Sunday as a church was a day of great prayer, much-needed fellowship and passionate worship.  The atmosphere in the church was dripping with the oil of faith, hope and love.  We had been praying as a church family all week, impacted by the events happening to Velveta, that seemed to galvanise the church into a place of prayer, faith and worship that we could not have predicted.  As the congregation sang, the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end.  The church in unison declared the goodness of God; thundering an arsenal of worship from the cannons of their hearts; there was hardly a dry eye in the room.  The mood had shifted from predominantly prayers of petition to songs of thanksgiving, worship and confident declaration.
It was no surprise later than evening for me when I sat with the Thompson family, bringing them communion and sharing it together, that the medical staff on changing shifts requested that we sing to them.  Steve began to play their favourite song Amazing Grace as two staff stood at the door and six stood in the corridor taking in the atmosphere of worship and tasting of the presence of God.  The head nurse on duty that day stayed after the staff had left and allowed us to pray over her on behalf of the staff.  It was a real privilege to hear her speak of the impact the praise and worship Steve brought each evening in the CCU had made on the staff, patients, families and even the atmosphere on the ward.  The medical staff had recognised the presence of peace so strongly that as a staff they asked Steve if he would be willing to come in routinely and bring a time of worship.  The medical staff were suggesting they wanted to do a clinical study to see the effect of worship on their patients.  What an opportunity and what a testimony to persisting in declaring the love of God in the midst of a place where most question it.  We all, like Job, must not take the trials of life and turn them into blame towards God, rather if we ‘bless the Lord at all times.’ we close the door to the power of the enemy over circumstances and carve a channel for the glory of God to be manifest to all who see.  God is getting the glory, and God is going to get the glory!
Velveta is making slow progress, she has a long way to go and needs to reserve her energy for the healing process.  Sometimes healing is rapid, sometimes instant and at others a process as God pieces us back together.  Thank you for the kind offers of help and support towards the family, I am sure you will all understand that they need to be free to say yes or no without feeling like they are not appreciative.  Likewise, because of Velveta’s need for rest in the healing process, the family would like to keep visits and calls even on their part to an appropriate minimum.  Thank you for your continued prayers, please continue to do so, but let us make sure that we put the worshipers at the front into the battle ahead.  Let us declare the greatness of our God.
~ Pastor Gareth Sherwood