Life Together Oct 7th – 9th
Life Together at Cefn Lea was a really good mix of fellowship and fun for all ages. Beginning on Friday evening with a mix of coffee and a wonderful array of cakes, movies, music including live music, family photo sharing, ending the evening with a discussion time, hosted by Giles Parker, Samantha Callan and John Tancock, taking time to think about those difficult questions.
Saturday was a full days programme, offering everyone the option of either a fully loaded or a chilled out weekend spent in the café. The day began with cooked breakfast followed by a number of seminars by John Tancock, Nick Howes, Sandra Duffty, children's’ sessions for all ages, led by amazing teams, and a gathering for everyone to celebrate together. It was excellent to spend time celebrating God together and to hear the word preached by Gareth Duffty.
Report from Zimbabwe, 8 – 14 August 2011 by John Casey
“I feel exalted in my spirit. I was oppressed; I felt a heavy bag was on top of my body. Something beautiful took place. Now I feel free”. This was how one woman testified after a week of leadership training, workshops and a weekend church conference in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe, a once fruitful and productive country, is now infamous for its hardships, oppression and political corruption. Almost 4 million people, about a quarter of the population, have teemed across the border into neighbouring South Africa or fled to other parts of the world.
Most of those who remain live poorly. Education and healthcare, once the envy of Africa, are costly and inaccessible to many families. The rampant inflation that gripped the nation only a few years ago has been reigned in only by introducing the US dollar as the local currency. Many religious practices and self-serving ‘ministries’ have sprung up, seeking to exploit and abuse ordinary people.
This was the setting for Gareth Duffty, Peter Topliss and John Casey to visit from the UK. Some 38 church leaders had come together at the farm of Charles and Gladys Kudzerema on the outskirts of Gweru, a city of ¾ million people, 4 hours south of the capital, Harare. Here they had gathered pastors, educationists, and a trade unionist for teaching, dialogue and prophetic input.