Kigali 2023 - Day four ANiE reflections

relaxing 4

"Rwanda is a beautiful backdrop and a stark warning of what evil ordinary people are capable. On a trip at the beginning of our visit here, our guide related how he had lost both parents and 4 brothers when he was 7. No one here needs to be reminded how identity can be manipulated by the wicked, what sin looks like, how fragile the veneer of “civility” in a society can be, and how fast evil left unchecked and unchallenged can sweep a nation. Proclaiming the unchanging truth to a changing world is essential work."

"Of course I have heard for years about GAFCON and the remarkable gathering and prophetic movement that it is, but nothing could have prepared me for the real thing. To be in a room with over 1300 people from more than 50 countries worshipping God and listening to searing, prophetic Bible teaching is amazing.  Beyond that, a remarkable effect of the courageous, Bible-believing filter applied to the participant list, is that you can walk up to anyone and connect at a deep spiritual level, knowing they also believe the core doctrines on which my own faith and identity are built.  We are many and diverse here at GAFCON, but as Archbishop Kanishka Raffel pointed out today, our unity transcends our differences - we are one"

Camilla Symes, Christchurch Botley, Oxford (AMiE)

"Gafcon is not only about the upfront content but also the personal interactions. It was such an encouragement to hear different stories of those who have endured in the gospel through persecution. I saw that in a women’s testimony of how her church in New Zealand had left the Anglican Church in New Zealand for the CCAANZ. Despite leaving buildings and stability, the Lord has been faithful in bringing resources and growth. It was also shown as I caught up with an old friend, who is now a bishop in northern Nigeria. When I asked him of the challenges his diocese was facing, he asked for prayer for security."

"As we approach our own mission of reaching a secular and sometimes hostile Europe, it is great to reminded that we declare the gospel of a loving God, who redeems his people and calls his people to repentance out of sin and to new life. We can also be encouraged by our brothers and sisters around the world, who have and do sacrifice much for Christ and his gospel yet, can speak of our Father’s gracious care and provision. Together gloriously witness the extension of God’s kingdom."

Ben Williamson, Church Planter, Bury (AMiE)

"A meeting of over 1300 people from all over the world, spending long days together in praise, prayer, and conversation filled me with great awe. I knew only four attendees might speak my native language so I was nervous that I wouldn’t understand the different accents of the English language. But all concerns have vanished. 

I have heard numerous stories about what led people to come here. One in particular touched me deeply. 40 years ago at a high school in UK she had attended a gospel choir concert. The Lord shone bright through the singers from Uganda that she and many of her high school friends came to faith. One of the singers from back then is at GAFCON and they found each other. Her gratitude for her awakening moved me deeply. She had asked the same question back then that I asked myself 24 years ago: "To whom shall I go to get what they have?"

I have seen people here refreshed, strengthened, and growing in faith and union. What a huge difference GAFCON is compared to synod meetings of CoE in Europe. People I met there were afraid to offer or receive prayer! I have met people here with whom I would normally be estranged to by thought, culture and language, but found union in prayer and communion with one another in Christ. May the Lord keep our paths."

Petra Elias, German Congregation of Leipzig English Church (ACE)

See full report at Anglican Network in Europe - Gafcon Gleanings - Thursday