"My whole life I've had a recurring dream of being stuck in the bottom of a well. Last weekend, I was receiving prayer at the Life Course Weekend Away. A prayer minister who didn't know me at all came to pray for me and said, 'I see you at the bottom of a well, and you are struggling to get out.'" The person who received this word felt like God was with them, had not abandoned them. It brought encouragement, peace and comfort.
This is one of many stories that we heard from the Weekend Away of God bringing freedom, peace, comfort and healing in every way you could imagine.
That was my experience ten years ago at my first Life Course Weekend Away in London. I was a Christian for twenty years and in full-time vocational ministry for fifteen, yet my experience of God's love left me wanting for more of Him. It was on this weekend that I encountered the Father's love for me through the power of the Holy Spirit, and my life has never been the same.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17)
For so long in life and in ministry I struggled with experiencing the freedom Christ had died to give me. Motivated by obedience instead of love, I sought approval from my heavenly Father and my earthly bosses and peers. I preached a gospel of grace, but lived under the law.
After years of performing in ministry, I became exhausted and cynical. I was living a life that was only a shadow of what Christ promised His followers in the Bible. I was desperate to experience the love I had preached about for years.
At my first Weekend Away, I was terrified of what to expect. Yet, the gentle presence of the familiar God I had always known but never felt lovingly poured out His love in me through the Holy Spirit.
It led to new life for me and my family, and to the birth of River City Church. And now, almost ten years later, RCC has become a place known for healing, freedom and people experiencing the Father's love for them.
At the Weekend Away, just like at our Sunday services, we allow intentional time for people to experience God’s love through the power of the Holy Spirit. People experience the freedom, rest and healing that Jesus promises for all who follow Him.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:18-21)