MONDAY 22ND APRIL – TUESDAY 31ST, 2019
Our trip has begun! We are left in Cheltenham, now awaiting our lift to take us to Luton where we will stay overnight, ready to head off on the plane in the morning. Luke enjoys tucking into a subway. We touch down in Macedonia 13.05 Tuesday 23rd! See you there.
At our overnight stay in Luton. Good trip! Up early, so early night. “service please! Oh yes, I’ll have pizza – make that pepperoni… and a plate of duck spring rolls followed by ice-cream a-plenty. Sir? Yes, you may call me sir…”! 🤣
DAY 1 – TUESDAY 23RD
Finally on the plane at 10:10! (I love my double blessing numbers!). With team mate Trudie from Cheltenham!
On arriving at the mission house where we are staying, in Tre Chesmi (Tree-ches-me), North Macedonia. Some of the Mission Macedonia team with Jimmy, our boots on the ground host.
One of the new friends I have made. Pastor Katrina who has joined us from Hawaii. Wow… The stories she has shared. She has spent 17 yrs or so in Africa and been all over the world on ministry. Really lovely lady.
**STOP PRESS** Check out MM19 Facebook page for more detailed updates with the whole team: https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1880607635560172&ref=content_filter
Our first stop off on Tuesday, a small church in Kavadarci. Here we enjoyed some wonderful worship – the man hit the drum pad on the keyboard and we were off! We introduced ourselves to the folk after this.
On our first night gathered together, we sung the song Break Every Chain. We went into a deep time of intercession from this and it became evident that Spirit of Father was saying He was going to break chains and strongholds this week.
DAY 2 – WEDNESDAY
Before we arrived at this very significant place called Demir Kapija (kap-ee-ya), we stopped off in Valandovo and embarked on street evangelism. I went one direction with a team and worshipped whilst Carmen, the other worship leader, went the other way. We have witnessed strong confirmation of how powerful music, and particularly worship, is. Worship changed the atmosphere on the streets. As we gave out tracts, including inviting people to the conference being held on Monday, people were responsive when we played music and sang. Much more so than when we did not. It’s good to go back to basics…
The picture above is a place commonly known as the Iron Gate in Demir Kapija. It used to have a nasty soltan reigning and as a result, many atrocious things have happened there in the past giving rise to spiritual enemy territory. Holy Spirit spoke to us as we drove through to stop in this place, where a church was planted some 18 years ago by Jimmy. A humble congregation of 5 or 6 have been meeting faithfully, desperate to see growth. Holy Spirit led us us to do some remarkable actions that literally, changed the atmosphere and broke the chains of the area, bringing a tangible sensation of deliverance – confirmed by a band of swallows that suddenly appeared swooping, dancing and chirping merrily all about! It was truly a supernatural experience… And the wind of God blew through the tunnel, as people sang and danced with ribbons… Started by myself and Carmen releasing a sonic boom in the Key of David, the ripple blasted out through the tunnel, which amplified across the town. We worshipped and raised ribbon standards of all colours, signifying God’s riches and kingship and through it, Jesus has declared the freedom He has brought to all of Demir Kapija.
We went to encourage the little old lady who has been one of the faithfuls. Crippled we prayed for her and poor, we blessed with some money. We gave her the good news and she took a yellow ribbon. One day soon she knows she will dance with it. 🤗
Just before heading back to HQ we stopped off at Przdevo, where a new church has been bought by Jimmy and his team. After it has been refurbished, it will be ready for a new young pastor, fresh from Bible college, to move in.
DAY 3 – THURSDAY
We stopped off at four places today. The first place was called Prilep. Now this was interesting… I have never before experienced what I experienced here. We got out of our vans and prayed before briefly spending time in this place. As soon as we hit the main high Street with shops, something hit me. It was some kind of dizziness and deliriousness that was trying to come on me and there was a strong smell of musty incense. Almost like opium or something. This place, it has been confirmed, strongly practices Islamic witchcraft. Often, they do animal sacrifices on the high places and the dizziness, it was confirmed, was the witchcraft. I prayed in Tongues and blessed the place. That is something that has been wonderful on this trip… Holy Spirit has been reminding me of the power of blessing and not cursing. I have also loved how I have got ever so close to creation : speaking to the birds, dogs and nature, blessing them to be who our Father has created them to be; telling the birds to take the good news on the wind; telling the dogs to go and bark about Jesus.
… The smell of the incense was stuck in my nostrils, long after we left Prilep. In the van, the sense of oppression and dizziness remained. I had the brain wave: Tell it to go in the all-powerful name of Jesus! I did, and IT did! Yes, we most certainly can pray for ourselves.
Here in Makedonski Brod, we hung out in another small church plant situated next to the main bars area, in-between doing street evangelism with worship, handing out tracts and invitations to the New Hope Easter conference taking place on Monday.
With my guitar on my back, I took to the streets with Valerija and others. God has given me a new song… And I can’t wait to share it.
**STOP PRESS** – LUKE!!
What a remarkable experience this has been for Luke. I am seeing him transformed before my eyes… Or rather, more so from other people’s eyes. You see, God has established a holy separation between us. I truly feel now that I have handed him over to God and Luke is his. I am Father’s child, Luke is Father’s child. He is finding himself… Discovering who he is and he needs time apart from his mother to really enable that to happen. Things have changed. Luke has grown up and found a new level of relationship with his God. Sunday evening, he received the gift of tongues. I was out of the room. I needed to be. Beautiful Ellie came to find me, all excited giving me the good news. That Luke had received the gift of Tongues and was told he was being given a gift in the form of a picture. Luke shared with me that the picture was of the stone over the tomb being rolled away and as it did so, his fears rolled away. (Apt for Easter day!!) What wonderful healing that has taken place. Thank You Jesus.
… DAY 3 Continued…
Destination 3: Meal time in Kicevo (Kee-chevo)…
… on route to our final outreach destination of the day: Gostiver (Gost-i-var. Pictured below) .
Luke with Sue, Ian and Simeon stepping out in boldness to give leaflets. Luke took hold of courage here. Myself and another team went and ministered by the water’s edge. Freya burst into dance!
On the way back, we had a quick stop off at a honey shop by the side of the road. We were all allowed to go in and choose a jar! Here’s Luke tucking into his silky smooth Mountain Honey (he ended up almost drinking it!! 😮🤭) I went for the stronger flavoured Forest Honey. Yummy!
Later on back at HQ Mr. Kevin Elliott is making Luke roar with laughter! Here he is catching a breath! I wish I could remember the joke… Something to do with a grandpa reflecting over his life!
Our meeting room, where we gathered each morning before the start of the day and debriefed at the end before hitting the sack… Like sacks!!
DAY 4 – GOOD FRIDAY: LEADERS DAY
This is where a number of us Brits shared messages God had put on our heart to encourage the churches of Macedonia.
Here is me going over my notes, in preparation for teaching on the heart of David worship and holding a Kingdom Voice Coaching workshop.
Carmen gave a message involving two rubber ducks, (if only you could have read the WhatsApp thread regarding this! Another hilarity!), encouraging people to turn to The Word when situations in life try to keep them submerged. Like rubber ducks, The Word of God will ensure we are not kept pressed down under the water, rather always pop back up to the surface. Sinéad gave a message getting us all to think about what it means to be in the world but not of it and Yobbo (he-hem – sorry – Richard!) closed by sharing what was on his heart. Time was spent praying for ‘the three musketeers’ – three men who are inseparable buddies- they were prophesied over and greatly encouraged by Katrina and others.
DAY 5 – EASTER SATURDAY: THE BIG GRILL
Full-on and a full house! The colloseum steps of Gradsko were filled with people (pictures to come). Attentive, folk listened as Kev and others shared the good news of the Gospel, of our good, good Father and of our mighty delivering Saviour. During this time, when our Bulgarian and Croatian friends also ministered through music, we erupted into dance. It was liberating! I spent time with the children there and as they taught me months of the year in Macedonian and their birthdays, it became clear to me that when it was my time to go up to minister that these children were going to be joining me! In fact, I did not sing at all! The children wanted to sing Hosanna. How prophetic! Once again, our Saviour takes us back to the start…. To the bottom line of His message: We must come as little children, unhindered and unashamed before him.
…I loved how the children would point out the month of their birthday and point to themselves exclaiming “happy birthday!”
**STOP PRESS** What I loved about this time was that it gave such a real flavour of a healthy example of Christ’s Church: Whilst there were people to the left of me receiving deliverance in very loud, audible ways, to the right of me I had a small choir of children singing quietly, yet joyfully, ‘Hosanna’ and ‘Way Maker’. It balanced things out beautifully… There was seriousness in the messages entwined with animated delivery, amidst a flaming big grill taking place where folk munched on burgers whilst they listened. It just felt so rounded to me.
**STOP PRESS** Chicken and chips, with a tad of salad… Our main staple meal for the week! For our last meal, on the last day, we were taken to a restaurant that served beautiful pizza. The more healthy kind of pizza… (thin & crispy stoned baked base) Jimmy asked if there was anything that we’d want to see different about the trip and I was the first to shout out “vegetables!” lol!
DAY 6 – EASTER SUNDAY
Adams, the gentleman to my right as you look on, interpreted the words of my song taken from St. Patricks breastplate, called ‘Christ Over Me‘. Ellie and Sinéad came up to help with actions, which really helped us to remember which statement came next! It was so easy to get confused about the order! Here is the order:- Christ beside me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ all over me… Christ above me, Christ before me, Christ beyond me, Christ the head of me.
As we sung it over and over in both languages, it was a real declaration of protective covering – especially for the event that was to follow. It was time to drive to the haunted house and deliver it so it could be used as a new mission house. Families had lived there but moved out after a couple of weeks because of all the noises and moving objects. Jimmy had been saving this task for us to experience!! (Thanks Jimmy!) It is good to grow! At the end of the day, Jesus tells us to cast out demons in His name. We must not be afraid! Here is that house…
Now REDEEMED, after spending a couple of hours going through each of the four floors worshipping, whip-lashing with holy ribbons, speaking in tongues and casting out in the name of Jesus as led by His Spirit. The atmosphere was noticeably lighter. Thank you JESUS! There is power in the name of Jesus, to break every chain, break every chain, break every chain…
Above: The time of fellowship we had at a lakeside restaurant after our kingdom work at, what is now, the redeemed new mission house!
DAY 7 – MONDAY: NEW HOPE EASTER CONFERENCE
A big X marks the spot! What we see in the sky as we enter the conference location: the town of Veles. Also remarkably resembling the Scottish flag! A country I often lift up to heavenly dadda. And so I did.
Many people gave their lives to Jesus and received healing of all kinds. Eye sight restored, Demons fleeing, one person got out of their wheelchair! Captured on many Macedonia phones as people pressed in to witness and film the event although sadly our cameraman was ill. You’ll just have to take our word for it!
There were a good number and we thank God for the football they could play behind the screen, the ribbons and the shake eggs which brought so much fun and creativity! Next year however, we will have more children’s teaching ministry.
Running for Jesus!
Sammie and Emmanuel (blue shirt). The Lord ignited a fire in Emmanuel during the conference. By the end, his face was shining. Standing by me as I led a time of worship in ministry, he stood clutching his Bible with bright eyes. I saw this aglow in him and so I told him, “The Lord has ignited a fire in you this day Emmanuel! You are a preacher of the good news of Jesus!”
And on the flights there and back…
With the worship leaders who came to the fore and the training I have begun with some on voice and guitar, along with enthusiastically being asked when I’m coming back (most important!!), I believe the Lord has plans for me to return next year…
…and perhaps with Luke again. Thank you to all who have prayed and sown into our trip. You have surely invested into Jesus’s Kingdom not just for Macedonia, but for our beloved UK and all of Europe. May you know heavens riches being poured out over you.