As a healthcare professional and follower of Jesus, Jill Lawton longed to offer people both clinical and spiritual healing. In this article she shares on key events in her quest for integrated healing — leading to the Heaven in Healthcare conference which is being held next month, for the second time, at the KZN church that she co-leads with her husband, Richard.
Around five years ago, I was stirred to hear Paul Manwaring speak about a new initiative at Bethel Church in Redding, California.
Bethel was already famous for pioneering supernatural healing through prayer under the leadership of Bill Johnson and others.
Paul, who had worked as a nurse in the UK before he moved to America and became part of the Bethel family, published a book in 2012 called Kisses from a Good God, telling the story of how he was healed of prostate cancer through prayer — and surgery!
This experience had led him (and others) on a passionate journey to break down the sacred/secular divide which teaches the non-charismatic evangelical church not to expect instant supernatural healing in response to prayer and the charismatic church to discount medical healing as somehow “second class” healing.
2015 saw the first Bethel “medical healing conference”, which really excited me, as it resonated with something of my own journey.
I was saved in 1977 in an evangelical church in Oxford, UK — and was immediately drawn into the charismatic revival of the 70s. We believed in healing then — we prayed for the sick but we didn’t always see miraculous results.
In the 1980s my family relocated to South Africa and in the early 90s I found myself training for a second career — in psychology.
As a mature student I was less intimidated than most of the young Christians in my class by a secular academic department — people who frankly thought that all Christians were raving evangelists who should not be allowed near vulnerable people.
But even as a mature believer, I had a hard time integrating the knowledge I had acquired (a lot of which was scientifically and rationally sound and helpful) with my daily walk with Jesus.
Merging spiritual and secular wisdom
After I qualified as an educational psychologist, I wanted to offer my clients hope and prayer and spiritual wisdom alongside my secular wisdom. But I was quite terrified to do so without violating ethical boundaries.
So, when I saw the first Bethel medical healing conference in 2015, something inside me cried: “I want to do that!” (And not just go to that but actually to be involved in bringing something similar to South Africa.)
I did get to chat to Paul Manwaring briefly at a conference — and he was keen to partner with us, (he has a huge heart for South Africa, which he has visited many times) but he was in the process of relocating his family and his mission base back to the UK.
Then, through mutual friends, I made an amazing discovery — that another pastor called Pete Carter, the visionary leader of Eastgate Church, North Kent, UK, had already pioneered exactly the road that we were wishing to walk along.
Pete and his wife Kim planted North Kent Community Church, (which subsequently became Eastgate), whilst he was a newly qualified GP.
Through many years working as a doctor and pastoring a local church, Pete has built Eastgate into a lighthouse and a model of community partnership.
Thirty years on, their building serves as the hub of community development in the “new town” of Ebbsfleet. They have been running regular “healing rooms” for the community and host a school of supernatural ministry (similar to BSSM.)
Through Pete’s apostolic gifting (accredited by a long history of leadership within the New Frontiers group of churches), they now run a training ministry for pastors in the UK called “Living Fire.”
We were so excited to get to know Pete and Kim and the team, and to invite them to South Africa to pioneer with us!
Last year saw the first Heaven in Healthcare South Africa conference in partnership with the wider global movement https://heaveninhealthcare.com/ .
We shared knowledge, testimonies and inspiring stories of heaven breaking into the world of healthcare service delivery.
Changing culture of healthcare
Over 70 delegates (doctors of different specialities, nurses, students, receptionists, physios, OTs, speech therapists, chiropractors, doulas) from around South Africa and even some overseas visitors, joined in the glorious task of breaking down the sacred/secular divide between medical healing and supernatural healing — encouraging and empowering all healthcare workers to change the culture and climate of Healthcare in SA.
This year, the main event will again be held on Hillside Campus, 39 Inanda Road, Hillcrest, Kwa-Zulu Natal, from Friday June 21 at 4pm until Saturday June 22 at 4.30pm.
We are also excited to be partnering with our local Busamed Hospital, who are hosting and sponsoring a free CPD breakfast for all local healthcare professionals on the Friday morning before the start of the conference.
Info and tickets are available at https://www.quicket.co.za/events/73525-heaven-in-healthcare-2019/#/
or info is available at https://www.facebook.com/events/407199800122668/
For interested persons in Johannesburg, after the Durban event there will be an informal introduction to Heaven in Healthcare in Joburg on Monday June 24. Details may be obtained from Dr Rebecca Williams, at 083 558 9065 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope you will be able to join us at one of these events.
More info on the Hillcrest event is available from Jill at email@example.com or 084 470 4949
Multiplying God’s love in the medical world — June 21 -22, Hillside Campus Hillcrest, KZN.
“Imagine a Health Service where heaven’s limitless resources are freely accessed bringing the love, power and wisdom of God into the Healthcare equation. Imagine healthcare workers feeling encouraged, enabled, supported, empowered and envisioned. Imagine God-given dreams coming true. This conference aims to present an integrative approach to faith and practice and to provide a networking platform for healthcare workers to find and encourage one another.”