by Laurie-Ann Copple
"From a Rainbow to a Tapestry" - Laurie-Ann Zachar Copple, July 2021 (c)
Sometimes Tony and I attend Hillsong Africa church in the Somerset West location near Somerset Mall. Due to the distance from where we have lived in Worcester, it's difficult to go more than once a month. Covid restrictions made it even more difficult, but L-A in particular, enjoyed Hillsong Africa's "church-on-the-line" services as well as participated with Tony in Zoom calls with our Hillsong connect group. We were particularly excited when things opened up a bit (before the third wave hit). One Sunday they had a live worship team, although the sermon and corporate announcements were still a recorded message via "church-on-the-line" and it counted as a socially distanced watch party, with a live team. The air was electric with excitement, and Tony, Bella and I were drawn in by the live worship. L-A bounced, Tony's hands went in the air and Bella hopped around. We were teased by co-pastor Anneli, since we were in the front row, eager to worship. She said that it was an exciting thing to see seniors (Tony and me) in the front row, just lapping up everything that was coming from Holy Spirit and the speakers. Haha, it was fun.
During that morning, Pastor Phil Dooley shared about Hillsong Africa become a place where people who were traumatized by racial injustice, persecution, and violence could be safe and accepted. They also had interviews with several Hillsong "rooms," including the US East Coast hub-room, since there had been controversy there. There needed to be healing. So stress, injustice and racism became a theme that was openly talked about. They raised awareness, but also opened a channel for healing through pastoral care and journeying with people who have been hurt in this way.
So this was the wonderful context in which I received a powerful impression, which I have included in this article. As Pastor Phil shared about his wish for healing racial injustice to his parishioners who were suffering, I received this picture. Father God shared his heart for South Africa, and that he wanted to transform the Rainbow Nation from a nation of separate rainbow streams, to a tapestry, where every thread would count. The threads by themselves would be weak, but together, they would be strong. I wouldn't be surprised if God also wants to weave in threads of his love and faithfulness in that tapestry.
I have found that so many South Africans are open to the Gospel, and to Jesus. They say yes when we ask them if they would like prayer. It's easy to share your faith. We will miss this when we return to Canada. South Africa truly is a treasure in God's hands, despite the years of apartheid and corporate colonialism from those who founded the Cape Colony. That may be old news, but it's time for that foundation to be transformed in some way. Racism, tribalism (a pan-African issue), and hated must go.
May the Holy Spirit change hearts, and help transform all the issues as they are brought before Jesus, one by one. May the poor respond to God like never before, as he provides for their needs and more. May the middle class wake up out of tunnel vision to see others around them. May the rich realize that there is more beyond their bubble. Open their eyes, Lord. Open everyone's eyes to see your face in the least of these, and so be blessed in deep ways. Bring deep, meaningful connections between different peoples. In Jesus' name, Amen.
by Laurie-Ann Copple
Tony and I travelled to Cape Agulas, the southern tip of Africa on Family Day (Easter Monday) this year. This trip took us a one and a half hour drive through Robertson, Bonnievale, Stormsvlei and Bredesdorp to the lighthouse.
I wanted to be at the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and even stood at the boundary, with one foot on one side and one foot on the other (you can find this on the Copple-blog page). So almost a month later, I saw an impression during a time of worship at Worcester Christian Church. The lighthouse in my vision had bright beams. Instead of just the light, the lighthouse was singing praises to the Father.
In front of the lighthouse, was the ocean - the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Just as the two oceans meet at Cape Agulhas, so brothers and sisters in Christ meeting in love and worship converge together into one. We were praising Father, Son and Holy Spirit together. Jesus sees us all as the church. Don't get stuck on our differences. Jesus is the light of the world, and through him, we reflect this light when we worship together. Do not fear the darkness, because Jesus has overcome. Go and be light to the world.
Here's Rend Collective's "My Lighthouse," which shows the beauty of Jesus' light perfectly.
by Laurie-Ann Copple
Worcester Christian Church, November 25, 2018
I shared this word this morning at our church: When we were worshipping, I saw a picture that we all need to pray into. I saw an impression of the Lord setting up NETS of different levels around this House (church). These nets have two purposes: One, to draw people to Jesus from their desperate lives without him. The second purpose is to catch those who would fall through the cracks. This is basically to reach out in pastoral care and love to all the hurting in our congregation and beyond. There were nets upon nets. We are all encouraged to grab onto one of them. There is a harvest coming , so we need all of us to tend these nets. We need all of us. Lord, make us ready to be tannies, ooms, oumas, oupas, moms, dads, big sisters and brothers.
Note: Worship leader Marius Rabie approached me after that word and shared that this was in line with Holy Spirit nudging him to play the song “Arise” at the end of the service as a call to action. He shared with the congregation that when the revival comes, the church will double in size in just a week (who knows what's beyond that??)
by Laurie-Ann Copple
Photo by Ursula of Ursula's Weekly Wanders photo blog (It's pretty close to the impression I received, but not quite).
This morning, I received an impression during worship at Worcester Christian Church that we are invited to thirst after God. Psalm 42:1 shares of this thirst in the cry, "As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after you." We are encouraged to come and drink the living water. Jesus issued this invitation in John chapter 7.
One of the worship songs touched on our need and our thirst. It was then I had a strong impression of camels in the desert. They were on their way to a deep trough of water. Yet in the vision, this wasn't just a trough filled with water from a hose or pipe, like Ursula's picture above. It was spiritual living water. Jesus announced that he can give the living water. John 7:37-39 goes as follows: On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”[e] 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given,[f] because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) When Jesus attended the festival mentioned in John 7, he would have been standing by a trough of water that the priest would use for a prophetic enactment. The priest's action was to symbolize the river of life coming from the temple of God in Jerusalem. This promise is shown in Ezekiel 47. Yet Jesus was actually the temple that the waters would issue from. Those waters are the Holy Spirit.
And so, Jesus also encourages US to be thirsty for the living water and to drink deeply. We prayed for physical rain in South Africa - especially the Western Cape, since Cape Town and where we are in the Breede River valley has had three years of no significant rainfall. The concern of Cape Town running out of water was a real one (and water conservation is still an issue in that city). Yet since the Angus Buchan "It's Time" prayer gathering of repentance and prayer (in March 2018), there has been much more rainfall. Due to that rain, we are having a beautiful spring. So God has brought physical rainfall and he is also bringing more spiritual rainfall of the Holy Spirit.
However, some of us have been so used to being in the desert or drought conditions (physically and spiritually). These people try not to drink, except in emergencies. But you can't live like that! When I shared this word with the congregation, the Holy Spirit reminded me of how I used to do this as well. I was then in the midst of the Toronto Blessing revival and I ministered with street people in downtown Toronto, Canada. I gave and gave to them. And one evening the Holy Spirit had me flat on the floor receiving more of him. I was not allowed to get up and serve. I had to stay and receive. I was given an impression that I had brought street people up to a banquet table with all the best kinds of food. Yet I gave myself crumbs and junk food that I would eat in a hurry. I needed to be filled too! Pastor John Arnott used to say that you can't minister out of an empty cup. Heidi Baker also tells people that you must minister out of the overflow. You can't minister in your own power or love, you will burn out.
What is wonderful is that our God gives us more than enough. It is there, and available. We are encouraged to drink deeply, so that living water will flow out of us to those around us. And we need to receive and be hydrated ourselves.
So Lord, I ask that you touch the people who are reading this word. If they are struggling and feel dry, show them that you have given them permission to come and drink deeply of you. They don't need to sip, they can drink deeply. There is always more than enough of you.
May we meet at the fountain together.
by Laurie-Ann Copple
Last Sunday morning, I saw one of the worship leaders with the worship team this morning in the spirit. He was worshipping in the throne room and the light was blue all around him. The Father of Lights was shining into him with love and power. Holy Spirit was flooding him like a waterfall that was not stopping. His eyes were closed and completely focused on Jesus. The Holy Spirit was using him as a vessel of blessing to pour out his light. The light streamed out of him in rainbow colours, bringing all kinds of rainbows in the sanctuary; like he was the prism. The light was also living water, so it was an amazing combination of light and water. Power and nourishment bringing life from the Lord.
I saw the colours fill the room, birthing prophetic creativity into our church. It was to touch not only our church, but all of Worcester. Yet it was just beginning to be birthed here at WCG. I asked Holy Spirit, what was the blue light, and it was the prophetic, coming from the throne of God, from the heart of the Father. The colours are prophetic creativity. That fits, since I've been seeing and drawing rainbows for over a year now.
I believe that we need to pray for more intercessors to birth this move of God properly - out of pure motives, humility and a true desire to be sent ones with his love, and in his way. This isn't about us, for the creativity is to point to Him. The prophetic creative move will enliven WCG even more, but it will affect Worcester, by opening their hearts in wonder. It's time for them to open their eyes. They are seeing the world around them through the lens of a black and white camera. There is no colour - just black, white and grey. Papa wants to bring colour, salvation, love and more.
We need to pray, pray, and seek his face.
Of note, Worcester Christian Church is having a Christian arts festival in October 2018 - this may be part of the church's response to this call in our hearts. I also have been responding in teaching children art, and sharing prophetic art and colouring in the kids clubs in which we are involved. Yet, this is only a small part of what's in God's heart. I welcome it, Lord. Bring your creativity, colours and more that points to you!
Here is the colouring book version of the worship leader with the blue beams of Holy Spirit creativity flowing in and through him.