This November, the walls of the Bethel Convention Centre rang to the joyous sound of Christians from around the UK worshipping at the For the Sake of the World conference, a mission-focused gathering facilitated by MAF in partnership with Elim Missions, Betty King Ministries, Missio Africanus, Prayer Storm and Kingdom Worship Movement. Everyone was gathered in unity to pray with one voice and the same desire to see God move among the nations.
Rev Betty King spoke about how people had been praying for change for a long time. She said,
“You have to break the old cycles you are in, to step into a new vision. We don’t always catch the fire but sometimes we need to trigger something inside us. You must be watchful for what God is showing you. To stand in the gap for the sake of the world is a big ask. First, we have to find each other in the Church, understand each other and then we can take the world.”
Throughout the day delegates explored different ways to pray. Rev Sarah Whittleston, a pastor at Elim Life Church, led a session on contemplative prayer helping people find the best way and time to engage with God, and prophetic artist, Scott Moles, shared his creative prayer work in a session looking at how to worship in colour through drawing and images.
During the worship we heard powerful stories from Elim missionaries including Daniel Habtey, an Eritrean missionary who shared how he had been persecuted and interred in military camps in Ethiopia. Former Muslim Hani Shadad, a Sudanese missionary, explained how he came to Christ through a series of dreams. When he asked Christ to reveal Himself, Jesus visited him twice – at home and in the street. Since that time, Hani has been a committed Christian and is now working with church plants in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Uganda.
MAF Pilot family – Israel, Charlene and Miles Neale – talked about their journey with MAF. Israel shared how, growing up in the Caribbean as one of five children, flight training had seemed an impossible dream, but God opened doors and Israel knew that he needed to find a way to give something back to God. The Neale family believes that we are all missionaries as the mission field is all around us. Charlene’s words of encouragement to everyone were, ‘Hold up your hand and give whatever you have to God – time, talent, finances – and watch Him do amazing things!’
Victoria Fagg, MAF’s prayer communications leader and host of the conference, said, ‘The For the Sake of the World conference was more than we could have hoped for, more than we imagined. The presence of God was thick, the response and commitment of those present was tangible. We took up the challenge and invited people to cross cultural barriers to see change happen. The reality of division was addressed, missional needs shared, and challenges set. Seeds were planted, and I believe that God will continue to unfold His plans as we continue the conversation around what authentic unity looks like, and how we can help facilitate that.’