You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
There has been a divine call throughout the last week to shift our gaze away from our circumstances and towards the provision and answer of the Lord. To confess that we are surrounded not by enemies, but by a mighty song of deliverance. During the last week we discovered that we could participate in that song of deliverance as the students were invited forward during worship to sing out personal songs of truth and deliverance. There was a powerful corporate release of breakthrough as songs filled the room, spurring everyone onward to greater levels of freedom. As the students journey through the week of Ancient Paths and gain healing in the area of identity, moments like these bring lasting transformation and release into greater liberty.
On Thursday morning during worship, Matthew shared a revelation with us that as we experience greater levels of glory, it is increasingly important that we have purity of heart and live in righteousness. The mountain of Lord is being established in earth, but God is looking to qualify his sons to enter into this glory: “Who may ascend the hill of The Lord? … He who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Psalm 24). In this season, we cannot come up to the mountain, and yet act like illegitimate sons! Matthew encouraged us not to despise the chastening of the Lord. As we gave ourselves to lifestyles of discipleship and received more from the spirit of adoption together, we learned again how to joyfully submit to the lordship of our Heavenly Father. Together we renewed our commitment to submit to the authority and discipline of the Lord in our lives – we can trust Him perfectly! The discipline of God is not a heavy thing, but a beautiful invitation to greater glory.
GTS I – Ancient Paths
One of the most significant weeks of teaching each year for GTS I is the Ancient Paths seminar, led by John and Ann Smith. In this, different areas of our lives are identified and ministered to regarding critical times when we were more vulnerable to receive either “God’s true image”, or “Satan’s false image” of our own identity and destiny. The week is devoted to seeing each student receive healing in deep issues in their lives and creates a platform for restoration to take place. John and Ann carry a precious anointing to bring freedom and create a safe place for every student to receive transformational breakthrough. It has been such a joy to watch the countenance in the faces of our students change as God touches their lives!
GTS II – Weekly Teaching
For the GTS II class, it was our privilege to welcome our beloved teachers this week, Jerry and Jo Miller. They have not only invested themselves into Gateways Beyond by teaching our students, but they are also members of Gateways Beyond Northwest community in Spokane, Washington. So, it is with kindred affection that we welcomed them! As Jerry and Jo taught, they articulated many frustrations of the Christian life regarding holiness, faith, identity, grace, obedience and God’s love, while also providing means of overcoming those frustrations. Our students were encouraged by the wisdom Jerry and Jo imparted to them as they press on in pursuit of God.
GTS II – Dinner with Knar
Knar has been a friend of Gateways Beyond since its founding in 1999 and is a precious member of our community. She is a pillar of support and love for our leaders, community members, staff and also students as she continually opens her home in hospitality. During this school season, Knar has graciously been inviting the students of GTS I and II in rotation to her home – this week it was the GTS II students’ turn to visit for a genuine Cypriot meal! As we ate around her table, we were refreshed by her company and inspired by her testimony of a lifetime pursuit of God. The students felt not only honored to be invited into Knar’s home but even more so honored by her continual friendship and encouragement.
Last weekend, after amazing mornings in the worship room and life-changing teaching in the classroom, the entire school had the opportunity to “come away” and set off on a camping trip together! Driving to the small town of Polis on the north-western coast of the island, they set up their tents next to the beach, surrounded by eucalyptus trees and ready to soak in the beautiful surroundings. We love connecting with God in creation, and it was a blessing to be able to do this with fellow classmates and friends. Gathering to worship both in the morning sun and around the campfire at night, we felt refreshed by His presence. Each time we take the students camping, it is such a blessing to see the source of life that deeply rooted friendships can be!
The Blue Lagoon
On Saturday, the campers had the amazing opportunity to see one of Cyprus’ most beautiful attractions – a blue lagoon! After a time of worship at the campsite, we drove to where we would begin our hike along the coast, excitement rising as we heard again that this was a sight worth seeing! As the sun broke through the previously looming clouds (an answer to our prayers that morning!), the team walked along a path with stunning views of the ocean until they arrived at our destination. Crystal clear and the brightest blue you could imagine, the cool water welcomed us with the sight we had been hoping for… Setting our bags down, we all took in the beauty of God’s creation. Some of us then took turns to jump from the rocks, feeling the thrill of leaping into the waves! After a rest and some lunch, we turned to walk back again along the beautiful path, returning with more exciting memories in our hearts.
The community here is swelling as guests continue to arrive, both to visit the community and to attend the wedding of the year! In this, our perspective has widened again as the Lord enlarges the place of His dwelling. We are so thankful for all that God is building here on this island. Filled with awe and wonder at the heart of God for His children, many of us feel excitement and expectation building as we wait on Him and prepare for all that is to come!