I recently went to an anniversary celebration of our previous church home. My last post made it clear that we are exactly where we need to be in terms of a church. The leadership and teaching of Scott is much a part of that, so no part of this post is meant to seemingly diminish any of those feelings. This anniversary service was the perfect defining of “did my heart good”. It was the memories, far beyond our attendance there that got me. Talks of women in their cars Sunday morning and before VBS with a megaphone, calling all the neighbourhood kids to church. They would draw in over 200 kids from the community, for VBS which was likely more than the size of the congregation at that time. They talked of mentoring couple who would just show up and visit younger couples to spend time with them in fellowship and prayer. Persistently seeking them and challenging them in their desire to know the Lord. Finally there were stories about the revival. When we attended there we often heard talk of a time in the 1970’s when there was a real spiritual revival in the church. A true moving of the spirit in the people of the church. They talked of teenagers showing up Sunday morning and just staying after service and praying all day through to evening service, without it being planned or asked. Prayer meetings and gatherings constantly and spontaneously filling peoples homes. The church was their every moment, they needed it, craved the gatherings. Singing and celebrating Jesus as thought they could not contain it any longer. What I contemplated after was so many of the names listed in this time and throughout the church history as those who created change and passion in the church and community were women. Truly Godly women who had a heart for everyone around them. One woman shared and called her story “The Ripple Effect” and she talked of the ministry of women in the church and how it had rippled through them to her and so many others , the community and generations beyond. It was amazing to listen to and inspired me. After the memories Pastor Ken Smith came back to preach, and as it was for the 11 years (before his retirement) I sat under his teaching, there is almost not a sermon he preaches that did not bring me to tears. His heart and soul are so honestly exposed in his speaking that the emotion is unavoidable for me. I spent most the morning in or battling tears and afterwards I realized that it was the Holy spirit awakening my heart to possibility. He so sincerely believes in God ability to bring that passion and spiritual awakening to any church at any moment, and every time he talks about it, I know he is right. All I could think afterwards was “Oh how I wish this for our church in Mount Albert”. A sweeping of the Holy Spirit through the walls such that we could not hold our people back. Prayer meetings, studies and services overflowing with everyong hungry for God. Not even understanding why they want it so much, just knowing that they need it. I think of the great women I have come to know here at Hillside and I think of how God could use us as a passionate force to effect change in our community if we let Him have us completely. My prayer is that each one of us be so moved by the spirit that we are unable hold ourselves back, that God would just fill us so full that it overflows down the streets of our town. It is amazing in my mind to imagine an anniversary of Hillside in years to come where people would share about the great revival in 2015 where the Holy Spirit took hold of the church and Mount Albert was never the same. AMEN!