July - August 2006

Linda and I

June was a fruitful month.

In mid June Linda and I hosted a 'Marriage as God intended' course at Glenada Christian Conference Centre in Newcastle, County Down - our first in Ireland.

We love doing this course as it is the only one to date where we share the teaching almost half and half.

It was wonderful to see marriages that were floundering being greatly strengthened and to see strong marriages strengthened even more. The feedback was very encouraging.

One couple wrote..

"What impacted us most was, a glimpse of the Beauty of God and His intentions for us - the importance of Godly foundations to marriage.

Thank you so much for the ways you have ministered to us. We have been so blessed by the integrity, honesty, humour, passion and commitment on show. Words can't express the deep impression made. All those small touches are big in so many ways"

We look forward to doing this course again in Australia, but more about that later!

The following weekend in June we travelled to Donegal Town in County Donegal, Ireland, where I was the speaker at the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International weekend. It made a deep impression on me for the following reasons.

I have been used to teaching the Father heart of God over a two day time slot, so I was not really optimistic that this was the right subject for just several very short sessions, and especially to so many men and women who were long standing Christians.  On the Friday evening I gave my testimony and that was well received, especially bearing in mind the recent miraculous recovery from almost certain death!

On the Saturday time schedules slipped greatly, and that, along with several wonderful and very inspiring testimonies from FGBMFI members, left me with very little time to teach such a big subject.

In the first session I had to condense the essence of several sessions into about a half hour, and to my absolute amazement the delegates spontaneously applauded!  During session two they seemed a little stunned as I talked about dysfunctional parenting and its consequences, and during session three many wept. At the end of that session one man walked up and hugged me. 

In the evening I was to due speak after a banquet for the delegates plus their invited guests. The evening was scheduled to be over at 10 pm, but as before times slipped, and I did not get up to speak until 10.10pm. 

Shortly after starting this, my final session, a wedding party band struck up next door and we were treated to 'Congratulations' at mega decibels, with other popular wedding party songs following.  It was both funny and serious in that I really thought that the evening could not possibly proceed. Then I noticed that all were still focused on what was being said, rather than the loud music, so, almost shouting over the band next door, I carried on and brought the evening to a close with an open invitation for people to come forward to the platform to have an encounter with Father God.  Despite the loud noise, many came.

The following morning several men of God came to our breakfast table, some fighting back tears, to share how precious the teaching had been to them.

Even though I 'know' that it is "not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord" I think that this weekend finally cemented that truth into my spirit. Everything, from lack of teaching time to loud music, did not stop Jesus revealing His Father. I need never doubt again!

A week later I met a man in church who had just come from a short visit to Donegal Town. He told me that he was speaking to a man in the town who had heard about a wonderful weekend in Donegal where the Father heart of God had been taught. Isn't God amazing!  Always the Great Encourager.

I am trying to rest up during July in preparation for a busy August, but with ministry appointments that cannot be put back, plus a lot of overdue administration, it is proving somewhat elusive.

July 5th and 6th are red letter days in the Symington household. On July 5th our daughter Joanne (26) graduates as a Bachelor of Arts from Queen's University and Stephen (21) graduates the following day as Bachelor of Science.  We are proud parents indeed! Thank you Lord.  July 5th / 6th is also the one year anniversary of my heart virus!

On July 23rd I will be speaking for the first time at Bangor Elim, Northern Ireland, the largest and fastest growing church the town.

Then on August 3rd we leave home to travel and teach at the two Ellel Minisries International centres in Australia. To lessen the wear on tear as me as I continue to recover from last year's illness we will be stopping over at Hong Kong on the way out and at Singapore on the way home.  This is our schedule for August.

7th Arrive in Sydney
8th -10th Rest
11th Supporters day lunch at Gilbulla, outside Sydney
11th - 13th Father heart of God
14th Rest
15th - 17th Marriage as God intended
18th - 20th Ministry to men
21st Fly to Perth
21-24 Holiday in Western Australia
25th-27th Father heart of God at Springhill, Perth
28th Rest
29th - 31st Men's issues
Sept. 1st Fly to Singapore

I am still awaiting the results of the echocardiogram which the heart consultant ordered after seeing how amazingly and unexplainably well I am doing. The results were meant to be through in three weeks but despite many phone calls to the busy hospital they have not been looked at yet. All in God's time. Whether the atrial valve in my heart has been totally healed, partially healed or is still operating at only 10% is of passing interest (though the first option would make a huge difference to the medical insurance - nearly 800 for Australia alone!)

Following Jesus continues to be such an adventure!

previous Newsletters