Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ordinary Heroes...

I’m just flying back from a hectic several days speaking at Summer Madness in Belfast, Causeway Coast Vineyard in Coleraine, and Urban Soul in Dublin. Not everyone would enjoy this lifestyle, but I love traveling, speaking, meeting new interesting people, and seeing lives changed.

There are lots of people doing fantastic things far removed from any limelight. Youth workers are some of my ‘ordinary heroes’. They are invariably very gifted and could have gone into all sorts of more lucrative careers. But they aren’t motivated by money. They want more. They are about seeing lives changed. And that needs to be done with young people before they get stuck in their thinking and settled in their respectability and tameness. So these youth workers often get paid a pittance, but they love the truth enough to live it. God bless them. I’ve met a whole load of them over the last week. Keep firing, guys, the reward is both now and later…

A bonus highlight was managing to fit in speaking at Causeway Coast Vineyard in Coleraine, and hooking up with my mate Mark Marx of Healing on the Streets (HOTS). Alan and Kathryn Scott are the leaders, and as with all good leaders they’ve drawn together a superb team. The authorities love them because they are so ‘out there’ in the community. For example, when the political temperature rises during marching season, youth worker Neil Young and his gang are asked by the police to stand between rival communities and give out lollipops to diffuse the tension. They are trusted. They’ve earned the right. Brilliant.

I preached there a few times, and saw Alan in action. Healing is at the heart of who they are. He was leading the service and shared stories of two healings that week. One little boy was due to have surgery for a hole on his heart. He was prayed for, and when he went in, they opened him up and the hole had gone! Mark had prayed for a lady registered blind from birth, and she had regained her sight (not perfectly, but she could now see people and objects). May that continue to be a weekly experience, and not just in a few isolated churches. Alan said at one point the Lord wanted to heal someone of scoliosis. Nobody responded. ‘Come on, whoever it is, put your hand up.’ No response. ‘The Lord’s told me he wants to heal you. Who is it?’ And only then at the third time of asking did a shy lady pipe up and share that she had indeed been touched and healed as Alan had prayed over the congregation.

We only had a few hours together, but it was a great time. Alan, Mark, Neil, Greg, Mags, John, the list goes on. Just ordinary people, but among my ordinary heroes, because they and I serve an extraordinary God…

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this Simon. As a youth worker, it's very encouraging to read! Also great to hear about things God is doing.

    On another note, we watched the first 'More than Conquerors' film in our small group last night - really good stuff. Looking forward to the rest.