Greencastle 23-25th September 2005
The leaders of Greencastle Methodist Church invited a Lay Witness team to conduct a weekend mission in September 2005.
Nigel Woods led the team.
Nigel Woods led the team.
Weekend Reports and Photos
Pat Stringer Greencastle Methodist writes
A Personal Story
The theme of the weekend was, “Raise us up Lord”.
From the first service when we met the Team on Friday evening until we had to say goodbye after the soup and cheese lunch on Sunday afternoon, we certainly felt "Raised up"
For myself and Billy (my husband) the rich mixture of personalities and talents which the Team brought to the weekend activities really brought everything alive.
I was greatly touched by the fact that strangers had given of their time and talents to bring their message to us in Greencastle. Ordinary people giving their testimonies, telling how the love of God had seen them through real difficulties stirred me to rethink my own relationship with God and what He has done for me through good times and bad. I was also reminded of those people who I have known in the past or am still in contact with who have amazing stories to tell of His love and support. What I noticed was that most of these people either belong to our church or did belong to our church before they passed on……….what a testimony for Greencastle!!
We hosted Lorraine and Nevin Anderson and this was a blessing in itself as we had time with them each evening to discuss our relationship with God and we soon discovered how much we had in common and absorbed their enthusiasm to grow closer to Him.
At the Saturday praise and fellowship service I felt compelled to go to the altar……no idea how I got there but I was suddenly kneeling and praying. Lorraine came to kneel beside me and I asked God to give me the strength to do something I knew I had to do but had found difficult.
This was to pray with my Mother who has lung cancer and although I could pray for her and knew that many others were doing the same…I couldn't give her the comfort of praying with her in her own home……readers will understand how painful that is.
I also asked God specifically for His peace as I felt continually anxious over family illness in general, my husband had taken ill earlier that week and only just managed to get out of hospital in time for the Lay Witness services.
As I left the altar, I could feel the strength and resolve filling me and went straight over to see my Mother and pray with her, which has proved to be a turning point for her general well-being.
The next morning at the Family Service we were asked to write our worries on a piece of paper and leave them at the foot of the cross. A symbolic act I know but that was exactly what I needed to give me the peace I had asked for. When I bent to leave my piece of paper at the foot of the cross I was drenched in His warmth and I knew that my second prayer had been answered.
Haven't stopped smiling since….Billy and I both got a great blessing from the weekend and I know we aren't the only ones.
Thanks so much to Nigel, Lorna and the Team and in particular to my Minister Peter Mercer for his vision for the weekend, to his wife Hazel and to Carole and David Lambe for all their hard work in arranging the weekend.
Please pray for continued blessings for our Minister and congregation at Greencastle.
Nigel Woods, team leader, writes:
The first night I set foot in Greencastle Methodist Church I could feel and sense the Holy Spirit was at work there. Lorna and I had come to meet the home team, David and Carole Lambe. As we walked around the building, it was very clear that God had a work for our team to do.
When we met as a team for the first time in July, I knew that these people were brought together by the will of God. When we had finished our team meeting that day, I just said “wow what a team”! The months seemed to fly until out of nowhere the Lay Witness Weekend had come.
When we gathered as a team on Friday Night there was a great expectation and a prayerful willingness to see God do powerful things in the life of the Church at Greencastle and its people. As we joined eighty five others for dinner in the hall, I’m sure people wondered, -“ who are they and what do they want?” But as the weekend progressed, we all felt like we knew the people in Greencastle all our lives.
The Men’s breakfast was a powerful time of great witness for the Lord as Martin Blackadder and Niven Anderson spoke of how they came from times of great pain to places of gain when they accepted Jesus into their lives. This reflected again and again over the weekend as the team came up to witness one after the other.
On Saturday, the Holy Spirit really was at work. As we prayed in the team room, God was speaking to some of the team members, and told us what to expect that night. God did not let us down as we worshiped and praised with wonderful singing that was anointed. People then came forward for ministry and God began to heal and deliver folk from all sorts of problems that Satan had been using to hold them back.
This paved the way for Sunday morning. The members of the congregation were invited to write down any burdens they had on a piece of paper, bring them to the foot of the cross at the front of the church, leave them there in a little receptacle. We would pray over them and later burn them. Almost all the people there came up to do that!
Praise God! He is still on the throne and is still at work in Greencastle Methodist Church. Our prayer is that God will let his Holy Spirit rain on the minister and his wife, Peter & Hazel, and the members of the Church. In the words of Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Love’s redeeming work is done; Alleluia!”