In July 2006 a casual comment to me from Apostle André Pelser made a connection with my spirit and I received the comment as an instruction. Apostle André had just returned from visiting Eagles Wings Ministry in Portland where a decade before he was ordained as an Apostle and sent back with the message on Apostolic Reformation to South Africa. His comment to me was, ‘you should go to Portland’.
On my return from those meetings in South Africa that phrase reverberated in my spirit. After our summer holiday I wrote an e-mail to Apostle Richard telling him who I was and that I had enjoyed his book ‘Not Many Fathers’. His reply contained a suggestion that if I was in the States around Christmas and New Year would I be willing to come to be one of the speakers at a Prophetic Gathering. Out of that invitation our relationship with ‘Sir’ Richard began and I have visited the Church on several occasions since and even attended his wedding to Prophet Cheryl in June 2009.
It was during my trip to South Africa in April and May this year that Apostle Richard asked if I could come to be the main speaker at the celebration of forty years of Eagles Wings Ministries. I initially felt that it would be too much since I would have been in South Africa for five weeks and away on holiday for another week and I had a need to work to replenish my funds sometime. After some consideration I agreed to go and my flights were booked.
I arrived in Portland late Monday 13th June around 11:20 in the evening to be greeted by Richard and Cheryl. I have my own special bedroom in the rear of the upstairs part of the building not far from the restroom and kitchen. A little small but cosy. They have a unique church building with a Theatre, Sanctuary, Bookshop, Arts Prop Room and Church Offices. They have two guest bedrooms as well as two apartments for staff.
The special meetings didn’t start until the Friday which was a presentation of the history of the ministry by Pastor Richard Sharp. I had some shopping to do to buy goodies for my family members back home. I’ve gotten used to hiring a car to allow me to do my own thing in the daytime and not be reliant on others to chauffeur me around.
Tuesday I shopped in the morning and after lunch I went with Apostle to visit Teacher Debbie Anderson, his daughter. She is staying in a Rehabilitation Centre after having broken her leg in a fall. She also is undergoing treatment for cancer and has been suffering quite a bit over the past year or so. It wasn’t the best of places to meet Debbie but we were able to spend quite a while with her. It has been a blessing for Debbie to be able to be in a place where she is supported. Her husband Jeff has looked after her well but also has a full-time job to contend with.
Wednesday I went with Apostle Richard to look at a new car he was thinking of buying. He is a Buick fan and was currently driving an Enclave. It is in UK terms a large SUV. He decided to trade this in for another Buick but was torn between an Envision and an Encore. The Encore was the first we tested. It was the smaller of the two and was in my eyes still a large car. After the test drive he thought it was too small! We then had a decent test drive in the Envision. What a beautiful ride! He decided on that and a few hours later we were driving this brand new car out of the dealers and home. It was amazing to witness the favour of God. First a $1000 discount appeared as the finances were being worked out, then the interest rate reduced as the electronic forms were being completed. What a testimony to the glory of God. I have never seen a quick sale like that since I went out and bought my first car which is also a story of God’s provision.
The Friday evening was a great evening. I was reunited with someone I hadn’t seen since Richard and Cheryl’s wedding, Apostle Gloria Sheppard. She had flown in from her home in Dallas, Texas to attend and truly ministered in song at all the meetings. Pastor Sharp narrated the story of the forty years condensed into just over an hour. It was full of humorous anecdotes and great testimonies. Like any story there were also the sad and times of suffering. It was a story of the faithfulness of a God who clearly has anointed and equipped Apostle Richard in his call of service.
Saturday evening was the next meeting. The worship was powerful and God was definitely present. I spoke on the Generational Church. The word emphasised the fact that we are a chosen generation, part of the eternal church. It was an encouragement for the saints in Eagles Wings not to see this celebration as coming to an end of things but rather a spurring on to do more. There were several prophecies I gave to different people. It was a special time and many responded well.
Sunday was Father’s Day and it was forty years ago on 20th June 1976 that Eagles Wings Ministries (or the forerunner) started. The worship is prophetic in style and content with much interaction and prophetic acts. God’s presence was powerfully felt. There was much emotion and Apostle Richard led with the same song he used forty years earlier, ‘Father God’. It was powerful. I spoke on the theme ‘Laying Your Lives Down’ which has been a message I have felt strongly to bring to many churches this year. The response was good and there were once again several people prophesied to. As one member of the church put it later, ‘much was done in the Spirit’. We await the manifestation.
After the service we had a fellowship meal together. It was good to interact with members of the Body there and other visitors. They call me a part of the family and treat me as such.
After a good breakfast on the Monday with Apostles Richard and Gloria and Prophet Cheryl I picked up my hire car and headed for the airport. It seemed a long way home. I travelled via Los Angeles. I had to walk between terminals and it was so hot, well into the 30’s. The flight from Los Angeles was running late and I had a coach to catch from Heathrow home. I didn’t think I would make it. Once again my heavenly Father stepped in. I got off the plane before most (I was on the send to back row I might add of a large plane), went through immigration in record time and my bag was amongst the first to arrive on the conveyor belt. I arrived at the Central Coach Station with time to spare.
It was a worthwhile trip. I am planning to return with a team from Harvester Birmingham hopefully next year God willing. That will be special.
I thank God for all His love and favour. My expenses were met and I felt that new beginnings happened for Eagles Wings. Here’s to the next forty years!