Our time in the UK and Holland has just been fantastic. Pics to come.
The joy of working with the Vineyards, New Wine movement and other churches in the two nations has been a blast, and we were continually blown away by God’s deep work in our hearts, and the hearts of those coming to the What Is Worship? “worship worldview” events. In London, Chris Whitelock, the Vineyard Records UK Team, Brian Duane and Band, and Rick and Lulu Williams hosted us, and created a wonderful space for us all to meet with God.
The Lord seemed to be filling us all with great joy and laughter as we explored the reflections of His image in us during the event. Dan made a few cultural “word booboos” which only made the late night chats more, well, spunkier. Ministry times, as well as worship times, were just beautiful, and deep work was happening in many British (and Canadian) hearts.
We spent sweet times with Rick and Lulu Williams and the Riverside Vineyard gang in London, and they were incredibly gracious and good to us. Good friend Marc Pusch from Vineyard Music Canada joined us for the event, and brought great encouragement to us by just being present.
Peter then went on to Holland, and had excellent times of teaching in Johann Vink and the Wageningen Vineyard’s Life Sciences program. He’s not here to fill in the details, but suffice it to say that Pete went over bigtime with the Dutch students gathering. Dan lead a group of Vineyard UK worship “influencers” in a time of strategizing to build their regional worship development network.
We had a blast on the beautiful grounds of Nettle Hill Retreat Center in Antsy, Coventry UK. Sam Lane (Beautiful), Nigel Briggs (Hold On), Wendy O’Connell (Come, Now Is The Time) and Michael and Helen Frye (Be The Centre) were just a few of the great friends who were there as we sought God together, and wracked our hearts and minds to be faithful as equippers to other worship leaders.
What Is Worship? Holland was a blast. It was a joint partnership event between Vineyard Music Benelux and the New Wine movement of the Netherlands (New Wine is the renewal movement among the Anglicans sparked by John Wimber’s visits in the UK many moons ago). Our hosts here were Remco and Jane Hempenius, Johann Vink (pastor, Wageningen Vineyard) and Jan Bernard (national director, Vineyard Nederlands), and Bart Visser (New Wine Nederlands). The new What Is Worship? DVD has just been released by Vineyard Music, so these events were part of promoting the ideas on the new project.
It was difficult, as Anita had a severe stomach/torso attack again while I was away, and great friends Wilma Coates and Mary Ellen Fitch came to the rescue to help the kids. We think we know what has been going on during these attacks – we think that Anita has developed an allergy to peanuts. We’re hoping that this the culprit behind these horrible bouts so that we can move on with some understanding.
Sweet times of worship jointly led between myself and Jedi (and our killer band – 18 year old Raymon just nailing the bass groove) took us places we didn’t expect to go. Very powerful moments of passionate worship. Calvinism and a sense of religious duty is strong in the Netherlands, and the team here felt that the weekend’s “call to joy” was important to both unifying the church streams represented in the interdenominational event, and beginning to break a drought in the soul of the Church in the Nederlands. God is doing beautiful things here, in, among and through a beautiful people.
Dan also got to see a Caravaggio/Rembrandt exhibition in Amsterdam (two of my favorite painters, along with Vermeer) at the famous Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum. For those who know me well, it was like I had died and gone to heaven. So much beauty in the world to take in, in such a short time. Thanks, Remco and Jane (and Joel and Micah).
We will be teaching in two of the three Vineyard in the Nederlands this morning, Peter at the Wageningen Vineyard and Dan at the Utrecht Vineyard, and then heading home tomorrow morning.
It’s been a wonderful time with a wide expression of the Church in these two lands in Europe. Thanks for your prayers, and for being strength to us as family, community and friends.