Karen Edwards, wife of Pastor Llewyn Edwards, BUC Ministerial Director, shared how in September 2013, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Her response was to declare, “I will not die, I will live to tell what the Lord has done for me”. It was difficult for her to find peace with her diagnosis, but she was eventually able to say to God “Your will be done”. She stated a diagnosis of cancer “often evokes fear, however such fear is not from God, but the enemy of our souls as ‘perfect love casts out all fear’ ”. Karen encouraged the attendees to “go boldly before the throne of grace” as she explained, “we are transported to God’s throne room when we pray, which Satan is not permitted to enter”.
In June 2014, she requested anointing and quietly thought, “I have gone from clinic to clinic seeking help; I am now going to God’s clinic”. During her chemotherapy treatment, she spent much of her time with God and in Bible study, which was the catalyst in the surrender of her will, for the will of God. Karen joyfully declared in conclusion, “I am now in remission, praise the Lord".
Pastor Sam Davis, president of the South England Conference, devotional focused on Elijah’s encounter with the widow in 1 Kings 17 and how God prevented her flour and pot of oil from being used up. His devotion entitled ‘The Pot of Oil’ encouraged a refocus of attention away from trials of life onto God, who cares for us and wants to turn our “misery into joy”. Pastor Davis concluded with God’s declaration for His Children in Jer 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,”declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
Dr Wesley Warren, physician and lifestyle doctor, presentation on physical health, outlined that certain diseases have become more prevalent in recent times. He stated that at the turn of the twentieth century only 1/500 people were at the risk of cancer. However, this has risen sharply to 1/3 people being currently at risk of developing cancer. He further explained that the current prevalence of hypertension and cancer is partially attributable to diet and lifestyle imbalances. However, he stated such common diseases can often be reversed with a healthier lifestyle and optimum nutrition. He encouraged the attendees to place themselves in ‘God’s clinic’ based on the diet outlined in Dan 1:10-16, as diet plays a major role both in physical and spiritual restoration. Dr Warren concluded by stating “God is our healer and that in all situations we should put our trust in Him”.
Leslene Peat-Brown, psychologist, presentation on emotional health identified how worry and anxiety can lead to a myriad of psychological and physical conditions. She commenced her presentation by asking, “Do you think we should be worried and concerned as Christians in our daily lives?” She responded to the rhetorical question by stating, “It is not the will of God that His people should be weighed down with care” E.G, White. EP, and anxiety which tends to sickness and disease. Leslene further stated, “Worrying does not accomplish anything”. Therefore, we should endeavour to live in an “attitude of prayer, casting all our cares upon God”. She concluded with three pertinent statements, (1) God “never permits the temptations to be greater than the capacity of resistance”, (2) “the only way to avoid worry is to take every trouble to Christ and (3)“Let us not look on the dark side. Let us cultivate cheerfulness of spirit. E.G, White, MCP.
Pastor Cyril Sweeney (BUC Prayer Ministries director) directed the anointing service where attendees upon request received anointing, pastoral prayer and / or pastoral counselling. Pastors Abbadasari, Barrett, Campbell, Edwards, Daley, Mannix, Sweeney and Tsehaye provided the ministerial services.
Pastor Sweeney delivered a short presentation outlining the purpose of the anointing service, in which he stated that oil was (i) a symbol of the Holy Spirit and (ii) being set apart for the Holy Spirit. He summarised this as “the anointed person is set a part to be ministered to by the Holy Spirit”. Pastor Sweeney offered a pastoral dedicatory prayer, prior to the anointing service. In an act of humility and fellowship, Pastors Abbadasari, Barrett, Campbell, Edwards, Daley, Mannix, Sweeney and Tsehaye laid hands upon each other as they prayed. After the anointing service, Pastor Sweeney shared how the officiating pastors in seeking to encourage and bless others, had themselves been very encouraged and blessed as they ministered.
Janet Hamilton, MOHAP founding director facilitated a corporate discussion on the theme of trusting God. The day was interspersed with opportunities for both private, corporate and prayer in twos. Fen Braithwaite ably led the inspirational praise, worship and testimony session. The day retreat concluded with many encouraged souls, whose feelings were echoed by an attendee who stated, “very informative presentations, I feel blessed” and another who said “I was spiritually filled, refreshed and revived”.