Barnabas’ name is explained in Acts 4:36 as ‘son of encouragement’. Andy Moyle recently led a group of three aspiring sons and one aspiring daughter of encouragement on a trip to encourage the church led by Eugen Heppler and team in Wiel am Rhein, Germany. One of them, Tony Greene, tells us what it was like:
If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to be someone like Barnabas who accompanied Paul on missionary journeys in the early days of the Christian church, join a Relational Mission Pioneer Mission team.
Flying in to a slightly snowy Basel on 4th April emphasised the multicultural nature of the area. You land in Basel, Swizerland, but can exit the airport either in France or Switzerland! The city borders, France, Germany and Swizerland, and you can visit all three countries in a short drive without any borders! Which we did.
On landing we - Andy Moyle, Jane Tompkins, David Taylor, Bob Eardley and Tony Greene - were met and whisked away to the excellent church community’s self-built facility for a meal, and to meet our hosts for the weekend. They were so welcoming and generous, and along with the excellent ways they catered and cared for us we were humbled by their hospitality.
The first evening, Thursday, Andy Moyle preached powerfully on ‘Filled with the Spirit’. He gently encouraged both understanding of God’s willingness to fill us and faith for being filled. The ministry team had plenty of opportunity to pray for people, and saw some released into speaking with tongues. A great start to the weekend.
The next day, Friday, we were taken to the Vitra Design Museum where we were entertained by the distinctly continental flavour of the design (and pricing) of the exhibits, all of which were for sale.
In the afternoon we were taken on a guided tour of Basel and treated to an excellent local beer. It’s not all hard work!
Friday evening Andy preached on ‘The Father’s Heart’, encouraging us out of a orphan mentality and into the mindset and attitudes of sons of the living God.
There were again many opportunities to pray for and encourage church members. It was an excellent way to make friends!
Saturday morning Andy again preached on ‘Spiritual Gifts’, followed by a Prophetic Workshop led by Tony Greene and the team, where people enthusiastically practised prophesying using scripture and using everyday objects to stimulate prophetic words for each other. It was great to be among people, with the team, encouraging people in spiritual gifts.
Saturday afternoon was a drop-in ‘surgery’ where people could come for prayer for any issue. We had the privilege of praying for a number of people over a variety of issues, we hope bringing comfort and encouragement.
Saturday evening Andy preached on ‘Freedom in the Spirit’, and Dave, Jane and Tony shared testimonies of how lies had shaped parts of their lives. This led to a powerful time of taking issues to the cross - physically! There was a wooden representation of the cross in the main hall, and people were encouraged to write down things they wanted God to deal with, and physically take them to the cross and leave them there. The team again took the opportunity to mingle with the people, praying for and encouraging them and seeing more people released into tongues and spiritual gifts.
Sunday morning we attended a church meeting, where worship was led by the very accomplished Weil am Rhein worship band, and Andy preached on ‘Seeing with New Eyes’.
Immediately the meeting ended, we were driven off to the airport to catch our flight. The timing was tight but we made it!
What a great weekend! It was great to be part of such a hugely anointed team, and to see how God used them during the weekend. It was great to forge new friendships with the team, and to come away feeling that we really had left a “deposit”.
Can you encourage? Can you help to bring comfort and friendship from the UK to other countries? Perhaps you could be a ‘son (or daughter) of encouragement’. Look out for the next team trip planned and volunteer!