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Celebration Service, Watton

As the Toftwood Celebration Service was such a success and much appreciated by those who attended, we felt it right to arrange another Celebration Service, this time at Watton Pentecostal Church, on Saturday 9th March 2002.

The theme for the next weekend on 1st - 3rd November was "Entering into God's Rest", so we decided to focus on "Resting in His Presence", not realising this would become a reality on the night!

We made our plans - Rachael Adams from Watton Pentecostal Church and Anita Clarke from Dereham Baptist Church were leading the worship team, Angela Pye was leading the meeting and Tina Pawsey was to be the speaker.

Excitement and anticipation grew as we neared the date. We'd done all we could, we'd prepared ourselves, we'd prayed and asked the Lord to have his way. Our desire was for the evening to be an opportunity for women to 'Rest in His Presence'.

Then the unexpected happened! There was a power cut in Watton during the afternoon of Saturday 9th March. Half the town was blacked out, including the church building! We prayed … and prayed … and prayed!

The meeting was due to start at 7.30 pm and as the time drew nearer, with no electricity restored, some very helpful men from Watton Pentecostal Church put candles all around the church. The effect on walking into the church was quite lovely. The building began to fill up with women from many different churches around the area and we were thrilled that so many had come along. Still we believed that the electricity would be restored in time for the start of the meeting, but it wasn't!

Undeterred, we went ahead, believing that God had something special in store for us. Anita was unable to play her piano brought over especially for the event and we had no microphones. But we had a guitar and our voices and a determination to worship the Lord whatever happened.

We began to worship and it felt as though we were moving into the holy of holies, right into God's presence. The Holy Spirit was hovering over us - it was almost tangible and at one time it seemed that no-one wanted to move and break the intimacy that women were enjoying with the Lord.

Tina's message was about the journey into God's presence and where we were on that journey, what obstacles needed removing to enable us to move closer to God, and how we can learn to dwell in God's presence.

After the message, prayer ministry was offered and during that time, worship continued. There was a hushed silence at one point when we allowed God to minister to us, as we rested in his presence.

When speaking to some of the women afterwards, they thought the candlelight was deliberate and remarked how lovely it looked as they entered the church. They commented that it was a very special time and some of them felt more able to draw closer to God in the intimacy of the candlelight.

Those who were ministering in leading or speaking all felt as though we'd muddled through the evening, but by the end of the service, we realised that God had answered our prayer. He took away all the things we rely on and ministered to us Himself as we dwelt in His presence.

The electricity came back on at about 11.00 pm!

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