Newday 2017: Ruach – Holy Wind of God

One of the great things about camps and festivals, such as Newday 2017, is having the opportunity to get to know other churches. But rarely is that opportunity so well realised as when you share almost every aspect of your life together for a week with a church you have never met before.  We shared our tents, our food, our marquees and our time with Word of Life church and what a blessing they were to us for the week, and are every day to their community in Grove Park.

I guess none of us – seasoned campers or otherwise – really expected the 50mph gusts of wind we got. When someone passed a struggling tent, whichever site it was on, re-pegging or sorting guy-lines out became common place. Some tents sadly were beyond rescue, but that was clearly not the case when God’s wind of the Holy Spirit blew through the meetings; to see a girl clearly healed right in front of me – her face radiant with joy; for every hand, young and old, to be raised in worship as we declared that we are not slaves to fear, but children of God; for some of our own young people to respond and commit or recommit to the call of God on their lives and to see another receive a touch from the Holy Spirit (maybe for the first time) –  made every ache, pain, lost hour of sleep or cramped shower worth it and much more.

I am not sure that Toby the kidnapped gnome was quite so blessed when he was hauled up the telegraph pole – after all the ransom of 1 tub of ice-cream wasn’t paid – so – well – it had to be done!  But our team made the quarter-finals at dodge ball and I saw a grown man (Joe Goodman) fly whilst playing “Do you love your neighbour” the other night (just ask him!).  But with a double rainbow over the big top whilst young people were being saved (including one of the young people from our neighbouring site Hatfield) I heard about stories of hope and dreams being planted in the hearts and minds of many people.  Perhaps they can be summed up by Dhelia, a girl in a story from Iraq that I read whilst spending a few afternoons with GAiN. She is 10 years old and lives in Khazer camp.  She was asked if she had any dreams for the future as she was given her own pack of educational supplies.  She answered “I want to be an engineer.  Constructing houses in Iraq.”

Our prayer is that many of our own young people have been transformed by the gifts from God they have received this week so that they too can go on to do amazing exploits for God, either in our church and community or further afield – wherever God leads them.

 

 

 

 

 

John Masheder

7 August 2017

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