I just posted the conclusion to the story of our trip to City Church International in Hong Kong over at the Rob Rufus blog, so I'm putting it up over here too, mostly just so it's here in my life journal...
Ok, I'm seriously late in posting this, but in my defense we've moved and had my sister's wedding so we've been a little busy. I left off just before the final meeting on Monday night with the Mills and Kaye Beyer.
We had a great worship time again, similar to Sunday night, and then Kaye got up to basically share her testimony. Her husband had died just 6 months before, and they had been in ministry together for something like 40 years, which is amazing! Some people had a difficult time hearing her as she was somewhat quiet and not at all dramatic, but this was one of my favorite parts of the conference. I love hearing testimonies and grew up reading biographies of famous men and women of God. She passed around some pictures of miraculous manifestations (such as some money with a note from God to her grand daughter on it) and was also wearing a huge ring with a beautiful green stone in it that God dropped at her feet. It was very sparkly, and green being my favorite colour I believe he should give me one too (though I'd probably have it set in a crown instead).
She shared about the joy that comes from knowing God in the midst of difficult times, and at the end invited people who lacked joy to come for prayer. She looked a bit shocked when nearly everyone came forward! . .(A lady sitting next to us from the church explained that depression is a serious problem in Hong Kong...) There were only a few of us still sitting in our seats, and soon we were busy moving chairs out of the way as many started falling to the floor. Kaye and Janet Mills moved around the room praying and laying hands on people in such a quiet and gently manner it was rather surprising the violent effects of their ministry! Josh was still manning the keyboard and singing, and we were happily taking it all in.
When Rob recovered and got up off the floor hehe, he started calling certain visiting people forward to be prayed for. He called some people from a church in China (I think?) up, and then he called us up. Janet was excited that we were church planting in Canada, asked us where and she answered that the Maritimes need churches. Neither Aaron or I remember another word she or Kaye said after that! She then very gently placed her hands on Aaron's face and he was out like a light, then she put her hands on my face and it was so glorious, God's loving joyful presence just wrapped me in light. I didn't fall or anything, I think was struggling to remain standing because I didn't want Janet to stop! Ahhh, but she did...
And then Rob was dealing with something demonic in someone and I was glad I didn't miss it. I had noticed earlier that someone was struggling with a demonic issue and hoped it would get dealt with, so I was intrigued to be able to be up close to see how Rob handled it. I always pay close attention whenever I'm close to someone experienced in casting out demons, which unfortunately doesn't happen very often. This is one area of ministry I'm dying to jump into more, and one thing I really have more than enough faith to make up for the lack of experience.
That night we stayed at the YWCA where the church met, and the next day a lady (Marika)from the church picked us up and drove us to nicer accommodations that she and her husband had arranged. She was so kind and generous and gave us lots of information about the city. That night we had quite an adventure getting lost with a taxi driver who spoke no English, due in large part to us being hungry at midnight for a real meal for most of the time we were there, 12 hour time difference! I think I won't get into that! Suffice it to say, God got us back to our room!
So Tuesday and Wednesday of our trip involved sightseeing and lots of walking. The weather was great, we went to the Peak (where we waved to the Mills and Kaye Beyer out the tram window!) and got to see all the great views. And we did lots of wandering around the shops and ate mysterious Chinese food.
On Thursday Marika picked us up again and took us over to the Rufus' house where we chatted with Rob and Glenda and then ate together with a few people from the worship team who were there early for the prayer meeting that night. The prayer meeting was really great and intense...and loud! There were lots of prophetic words and testimonies, and Rob asked Aaron and I to share a couple of things we'd shared with him as well, just some encouragement God had given us for the church. We got to meet even more people that night and everyone was so easy to talk to. If we weren't so obviously called to be planting a church here in Canada, I think it would be extremely tempting to move to Hong Kong! We then went back to Ryan and Kylie's house for the night as we were flying out early the next morning. We stayed up talking again, and the next morning as we stood by the taxi about to get in , I felt such a wave of sadness wash over me. I already missed them!
One little testimony here: We needed taxi money to get to the airport on Friday morning and I wasn't sure how much we'd need, I didn't think we had enough Hong Kong dollars left. We could have gone to a bank and gotten some more out but that would have been inconvenient and I didn't want to exchange more money than we needed, so I just asked God on Thursday to provide the money we needed. Well, at the prayer meeting, a lady from the church came up and slipped me some money, she said it should be enough for the taxi. Wow, God doesn't waste any time! As we were leaving, Rob and Glenda gave us money for the taxi as well, we told them we didn't need it anymore but they said to get a nice breakfast at the airport. It wasn't too long before Ryan and Kylie gave us some money for the taxi, also insisting we keep it when we told them we had more than enough! OK God, you've made your point, you're pretty generous, according to your riches in glory, not my need!
Anyway, we had a good flight back and safe trip home though it took me quite some time to readjust to the proper time zone. Thanks again to Dan for your faith and generosity and investing in kingdom building in Canada!