2011 - Vol. 54
Reflections on Adelante 2011
great time of growth
experienced a great time of growth during Adelante, both spiritually and
through growth in new relationships and strengthening of old ones. I enjoyed
the series of talks given by John Keating during the conference. He spoke
about the characters of Daniel, Esther, and Joshua in the Bible – who all
responded with faith, hope, courage, boldness, and humility to the situations
particularly struck by the promise of God to Joshua, “As I was with Moses,
so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong
and courageous" (Joshua 1:5-6).
also struck by another verse from Deuteronomy 31:6 which said, “Be strong
and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the
LORD your God goes with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Christians we have to be courageous, and following the example of people
of faith and courage, we have to stand up for what we believe, even if
it means going against the grain or risking dangerous consequences.
prayer meeting on Saturday evening was brilliant, and I could really feel
the Holy Spirit among us and experienced a wonderful time of fellowship
and worship with young people just like me from 22 different countries.
attended World Youth Day in Madrid, where we ran a Soul Food Café,
where we met with different groups around Madrid and invited them into
our huge tent for events, performances, entertainment, talks, and a hugely
successful prayer meeting on Wednesday evening – we made several links
with different groups who seemed interested in our way of life, and I really
was strengthened in faith and enjoyed the atmosphere and meeting different
people from around the world who share the same beliefs and want to follow
Mead lives in Acton, London and is part of the Antioch
Community. He recently graduated from high school and will attend university
in the autumn. He is currently involved in the university Christian outreach
in London called Koinonia.]
to complete surrender
the Adelante Conference I felt strongly called to surrender my life to
God completely so that I can discover his perfect plan for my life. I know
I am called to do mission work but I need to trust God to point me exactly
where he wants me to be. I felt God’s presence very tangibly during all
of the prayer times and I know others did as well.
strongest message I am taking away from this week is to always be strong
and have courage because no matter where God leads us he will be with us
and be strengthening us.
Benedetto, from Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, recently completed a GAP year
of service in London, UK with Koinonia
and Antioch Community.]
out and move forward
For me, the entire experience of Adelante could be summed up by Joshua
1:1-9. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not
frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever
you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Joshua was the insufficient heir to Moses’ legacy. He had been Moses’
right-hand man, and followed the Lord with understated faithfulness. Now
he was slated to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.
The word adelante means “go forward” in Spanish. At this conference,
we, the second generation of the Sword of the Spirit, are the insufficient
heirs to the legacy of the first generation. Born into community or adopted,
we have been called to pick up the baton and run with it. However, like
Joshua, we are called not just to circle the same desert, but to extend
the territory and move into the new land the Lord is promising us.
As I was meditating on the words given during our worship times at Adelante,
I felt the Lord tell me, “Go out and move forward. Every step you take
will be consecrated to me as holy. Take the land I am giving you.” I know
he wasn’t just speaking to me, because many of the prophecies we heard
later confirmed this.
The Lord is calling the second generation of the Sword of the Spirit
to move into new territory and forge out new paths for this mission. I
like what Martin Steinbreithner said at his missionary training workshop:
“Some of you may be thinking to yourselves, why doesn’t the Sword of the
Spirit do more of ________? That’s because you haven’t started it yet.”
What is my response? For now, I know more clearly that my call is to
“take the land” in Detroit.
I have been working as a missionary there for a year and a half, and I
am beginning to see more clearly the new paths the Lord would have me carve
out. For me, it’s to bring the light of Christ to a dark world plagued
with violence, addiction, and the sorrow of broken homes.
However, that’s just for me. In talking with my brothers and sisters
at Adelante, I was encouraged to hear all the great ideas they had for
being salt and light in their respective regions. I am doing my small bit
in Detroit, but there are hundreds of others like me doing the same in
Belfast, Dusseldorf, Leuven, Syria, etc. The possibilities for new mission
[Ellen Karagoulis is a Women’s
Mission Leader in YouthWorks-Detroit,
an inner-city ministry of Detroit Community Outreach.]