We just returned from a two-week ministry tour in the UK. God's timing continues to amaze us, as we were able to be there and minister during such a difficult time for the British people.
As you know, on May 22, 2017 a 22-year-old British Muslim extremist detonated a shrapnel-laden homemade bomb inside the exit of Manchester Arena in England, following a concert by American singer Ariana Grande.
23 adults and children were killed, including the killer,
and 119 were injured - 23 critically. A terrible tragedy!
Our flight to London was already scheduled for the very next day. What's interesting is that when traveling to the UK we normally fly into Manchester, but are thankful the Lord led us to fly into London this time!
We arrived safely, rented a car and began our journey to the Midlands to lead worship for Andrew Wommack's Grace & Faith Conference. It was an awesome opportunity to minister God's love and grace in the midst of a shocked and grieving nation.
The Lord gives His grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16), and it was being poured out abundantly in every service, morning and night, for four days. The times of worship were deeply saturated by His precious presence, and the teachings from the speakers were spot on! A time of healing for sure!
We left that conference with a great satisfaction of knowing
we were in the right place, and at the right time.
Grace & Faith Conference 2017, outside Birmingham, England
After an incredible Wednesday night of healing worship in Redditch, England, we made our way back to London on Thursday and Sunday for services with our dear friends Kofi and Jayne Banful from Praise Christian Centre.
However on Saturday night June 3rd, just before our Sunday morning services, another unexpected tragedy occurred...
An attack took place in a tourist district of London, when a van driving across the infamous London Bridge, mounted the sidewalk and intentionally plowed into pedestrians. The van soon crashed, then three Jihadists jumped out with knives and began stabbing people in nearby pubs.
Eight people from across the globe were killed there that night, and 48 were injured.
It was the third terrorist attack in Great Britain in just over two months, following a similar attack in Westminster in March and the recent bombing in Manchester.
What a shock! We were awakened late that night by several texts from our loved ones in the States making sure we were OK, and telling us what had just happened. Needless to say we didn't get much sleep that Saturday night as we pondered and prayed in the aftermath of yet another horrible attack!
Again, the timing of God was impeccable.
We approached the two Sunday morning services in London with great humility and determination to sing and minister God's love and grace to the precious people of that church, bringing songs of peace, faith and deliverance.
The Bible says in Psalm 32:7...
You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.
Following worship, Pastor Jayne Banful had already planned in advance to preach an amazing message on Staying Peaceful In Our Times. The Lord knew we would all need to hear it at "such a time as this"!
GOD sees the end from the beginning, and He strategically guided us
through this difficult time in England.
The Bible encourages us to comfort others with the same comfort we have received from the Lord (2 Corinthians 1:3). I am convinced if you have walked through a difficult time, our Father will then use you to help someone else who is struggling.
If you recall, we also saw God's hand at work last fall in Nice, France following last summer's Bastille Day terrorist attack, and were able to bring a message of comfort there as well.
It would take too long to list every opportunity God has given us to help hurting people. Especially after tragically losing our son to cancer in 2009, we have continually asked to Lord to lead us to places and people whom we can help. He sure has been doing that now for over eight years!
Most of us have been through some kind of "stuff" - the pain and hardships of life. We personally have seen the grace of God help us in so many ways while walking through the STUFF. Paul, the great apostle, and many other of our Bible heroes went through horrible STUFF, and yet it made them even more determined to share about God's love and grace.
Let's reach out and help others, knowing God will be there to show us how to help them in their time of need and impart His peace.
May we also keep all of the people in prayer who have been directly affected through these recent attacks.
The Lord is near to the broken hearted. Ps 34:18
He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wound. Ps 147:3
P.S. We are also looking so forward to a missions trip this August in NICARAGUA with Pastors Darey and Karen Jolly! Please go here to read more about it and consider helping us go. We want be a blessing to their ministry and touch countless lives there with God's Word in song, and be Jesus' hands extended. Click for more info!
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We've written a few songs through the years about being thankful to God for who He is and all He has done, so we thought we would share some with you.
My first one was tak...
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