Overwhelmed by the goodness of God

Ignite Church, Lincoln, spent the summer seeking God – with amazing results, as Darren Edwards explains.

In 2015 I came across a book entitled ‘Holy Laughter and the Toronto Blessing’. It was written by James Beverley, a pastor in the Toronto area.

I was reading the book for research purposes to see what people thought from outside of Pentecostal circles. To my surprise, this sceptical pastor wrote something similar to what I had heard from friends that had been a part of what was happening in Toronto’s world-renowned revival.

After decades of revival, Beverly said the thing that remained in the city after all this time was the remnant of the tears that were the result of hearts being mended.

This summer, after a week of fun, family and seaside, I was moved deeply to see God moving upon his Church as a thirsty crowd received the refreshing waters of the Holy Spirit.

Urban Wave was marked with what some from the Pentecostal tradition find normal, as people spent time being healed on the carpet. It saw family grow closer together and genuine tears and cries of agony as hearts were healed from lifetimes of hurt and neglect.

After speaking to attendees of Urban Wave 2018, we found that those under 18 enjoyed the deeper teaching from the likes of Paul Benger and Stephen Matthew – alongside watching me being ‘gunged’ at the family fun day and barbecue!

Some of the mums reported that they liked the work and information that Jamie Price shared. One mum said that she was really excited to see what Elim is doing for young people all over the UK through Limitless, the national youth department.

We had a great reception for our baptism service on the beach, led by Pastor Harry Goodwin. It seemed like a magical coming together of wind and dark clouds, as the waves raised and four people took the next step in their faith journey, each one loudly declaring their commitment to Jesus to reach the ears of those watching from the shore.

Then there was the final night with Daniel Chand, where many were touched by God, and a lot said they felt that their life changed forever since that night. Young and old met with God in such a way that we heard tears of healing and howls of laughter.

I’ve been around moments like this a lot in the decade that I’ve been a Christian. I’ve had times when silence fell on a raging church. I’ve seen cancers healed and witnessed deliverance and laughter.

However, as the pastor of this small group of people and the organiser of this week of fire, I found myself overwhelmed by the goodness of God to bring me on this journey whereby I might be privileged to lead 100 people into a presence so wonderful that their lives are changed for good. This year was a real step up for Urban Wave and everyone that came along.

We’ve already arranged another week of fire for Urban Wave 2019, which will be our fifth year hosting this popular event.

We are currently praying for a bigger venue to hold extra delegates, and more space for our incredible kids’ team to plan their next programme.

What we can be sure of is another year of memories, days building sand-castles, evenings swimming in the sea, the lights and sounds of the fair, and the mighty, overwhelming presence of God. Whatever 2019 holds, I’m sure that he will be holding us through it.

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