Celebration for the Nations 31 July – 6 August 2016

There are no translations available.

Celebration for the Nations 31 July – 6 August 2016

Mount Carmel, Israel.

 

Dear worshipper warriors!

Thank you to all who attended the wonderful week of worship we have just completed on Mount Carmel. Thanks too for those who could not attend but were with us in prayer! We know many of you stood with us over the months of preparation in prayer, fasting, giving and worship.

It is difficult to capture in words the joy that was released as we worshipped the Lord together led by teams from eight different nations, and Israeli Messianic believers and Arab believers.

One Messianic believer told me that for the first time, the Gentiles had made him jealous when he attended Celebration.

We have obeyed the word of the Lord to gather the people together so that He would release His Spirit in us and through us:

Gather the people together, so that I may give them water.” Then Israel sang this song:

Spring up, O well!—Sing to it!—“ (Numbers 21:16-17).

For the first time this year we had a worship team from Japan. As they were leading worship another worship team was leading eight ladies to salvation! The water is beginning to break out!

 

Beginnings

We begun the Celebration on this year of Jubilee with shofars being blown to call us to worship and to war, and with the Arab joy cry to celebrate what the Lord will do. It was a declaration of unity in Christ, Jew and Arab and Gentile together.

 

Ministries flowing together

One of the delights of Celebration has always been that it gives a chance for many different ministries to flow together in agreement that the Lord our God is worthy to be worshipped!! This year it was so precious to be able to join with ministries based in the land of Israel as well as some from the Far East and Europe.

 

United worship

A mark of Celebration has always been how the worship teams serve and honour each other. This year it moved on to a new level as the worship leaders joined together for a session when they all led or backed each other. It was glorious! We sang 'How great is our God' in about 20 languages!!

 

Street drama

One of the Korean worship teams, One Voice, who have been with the Celebration for many years, has developed Korean traditional dance and music into a worship form for the Lord. They took to the streets of the Druze village we were based in. They wore traditional costumes and danced and played music. Some of us followed on behind blessing the people and giving gifts that people had brought from the nations.

The villagers were amazed and delighted. We got invited into homes. Two young ladies came afterwards to some of the meetings. We were given water, and then invited for lunch in the restaurant that had been providing our meals during the Celebration. Love speaks! We pray that it will continue to speak through believers that remain in the village.

 

Godly Play

Bridget Steenkamp and her team led three hours of children's work each day based on a wonderful concept called Godly Play. Some children, who were notoriously 'wild', joined attentively and were able to enter into play and worship. Bridget told me that she learned later that sometimes what they were doing in their session paralleled how the Lord was leading the adults! Why are we surprised, there is after all only One Holy Spirit!

 

Faith journeys

For many, even to get to Mount Carmel, Israel was a tremendous faith journey. We were nearly 350 in all, plus people from Israel. More than 200 came from Korea, and people came from as far away as Japan, Australia and Singapore. Many sacrifices were made. We felt, as we gathered, that we were rebuilding an altar, just as Elijah did those millennia ago. In those days Elijah sacrificed a bull, but we knew that we were offering our bodies as a living sacrifice.

Someone spoke of a 'sandwich' the Lord wanted to give us of water, fire and water. Water symbolises the baptism of repentance, the message of John the Baptist, who came in the spirit and power of Elijah. When Elijah built the altar he flooded it with twelve jars of water. He was saying, we must make a sacrifice, we must give what is most precious to the Lord if we are truly repentant. There is nothing more precious than water in the time of a drought.

We can bring the water, we can choose to walk in repentance and humility, but only the Lord can bring the fire. John told of one coming after him whose shoe laces he was not worthy to untie; only Jesus can baptise in the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Many cried out for that baptism of fire, no matter what it would mean and what disruption it would bring to our lives. Psalm 24 was very much with us:

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart.

Aswe worshipped with our hands lifted to Jesus' nail pierced-hands and our hearts open to His spear-pierced side, He met us and spoke personally to us. He told us of His longings for Israel and the nations. He accepted our sacrifices and sent His fire.

The final part of the sandwich, the water, is that which He promised as we worshipped Him. This water is not just for ourselves, but for the nations. The rivers of living water flowed from the mouths of the apostles after they were baptised in the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Under the New Covenant we can become the 'sound' of the Lord, our voice can be as His voice when we walk in obedience to Him. The Bride in Revelation 19:6 has a voice like 'the roar of many waters'; it is the same description that was used for the voice of Jesus when John saw Him in Revelation 1.

Elijah heard the 'sound of heavy rain'. The baby church of Acts 2 became the 'sound' of living water, and people ran to be saved!

 

Commissioning

As we journeyed deeper into worship, we journeyed deeper into the broken heart of Jesus for the people yet to come. Perhaps 150 people came forward to say that whatever the Lord wanted, and wherever He wants to send us for the cause of the gospel, we are ready to go.

We are called to celebrate the victory of Jesus over all nations whilst yet still many people don't know Him. We are called to stand in the gap and worship on behalf of those who cannot yet see Him and love Him.

 

Photos and videos

Hopefully some of the precious times we had that have been captured in photo or video can be posted. However we need to be very careful, and some of the Arab and Messianic people could be compromised if their faces are seen, so please forgive us if there is less than usual this year.

 

Next year

Please pray! What we are convinced of is that we need to continue at least another year. We are not clear yet where that should be. We have many ideas, many invitations, but we only want to hear the Voice of the Lord.

 

Thank you!

The Lord has provided abundantly for this Celebration. Thank you to all of you who are a part of that in prayer or giving!

This year's Celebration for the Nations gathering may be over, but we believe the effects are only just beginning if we will continue to walk in worship, in sacrifice, in the Spirit. May we all stand under the waterfall of the Lord's amazing, unending grace.

Love and shalom from Israel

Gail