On 14th July this year Harvester Birmingham had it's first wedding. Katie Robertson married Werner Lourens who is a member of the Harvester Cape Town Church. Katie sent this report from Cape Town where she now lives. In it she testifies of the time she spent with us at HRCB......
A Blog About My Time At HRCB And Leaving For Cape Town
I have been asked to write a blog about my time at HRCB. It's difficult to know where to start and what to say. It has been a time where God has done so much in my life and I have learned a vast amount and changed a lot... I will try to summarize and pull out the main events and lessons and conclude with how he has lead me to eventually marry and move to Cape Town – something I would have never predicted when I joined the church!
God very clearly lead me to join HRCB in 2009. I was a member of a large Baptist church for many years which is where I first met Prophet Graham and his wife Annie. As soon as I met them, there was something in the way that they saw church and God's plan for His church that resonated with my spirit. God had been putting on my heart for a long time that there is more to church than what I was experiencing. When I stepped into the Apostolic, God began to show me exactly what that change was – that He wants to reform the church back to its original blueprints - as we read about it in the Bible.
I was initially put off by some of the terminology like ‘Apostolic’, ‘Reformation’, ‘Apostles’, ‘Prophets’ – these were all alien – almost threatening terms to me. But I had such conviction that this was of God and what he was leading me into, I couldn't let that be a reason not to pursue it.
I knew that this move was, and is, of God because, despite the massive amount of questions and unknown, I saw the fruit of a Body who abided in God. I saw a church where every member is mature in their faith and knows the word and knows God's voice. I saw a church where the leaders and members are humble servants. I was so overwhelmed by the love of these people. They lay down their lives for God's work and His body. They had a depth yet utter simplicity to their faith that I had rarely seen – let alone in a whole church. I saw a body of believers where Christ is the head and everyone knows what their function is and flourishes in it. This church knew the reality of God's power and authority in their lives. I was hungry for that.
Even before God revealed this to me, He brought me to a place in my previous church where I knew I no longer had a function. It was nothing that anyone did or said – I had had many roles in that church over the years and still did. But I came to a point where I felt that I was just going through the motions. I knew that there were gifts in me that I was not aware of and that this church was not the place for God to use them. In the Spirit, He had removed me from this Body. I was still a member and regular attender, but I knew that it was not where I belonged anymore. So when God revealed the Apostolic to me, I knew that it was time to step out of the old and into the new things He had for me.
Over the two and a half years I spent at HRCB, God taught me how to stay still. I was very restless and would hop from one thing to another. He has put a desire in me to travel, but I needed to learn how to use this desire for Him and know when to stop and when to move. I discovered the power of submission to His will and also mutual submission within church. It was a painful process for me at times, staying still and in Birmingham of all places. But I came to understand that I am a sent one – as are all believers. God sends us every day and has a purpose for us wherever we are – not just when we go on missions.
I learned that our growth and understanding comes little by little, precept upon precept. There was so much that went over my head to begin with, but I learned to receive things by faith and trust the outworking of the Holy Spirit to bring understanding over time. This was such a freeing lesson for me. I don’t need to know it all!
God brought me a new perspective on faith. He first revealed it to me when I did the foundation course, but it is a lesson that He continues to build on every day! He taught me how to live by faith. To receive prophecies, to step out, to pray for healing, to receive healing, to declare things in the heavenly realms, trust for provision...everything! I am learning that to step out in faith is to step when you cannot see. That’s what faith is! And it is such an exciting and freeing revelation, thank You Jesus!
I have learned (and am learning) about embracing suffering. Suffering will always come, but God is very clear in His word that as we embrace it, the glory will far outweigh it.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
…but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint. Because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given us.
God is busy perfecting us in His wisdom.
Part of the suffering has been learning to die to self in the everyday, and also to receive correction. I am so grateful to have had leaders who love me so much that they have been willing to correct me. Correction is never easy to receive, but God has shown me that as I submit to the people in the Body He has made me a part of, there is great freedom and cleansing when correction comes. Usually, receiving correction is acknowledging to God that it is something I need to trust that He will change in me. And there is no shame or guilt attached. Only love and a sense of cleansing and freedom.
There is so much more that I have learned, but probably need to summarize now!
I am so grateful to God and the leaders of HRBC. With love and patience they have obediently brought words and correction that I have not always wanted to hear, but in doing so helped me to remain in His perfect will. Through remaining in one place and submitting to His body, God has turned my walk with Him around. I know who I am in Him and I now know the reality of abiding in Him and knowing His power and authority in everything!
And God knows the desires of our hearts. By His grace, as I walked in His will and took steps of faith, He lead me to meet my husband. We are now living in Cape Town and part of the body here. He put the desire in me to travel and gave me the patience I needed to see that desire fulfilled in His perfect timing.
Thank You Jesus!