Before I get into anything heavy, I must share how blessed I was to get SO much fellowship for the week. I stayed with Julie and that was awesome. Let me tell you this girl has a fierce hunger for truth and is a bold lover of grace. We were able to talk and talk and talk, with no little ones interrupting. And we have never spent that kind of time together before, it really was a great privilege. Julie you really do inspire and bless me, more than you know! Not to mention the last 2 days when Ursula joined us. I met Ursula through our online blogging community and actually got to meet her in the flesh. And she is from a whole different nation than me, how cool is that!! Ursula is a very fun loving, lover of truth as well, and she is definitely worth getting to know. Ursula, I SO enjoyed meeting you and I feel so truly knitted to you like a sister. What a privilege we had to be together in Hong Kong!! I hope to spend time with you again in the future!!
I also had the privilege of meeting various other folks from around the world. All folks that are so eager to see the pure Gospel of grace and good news spread abroad through the nations. There were over 20 nations or so represented at the conference. After Rob read the list and had each nation's representatives stand on the first night, he said, "How did you people hear about this?"
On Thursday, Julie and I had lunch with some of the folks that were attending the conference that were a part of Grace Revolution, a growing network to talk all about Grace. Ryan Rufus, Rob's son, also joined us for lunch. I didn't get too much of a chance to talk with anyone very in depth, but we all chatted and laughed together over a meal. That was so surreal. Eating with several nations in our midst. Both Julie and I, really enjoyed talking to Wayne, aka 'Wayno', he felt like a brother to us. He made us laugh a lot, and we enjoyed his heart and passion for truth as well.
If I were to be honest, I think this was my favorite part about the conference, simply the fellowship. Many of us who have come out of legalism into pure grace have found it to be a very lonely place. It seems that most churches across the globe are not preaching the purity of the Gospel these days. Therefore, those who come into grace find themselves leaving the church. It's a lonely season, where not many Christians fully get us or what we believe. Funny, cause we just believe God at His word and embrace the truly good goodness of the 'Good News' of the Gospel!! But really, I think honestly I can do without the conferences. Not that I didn't enjoy the conference, I did very much. It can just be so full and so busy, when what I really crave is to talk to others about their experiences in grace. I love testimonies!
However, that said, I really honestly loved getting to witness Rob Rufus minister in real life. It felt so comfortable and so natural to sit under his teaching. It was also quite fun to get to watch him preach. He is quite the animated passionate speaker, and it's fun to see him live!! If anyone is interested you can watch live Grace Stream TV, linked on Julie's blog and find Rob on there to watch!
Another aspect of the conference that I enjoyed was corporate worship in the presence of God. I think the whole place was on fire. Lots of happy Jesus lovers all ignited in praise and worship, you just never know what will happen!! I particularly enjoyed the time that Anneline led worship. Anneline is a member of CCI, originally from South Africa and I just loved her immensely!! I enjoyed meeting members of the worship team, so now I know whose voice I am listening to on the Ipod.
There were many times of further ministry during worship, as well as extended worship. It was awesome! On Friday night, they had something called a fire tunnel. Dan was very much hoping there would be!! He had a wonderful encounter with God 2 years ago and hoped for the same for us. Basically, it's just a good way to lay hands on people and pray and impart. So, the WHOLE conference went through a fire tunnel of 8 or so people laying hands on every single person in the building. It was wild!! They warned us that if you end up clogging up the tunnel, you will be carried or dragged out, so it can keep flowing. I wish I could have just watched as each person went through, even though I didn't get to, I do believe it was video recorded!! (hmmm, wonder if I will ever get to see it!) This is one of those things that may not make a whole lot of cerebral sense to many, and I honestly can't say for sure what God did in me because of it. However, I was open to receive whatever He had for me, and alas I did end up getting dragged out. God most definitely touched me with heaven's voltage. Many were touched and many weren't. But mostly I think what was important was to have fun and know that God works in many ways, He speaks in many ways and He knows how we each individually need to hear from Him.
Many times, mostly all of the meetings, I sensed His presence and just smiled and delighted in the awesomeness of it all!! He is at times so tangible and so real, it's just so wonderful!! I definitely have never experienced His Presence like this in my old church.
There certainly is so much more I could write about, but for now I am tired and have more processing to do. I simply wanted to share at least a tidbit of my time in Hong Kong for now.I guess I am kind of leaving you all hanging a bit. Hope to update some more when the fog goes away...........Grace and peace to all!