In the height of the troubles in Northern Ireland, I was with the Maranatha team in …. Town Hall.
There was much pain in that place in a crowded meeting. In the centre of the room we had a little table with a cross, a candle and a little bible just to remind ourselves that Jesus is the light of the world, He is the living word and He died for us. We had two men there – Tom, former IRA gunman, James, former UVF bomber – former enemies, they came together.
They found their faith. I prayed with them but publicly they stood up, one by one, and they asked for the forgiveness of the people that they had terrorised in the name of Jesus.
The people in that crowded meeting were staggered, amazed, surprised beyond words and begin to weep. These two men knelt at that little table and sought forgiveness and that opened the floodgates in that room for healing and one by one people were coming and asking for forgiveness, for the hatred they bore to the other side – Catholics and Protestants embracing one another.
English people asking Irish people for forgiveness for what they have done in the past century and Irish people asking English people for what their bombers have done in the mainland in England.
That meeting became a meeting of repentance as that huge number of people came to the table with tears flowing down their cheeks, with arms around one another and Christ brought his healing.
Tom and James embraced one another and that day began a great ministry of healing as they went out into the schools and spoke of Jesus and his power to heal, as they went into the wider community, living examples of the healing of Christ.
My prayer is that God will raise more ‘Tom’s and ‘James’ up in all countries of the world, that eyes may be opened to see Jesus – his love, his truth, his power, his peace.
God bless you.