On the 4th of January myself and G travelled about four hours on four different trains and one taxi ride to get to Centre Parcs just by Thetford. Only arriving about fifteen minutes later we were straight into worshipping God. That is the best way to start Impact at Centre Parcs. Getting into the presence of God at the get go and seeing what God was going to do throughout the week.
Day one we started with Mike Betts looking at the ‘Philosophy of Ministry and 10 Choices We Have To Make’. As a leader we all have decisions to make that can often be a massive challenge: Prophetic or Organic, Character or Gifting, Calling or Career. There are some massive questions that we had to have a think about and that we have to continue asking ourselves. We ended the day with Mike speaking about ‘Simplicity of Spiritual Disciplines’; discipline, attention, obedience.
Day two was all about releasing freedom, knowing God as father, being dependent on God and knowing your calling. For me this was a massive day where I felt such freedom from God, had confirmation of calling and remembering just to trust God. But of course in between all of this was the rapids and a ride called The Tropical Cyclone. You go up to 30mph….on a water slide. It was epic!
Day three was with Wendy Mann who spoke on ‘The Kingdom of God’. She touched on numerous smaller topics within this area including; God’s Presence, Healing, Salvation, Peace, Comfort and Joy. The second session with Wendy was about dealing with disappoints. She was very open and honest with us about how she has been through disappointment, and I had to deal to with it later. I really came expecting God to heal my shoulder which has been painful for about a year and a half. I had about six people praying for me and even Wendy got involved, my faith increased as more prayed and yet I still didn’t get healed. I was so disappointed, but that started a chain reaction of God just dealing with some deep rooted things that had been going on in my life that I had never felt with, disappointments I had never dealt with. Isn’t God amazing, then even when our faith has been disheartened by something little, God breaks through and can deal with the heart. When people ask me ‘How was Centre Parcs’ I get to respond with life changing.
David Devenish filled out day four with talks on mission abroad, which was amazing when reflecting on the calling I feel is on my heart. Andrew Wilson also spoke about joy. I often find myself pretending to be happy because I hate people worrying about me. Andrew Wilson’s talk really helped me understand why I should fight for joy. Things like reading truth in scripture, being with people who increase my joy, simply speaking positively, as well as other practical tips.
The final day, Joel Virgo spoke on leadership and seasons of development. He spoke a lot about getting passionate for the gospel, to have excitement for the church, but also about the struggles of leadership; decision making, feeling silence from God. The thing that stood out was about how we just have to keep going back to God.
It was truly life changing week and has increased my passion for the gospel, grown my knowledge of God, given some clarification and of course amazing fun on the rapids!