Thursday, 09 October 2014 00:00

Hug of Love and Fellowship at MOHAP 2014 Annual Retreat

Attendees arrived enthusiastically early and eagerly awaited the commencement of the 2014 Annual MOHAP Retreat programme, Friday, 29 August - Monday, 1 September 2014, at the De Vere Venues, Horsley Park, East Horsley. Warm sunny weather welcomed the attendees and this was reflected in the warmth of fellowship experienced throughout the retreat.

Ustine Mugabe had recently arrived from Zimbabwe to spend time with her daughter and new grandchild in Manchester. She saw an advert for the retreat in the local church bulletin and asked her daughter to enquire if it was still possible to attend. The affirmative response required Ustine's daughter with a young baby on board, to drive a 426-mile round trip on Friday afternoon, which she was happy to do. Ustine was readily adopted as 'mum' by many of the attendees, causing her to declare that she felt "immediately loved and at home."


The retreat afforded many opportunities for fellowship and prayer, both corporately and in smaller groups. Additionally Pastor Lloyd Lambert, an ex-army physical fitness instructor, led the attendees each morning for a prayer walk that incorporated gentle exercise in the scenic grounds of Horsley Park.

Nutritious, vegan whole food was an integral component of the retreat and was modelled on the nutritional aspects of the Adventist health message. This resulted in a positive witness to the hotel staff. Staff members commented on the food and one young waitress stated, "watching how you all eat so healthily, makes us [the staff] want to be healthy." Pastor Aris Vontzalidis, SEC Church Growth director, echoed the attendee's comments by stating the whole food vegan meals were "delicious". Fen Braithwaite additionally declared, "I could be persuaded to become a vegan by your food" during a presentation of appreciation, to Matthew, the chef.

The MOHAP retreats ministers to those in need of spiritual, physical, emotional and social healing. The professional and experienced international presenters provided 13 power packed presentations with each focusing on a different aspect of healing. Pastor Randy Maxwell (USA), author of If My People Pray, presented five devotionals focussed on spiritual healing. One of his presentations based on Psalms 50:15 and 80:18, outlined how 'disturbing the peace' occurs when lack of vision disturbs us and requires us to call on the Lord. This takes faith but results in healing.

Pastor Lex van Dijk (Netherlands), a clinical psychologist with over 20 years' experience, gave four presentations on emotional healing. One of his presentations, based on the life of Elijah and entitled 'What about self-respect?', outlined the relational aspect of self-respect, how salvation relates to it and how to build self-respect in a Christian way.

Dr Zeno-Charles Marcel (USA), Vice-President for Medical Affairs at Wildwood Lifestyle Centre and Hospital, shared four presentations which challenged attendees to rethink their understanding of health. In his presentation, 'Biblical notions of Health and Wellbeing', he encouraged the attendees to see health as a journey as well as a destination and examined the metabolic rate, the Hebrew perspective of health and also disease transmission.

The London Adventist Chorale, directed by Ken Burton, delivered a special selection of songs, which inspired encouragement and healing for the soul on Saturday evening, much to the delight of the appreciative audience.

The Sunday afternoon anointing service provided attendees with the opportunity for one-to-one counselling, pastoral prayer and anointing. Pastor Cyril Sweeney, BUC Prayer Ministries director, echoed the attending pastor's sentiments, stating, "In ministering to those in need, we too have in turn been very blessed." Pastor Curtis Murphy, NEC Prayer Ministries director and Fen Braithwaite, ably led the spiritually energising praise and worship sessions.

At the end of the retreat, many of the attendees were reluctant to go home, Damaris Kyloba, from the Greenwich church echoed the sentiments of many when she stated that she "didn't want the retreat to end." Sadly, goodbyes had to be said and the retreat concluded in the manner in which it commenced, with prayer and hugs of love and fellowship.

Last modified on Sunday, 19 October 2014 12:03

What is MOHAP?

The Ministry of Healing and Prayer (MOHAP) is a dynamic new Christian ministry; which focuses on ministering to individuals in need of spiritual, physical, emotional and mental healing. MOHAP also provides individuals with opportunities, for fellowship and friendship within the church and wider community.