The year 2018 marks twenty determined, persistent years of taking responsibility. In March, those many years ago, God woke me from sleep with the command, “Eileen Take responsibility!” I knew exactly what that meant, the Lord had been speaking to me for weeks until all my attention was focused upon the prayer-need of San Antonio, TX. My concern was real, but I had no confidence that I could do anything about it; after all I had no experience in mobilizing a huge city for prayer. My confidence was further dented when I was told, in no uncertain words that, as a “foreigner” I would never be accepted in Texas! We had arrived in San Antonio in 1991 from England after a history of church planting and missions in India and England.
From that beginning, the Spirit of the Lord birthed City Reachers for the Love of San Antonio. During those days of seeking God’s will, my heart was broken as I was swept over by love for our wonderful city. With His continual tutoring I came to see that His plan was to revive the church and then with a fresh passion in the hearts of God's people, nothing would keep them from sharing Christ and little by little the city would be transformed.
Now, 20 years later we have much to celebrate. The years of praying, organizing, teaching, exhorting and networking have ploughed the soil of the hearts of the people of our city. People are being saved, new churches are being started, there is collaboration between ministries and each sphere of society is being challenged to work towards a united goal for the transformation of every area of our city. Our desire is to see the kingdom of God invading every place, capturing people's lives as they fall in love with our Lord Jesus. The end result would be a step towards fulfilling the prayer of Jesus. Lord, "Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven".
During the early years of the ministry, our principal effort was directed towards inspiring and encouraging churches to pray for the city, through 17 years of radio ministry and countless prayer events, large and small, publications, training and mentoring. Now, our focus is directed towards encouraging congregations to see the need of the city outside the church walls and engage in some of the frontline activities that fire the hearts of those who gather monthly at the San Antonio Christian Leaders Forum.
No doubt many of you reading this know that something has happened. We may not be able to identify the "something" but we know the spiritual atmosphere over the city has changed. National statistics usually count denominational church numbers when ascertaining the health of the church, but it is almost impossible to accurately measure church growth. Today there are hundreds of vibrant churches meeting in all manner of unconventional places. They are multiplying at an amazing rate, and other churches are in building programs as they endeavor to accommodate the many who are finding Christ. The body of Christ is growing!
San Antonio is multi-cultural and this is reflected in the huge variety of churches with many languages and styles of worship. Yet, despite all our differences, we are one body of Christ and we are all born of the same Spirit. It is a testimony to the truth that we truly know each other by the Spirit.
As we entered this new year the Lord spoke to me while praying for the city; This is a New day! A day of opportunity, a day of reaping what has been sown. A day of completing. Now, new initiatives will be birthed, collaboration will be seen in the church and spiritual leaders will be raised up; those who see the city and exercise spiritual authority. We will see the beginning of the five-fold ministries coming together. They create a canopy of spiritual authority over the city under which many ministries will flourish, and demonic control and influence is forced to withdraw.
As we celebrate 300 years of Mission City this year, let Fiesta come to the church with extravagant worship, praise, joy, dancing and pageant. Let us celebrate our King! Return to your mission roots San Antonio! Lift up the name of Jesus in life, in worship and through the Word and He will draw all men to Himself.
Let’s live in expectation. We have a window of opportunity to see the glorious work of God advance upon our city. Hope is good, but now exercise faith in God's word and trust Him to answer our prayer of many years. Now we must mix our faith with God-ordained action for the love of San Antonio.
Obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit as he tells you to speak His word to that person you casually meet, or perhaps a family member who has been so unresponsive till now. We are in a New Day, expect so much more. This is Kairos time for the Mission City!
“He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.” (Isa 51:3, NKJV)
What a place! “....and she shall be a watered garden.” (Isa 58:11, NKJV) “....and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” (Isa 61:11)
What a place! What a glorious prospect!
What you sow you shall reap! Rejoice San Antonio!! [RT]
~ Eileen Vincent
Its City Reachers 20th Anniversary! Join us in this time of Celebration, Bring a Celebration offering and Receive a Powerful word from the Lord!