Report from the Oxford Day of Refreshment

The Light of the World, William Holman Hunt, 1851/1852

June has been a fruitful month for MPC!  Here I’ll share some of the joys that came through our day in Oxford. And soon we’ll also share about God’s goodness as it flowed through our retreats in Switzerland and Hungary. Thank you for joining with us in such powerful ways – through your engagement at our events and through the audio recordings, with your prayers, words of encouragement, and your financial gifts. We are encouraged and emboldened as we see our Lord’s care for His body flowing through you.

We had been led to call our time in Oxford a “Day of Refreshment,” and God was true to this word. Many in our gathering were pastors, counselors, and ministry leaders, those who often have the greatest need to soak and even bathe in the living water that flows from God’s holy presence. Our team very much enjoyed meeting some whose lives had been changed decades ago by Leanne’s ministry in the UK, and others who were hearing these teachings for the first time. We experienced how the Gospel is ever-fresh and ever-needful, perhaps in a particular way in places of such influence and prestige as Oxford.

For this one-day event, our team listened carefully for the Spirit’s guidance on which topics to address. The virtue of hope became a central theme for our time. In a world choked with despair and its wicked abettor, acedia, this teaching often brings crucial illumination. For all who seek wholeness for themselves and those who are called to serve the wholeness of others in pastoral care and counseling, it is far too easy to make an idol of healing and take our eyes off the Healer. This subtle shift opens the door to discouragement which can lead to despair, a willful conclusion that fulfillment in God will not happen. In His mercy, Jesus calls us out of that deadly posture, granting both conviction and the power to turn back toward life. We were privileged to pray with this precious group as many received forgiveness, cleansing, and a fresh impartation of hope, humility, and the courage to become as great as God has made each one to be.

Many thanks to Andrew Miller for giving our team a fantastic tour of Worcester College, the Eagle and Child Pub, and the Keble College Chapel where we were able to view William Holman Hunt’s painting, The Light of the World.  Oxford is a special place and we were grateful for such a gracious and generous host!

Our time in Oxford ended with a fun and relaxing dinner with some of the day’s attendees, a special time of fellowship! We relished this time around the table, hearing of the adventures our brothers and sisters have had as they follow our Lord. One of the most gratifying (perhaps even addictive!) aspects of this ministry is seeing the real, enduring fruit that so reliably yet miraculously matures in the life of those who abides in Christ. We rejoiced together, team members and attendees alike, at the transforming power of God’s love at work in our lives. To see God’s sons and daughters standing strong, speaking truth in love, and being the truth in this darkening world is the most exciting and powerful sight! Many of us have been told that the wholeness we seek is not possible, or even that it is wrong to desire change. How good it is, then, to gather together to receive more of God’s holiness and praise Him for who He is and for what His love can do. We have a God who is more than able to set love in order within us, and then delights to flow freely to love His world through us!