New Word Alive
More than 5000 people gathered at the seaside resort of Pwllheli for NWA 2011, many of whom came to praise God and learn how to move forward in their Christian walk.
Of these, 1000 were young people and children, many of whom had not yet met the Saviour for themselves. What an opportunity for them to hear the Word preached faithfully in the many children and young people’s ministries.
This year, the same Bible passages were taken for all age groups, with a focus on running the race and learning from people of faith. Character studies from Acts were presented each morning in the Bible readings by Australia’s own David Cook and the evening meetings, focused on people of faith from Hebrews 11 — that ‘great cloud of witnesses’.
These sessions were taken by various speakers for adults and students, including Rico Tice from All Souls, Langham Place. The messages really hit home: ‘Is our joy and treasure competing for the position that only Christ deserves?’
‘You are only as strong as that which you build your life upon. You will have to decide whether you are going to stand in Christ. The Son of God lived the life that we cannot live, dying the death that we deserved, in our place — this alone is our salvation’.
One of the highlights was hearing the testimony of the Archbishop of Jos, Ben Kwashi, who spoke movingly of the many trials and even torture that he and his family have undergone in Nigeria, because of their faith.
He said, ‘Thirty years ago I would never have thought that such a thing could happen in Plateau State. Now we have seen our house and home and church burned down, time and again. It is happening there and it will happen too in the UK. It is coming. But God is good’.
Seminars throughout the day included Matters of the Heart, which had nothing to do with being single or finding love (thankfully), but getting our hearts focused on Christ, based on the teachings of notables such as Luther.
A key lesson was, ‘If Christianity is about becoming holy by doing lots of acts, it’s a burden. Holiness is about Christ’s finished work.
‘Remind yourself of how sweet God is and, from knowing that kind Lord, you will find you desire him more than anything else, because he is better than anything else. God is better than anything life can give you or death can take away from you’.
A comprehensive bookshop, organised by IwantTenOfThose.com, together with stalls from many organisations and missions, such as Release, Christian Institute, New Tribes Mission and clothing charity Christianhood, turned what is usually a gaming den into a Christian hub for meeting, reading, reflection and finding out how to put faith into action.
There were great conversations, opportunities to share, worship sessions on the beach and quality prayer time with the young people from our church, as well as time by ourselves to seek the Lord’s will in our lives and to strengthen us for the battle ahead.
This year I felt that the sessions were divinely appointed as a warning and armour for us. We will need God’s strength to see us through the storms that lie ahead, personally and as a nation. The storm is coming, but as one speaker said, ‘Is our roof on?’