[notice]A monthly prophetic perspective from Marian and Kate Fitz-Gibbon[/notice]
First report-back on rich time in God during US trip
A group of South African Christian leaders, 118 to be exact, all flew a great voyage across time and lands to splash down in Bethel, Redding, California and begin soaking. Organised by John and Lisa Crumpton of Breakthru Life Church in partnership with Global Legacy, we were the largest group from one country Bethel said they ever had. Just showing up made an impact. It is such a God thing that most of the time He just wants us to show up. I think we all had some big hopes and expectations but really no idea how this was all going to work out. The level of trust and faith in God doing something amazing was palpable in the atmosphere around our group. We came to fetch keys and abundant provision for our nation. We came to light the revival flame. We did. Let it burn.
I have goosebumps writing this because God has released something scarily magnificent into the soil in our country from this trip. It only takes one Godly man to change a city. So get ready because 118 hungry Godly men and women are back in their hometowns across the country with encounters and gifts to change our nation.
It was such a rich time at both Bethel Church and The Mission Church in Vacaville, that we may be doing a series of articles on the fruit of this trip so that everyone can benefit the way we did. This column will focus on certain aspects of our time in Bethel.
The town residents call it Disneyland. Visitors call it the land of incredible encounters. Heaven declared it open and a home.
‘Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven’
That is the heart of Bethel, its very pulsating core. It’s not just their catch phrase or aspiration. They are walking in it and living it out. The evidence of this was seen in every leader there. We were lavished to have special time with many of the leaders there including Bill Johnson, Kris Vallotton, Danny Silk, Andy Mason, Seth Dahl, Steve and Wendy Backlund, Deborah Coombs, Theresa Dedmon, Tom, Paul Manwaring, Stephen de Silva, Eric Johnson and Chris Gore.
We also attended the Open Heavens Conference with Bill, Bob Hazlett and Sean Bolz. The level of the words of knowledge there was absolutely mind-blowing, led by Sean Bolz and Bob Hazlett. Names, dates, addresses, family members and even dogs being called out and people ministered to accurately and astoundingly.
Every leader at Bethel is walking in their God given territory and anointing and could easily lead a movement, from the kids’ ministry to the finance director to the senior pastors. They know who they are and are encouraged to be who they are. What makes this so amazing is that they choose to be Bethel and not to pursue their own thing, and in doing so they have their own thing. They love giving back to the house.
The leadership style at Bethel speaks more of empowering people than creating a team, then seeing what God does from there. They are so big on having real relationships, and have said that their friendships were often what got them through the tough times. These relationships are not based on the idea of everyone being nice to one another, but working through the difficulties that arise. However, you have to really like each other and enjoy each other’s company. Otherwise it’s just not going to work out for the long run. Loving everyone doesn’t mean you have to work with everyone. But it also doesn’t mean you have to be right all the time. We make space for one another, and in that space you can grow, be loved and appreciated for who you are. When they confront each other, it’s not accusing or even correcting, it’s about asking where that person was coming from.
There was such a beautiful vulnerability displayed in each leader, as a lifestyle. They are not afraid of their own mistakes. They are honest and open about getting it wrong, not knowing what they are doing and just having a ball while things get crazy. They take risks. We saw this demonstrated live at the conference of thousands of people as Sean Bolz and Bob Hazlett literally walked on water in words of knowledge and pushed themselves further than ever before, happy to make mistakes. It paid off because Sean actually ended speaking in Afrikaans to one of the people on tour and he didn’t even know what language it was. Everyone celebrates when they get it right but also when they get it wrong because they took a risk, and risk is worth celebrating.
In taking risks and being vulnerable, they are producing amazing fruit in the long run, that’s what really matters.
Such freedom has been released to us to pursue God without having to have it all together. We need that in South Africa, especially at the crucial time while God is bringing freedom around false humility. He is wanting to release true humility that leads to world changers because we no longer have to put ourselves down to be called Christian, but rather just raise Him up by being awesome.
One of the things Kris Vallotton said is, ‘you are always going to have problems but what kind of problems do you want’. Do you want the problem of everyone believing they can’t do anything and never doing anything, or the problem of everyone thinking they are amazing and wanting world domination. I think we know what we are going to choose.
Another massive theme that came out of the conference is about engaging culture. It is not an ‘us and them’ kind of situation with the world. We are not enemies. Every person is a child of God, some are just prodigals that still need to find their way home. To love people with no agenda is the greatest thing you can do. To love them more amazingly and spectacularly than anyone else rather than just try to get them saved. Daniel was thoroughly submerged into the culture of his day, he had to learn sorcery. He was a trusted friend of king Nebuchadnezzar, and really loved him. He spent his whole life in the king’s palace and he had amazing favour with every king. God is wanting to trust us with greater authority and greater giftings but only if we are happy to love who He loves and not just to be the ‘voice of reason’ in their lives.
Jesus is going to release some amazing things to us all in this season, like phenomenal words of wisdom, transfer of wealth, resources, joy, crazy boldness to take risks and adventure, amazing connections and deep friendships. Unity. We release that over you all right now.
This is just the top of the mine shaft, and we’re digging for more gold to pull out of this trip. Stay tuned for more.
So here is our first list of keys for South Africa:
- Pursue the fullness of God, whatever the cost
- Be yourself
- Be vulnerable
- Take risks
- When you make a mistake, God is on your side.
- Build relationships with people you actually like being with
- Confrontation is a good thing when you do it right
- Engage culture and the world
- Love people with no agenda. Love big
- Show up
- You are amazing, God made you that way. Live it.
A massively oversized thank you to Heidi Anderson from Global Legacy who organised the trip. You are one of our country’s greatest assets! We love you.
Thank you to John and Lisa Crumpton for your constant investment in our country and for relentlessly pursuing the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth.