July/August 2012 - Vol. 61

Going Forward with Faith, Generosity, and Sacrifice
A Report on the Sword of the Spirit International Coordinators Meeting
May 24-28, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey, USA

Over the last eight years the Lord has spoken very strongly to the Sword of the Spirit about an open door for mission and a special season of grace, especially on the young people in Sword of the Spirit. Given the increasing difficulties and challenges which Christians face around the word – increasing religious persecution, drift from Christian morality, breakdown of marriage and family life – there  has been a growing sense of urgency among Sword of the Spirit leaders to work more closely together internationally and regionally to strengthen the work of building Christian communities and preparing community members to be fully engaged in mission.

Every four years, since 2004, the coordinators from all of the communities in the Sword of the Spirit have gathered to seek the Lord together. This past May some 370 coordinators and main Kairos leaders met for five days in Newark, New Jersey. They came from 65 communities located in Asia, South Pacific, Europe, Middle East, North America, and Central and South America.

The aim of this report is to give readers, especially community members and people familiar with the Sword of the Spirit, a summary of key presentations and events during the four days of meeting in Newark.

President’s Address

Jean Barbara, President of the Sword of the Spirit, in his opening address spoke about a season of grace and fruitfulness which he has seen firsthand in his travels, attending regional meetings and visiting communities. He said we are witnessing a season of growth, a new level of conviction about the call and commitment to the life and mission of the Sword of the Spirit – especially among a high number of young people in the Sword of the Spirit communities. He sensed that mission among young people has only begun – and that more must be done to pass on wisdom and to equip them to take their place in mission. 

Jean exhorted the leaders to not be overwhelmed with the work and challenges of responding to the Lord’s invitation to move through open doors of mission. Jean said, “We are simply a response to a grand call from the Lord to the Sword of the Spirit. As he gives us grace to receive and accept the call, he also gives us grace to respond well to it... As a body of coordinators let us make an appropriate response both to God and to our people – especially the younger generation – a response of expectant faith, of generosity, and of sacrifice as we walk with the Lord who is taking us to a place beyond our resources. As the Lord promised, though, he is adding to our resources as we do mission.”

Jean concluded his address with an exhortation based on a passage from the Book of Nehemiah: “Finally, I want to say with Nehemiah (Chapter 4) as he was building the wall of the bulwark and speaking to the leaders of the people, with their swords in their hands: 'Do not be afraid… Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes' (Nehemiah 4:14) ...that is, your communities. Remember brothers, that 'the work is great and widely spread, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us'” (Nehemiah 4:19).

> continued next page
ICM 2012 Report continued

> Pastoring the Pastors: Saints, Missionaries, & Martyrs
> Signing of the Covenant and Prophetic Words and Exhortation
> Youth Work and Mission Challenges
> Reflections from ICM Participants

all photos by (c) Nico Angleys 2012
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