But I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me … Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
There has been a growing momentum throughout the last week to step into greater breakthrough and encounter with the Lord. The call of Jesus to come up higher has been stirring inside of us.
During morning worship, Patti Juster shared a powerful demonstration of the difference between contending for breakthrough and striving for it. When we strive, it is as if the promise is far away and we are reaching and grabbing for it, continually falling short. However, when we contend, we recognize that we have the promises within our hands and in our hearts, and though the enemy tries to take them, we hold them fast. We fight from a place of victory and deliverance, knowing that the cry of Jesus on the cross was a resounding blow of defeat to every force of darkness: “It is finished!” Now, we stand inside that very victory and have access to every promise of the Father. On one of the mornings, we were exhorted that our past and our pain does not limit or define us. In fact, those areas that seem to draw us backwards can be likened to drawing back a slingshot or the string of a bow. Though we are drawn backwards, we are fired into greater breakthrough and destiny. So, together we physically united in a prophetic demonstration: linking arms, we pulled backwards in the worship room and then charged forward into breakthrough!
On Friday morning, God highlighted His desire to bless and restore whole family lines. From one generation to another we are called to carry the promises of God. At this time, there is an amazing convergence of several families here in Cyprus, all gathering to seek the Lord together. What a unique moment to connect with a greater way to our inheritance through Jesus.
Last Friday, we enjoyed our first Erev Shabbat together since before the EIJ trip. Students, staff and guests gathered at the base to mark the end of an incredible week and welcome the Shabbat rest of the Lord. The room had been decorated with old maps of the world and images of different nations adorned our tables, stirring our hearts with a longing to see a global harvest. This also reminded us about how God has brought together His children from all across the world to live in community and seek His face together. Remi and Sara had prepared an incredible feast for us of Arabic cuisine and our hearts were filled with a sense of thankfulness as conversations were enriched by the Lord’s presence. On what was also the first day of April, those gathered joyfully stepped into a new season together here in Moniatis. After dinner, we had the honour of being entertained by the Gentet family, who performed several songs in French for us: a dynamic example of a family who have cultivated love, joy and unity!
Fotia Sto Vuono – Fire on the Mountain
We hosted our weekly Saturday night worship gathering here at the base, ready to press into God’s presence and hungry for a new depth of encounter. Singing out in praise and adoration, a fiery desire for the Lord began to swell in the room. After a while, Chandy encouraged those who were in need of a breakthrough to come to the front, exhorting us to express our hunger for more by physically moving forwards. Very quickly the front of the worship room was packed out with people wanting to get as close as they possible could, crying out the Lord! The sound of many burning hearts thundered in the room as we then began to pray for healing in people’s bodies. Our time came to a close as we welcomed some new members into our community and took time to honour the sacrifices made to walk surrendered to the call of Jesus.
GTS I – Weekly Teaching
This week it was an honour to receive Dr. Dan Juster who came to Cyprus with his wife, Patti, to teach and impart to the students. The Justers are long-time friends of Gateways Beyond and Dan has been very influential in the messianic movement across the world. During class this week, he taught about the kingdom of God and the last days before Jesus returns. As he shared, Dr. Juster consistently highlighted the plan of God through Yeshua, which is for the restoration of all things. As people and agents of love in the world, we join in with this plan and are included in the Lord’s redemptive work! For both GTS I and II students, it was very special to have the opportunity to receive from the Justers’ deep well of revelation and understanding.
GTS I – Game Day
On Sunday the GTS I students met at the land for a day full of fun and games! Spreading out across the field, they split into teams to play a variety of tag games, letting off some steam and relishing the competition. This was followed by a time of learning some ‘Bible skits’ – acting out and performing various stories from the Bible. Students practiced performing the story of Esther, Daniel and the lion’s den and Jonah and the whale – this was great preparation for outreach, when students will have many opportunities to perform skits and dramas in different situations as a form of evangelism. After an energetic day together, it was a joy to see friendships deepening even more between the students as they continue to ‘do life together.’
GTS II – Weekly Teaching
The GTS II students not only received teaching from Dr. Dan Juster side by side with GTS I, they were also privileged to be taught by his wife Patty and their son Ben. Patty is a woman who has experienced much in life but has equally experienced much in God. She imparted valuable wisdom and strength to the students and facilitated deliverance from past wounds and false perceptions of who they truly are in Christ. Ben inspired the students to develop their natural talents as they desire to be useful for the advancement of God’s kingdom. The dynamics of their teaching edified the students in a powerful way by addressing past traumas and negative thought patterns, and also encouraged them in their future as they pursue God with their whole being.
With our very own leader’s wedding coming up, GTS II spent Sunday afternoon helping David and Rachel with preparations for the big day. The guys worked outside to build the rustic frame for the Chuppa (wedding canopy), while the ladies worked inside assembling beautiful paper flowers. Full of joyous anticipation for the quickly approaching wedding celebration, we were delighted to work together on some practical details in service of our beloved leaders. Only one week to go!! #dirollingdowntheaisle