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Pesty Blessings (FTTL Autumn 2011 Graduating Trainees)

December 15th, 2011 Categories: reporting... 2 comments

The FTTL Autumn 2011 term recently ended, and typically on the last Monday night the graduating trainees share a departing word of encouragement to their fellow trainees. It was a really sweet time, and I was glad I was there. For no good reason I missed it last term (doh!), but this term I made sure to remember, as did others to remind me.

To the enemy, pests; to the Body, blessings.

As an introductory word, one of the brothers shared this verse with the trainees:

For we have found this man a pest and an agitator of insurrections among all the Jews throughout the inhabited earth and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.

The people speaking in this verse were describing Paul, who along with the other apostles was “upsetting the world” (Acts 17:6). To the world, Paul and his companions seemed to be causing much trouble with their preaching and proclaiming Christ as the gospel. Yet, as a brother concluded at the end of the meeting, although to the enemy these were “pests”, to the Body they were real blessings.

Hallelujah! May each of the graduating trainees be real pests to the enemy and real blessings to Christ’s Body!

Testimonies from the fourth-termers

Two brothers and seven sisters graduated this term, and here is a summary of their sharing during the last Monday night meeting of term:

  • MK from Poland/Cambridge, UK experienced that it has been a real privilege to be in the training, pursuing the Lord with his fellow trainees, and participating in God’s move. He shared about Jacob’s experience in the Old Testament of struggling with the Lord, even wrestling. It can seem like that in the training. However, just as Jacob discovered, it turns out that although it may seem like the struggle is with an unfair uncle, a jealous twin brother, unruly children, schedules and regulations, or trainers and fellow trainees, actually the real struggling is with God. These times then become wonderful opportunities to have intimate contact with God until He touches us, and we refuse to let Him go until He blesses us.
  • MN from Poland throughout the training has enjoyed the truth, not merely in an outward way of knowledge, but with the truth being brought into his being. He had a real building with the brothers, which would not be experienced in other situations. And even though he may be a brother who does not speak much, he fully appreciated the training and the Christ in each one of his fellow trainees.
  • VL from London, UK learnt during the training that the Lord does not want a good man, but a God man. And just as many others who pass through the training, even though she found some of the regulations annoying, she still tried to keep them! But eventually, a prayer posted near the sink in the dish-washing room became her prayer: that the Lord would become her daily living, both inwardly and outwardly, that she would not have merely an outwardly perfect living, but it would be Christ living out of her. Amen, may this be our prayer too. And how do we have this? Give ourselves to enjoy the Lord!
  • YC from China/Bristol, UK shared her experience of Romans 7 and 8. So often the natural man and the practices of the body were exposed and she would say, “I will not do it again!” Which then would be followed by failure. But there is Romans 8:13: “…But if by the Spirit you put to death the practices of the body, you will live.” On the one hand the Lord needs our cooperation, but on the other hand, it can only be by the Spirit! And one way to strike the Spirit is through having personal pray-reading times with the Lord, to really touch the Lord.
  • KS from New Zealand/London, UK shared with us 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “In everything, give thanks.” She treasured every moment in the training and has found it to be the most precious place on earth. Sometimes she asked the Lord, “Why am I here? Why me?” And her realisation is that it was really the Lord’s mercy to bring each one to the training, for His purpose. She was also very grateful for the opportunity to be in the FTTL and to participate in the Lord’s move in Europe, such as with all the seminars in the 12 cities and the move and migration. The saints she has been serving with have been a real pattern to her, with their pouring all on the Lord, on the saints, and on the students.
  • EL from Malaysia/Manchester?, UK shared her enjoyment from being on one of the campus teams. Although it was chilly in the winters, the home meetings and prayer meetings were the warmest and most comfortable place to be! She came to the training as quite an independent person who liked to study the Bible by herself, but during the training she has appreciated the experience of being trained, transformed and built up together with her fellow trainees.
  • SL from Taiwan had many opportunities to turn to the Lord and to know Him (Philippians 3:10). Her discovery in the past two years has been that He is lovely, He is her Beloved, and she has the desire to know Him more and more. Like this sister, may we also continue to learn to eat Him and surrender to the flow of His life.
  • MS from Poland appreciated having the Body of Christ as the last class of the training, and to see that the training is not the goal, but it is for the goal. All the experiences in the training are to make the trainees buildable. Her prayer was, “Lord, keep me open. Keep my heart turning to You Lord. Keep me under Your dispensing, even if I do not understand.” She also shared about having a dependant life: “Lord, I really want You to take care of me.” Amen, Lord.
  • KP from the USA shared about how the Lord takes our consecration and honours it. She also shared two particular points: 1) each of us has a God-ordained way journey with the Lord, and we should not try to compare ourselves to others; and 2) learning to be genuine with the Lord and becoming genuine, not outwardly imitating the virtues of the Spirit. She gave an example, that maybe we pray, “Lord, I can’t stand this brother. This sister annoys me. I can’t take these rules.” In all this, God’s hand is there, yet we often make it difficult by not holding His hand. She ended with the aspiration that each of the trainees would experience much holding of the Lord’s hand in this last week of term.

Well, our sister who shared last based her sharing on a portion of ministry that the first, second and third termers put to a melody for the graduating trainees:

If God leads you to walk a way, a way that you know
It will not help you as much as taking the way you do not know.
This forces you to have thousands of talks with Him
Producing an everlasting memorial ‘tween you and Him.
If He leads you to walk a way, a way that you have never dreamed of
You will find He’s afraid of nothing and wants you to be fearless too.
We must realize our God with us in our desp’rate times
And it is His joy to see His children grasp His hands.

Standing with the graduates and trainees

I went to the graduation practice on Monday and loved it, especially with all the forgotten cues, the mistakes, and the cases of the giggles! It did cause me to recall my graduation practices, which to me really were the highlight of the whole training – a crystallisation of our collective experiences of the Lord during our two years together.

Autumn 2011 FTTL Graduation Practice

I’m sure the graduation on Saturday was great – I wasn’t able to be there, but anyone who did, feel free to let us know how it went in the comments below!

May the Lord lead and guide each graduate as they continue their God-ordained journey with Him!

Note (24/05/12): This is another of those posts that I didn’t actually post at the time I wrote it. Better late than never?

  1. May 24th, 2012 at 20:03 | #1

    better late than …..

  1. May 25th, 2012 at 08:17 | #1