Big Fat Good News

EnglandWe would happily like to annouce that we have decided to follow the call of God and move to the UK to plant a church.  Our intention is to relocate to England sometime in July this year. We’ve been moving towards this decision for months and this is our first public announcement detailing the beginning of our adventure. We intend to document the journey ‘as we go’ and in this first post we want to talk about what we feel called to do.

Early in 2012 we started to pray with another couple about ‘what we could do for God together’.  We had a lot of good times over a period of 6 months praying, talking and dreaming.  We opened our hearts to all possibilities. God searches the Earth looking for those that will serve Him and He found us.  As the scripture says, “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chr 16:9)

For a long time Catherine has harboured a desire to get involved with helping sex-trafficked children.  In the last 5 years this has become a highlighted area of social justice ministry.  One morning in May of 2012 Catherine awoke to have her regular prayer time with the Lord.  He gave her a clear and detailed vision of a ministry centre in Moldova, a small country between the Ukraine and Romania which has a high rate of sex-trafficked teens and children.  We prayed about this ministry centre together but I (John) didn’t share Catherine’s desire for missions into Moldova.

In late June 2012 we attended a one day retreat at Planetshakers Church aptly called ‘Encounter Day’.  I fasted and prayed that God would speak to me clearly about our future.  He did.  God told me to go to England and plant a church.  That church would then be the resource of people and funds to do missions work in Moldova.  I shared this with Catherine and she agreed with it wholeheartedly.

We prayed and talked and enquired more of the Lord.  The question was where?  Where in England?  One night Catherine had a dream and when she woke up she went downstairs and looked at a map of England for the first time.  Her spirit leapt in her as soon as her eyes landed on Leeds and then Halifax in West Yorkshire.  From that moment onwards there has never been a doubt as to where God was calling us to plant a church.

As with any call from God there is a process in which you exercise faith by starting to step toward what you think God has called you to do.  You start by making small decisions.  We decided to take inexpensive steps first leaving the major most expensive steps till the end. One of the first things we did was update our passports and get one for Poppy.  Since June last year we have taken numerous steps of faith toward the call we believe God has given and we have received green light after green light both from man and God.  Not one single person has told us not to go.  In fact we have had confirmation after confirmation of the exact opposite.  We ‘inquire’ of the Lord constantly and get the same response from Him – ‘Keep Going’.  Jeremiah talked about his call and said, “But if I say, I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name, his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.  I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” (Jer 20:9)  We feel the same.  We feel that we just have to do this.

When we started attending Manningham Christian Centre in late October 2012 we shared the vision for planting a church in the North of England with the Senior Pastor, Matthew Wyatt.  Our hearts were open to hearing ‘don’t go’ but just the opposite occurred – Matthew started prophesying that God was ‘going to raise up supply lines and resources!’  On the Australia Day long weekend we drove to Mildura and spent some time with some key Pastors and Church Planters.  That was a significant time of confirmation and encouragement for us.  They confirmed that we have the right stuff to be church planters and they expanded and added more to the vision we already had.  After that Catherine said to God – ‘if you don’t stop us God we are going to go!’ God replied ‘Good, I want you to!’

We are also delighted to annouce that our church in Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK will be a daughter church of Manningham Christian Centre.  We are delighted and grateful to God that Manningham has not only embraced us but the vision God has put in our hearts. We believe that there is an abundant harvest to be had in Halifax, UK and that the Lord is sending us out to bring it in.  We will plant, we will water, and by His grace God will make it grow.

Many of you probably have lots of questions.  Please ask them!!!

Over the next while we want to share the strategy we believe God has given us with you in detail. We want to build a church that will stand for generations.  We look forward to laying out the plan in this blog as we move closer to getting on the plane.

Officially freaking out,

John and Catherine

P.S. Catherine will continue her series on Pregnancy Loss next week.

14 Responses to “Big Fat Good News”

  1. Hi Guys! I wish you both every success with your new church. You are an amazing couple and are capable of achieving anything you put your mind to. Best Jacqui

  2. Wow, excitement plus. I wish you all the success, love, balance, drive and friendship on your journey John and Cath. Look forward to sharing it with you. xx Julie

  3. Great News!!!

    I pray that you will remain focused and attuned to Gods voice. Be wise in all your moves and surround yourself with strong advisers that will help guide you along he way.

    Great stuff!!

    Bless you John Catherine and Poppy:)

    Peter M

  4. So so so so ace!!! I’m very excited for you guys and for the opportunity for all of us to be part of it by supporting you as a church. I look forward to hearing more about it.

    Good times ahead. Xo.

  5. I have only come to know you recently, only through blogging and been touched by you both. However, it thrills my soul to see God at work and workers with God. So if the strange words of a stranger have any meaning, I have a sense that confirms the direction you are going, though it was so startling it took a moment to get on track. Be blessed to bless, David.

    • Hi David,

      I look forward to your comments every week. We are ‘family’ that just haven’t met face to face yet!! Thank you for your encourgement – I love your Barnabus Spirit. You are much appreciated by us both.

      Blessings,

      Catherine

  6. Woohooo! Plans afoort here also…slight delay, though not in God’s timing (mine really).
    Love how God reveals His plan…so, this for you 3, in moving forward…His Purposes on your lives comes with Promises and attached are His Provision…as inseperable as Father, Son and Holy Spirit! It may seem at times that provision is not quite there…however, it is. Moreover, you are Pro-Vision (for His Vision) and therefore that is how inseparable the three are! Purpose, Promise, Provision – done deal! Hearing the words: “this is the way, walk in it!” URLOVD deliciously!

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