of Christ, and the Sovereignty of Christ in ALL THINGS from vs 15-23. Rarely have I heard such great bible teaching. I literally got choked up twice during his talk, overwhelmed with the love and power and greatness of Christ. As it turns out the speaker was in my small prayer group afterwards which was really fun. If you get a chance to listen on the website, it is well worth it!
Then during the morning session we heard a history of the Anglican realignment since 1970, a theological history and overview of the Anglican communion, and an inspiring call to unity and to move forward in mission. After lunch we heard amazing testimonies from African brothers and sisters. They asked us not to re-share because of the sensitive nature of the places they live. But I was so struck after hearing these stories of how little I pray, how little I expect God to work, how little I know how to persevere through hardship, and how robust the faith and experience of Christ is in our brothers and sisters around the world. Just wow! Listening was worth the price of flying all the way over here in spades! I pray we at Res might live more boldly, pray more boldly, suffer more boldly, and proclaim the good news of Christ more boldly!
After meeting up with my two of my covenant group brothers before dinner to catch up, I had dinner with Bishop Chris and Catherine and others from our diocese. Tonight’s meeting we heard reports from around the world focusing on the UK and parts of Europe. The evening ended with a 1 ½ hour fellowship time with the Diocese of Pittsburgh delegation (my ordaining diocese) including their new bishop. It was a wonderful evening of conversation, fellowship and much encouragement. Both Res and ALI got lots of kudos and again I am amazed that our church has so much recognition beyond Baltimore. I pray we steward it well.
Please continue to pray for Gafcon, for me, and for the Archbishop of Rwanda who grieves the sudden death of his son. Thank you again for letting me come and I pray that this trip will yield much fruit in our mission and church in the days to come.
Humbly in Christ,