Thursday, 30 April 2009

The 1st Treasure Hunt in Oxted

It was good day in Oxted when our intrepid team of three (Dale, Dave and Gordon) set off with our clues (underlined in the following text) on another Holy Spirit adventure. Our first location was the local library where we found a man with a walking stick. He seemed intrigued by our introduction but did not respond to any needs and did not want prayer.

Our next encounter was outside the flower shop with a man in a grey coat and his wife. He had diabetes and agreed for us to pray for him (at another time) but also requested prayer for his sick daughter. They were both happy to talk and laugh with us and had a degree of openness.

Next we saw a lady with yellow top. She was happy to talk and asked for prayer regarding moving house move, which seemed to be ‘stuck’ at the moment. At the end of the conversation she pointed to the clue, ‘grief’, and said that the yellow top she had on was originally her father’s and when he died it had been passed to her mum. When her mum died it had passed to her because of it’s sentimental value… and today was the first day that she had worn it since her mum died. Praise God for giving us such a good clue which meant so much more to her.

Then we headed to the park where there were trees and saw three teenagers sitting on a bench, two guys and a girl. When they looked at the clues the girl said that she had yellow hair and a blue wristband (which was actually a blue top which was under her coat but poked out at the end which meant it looked like a wristband). Her mum had a pain in her right arm and she was happy for us to lay hands on her hand and pray that when she next saw her mum next she would lay her hands on mum’s arm and ask God to heal it. We told her to come and tell us if her mum’s arm was healed.

We headed off to the local park guided by two more location clues: circus poster and under the tree . There happened to be a small fun fair in the park and they had posters all round the town. We wandered towards the funfair but couldn’t see anyone. As we were walking away we did spot one of the workers and went over to talk to him. He didn’t identify with any clues but then the funfair owner’s wife (Christine) appeared and after some initial conversation said there was a lady called Anne who worked for them but she was 85 and wouldn’t want to speak to us. The owner then arrived and a full blown discussion about life and Christianity got underway. Christine then asked us to pray for her. They had had some hard times over the years and wanted us to pray for peace. So we prayed for them to know the peace of God in their lives and shared a little of the gospel with them. Christine then responded to a word about grief, she had lost two grand children in the last few years and we really sensed the presence of God in our conversation with them.

Finally as we were heading back to the coffee shop for a well earned drink we saw a lady with a black/beige dress. She looked at our clues and seemed very interested in the one that said heart trouble. It appeared that she wanted prayer but seemed awkward for her at that moment so we told her where the Church office was and if she wanted prayer to come and see us. We continued into the coffee shop when suddenly the lady in the brown/beige dress approached us and asked for our contact details. An hour later she came into the Church office asking for prayer. It turns out that she and her husband live in England with a 14 month old baby but have another 10 year old that live with her parents in Zimbabwe. Her husband and her pay for parents mortgage in Zimbabwe as well as the rent on their home in England. She wasn’t able to speak to us when we first saw her because she is a support worker and the other girl with her was her ‘client’. She wanted prayer because her heart had been so troubled and worried that her and her husband would not have enough money to send back to Zimbabwe. She was greatly moved and in tears because God had gone to the effort of sending a stranger to her and offer to pray for her.

Overall we had an excellent time and God gave us numerous divine encounters in only 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Dale Barlow

King's Church, Tandridge

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Mission Aborted - MFC

Hi People,

We had a Treasure Hunt arranged today at MFC - Laura, Natalie (my wife) and I were there and ready to go, we got into the presence of God and got our clues.

Just as we were about to combine our maps we decided to abort the mission and had a small team meeting. Discussing personal issues and praying with one another - It was a really beneficial time!

The amazing thing was we hadn't yet got to the point where we actually found out what each others clues were - When we got home Natalie asked for my treasure map and as she scanned it she was amazed that God had given us several clues that were similar if not identical!

We both had the name Thomas, I had watch tower and she had clock tower, I had black scarf and she had head scarf, I had loss of sight and she had blind in one eye!!!

We were both amazed at the similarity of the clues, and although we hadn't actually gone out hunting we were both really buoyed up that we had heard from God quite clearly.

I really feel that I'm going through a period of personal education with God in the ways of treasure hunting. He is showing me lots of things. My main ones though are that my model of success is not necessarily His and that I have to learn to trust that what He has given is enough and how it opens up is largely down to His Spirit moving people, not mine!

I'm raring to go out now on the next one - Yay Jesus!!!

Happy Hunting!

Gordon Watson
Medway Family Church, Chatham

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Sevenoaks - Maiden Voyage

Hi Everyone,

Just to let you know we had our first Church treasure hunt a couple of weeks ago, here at Town Church, Sevenoaks, and it was very successful!
We had 13 people turn up so we were able to go out in 3 groups, everyone that came was very open to the ways of treasure hunting. The only down side of the day was that 1 of the groups were without anyone who had been treasure hunting before, but that didn't stop them!

In my group of 5 there was Ann, another Ian and two young guys from our youth group Sam and Matt. We had several clues on our list and after about half an hour we found someone at the bus stop wearing a long dark coat. We got chatting to him but he was a bit of an odd character, he had a few other clues on our list from the prayer needs but wasn’t interested in being prayed for as he thought God was conspiring against him with evil forces! We put him straight on that but he stil wasn’t up for prayer so we blessed him and let him go on his way.

We had a few other unsuccessful encounters and then made our way to the train station we parked the car then started walking up the ramp towards the station when we saw a black guy walking up it. Ann had the picture of the black guy walking up the ramp so this was of great encouragement to her. We stopped and talked to him and he was a Christian who attended a Church in Sevenoaks. We explained what we were doing and asked if he had any of our prayer needs, he had financial issues so we prayed for him and asked God to bless him and his family in this area and we left him a very happy man.

On our way back to the car we saw a lady wearing a big fluffy jumper at the flower stall (we had a few other clues with flowers on a coat and a handbag so that was good enough for us!) so Sam and Matt when and spoke to her. She didn’t have any of the clues on our list but she did say her sister had cancer and could they pray for her so they did.

Another group led by Adam had a very successful time praying for 4 people on the streets and one guy in a pub who had diabetes, they found that everyone was very open to them and one lady who went with them asked if it was always that easy!

The other group had fewer opportunities to open things up but still had a great time and were definitely up for doing more treasure hunts. They just lacked a bit of direction whilst they were out, but learnt a lot anyway.

Word has spread around the Church now about how good this was and more people want to come next time and 3 or 4 people have ordered the 'Ultimate Treasure Hunt' book (author Kevin Dedmon) from our book stall.

Also we’re having another Church treasure hunt on the 23rd of May if you would like to come and join in, I would appreciate some other experienced treasure hunters to lead a group of those who haven’t been.

God bless

Ian Lellington
Town Church, Sevenoaks

Sunday, 5 April 2009

On The Streets Training Day @ MFC

Hello Friends,

Today we had our training day for Treasure Hunters & Prayer Tents.

We spent the morning talking about getting on mission and sharing our faith in our local community. There were quite a few attendees and when we split up to go out on the streets we had approx 6 people serving the Prayer Tent and 6 volunteered for a Treasure Hunt.

We split into 2 teams of 3. There was Adam, Julian & Lena in one team and Laura, Andrew & myself in the other.

Adam's team headed for Rochester High St. and uncovered approx 18 clues between them that led to 2 people being prayed for (they were both believers of some sort) and they also spoke with approx 8/9 people who weren't interested in receiving prayer or encountering God there and then.

The most notable part of their hunt was that they had clock as a clue and as they hovered around the hanging clock in the High St. a lady with a red coat and white socks walked past. They approached her and got to pray with her - She was visibly moved by God and hugely encouraged that He had sent people to search her out to lift her up - God is amazing! (see the photo)

Andrew, Laura and myself headed up to Rainham Rd in Chatham/Gillingham and as we were walking up the road we started ticking off clues - There was a big red building and then just over the road from that was an electrician's shop with a blue door that was on the street corner.

My faith levels were through the roof until we went up to the little shop and saw it was packed full of people and then fear took hold, and I bottled it. So we walked up the road with our eyes peeled wide open, then saw a sign saying boot fair in a house window. The boot fair just so happened to be the very same day and was in a church about 5 minutes walk away - Yay Jesus!

We walked up to the High St. but nothing materialised so we headed back, and went into the electricians shop we had passed by earlier. Andrew & myself approached the guy behind the counter but after 10 minutes it was clear we were not getting anywhere so we blessed him and went to the church that was running the boot fair.

We went in there (had to pay 60p!!!) and found loads of old ladies. But even though they were in a church it was a traditional one and they weren't very responsive to our approach. So when our time had finished we headed back - We felt blessed to have highlighted so many clues but felt frustrated that there was no immediate signs of movement, but we move on, and learn with each new step!

Happy hunting!

Gordon Watson - Medway Family Church, Chatham