FROM THE DESK OF DAVID ABBOTT
This year Australia began with a new introductory weekend in Hobart, Tasmania. From the first dinner meeting with leaders to the last service the excitement grew towards children’s ministry, climaxing at the end with a family service. At the Saturday night meeting with leaders and parents, a mother told me that she was supposed to be away on holiday right then but her young teenage son insisted that they come home early. His friend who had been under my ministry in his previous church had told him about my visit and he so wanted to be there. In the family service God gave me words for three children one of whom got more and more excited. After sharing with each I asked parents to come and join their child so I could pray for them too and low and behold the mother mentioned above came and stood with the boy who got so excited. A mother’s reward for sacrificing for her son’s spiritual growth and for the boy, as the bible says “God rewards those who diligently seek Him!!”
From there I went on to the annual children’s conference in the Tamar Valley, larger in numbers including some who have only recently been saved. We met with the young ministry team and all felt this year they were the key. They were to be team leaders leading by example and encouragement. They rose to the challenge beautifully, excelled and pushed the boat out into new areas. Several became amazingly prophetic and others were not just sharing scripture but exhorting with it. The children including the new converts were great followers and we watched them change in front of our eyes. My teaching was only really enhancing all the children and team had shared before me and presenting the challenge for prayer and ministry. The climax was the family service where the young ministry team were brilliant at sharing words and scriptures just like they were in the conference.
In the bible we read that when Andrew met Jesus for the first time he went off to fetch his brother Peter saying “come see I have found the saviour”. In Tamar Valley we had eleven year old Zac who was filled with the Holy Spirit and he went home at the end to his friend Naish’s house. There Zac talked to Naish about the Bible and Jesus, Naish said he had a Bible but not Jesus! Zac and his sister prayed for Naish and led him to Christ. Zac took Naish with him to church on the Sunday and I can tell you Naish’s face was radiant. Their Pastor has since told me that the other Sunday he had the privilege of baptising both Zac and Naish in water.
Before leaving Tasmania the young ministry team and I ministered in another church on the Island where I regularly go. It is a small church in a poor area and up to last year they only had one family with several small toddlers for their children’s work. The Pastor told me they were having an extension to the church building and believing that God will fill it with children. One year later God has given them literally a huge gift of the extension and the Pastor was able to take six children who have been added to the church to join in the conference. They all went home with changed lives and are the beginning of the filling of the church with children. At the meeting there the young ministry team were again stars ministering a number of times during the meeting. When the benediction had been said and some were leaving a man was brought to the front in great distress for the team to pray for. They prayed and so did his wife. I was told later she had been prayed for earlier because she was unable to pray in public!! Going back to the husband; while the team were praying the only girl on the team who has developed tremendous gift of prophetic visions was standing behind the man and nudged her grandmother and said she had a word for him. Grandma told her to share and when she finished the man turned round and said “you got that right girl”.
On the mainland I was part of a very special children’s two day event where I had eight seminars teaching them on eight steps to effective praying. We had a small potentially powerful group for God. Their relationship with God and each other grew in leaps and bounds. The children were more than usually open in sharing their sin and bad relationships, praying for one another to be forgiven and set free. All but one instantly spoke in tongues when they prayed for each other to be filled with the Holy Spirit. One ten year old after speaking in tongues asked the others “did anyone else get a warm feeling in their heart” which several did. Shades of John Wesley when he got saved, he said “I felt my heart strangely warmed.” Their worship reached into the heavenlies and brought down the presence of God. What God started He continued, Sunday I was at another church but I am told from two sources that, that morning the children in the adult service testified of what God had done and were up at the front worshipping as they did in their own meetings.
The finale just topped all off. In a multi-cultural church in Sydney thirteen, 7 to 16 year olds gathered for the weekend. They were open and ready so quickly cleaned up their lives, two received assurance of salvation and almost all instantly flowed in tongues and when asked about living for Jesus all were instantly on their feet. On Sunday without prior warning I felt the youngsters should lay hands on the adults who responded, which they were happy to do. Many adults responded all prayed several times and adults were very thrilled.
A testimony to finish, one teenage boy there didn’t respond to be filled with the Holy Spirit, but his father was desperate for him to receive. Dad asked if he wanted us two to pray for him to which he gave a fairly typical reply “don’t know”. I felt to say if dad said he would give you something you desperately wanted what would say, “yes please” was his reply. You say “don’t know” to God’s great gift, so tell me honestly do you want the Holy Spirit? “Yes” was his reply. We prayed and he instantly had a beautiful tongue, Sunday morning he was hanging onto every word preached.
So there we have it, the beginning of the year has gone with a bang. THANK YOU JESUS. Let’s believe together that it will only go onward and upward through the year. Thank you for the major role you played, your input was invaluable.
Much Love & Many, Many Thanks…