USA & Canada 2013 Tour News

 

 

 

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This year’s tour saw us fly into Washington DC for the National Day of Prayer on Capitol Hill. It was a very anointed time of prayer and worship and we are thankful to God for allowing us to be faithful in attending and supporting for the past 20 years.

 

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Ministering at the National Day of Prayer

 

The following day, we flew out to Dallas to officially start our journey that would end up being 9000 miles long! We have great friends, Richard and Jamey Ember in Brownwood TX who stored our van and trailer after our 2012 tour and they met us at Dallas/fort Worth Airport with our van. From the map you can see that our tour took us from Dallas, Texas through many states and finally through to Vancouver in Canada.

 

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Map of our Tour: Click on the map and then click again to see a bigger version

 

The Message

The message that Pastor John preached was entitled “Growing a church and raising a people that will survive”.  It was a reminder to us of who we are in Christ and who He is. From that viewpoint we can trust God and allow Him to open our eyes to the world around us and reach out to help those in need. With the power of the Holy Spirit we have access to ‘Word of knowledge’. If we ask, God will give us the right words to say to those around us, which will be the key to their problems and negative situations. This will help in leading them to Christ.

 

To illustrate the point the video called “Get Service” was played during our meetings. You can see the video here:

 

 

 

THE TOUR

 

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The Electronic Billboard that greeted us on our way into Wagoner, Oklahoma

 

An important and very rewarding part of the ministry is building lasting relationships with ministries and people wherever we go. In comparison to previous tours we had the pleasure of spending more time staying with good friends and family than ever before. 

This year we were hosted by close friends and family in almost every state. In Oklahoma we stayed with the Lashley-Bobb’s. Carol and Hilary were members of the previous Vinesong team for 13 years and we spent a wonderful time with them right at the beginning of the tour. Their three children, Naomi, Israel (both of whom were born in Vinesong) and the youngest Hannah are doing very well in the US. The whole family are all very much involved in ministry in the local church.

 

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Vinesong with the Lashley-Bobb’s

 

In Houston we were hosted by Alice and Kwaku Temeng; in Las Vegas we were hosted by one of our Director’s Randy Patton and his wife Terrie and in California we were hosted by another of our Director’s Ron Guilliams and his wife Sheri. There were many other families and churches that hosted us but we would like to make special mention here of those who hosted us for an extended period of time. We so appreciate their hospitality in opening their homes to us and allowing to us to ‘set up camp’ with our virtual office whilst ministering in the areas where they lived.

 

 

Ministry to the sick and hurting

 

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Pastor Colman and his wife Betty

 

Over the years we have been so blessed by Pastor Colman McDuff and his wife Betty. As former pastors of Bell Gardens Assembly of God in L.A., whenever we were passing through, they would invite us to minister. Not only that but they would be gracious to us as they knew what it was like to be on the road. We heard that Pastor Colman was no longer Pastoring due to ill health and that he had moved to Texas. Whilst we were in Houston, we were told that he had been admitted to hospital. On our way out of town, we were able to stop by the hospital to encourage him, sing to him and pray with him. Whilst we were there his wife Betty arrived and we were able to minister to both of them. Though Pastor Colman’s health is not good, he still maintains a wonderful sense of fun and humour. We salute Pastor Colman for his faithfulness to God and his faithfulness to people.

 

Whether in the hospital or the home, ministering to people in their hour of need is so dear to our hearts as a ministry. The bible says that whenever he healed the sick, Jesus was moved with compassion. When we were invited to minister to Carol in her home we didn’t hesitate. She had just undergone major cancer removal surgery and was due to start chemotherapy within days. We spent such a special time in God’s presence with her as we ministered to her and her husband, Fred in song. We look forward to hearing wonderful testimonies of God’s provision and healing power as Carol moves forward trusting God.

 

Homeless Shelter

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Ministry at a Riverside Homeless Shelter

 

It was such an honour one Wednesday evening to minister at the homeless shelter in Riverside, California. As we sang and Pastor John shared the message, there was a tangible sense of God’s presence. In all 14 people gave their lives to Jesus during that meeting and we know that many more heard the Gospel. We thank God for the work of Mitch Neal and his team that minister at the shelter, faithfully every week.

 

 

Miracles and blessings!

In areas of Texas, many communities are experiencing drought conditions. In Brownwood Texas about 180 miles away from Dallas, although they had been receiving tornado warnings they had received very little rain in 3 years. Pastor John prayed for God to confirm that we were exactly where He wanted us to be by sending rain to Brownwood before we left town.

 

On our way out of town at 10am, before we had even gone as far as the city limits, one of the springs on our trailer broke. One of our hosts Terry came to our rescue and took us to a garage in town that specialised in trailer repairs. Pastor John and Daniel stayed with the vehicle at the garage whilst the rest of the team were graciously stationed at Terry’s house waiting. At around 2pm, just as the mechanic was finishing work on the vehicle, the heavens opened. The rain poured down for around 30 minutes, giving the ground a much needed soaking. By the time we were about to leave, the rain had stopped. As we travelled we received an email from our main host and organiser, Richard who along with his wife and family had organised the meetings in Brownwood, with a picture of the second downpour that came about an hour after we had left. 

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…And the heavens opened!

 

From Brownwood we travelled to Seminole in the ‘Pan Handle’ of Texas (the North West) who, as a farming community, had also had been crying out for rain. It was here that we ministered at the Mennonite Church that God literally united us with three years ago. Again Pastor John asked God if He would show us that we were in the right place by sending rain before our time of ministry on Sunday morning. When he mentioned rain to our friends there, they smiled and said that it would be nice but most probably unlikely. On the Saturday evening we met together with our hosts and many other church families for a barbeque at the church. Just as the evening was coming to an end, the wind started, followed by…… you guessed it, rain!

 

 

Phoenix, Arizona

Pastor John preached and said that before the end of the day, someone present in the meeting would lead somebody to Jesus. Well, that statement was nothing if not prophetic and before the end of the meeting, a wheelchair-bound church minister had led a young man of 17 years old to the Lord.

 

 

Seattle

 

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'Levites in Music' Event  – Seattle

 

We had an unbelievably blessed meeting on a Tuesday night in a hotel hosted by a worship ministry called “Levites in Music”. ‘Levites’ worked together with local churches and put on a fantastic evening of praise and worship, which was very well attended.

The main organiser and leader of ‘Levites in Music’, Kate Ariwodola wrote us to let us know how blessed people had been from the evening. Many people told her that they had experienced worship in a whole new way and others said that they felt that burdens had been lifted. She mentioned that when Daniel phoned her to go over the details of the meeting a fire in her home had started and the firemen were scrambling around trying to put it out during her phone call. It is no wonder that this fire translated into a truly anointed meeting.

 

 

CANADA

 

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Ministry in Vancouver

It was a blessing to minister in Canada on this tour. This is the first time that this current team had ministered there, although the previous Vinesong team had ministered on the East coast around Toronto in the past.

 

We were extremely blessed by the diversity of the meetings and all the effort that went into making our time in Canada a success. We ministered at venues and in churches of every description in British Columbia, to very diverse congregations and a very mixed population.

 

We are thankful to Pastor Bayo Adediran, his assistant Ronald Brown and Pastor David Carson for all that they did to make our ministry around the Vancouver area and Vancouver Island successful.

 

 

 

TESTIMONIES

27 years in the making

When we were in the UK preparing to leave for our US tour we received an email from Leslie living in Fort Worth, Texas. She told us of how she had listened to a Vinesong cassette in her teenage years that had changed her life, so much so that she had worn it out. She was not even aware that Vinesong still existed, but decided one day to ‘Google’ Vinesong. She was overjoyed to see that Vinesong was a ministry that had stood the test of time – 27 years had now passed since she first heard the songs. Greater was the excitement once she had established email contact with us and found that our first meeting was going to be in Dallas and that she would be able to personally meet Vinesong for the first time.

We subsequently met Leslie and her husband at our first meeting and afterwards she explained not only how the songs had blessed her over the years and helped her as a young Christian to grow in her faith, but also how the ministry that evening had been a real blessing to her and her husband. From the first song, through to the message that Pastor John preached, she was ministered to deeply and was grateful that God had made it possible for us to cross paths.

 

Reconnected

One lady came to the table in Canada and told us that in the early 90’s when she was a new Christian, a friend had given her a CD. She was wondering where she would be able to get the CD again. She was fairly certain that it was a Vinesong CD and when we ministered in Vancouver, she was able to be reunited with the songs and CD of her early Christian walk.

 

Depression lifted

We hear many testimonies of how “Let Your Living Water Flow” has touched and changed lives. One woman spoke about how she had been a deep depression. She played “Let Your Living Water Flow” and the cloak of depression lifted and left the room, never to return.

 

One woman in Texas told us of how during the prayer time at the end of one of our meetings, Pastor John asked people to put their hands on their neighbour’s shoulder and pray for them. Rachael was near to this woman and prayed for her. She said that she had suffered from depression and that the act of the laying on of hands felt as if the hands of Jesus were touching her. That day, the depression lifted and she thanked God for our ministry.

 

 

OUR VEHICLE

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Our faithful GMC Van and Trailer

 

We were so blessed with all of our travel and vehicle repairs throughout the tour. In our first few weeks we ministered in Tigertown near Paris, Texas. Tigertown specializes in the manufacture of trailers. We booked our trailer in for a service at one of the trailer specialists known to the Pastor. They did a full service on the trailer and showed us one part, which they replaced, that had started to fail. They said that had we not stopped by for the service, we might not have made it to the next destination. Once the service was complete, they told us that it was free of charge!

As mentioned earlier on our way out of Brownwood, Texas one of the springs on our trailer broke and with the help of the people that had hosted us we were able to find a good repair garage to get the trailer back on the road quickly.

On the way from Arizona to California, we had a puncture on one of the trailer tyres. It happened right next to a place on the freeway where there was a big enough lay-by and shade for us to stand out of the heat.

In Oregon Pastor John and Daniel heard a strange noise coming from the engine and subsequently booked it into a garage to get checked out and fixed. As the mechanic was examining it the vacuum pump broke. We thank God for his protection and for allowing the fault to show up right on time.

On the way from Tacoma to Seattle in Washington State, Daniel checked one of the trailer wheels and discovered that it was hotter than usual. We booked it into the nearest garage and found that the bearings were loose. They were able to fix the problem so that we could continue with our journey.

 

 

 

AND FINALLY….

 

We are thankful to God for all the miles that we travelled without incident and for all the lives that were healed and changed throughout our time in the US and Canada. We could not do all that we do without the prayer support of all of our readers and prayer partners.

We had a full tour and travelled many miles, but God always allows us to rest even in the rush. This year were treated on two separate occasions, at the beginning and at the end of our tour, in between meetings to stay with friends in log cabins. Between our meetings in Oklahoma City and Houston, Steve and Sue Kinworthy invited us to visit them in Branson, Missouri. It was wonderful to spend quality time with them and also to have a couple of days of relaxation, refreshing us for the ministry ahead. In Canada between our meeting on Victoria Island and our final meetings in Vancouver, we were invited by Randy and Terrie Patton to spend three days with them at their cabin on an island called Protection Island off Nanaimo, Vancouver Island.

In California we were celebrated by the magnificent work, preparation and hospitality of our dear friends Ron, Sheri and Mitch in time for our arrival.

We remain continually thankful for God’s care for us. We were ahead of the devastating Oklahoma tornado by just over a week. The night that we travelled from Missouri to Dallas, we missed the tornado that landed just a few miles away in Fort Worth.

We thank God for the many testimonies that we may never hear, of what God did through our times of ministry and for the ones that we did hear and have shared with you in this newsletter. We are thankful for all the lives that were saved and all those who were able to find strength and encouragement through both worship and the Word.

So many Pastors were encouraged in this period of great discouragement and they were all challenged to have a fresh vision and motivated to complete God’s course for their lives. This entailed a lot of personal counselling by Pastor John and presented many times of fresh challenge for the Vinesong team.

 

 

PRAYER POINTS

 

Please thank God for:

·      Our safe passage to and from America

·      The lives of those who became Christians during this tour

·      God’s provision and favour throughout the tour

o   Great accommodation with great friends and family

o   Keeping us out of bad weather

·      All the healing that took place during and after our times of ministry

·      The miracles of rain in Brownwood and Seminole

 

 

Please Pray for:

·      Our US Directors who give freely of their time and expertise to support and build the ministry of Vinesong in the US

·      Protection for the Vinesong team and little Reuben from all forms of sickness and disease

·      The Vinesong team as we travel to the nations of the World

·      The Church in the US and Canada

·      All those that were affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma and Dallas-Fort Worth

·      For divine guidance and wisdom for our 2014 planning