FROM ALL THE WORLD
PS JAKE LANGRIDGE
(PASTOR, EQUIPPERS NAPIER)
I did my primary schooling in Fiji as a kid, and one of my earliest memories was Mr Naidu asking the class what the longest river in the world was. No hands went up and there was awkward silence… then as he turned in my direction I found myself providing the answer - "The Nile, Sir." His reply was, “incorrect, it's the Amazon.” I thought He was joking until he showed me the “Green Dragon”, a hose he used to whack kids with... "Amazon it is, Sir!"
I went home that night and told my parents that I was more than a little disappointed in the quality of teaching I was receiving, especially when it related to the world around us.
Growing up I was that weird kid that always had his head in at atlas. I knew all the countries of the world and worked to know all the capital cities… they were symbolised by a square, not a circle… and I would challenge myself to see how many cities in that country I could recall.
My Dad still tells the story, to anyone willing to listen, about the time he told his mate “my son knows all the capital cities of the world”. To which he smugly replied, “The Falkland Islands”. I looked at him with a pained expression that suggested he wasn’t aware they were more of an overseas territory than a sovereign nation (yes, I don’t think I was well liked) and answered, “Stanley”!
My favourite book was full of lists of the Top 10 longest rivers, largest lakes (fun fact: the largest lake in the world is the Caspian Sea… get it, not even a lake!), highest mountains, deepest trenches, and on and on it went.
This year the theme for Shout 2019 is “into all the world” - you can see why I love this!
Jesus told His followers in Mark 16:15 TPT - “And he said to them, “As you go into all the world, preach openly the wonderful news of the gospel to the entire human race!”
Shout is a tangible manifestation of this scripture being outworked.
This year you might bump into Vincent who has a heart for Hamburg, Germany and has moved his wife, Esther, and two kids to start an Equippers gathering to see that city transformed. The same narrative is being played out in Munich with Aaron and Shaleen.
You should chat to Miro and Marta, who have long held to a conviction to see Budapest won for Jesus, and have just initiated a gathering of people!
You could eat pizza with Francesco and ask him about the Pentecostal revival he is seeing in Italy.
Stephen can tell you about all the young adults connecting with him in Tema, Ghana.
You will be speechless hearing about Binu and Deena who left the relative safety and security of Kerala to move across India to Kolkata to help lift masses out of poverty through education, healthcare, boarding houses, and training programmes.
If a “Tudo Bem!” rings out across the foyer it may be Jeziel and Ester who are raising up leaders in Rio. You should take them out for lunch and hear about the influence Ester could have in the education field in Brazil… she’s one of the smartest people I know.
You’ll hear John before you see him… John and Nyles planted an Equippers Church a few years ago and are now seeing close to 1000 people gather in Manila across two campuses. He sees it as a beachhead into Asia and has an infectious enthusiasm for the gospel!
Mataele and Lavender will ask you to visit them in Tonga to bring cheese, but also to see the influence they have in all areas of society there and the amazing school that is raising up a generation to reclaim a nation!
Into all the world…
This year, from Equippers Napier, we will take close to 50 community kids to Shout 2019 as a part of our school holiday programme. Many will encounter Jesus, and many will have a greater understanding of what it means to go 'into all the world.’
Shout 2019 is about you and me, living stones being made into a spiritual house. We are all interweaving threads that, when laced together, form this beautiful tapestry that make SHOUT what it is - a wonderful expression of God’s people… from all the world.
See you there!