Hope Fest, the annual celebration of Hope UK, was held from 25-28 March at the beautiful Whitemoor Lakes Centre in Staffordshire, 3 hours away from London. With the theme Victory, the aim was not just to attain greater knowledge but to also experience greater victory in both natural and spiritual realms.
The six lessons were arranged in a coherent flow. Our Glorious Hope, the first lesson, gave an assurance that victory is God’s promise and a glorious hope for every believer. The Enemies of Our Souls dealt with the two enemies, our own flesh and the devil. It is not either the flesh or the devil, but both of these enemies contribute to our problems. Spiritual Battle articulated the roles of different agents that God provides to help us battle against our enemies triumphantly. At the Cross, coinciding with Easter Sunday, brought us back to the cross of Christ, the foundation of our faith and the basis for our victory. Free Indeed celebrated the fact that God has set us free to live a life that is pleasing to Him as His children and to serve His purpose.
To sum up the teachings, Ps Marcus Rose, the leader of Hope Germany and our guest speaker, led the congregation into a time of thanksgiving to the Lord. The entire congregation read through and pondered upon Psalm 136. He then encouraged them to craft their own thanksgiving message and to share it with the congregation. Seeing hundreds of people come forward to express their heartfelt gratefulness to God was a stunning sight.
Practical workshops were provided in three streams. The Victorious Living Stream suggested to participants how to be victorious in different areas. The Spiritual Development Stream was for those who wanted to bring their spiritual lives to a higher level. Those who desired to be more effective in their ministries opted for the Ministry Equipping stream.
One of the most memorable experiences was the water baptism. Apart from the fact that we celebrated our brothers and sisters who decided to commit their lives to Jesus Christ, it was one of the coldest water baptisms. The venue was by a lake, where the water baptism took place. However, the water was unexpectedly icy cold. In the past few years, water baptism was conducted in a heated pool where everyone was eager to linger in the pool. This year, even though the thought of soaking in the chilly water was daunting, they braved the cold out of their obedience to Jesus’ command! It was perhaps the quickest baptism I have come across.