GAFCON — Through the Eyes of a Bishop’s Wife

The Lord’s hand was at work in a very powerful way as I watched the plans of the Lord unfold for GAFCON.  I saw up close several of those who had been asked to be on the planning committee. I saw the Lord work through His people. Many moved to prayer and others used to plan. Many people had been saying that they couldn’t go the way of the Episcopal Church for years now. We had sat in meeting after meeting. Unfortu­nate­ly walls went up.

At councils and conventions we had all sat together and heard people share how the Lord had saved them from destructive be­hav­iour patterns. So many testi­mon­ies were heard.

During our time at Truro we were members of the Compass Rose and were privileged to attend Lambeth 1998.

Rachel (our fifth child — with  downs syndrome) was disap­point­ed because she  was not allowed to attend the Queen’s garden party, as she was only 16 years of age. However, she loved the dance on her birthday and the fireworks that followed. She thought this was especially for her. She even danced between liberals and conservatives just seeing us all as “God’s children”. The General  secretary asked her to be his prayer partner and she has faith­fully prayed out loud for him every night for over ten years.

Since then we have attended every meeting possible to under­stand the crisis in the Anglican Com­mun­ion. Many people have prayed. We love the Anglican Communion! Friends from all over the world from many pro­vinces have stayed in our homes, from Connecticut to Louisiana, over the forty years we have lived in the USA.

We are family in the Anglican Com­munion.

At the meeting in Dar Es Salaam, it was agreed that CANA and AMIA would be in a safe place, and that we could follow the Lord’s last commandment, and “go ye there­fore into all the world, baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of Holy Spirit”, so I went home rejoicing. It was very sad that my husband was not one of the bishops to be inivited to Lambeth, but then St. Paul would not have been invited as I believe he crossed boundaries too. When you have experienced the risen Christ you know that He is Lord of all. Lord of the spiritual realm. We have “Good News” to tell the world. We have a loving God who wants the best for us. But we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Without confessing our sins and receiving the Holy Spirit we cannot have the power to live out our lives to His glory.

During one of our visits in Wales we were taken to a home for unmarried mothers.

The director proudly told us that one girl had been there for each pregnancy. When I asked about bible study and sharing the Gospel he said that they don’t push religion down their throat. What a tragedy when we have treasure from heaven to share. The oppor­tunity to share that Jesus can change us from the inside out. He is the Savior of the world.  I have seen so many lives changed.

The saddest thing to me is that people chose to ignore the testi­mony of those who had been caught up in destructive behav­iour and believe that it is not possible to change. Our de­cis­ions to reach out in love were misun­der­stood.

The so called in­clu­sive community is very exclu­sive. We had offered to help at Lambeth 2008 when visiting the Anglican Communion office and were told that no help was needed. We had booked a place to help people make phone calls home and have a place to relax and have a cup of tea and a place to sit, and this was cancelled. The Franciscan Center didn’t mind telling us who had cancel­led it. Someone had also cancel­led our intercessors’ rooms in Tanzania. This attitude makes me very sad.

The atmosphere at GAFCON was very different. There was Joy and excitement at Worship, with peo­ple from many different nations talk­ing and praying together.

A highlight was on the Sea of Galilee when several of the boats formed a circle in the middle of the sea and held a worship ser­vice. The sound of many praising the Lord was angelic.  Bishop Bill Attwood from Kenya spoke encour­aging words.

The Worship on the Mount of Olives and the Southern Steps were a high point.

The Body of Christ was at work bringing together the Conference. Without the help of so many peo­ple it would not have happened. I give my thanks to the many people at Christ Church who volunteered, and also to our Arab Christian friend in Bethlehem. He went to great lengths to get us the candles for the Holy Table. Through these Christians we saw the beauty of the body of Christ at work.

We all came back to our homes having made new friends from all over the world.

Eye has not seen nor ear heard the things that God has prepared for those who love Him!

All are invited but we will not stay as we are; we will all be changed by Him.

We are very grateful for the many prayers of the Saints of God around the world who were not present in the flesh. Thank you, Lord, for going before us in prayer and preparing the way!  A new day has dawned.

We have a Redeemer and His name is Jesus!

Angela Minns

Angela Minns was born in Nottingham England during the Second World War, and was educated at Nottingham Bluecoat School and Clarendon College. She met her husband-to-be Martyn Minns at 15 years of age. She married him at the age of 21, and they have been best friends ever since. They have five children and 12 grandchildren.

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