November 2011 - Vol. 54

Personal Reflections on Adelante 2011

A great time of growth
by Simeon Mead

I personally 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 they faced.

I was 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). 

I was 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.” 

As 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. 

The 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.

I also 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 Christ.

[Simeon 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.]

Call to complete surrender
by Gina Benedetto

During 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. 

The 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.

[Gina Benedetto, from Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, recently completed a GAP year of service in London, UK with Koinonia and Antioch Community.]

Go out and move forward
by Ellen Karagoulis

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 are endless. 

[Ellen Karagoulis is a Women’s Mission Leader in YouthWorks-Detroit, an inner-city ministry of Detroit Community Outreach.]

Special Kairos Report on Adelante Conference August 2011
Walking on water

by Ania Wojcik, Poland

The highlight for me was the Lord's Day Celebration, our time of worship that evening, and the talk by Jean Barbara. I found it inspiring, expecially the part about how to recognize Jesus because we sometimes hear God's voice but we are not sure if it is him - and the only way to be sure is to step out of the boat and check if we can walk to him on the water. 

Jesus is enough
by Marie-Claire Flynn, Scotland

I felt like my household at Adelante was a snap-shot of Kairos - with one woman from Costa Rica, two from Lebanon, one from Ireland, and the other from Scotlanhd. And it was really special to pray, eat breakfast, and clean toilets together. It's powerful when all you really in common with someone is Jesus, yet somewhow that is enough.

God is really great
by Mark Montelibano, Philippines

This is the first time that I have attended a Kairos gathering. It was truly a great experience to get to know different people from 22 nations in this one event. I was awed to see before my eyes how God is really present and doing the same work in other nations. This makes me confess that God is really great. It is amazing to see how people of different races and different Christian denominations can become one in Christ. I see how Kairos and the Sword of the Spirit are a witness to the prayer in the psalms: "Amen, Amen! May all the peoples praise you."

A joyful atmosphere
by Raphael Luyts, Belgium

The highlight for me was the last night. There was dancing and a very joyful atmosphere. You're starting to know all these people a little better and you just have a wonderful evening.

A host of angels with us
by Rebecca Arguedas, Costa Rica

For me the highlight of the week was the Saturday night prayer time. That was incredible because we were all worshipping God and receiving prayer. I had an image that came to mind - a host of angels were there with us. I'm pretty sure heaven is like that, so for me we were in meaven that night.

A nation of Joshuas
by Daniel Spokoinyi, Scotland

The Adelante conference impacted me greatly. I could really sense that God was very present among our generation. My guiding thought of the week was that God is moving us all forward as a new generation of Joshuas to enter together into the promised land even though we are all different – but the goal is the same. 

The most amazing experience was the prayer times at Saturday night and Sunday night, when so many people responded to God knocking on their door, and the atmosphere made it possible with ease to respond to this call together as a nation of Joshuas.

 So many worshipping God
by Sebastian Pourie, Germany

I want to meet some people and experience something with God... and maybe play football. I think that it's great when there are so many people in one place just worshipping God."

Overwhelmed and blessed
by Marie-Sophie Vanderstuyft, Belgium

My first impression. We arrived a little late at the military base due to bus problems. The opening session was about to begin. We got dropped in the middle of 400 mostly familiar faces. I think I have never been hugged, greeted, kissed one, two, or three times (depending on the person’s custom) by so many people in such a short time. So many nationalities, so many languages, so many faces and smiles. A little overwhelmed I sat down for what would become a crazy welcome party including balloons falling from the ceiling, confetti pistols shooting around, and the soldiers at the barracks preaching. Beautifully done. It did set a tone for the rest of the conference.

How can you avoid getting lost in an impersonal crowd of 400 people at a conference? The pastoral team for the conference solved this by dividing us into households with caring household leaders and into villages with village leaders caring for the household leaders. In addition to that we had regional representatives looking after us. I thought this was genius.

As a household leader I was able to share during the week with 6 other sisters from different countries and communities. We had some rich conversations together. It was an honor to be able to watch people struggle, search and find, make big steps, and try to live a holy life.

I also had plenty of meetings and chats with my village leader, which made it possible for me, too, to fully engage with the program and to keep the right focus.

When I came home after the conference, I felt the urge to list all my blessings. They were too many to keep in my mind, so I had to write them down. Adelante was a very blessed time for me. Even though the conference was very challenging, I felt God speaking to me clearly through teachings, workshops, meetings, prayer times, conversations. I came from a dry land. I had not heard the Lord for a long time. It was incredibly refreshing to hear his voice again!

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