FROM THE DESK OF DAVID ABBOTT
I finished my reports for last year saying I was believing that the moving of God in meetings from September onward was the beginning of a spiritual breakthrough in the industrial nations. Now I am back from Australia I am even more excited about that thought.
The Southern Cross Kids Camp set the pace and was possibly one of the best camps and I have had in my ten years there. We had thirty two children either returning or first timers, all coming from difficult backgrounds but precious souls. In the past when I have made invitations for salvation they have been prayed for en-mass and knowing God knows their hearts and exactly what has happened. This year we had a group of young people in their early twenties who were wonderful; if they hadn’t got a job to do they were found gathering together praying for the camp and the children. They followed up my teaching with the children in their cabins and a number of children we know asked to receive Jesus into their lives and were prayed for.
We saw children change during camp as they were loved and ministered too. One was so traumatized when he came he refused to join in anything by the end he was into everything and desperate to come back next year. Another who couldn’t control his bowls by the end of camp with much prayer and help he was going all day using the toilet and not fouling himself. When we finish camp we transport the children from the camp site to a church in town where we have a fair-well for them and the adults collecting them join us for that. This year a Christian local government minister came to the church to see something of what we do as she couldn’t get out to camp. She told us that when the adults were in the church there was a very heavy spirit presence but when the children arrived and went to the front to sing some of the choruses we had used at camp that heaviness lifted instantly. At that final concert there was one girl who when she first came to us several years ago she was completely uncontrollable and quite vicious to her adult buddy on camp. But this year she was totally different, she was often seen hugging her buddy and at the final concert she instead of hiding at the back of the group or refusing to go up, there she was on the front row beaming from ear to ear sing and doing the actions with all of her heart. There are many more testimonies like those showing how very much God loves these children and doesn’t care where they come from or their background He has a plan for their lives, to do them good and give them a hope and a future, the same as every other child.
In Tasmania, well I still can’t find the right words that properly describe what God did there, certainly it was way beyond all I could ask or think. We started by being shown that our plans aren’t always God’s plans. We planned a pre-conference get together the evening before of the young ministry team, adult leaders and the pastor just to pray and set the vision. God though had much more planned. We have in the past had a team of four boys but one of those is in full time employment now so could only join us when he was free, which he did. We had three new ones including two girls join the team giving us a team of six. With the example they had to follow before them they fitted in like a glove and flowed straight into everything. We started the gathering reminding them to seek God for words to give me in the last meeting to send me off with for the coming year but they immediately rushed to get bibles saying we already have things. From there, there was no stopping them they felt they should pray for my knee to which I felt and they saw it grow out to the same length as the other. One of the girls stood in the gap for her mother’s bad eye and that was healed and one of the boys felt it was God’s time for him to be prayed for, for his food allergies and his younger brother confirmed it. Their faith level shot through the roof so when we started the children’s conference next morning we began on a high level and rose upwards from there.
I praise God for grandparents who are able and do get involved in their grandchildren’s spiritual growth. One in that church set the pace from the very first set of meetings I had there and ever since and now she has the blessing of having four of hers in the meetings and three of those are on the ministry team. This year the attendance was up mainly because of other grandmothers following the example and bringing theirs.
We had an awesome two day conference with eight teaching sessions (yes, and they all loved it, soaked up every word and ministered themselves). Every session children brought words and scriptures before and after I spoke and every time they were spot on. The ministry team were kept very busy with every session almost all or everyone responding for prayer meaning the team prayed for the others then for each other. The challenges meant them making tough decisions both to be really willing to let go, lie down and then go and work at being different. One of the biggest challenges I believe was to lay down their modern day idols that come often very small or easily carried and are made of plastic and metal but are controlling their lives. (Lay down in the sense of them in control of it’s on off button not it in control of them). Their worship reached a new level especially one morning. I had woken that day praying “God do something new today”, He did and it meant that the first session I didn’t get to preach, God has a sense of humour! They worshiped the presence of God fell and I was tingling all over. God took over and they gloried in His presence for over an hour ending everyone wanting prayer. The conference finished on such a high they were all just about like rubber balls bouncing around. Sunday’s family service can only be described as the richest of icing on the cake. The worship was awesome; it was led by our conference music group with boys on the instruments and as a result of one of our workshops being on worship six girls vocally led the singing and together they all took us into the heavenlies. I preached but I didn’t need to and would have loved to stand back and let the children do it. But anyway the message began with one of our budding boy preachers as he led the communion. In his message he taught on what I had, he was followed by a scripture and word that continued the same message. I did speak then and at my ending a large number of adults responded for prayer and the young ministry team took over there. When they had finished I saw a number of children rush for their bibles with the result that another of our budding young preachers preached a message followed by many others bringing scriptures and words all carrying on the message. It was a brilliant meeting and fitting conclusion to the week.
We have in the church a very special young man called Aaron who is eighteen years old and is a downs person but he is no different to any of the others there in fact he puts many of us to shame. He is a very spiritual young man; he loves God with all of his heart and so loves the word of God. He is very sensitive to the voice of God and always brings scriptures that are God speaking. This time he came to my workshop which included the gifts of the Spirit and now he has moved out into bringing spot on visions and prophetic words. In the family service he prayed for the pastor and prophesied over him. He is a gifted piano player and played in our worship group. He is a very gifted swimmer and last year he was chosen to represent Australia at swimming in the world championships in Italy following our Olympics. He proudly showed me his big handful of gold and silver medals he won there.
From there the meetings everywhere continued with the same blessing, the devil let us know that he was around too but his antics are far eclipsed by the blessing God gave. One place the junior church was still suspended for holidays and it was the Australia Day long weekend, not a good recipe for numbers but with God all things are possible. Quite a few children were there but the parents of young teens who had been in my meetings when they were younger were phoned and so the young teens joined us too and practically everyone responded for prayer neither age group was intimidated by the other. God is full of surprises, He gave me one meeting with a group outside of my usual age, a little wild, abundance of tattoos and face piercings and being discipled by a friend of mine I have known since he was a child and came to my early camps where God clearly called him into ministry. They may have been different on the outside but inside they responded just like the children and it seems God sent me there for one in particular. At the end one of the young men pointed to another and said ”that message was just for you” and their leader confirmed it, who told me later that every point I made the young man’s eyes opened wider and wider. I had a text from his leader two days later saying the young man is still speechless that God really loved him so much and cared about his well-being so much that He would arrange his circumstances, answer his fleece and send a stranger who knew nothing to speak a word just for him. That is so much the God we love and serve.
As I close for this time and you draw your conclusions I am sure you will come to the same conclusion as me God is indeed at work in a new way and beginning to move in the industrial world too. But thank you too from the bottom of my heart for the vital part you have played in the lives of the children and youth of Australia, it is very much my privilege to work together with you to see them touched and lives changed. I guess you could say that I too am speechless because of what God has done.
Much, Much Love & Thanks