“If He had brought us out from Egypt, and had not carried out judgments against them – Dayenu! It would have been enough … If He had split the sea for us, and had not taken us through it on dry land – Dayenu! It would have been enough …”
The beloved Jewish song ‘Dayenu’ defines the spirit of Passover: it is a thankful celebration of the Lord’s deliverance for His people, Israel. The Israelites stood on solid ground, watching the hand of the Lord crush their pursuing enemy and, in a moment, their fear was turned to overwhelming thankfulness: they were free from oppression! Truly it would have been enough for the Lord to perform any one of those steps of freedom. But, our God is a God of ‘more than enough,’ abundantly providing liberty and breaking every chain of bondage. Amazingly, this week has stood between the Jewish celebration of Passover and the Orthodox celebration of Easter: both powerful and historic celebrations of the Lord’s deliverance. This has truly been a week of freedom for us all as a community.
Last Friday, we gathered for a Passover Seder as the sun sank beneath the mountains, over 150 people from around the nations and from across the island of Cyprus taking their seats outside Makris Restaurant. This was a powerful time of sharing in the remembrance of Israel’s trials, suffering, joy and celebration. As Matthew led the Seder and shared different revelations throughout the evening, we recognized that every step of the Passover tradition points to the suffering and resurrection of Yeshua. As the Israelites put blood upon the doorposts of their homes and were spared from death, so the blood of Yeshua marks the doorposts of our lives and delivers us from death. It would have been enough for Him to die for us on the cross as the Passover Lamb, yet He continues to change us and pour out so much grace into our lives – Dayenu! There was a great release of joy over the company who had come together to mark this appointed time, shared, of course, over an amazing meal of roast lamb.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread follows Passover and calls for families to remove every trace of leaven (yeast) from their homes, remembering that the Israelites had to leave their homes in haste as the Lord led them out of the land of Egypt, having no time to allow their bread to rise. Removing leaven from our houses also symbolizes the removal of sin and it’s influence in our lives. We are passionate about living lives of holiness and purity before the Lord and, during this past week, have been asking the Lord to search our own hearts for any traces of ‘leaven.’
This freedom and deliverance has been displayed in many different ways during our times of daily worship. On Thursday morning, the song ‘I want to Know You’ captured our hearts as we sang out: “we are covered by Your mercy, Your blood has made us free… I give You my worship, all of my passion.” One of the main reasons God gave for freeing His people from slavery was that they might be released into worship: “let my people go, so that they may worship me” (Exodus 8:20). He makes us free and we respond in worship, with all of our passion! In this environment of freedom the Lord highlighted the artists in the community. Praying over them, we began to declare that they would be released into new levels of free creative expression. God wants to destroy limitation and release a whole generation of artists to redeem cities and nations!
Fotia Sto Vuono
We have felt the momentum rising each week as we gather to cultivate more fire on this mountain. For our last Saturday night worship gathering of the GTS this year, we had such a sweet time in His presence as we lifted high the name of Yeshua. Extravagant dance broke out the more we began to pour out our praise. Later, as we were led into a time of deep intercession, we were moved to declare God’s promises over this island once again. Being changed and transformed in this place, the Lord has gripped our hearts with a love for Cyprus. May His fire continue to burn and His presence be poured out on this land!
Worship Gathering: Fire in the Filipino Church
On Sunday, we gathered together with many of the Filipino churches that we are in relationship with for a worship gathering in Limassol. The Filipino church of Cyprus is large and yet made up of many small congregations strewn across cities all throughout Cyprus. In reality, they are the largest Christian expression on the island besides the Orthodox community. As we worshipped, the ring of Filipino voices rose high and melodic. The heart behind this event was inspired by a vision Chandy had regarding unity among these churches, bringing greater social justice for these women and uniting them in one Spirit for the kingdom of God to be established in Cyprus. After Chandy spoke about this vision, GTS II students joined the ministry team and prayed for many of the women as they responded to the Lord. The Spirit of God began to bring freedom, deliverance and revival in the meeting, while also awakening intercession in the hearts of these women both for Cyprus and also for their own Filipino people.
GTS I – Outdoor Pursuit
For their regular outdoor pursuit, GTS I ventured on a hike around the area last Sunday for some fellowship and sunshine. One of the mountains overlooking the valley beckoned us to come and enjoy the view from the top – so we did! After taking in the stunning panorama, we spread out to allow time for God to speak to us through His creation. We came back together with simple, yet profound revelations for our lives. It is so good to celebrate Him in the simple things!
Weekly Teaching – Tod Westphal
For our last week of teaching, it was our great privilege to have Roeh Tod Westphal from El Shaddai Congregation in Maryland teaching both GTS l and ll. Tod brought such rich teaching and impartation to the students as he communicated the rich reality of the fruit of the spirit in their lives. During every session the students were provoked to be men and women of purity and power. When we pursue the Lord with a pure heart, the fruit and the gifts of the spirit will be made manifest in our lives. What a joy to have Tod with us in Cyprus!
Weekly Teaching – Scott MacLeod and the Thunder Team
Straight from the heart of America’s southwest, Scott MacLeod and his wife, Sarah, brought a team of “musicianaries” from the state of Tennessee. The MacLeods lead a school called the ‘Thunder School’ which focuses on creative evangelism and worship. As the team ministered, they not only taught and released prophetic words over both the GTS I and II students, but also released prophetic songs and music. As we have many creatives and artists within our student body, we were so appreciative to receive a team such as this. They imparted much inspiration, encouragement, and creative evangelistic skills that will propel our student body into outreach!