PARTNERSHIP MINISTRIES NEWSLETTER UPDATE
ADVENT 2014 - EPIPHANY 2015
We're still here!
Hello from Partnership Ministries! It’s time for an update! Many miles have been covered since we last posted an update – although if you receive our prayer updates you will have been keeping abreast of our various travels and activities. We are so grateful to those who regularly pray for us and who continue to encourage us in the work and vision of this ministry. We honestly could not do what we are doing without your support and prayers.
Christmas – the New Year – What Lies Beyond?
This morning in our home Church our Pastor shared on an Advent theme – “He is coming – It’s not too good to be true!” So often in life what we hope for and pray for seems at times unobtainable and too good to be true, especially if we subscribe to “fantasy thinking”! Generally speaking, however, the circumstances of life today seem to deny the fact that God is alive! – and that he really is at work, in spite of the challenges and sober realities we face in this day and age. God entered the arena of humanity and lived with us – Emmanuel! And He still lives with us in the power of His Holy spirit – and He is coming back for us! Advent – a season of incredible hope and expectation in spite of a world that finds it hard to believe in what it does not see!
The Advent of Christ is equally as relevant for us today as it was for the shepherds who witnessed the wonder of that first Advent. Still today the same request made by some Greek speaking Jews (Hellenists) in John 12:21 that they
would like to see Jesus – is the same request humanity is making…we want to see Jesus! And it is happening! Recently Marie and I visited an area in Wales in which over 150,000 visited a church over a 7 month period which had a remarkable visitation of God. Taxi drivers, hoteliers, medical authorities, and some of the locals were all talking about this amazing change in their city. When God comes – life changes!
Elsewhere in Wales we visited a Christian Retreat Centre in the middle of the countryside in which the presence of the Lord is at times quite penetrating. A blind woman visited there two weeks before we arrived – and as she sat quietly in the small chapel – her sight was suddenly restored, even though no-one was praying for her healing at that moment! Christ has come to her in a remarkable way!
Several times over the last few months we have been in areas in which as we prayed with people in open gatherings – on the land – in their businesses – the tangible Presence of God suddenly came into our midst.
Whenever He comes in that manner, it is not too good to be true – since it really is taking place – right in our midst! It has been said several times to us in various settings this past year alone while praying with small and large gatherings of people in their city or place of work – “We will never pray the same way again”…”we will never look at our city in the same way again”…”we can never be the same again”…”Church is now different”…”Our business has never been the same since we prayed over the land…”. The testimonies are life changing because these people all experienced the Promises of God when they responded to His challenge and call to bring His healing and Presence into their midst. We have seen ecology and economy change after carefully researched and applied prayer strategies have taken place under the direction of the Holy Spirit! Authentic Transformational Revival is indeed taking place in many parts of the world in this very day and age. People are seeing Jesus at work! God has visited them.
As we end 2014 and prepare for 2015 – let us never forget that the God who invaded humanity 2000 years ago still wants to reveal Himself to us and be involved in every aspect of our lives. He is still the living relevant plumb line of
reference in all of society today, no matter where we may live and work - and He is coming back! – that is part of the Promise of His Second Advent – His Return - which has echoed throughout all the years of church history. The works of the Kingdom of God today are proof of His promise!
In the last few months alone we have been working with ministries and businesses and cities in Ontario – Wales – England – Northern BC – Nova Scotia – The Republic of Ireland – Northern Ireland – Australia – Calgary - and more recently Annapolis, Maryland. On some trips such as to Belfast, we had amazing surprises – such as
meeting the Archbishop of Canterbury in a Christian Marketplace Café.
Indeed, it has been an enormous privilege to partner with some amazing people in these various areas – and to see God at work in spite of very challenging days and in some cases dangerous situations. Look for an upcoming blog post in the next week and you will see pictures and brief video clips of our travels in Ontario – Wales - Northern Ireland and Australia. We have literally experienced tent meetings…
…to city venues that have experienced very recent moves of God – to the astonishing, but at times hostile landscape of the Kakadu in the Outback of Australia. On one day alone while in that region we experienced crocodiles watching us closely as we invaded their territory, a bird of prey picking up a very unwilling snake and dropping it just before it reached us! – and then talked with our guide who had been venomized by the third most poisonous snake in the world and described in detail her amazing survival – then ended the day in a small aircraft in which the pilot, literally upon landing but still moving, leaned right across me in the co-pilot’s seat and opened my door! Unnerving? Yes – to put it mildly. Again, watch our website in the coming week for more of those details!
During these past several months we have been teaching at seminars and conferences, leading on-site prayer strategies, and researching what God is revealing to His people in a time such as this. There is a profound move of God at work today – for those who have eyes to see it! During our last few days in Australia, we were in Darwin which is situated at the Northern tip of the nation facing the Arafura Sea. It is an amazing city that has survived horrific devastation from a Japanese invasion on February 19th, 1942, to the horrific Cyclone Tracy on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 1974. On both occasions, the people in the area were not adequately prepared for what was about to happen. What warnings that were given were inadequate. During the bombing in 1942, the artillery and ammunition in the hands of the allies were incompatible, and lack of proper training in weaponry resulted in an inability to protect the people and the city. The Japanese returned a second time on the same day, and the result was further devastation.
While there, I knew God was showing me something that was urgent and He wanted my attention! Even when radar in Melbourne had picked up aircraft overhead, the military in Darwin assumed they were friendly aircraft and took little notice of the advance warning. The people had become complacent in their environment and were unaware of the looming danger and were not reading the warning signs correctly that the enemy was on the way!
As we prepare for 2015 and what lies ahead of us individually and collectively, are we reading the signs of the times correctly? It is a question we are often asked at our venues – and one which we try and respond to almost always in one of our opening sessions. Jesus remonstrated His people for not reading the signs of the times correctly. We tend to misinterpret what He really taught on that subject, and instead enter into an “eschatological guessing game” about the timing of His Return. If, as the church, we really are the prophetic mouthpiece of God, then we need to be able to read the status of our circumstances correctly, and to sound the wake-up call correctly. In Romans 13:11 Paul states that “the hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber…”; in Matthew 25:13 Jesus says we are to keep watch – which means to rouse ourselves out of our apathy and be alert to what is going on around us’ then in Rev 3:2 – Jesus says too the Church in Sardis – “Wake up!....” In other words, open your spiritual eyes. If we are to be God’s “heavenly radar” to cities and nations – then we cannot afford to be slumbering and complacent.
In January and February at the request of our Publisher, we are preparing two further books in our present series
concerning the wake-up call of God today. Using these analogies of Darwin and the Kakadu, I will be drawing on what it
means to enter into the Fear of the Lord in a time such as this and to see how each authentic move of God in history had a core group of people praying the Fear of the Lord into society. When the “eyes of a community” are opened to the Lord, He will do business with His people. The first of these two books will be published in the late Spring or early Summer. In the meantime you can order through our website or at your bookstore our first book in this present series – “God’s Design for Challenging Times” – which is really a compass for navigating our way through life today with all its variables and deceptions. We will value your prayers for this project since we have felt it was essential that we remained at home base while undertaking the research and writing of these books.
Then in March, our next season of travel and ministry begins with visits to Virginia Beach, Nashville, Brazil, Moose Jaw, Ottawa, Calgary and Norwich, England – followed by a return to Kentucky with venues in Harrodsburg and Manchester – and then back to Australia later in July. Further details of all these venues can be found on our website calendar.
Over the years we have often been asked if a residential course in Canada might be scheduled to which people can come for more than one day and really immerse themselves in many of the principles we are sharing and have time to ask questions! We are thrilled to say that at the invitation of Ellel Ministries West, we will be coming to the Entheos Retreat Centre (near Calgary) May 11th – 14th, 2015 and teaching our new course – “Living On The Edge”. This is a leadership school for those in the Church and the Marketplace – indeed for anyone on the “Front Lines” of what God is doing in this day and age. This is a residential course hosted by our friends at Ellel Ministries and space is limited. You can register now with Ellel Ministries Canada – firstname.lastname@example.org – or see their website – www.ellelministries.ca for further details. We would love to see you there since we feel 2015 is going to be a year of enormous transition within the church at large – and we really do need to be aware of what is going on around us at a time such as this, and how to prepare accordingly…for Heaven’s sake!
In our travels, we are occasionally asked by people if we can sign them up to receive our occasional newsletters and prayer updates and have access to our Blog for more regular on-site updates which at times will include brief video clips. Due to the recent Canadian anti-spam law (CASL) in Canada, we are unable to do this, and if you have not signed up to receive our newsletters and updates, you can do so now simply by returning to the home page of our website and clicking on the right hand top corner where the words “Join our newsletter” appear. Then you will hear from us more regularly and will receive a prompt letting you know when a new post has been placed on our website blog.
Partnering With Us
I was reading recently that there are 86,000 registered Charities in Canada alone. That is a huge number! For those of you who have partnered with us over the years, we never take for granted what your giving and encouragement mean to us. We utilize the very minimum in maintaining our at-home office and are often asked to self-fund or partially fund several of the venues we visit since travel and housing costs are challenging these days. We do have a number of venues this year in Brazil, Europe and Australia where we will need to subsidise what we do. If you are able to make an end-of-year donation to the work of Partnership Ministries, we will be so grateful and we will issue a receipt for taxation purposes. Such donations can be made on-line or via cheque sent to our ministry address.
We also offer on-line conference calls and often “walk” with a city or a ministry in this way before an actual visit in order to optimize time and resources and deepen the relationship we love to enter into with those with whom we are partnering. Please contact us if we can be of any help to you in this regard. We would love to
hear from you.
As we look back on 2014, we are amazed yet again by God’s on-going faithfulness to us a ministry. The nature of what we do requires substantial travel – and we know it is your prayers that keep us safe – that ensures our luggage arrives with us (most of the time!) – and that we keep in good health, even though we are in many changing environments and climates each with their own challenges – even something as simple as drinking water can be very challenging at times! We simply could not do all this without you. Your encouragement and love and prayers have been profound to us a ministry and as a family.
In all that lies ahead of us in 2015, may the promise of Isaiah 52:12 be true for all of us in whatever circumstances await us - “But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”
Along with our Board we want to extend to you our prayers and thanksgiving, and that God will abundantly bless and guide and direct you throughout 2015.
With our love and blessings,
Alistair and Marie Petrie