Walk 2 : 26th February to 1st March 2009
Walking this bit of coast undoubtedly raises issues of incomings and outgoings, mainland Europe, the sea and our identity as an island of islands! We will tank up on the Holy Spirit afresh in the present continuous tense so as to lock on to the face of Jesus, taken up with His consuming love for us.
It was a team of 14 who walked the coastline onwards from Brighton pier.
The ‘City Gate’ Brighton based church hosted our ‘kick off’ as the team met for the first time. Linda Yoxon from Lincoln came to see us off bringing a bubbly blessing of joy. The ‘shape’ of this walk looks like a bell, the ‘ring a ding-ding’ was literal as she gave us an American ‘liberty’ bell and a bell from the middle east to carry simultaneously.
We walk for the east in response to what is rising the west of the UK. On a larger scale, as far as west and east coming together we were happy to straddle 3 continents in our call! Drawing on an ancient Damascus well across to the awakening of the Jesus movement above the hills of San Francisco suits us fine!
Here, the call is for an indigenous way that belongs to these Islands where Roman verses Celt was the original ‘war’ for Christianity. A sign that the Roman layer of religion and control is beginning to lift and peel back at the edges was quietly prophesied to me a year ago and this sign appeared a week before we walked. With this in mind we are walking for Jesus to come and cleanse the land of the paganism and occult that religion and control hold in place.
The Key for us is intimacy with Jesus and getting so blasted with His joy that the burden remains light and the yoke easy. We did not want to get caught up with the ‘footstool’ but rather with the King of Kings who, for the Joy set before Him went to the cross in our stead. So we walked in the joy of the job already done and relieved from the duty of looking to ourselves to somehow add or take away from His complete work.
It is Welsh friends that I have to thank for the reckless pursuit of Jesus that intoxicates and immobilises my own control, endeavour and strength. Free wheeling with the Holy Spirit so takes the pressure off!!
In beautiful spring sunshine we absorbed beach promenades one after the other and continued to stride (ha!) over white cliffs… the seven sisters had definitely experienced a gift of multiplication as our legs took on the challenge of hill after hill! We navigated our way through a mix of quaint or fully automated ports into the heart of coastal Kent where French mobile signals swap for English in the proximity of foreign land and new adventure.
It was a pleasure to sit with Leanne, Jane and David over a glorious meal in Brighton, we were complete strangers but so welcomed. It was a last minute opening but Brighton welcomed with a flourish as is it’s gift to do so. An alternative place which looks so far yet is easily so near to the Father’s heart and has a DNA that will see something of God rise that is so new it may not even be recognised. The households we stayed with inhabited hospitality, connected deeply with the less than pretty side of town and had wonderful connections with the near and middle east. As we walked east this was a God encounter.
It is wonderful how God uses our mistakes to accomplish His work, there were 3 points that were particularly hard which often means we end up literally going back and forth over the same bit of ground not unlike a sawing action across the land.
The Sussex/Kent border was one, we past the ‘Welcome to Kent’ sign many times manoeuvring cars and retrieving forgotten keys! As we waited to assemble, a crescent moon hung sideways in the sky like a smile under a single brilliant star…. it looked so familier we stared it…..and then realised why, it was placed like Lincoln is above the circular lens around south London.
Dover was a hurdle and it felt like we went into slow motion, trying to keep ‘on piste’ whilst some were definitely ‘off piste’ stuck under a cliff! But as 2 of the team pressed on into Dover they encountered on the cliff top a God fearing woman in tears, distressed and desperate, kneeling over a bible. She was impoverishedly dressed, homeless and from Europe. They gave her what they had but were overwhelmed with this woman’s faith. Just 50 yards before they had prayed for welcome in action for those that come to these shores. As they prayed with her, she in turn prayed for them and was so thankful to God even though she materially had nothing. These two walkers, both Angela’s, were unsure whether the woman was angel or human but knew they had encountered God and a massive sign for the land.
Crossing Sandwich took 3 attempts and if we blinked we were lost! But this proceeded a strong walk into Thanet, ringing the awakening bells as we flew round the coast to Margate. We stepped up a gear pulling through with Holy Spirit propulsion all that has risen in our own lives, every thread from every groove our feet have trod to sew this area into the God weaved tapestry.
We were hosted In Deal for 2 days by the Evan’s family, Chris and Sue allowed us to swamp their home while they fed us delicious food. Again the connection with the East was present as they had lived in Egypt and Sri Lanka. God’s people are His gateways and we had such laughter in this true Well, fanned by Angels wings. A season of Hibernation is giving way to a new season, false canopies are being dismantled and rolled up. Gateway homes are being opened up for the wells they are, as the people of The Way rest and drink by them.
Honour to a great team; Phil and Val from Leeds, Linda from Lincoln, Sarah and Angela from Herts.
Sue, Paul, Angie and Alex from Cobham. Sue, Louise and Juliet from the south coast and Chris and Sue from Deal.
Two days after finishing this walk on the 3rd March ….
‘An earthquake has shaken a coastal town in Kent – in nearly the same spot as a tremor two years ago. The British Geological Survey (BGS) said it recorded the earthquake at 1435 GMT in Folkestone of 3.0 magnitude, compared with the quake in 2007 which was 4.3. The epicentre of the 2007 quake was in the Channel, but this tremor was about three miles (5km) below Folkestone. A lot of people will have felt it and remembered the last one.’ 22hrs later the next one was in Newport, South Wales (1.6 magnitude)….
The land is responding for the ‘sons of God to come into their own’……and all creation’s straining on tiptoe just to see………….Glory days and glory ways!