Greetings, AMI friends.
I trust that you are well and thoroughly enjoyed your Easter celebration.
The ministry of AMI continues to flourish on all fronts. This year has already been very productive and I would like to share some highlights with you.
In early February, Ted Fowler and I joined Pastor Miguel and four others from our AMI church in Mexico on a ministry trip to Cuba. We had a profound time in a country that seems fifty years behind in many ways, but we found the people incredibly humble and hungry for God.
The six of us stayed together in a rental home, which proved very beneficial for building deeper relationships, sharing meals and one bathroom! We also had the opportunity to invite several Cuban pastors to join us for dinner and fellowship. We had numerous meetings with two of the Cuban pastors who are leaders to about 30 other pastors and churches. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know them and share our AMI values, practices, and priorities. We are in what we call a “dating relationship” with these pastors and churches. Meaning, we do not enter into a full commitment until we have had adequate time to get to know each other.
Also, while we were in Cuba, we taught “The Kingdom of God” in a four-day seminar with notes translated into Spanish. Each day of the seminar was well-attended by all 30 pastors and some brought church members along as well. We were pleased that 50 to 60 people were in attendance each day and they were eager to learn and to experience the Spirit and His power. During this time, we prayed for numerous people, and it seemed that all those who received prayer for healing were healed! We were living and experiencing Luke chapter 10! The Cuban pastors told us that many have come to Cuba to minister, but no one came prepared with notes and a teaching. That was so uplifting to them, and what a privilege it was to be the first to demonstrate and impart the power of the Spirit! I know this sound grandiose, but it’s actually true! This further reveals how necessary the renewal ministry of AMI is.
The church that we held our seminar in was a Baptist church. The pastor of this church said he would not attend our meetings, but after seeing and hearing, he changed his mind. The Baptist pastor was filled with the Spirit, and went on to testify that he was no longer a Baptist pastor but a “Word and Spirit” pastor. Now, that is profound! Following the seminar, the Baptist pastor asked me to speak at his church in the upcoming Sunday morning service, and of course, I accepted. I preached the Spirit and power and all those attending received, with some falling and crying. Yes, Lord!
We will join Pastor Miguel in June, as we return to Cuba to continue our dating relationship with the churches there.
Vera Cruz, Mexico
In March, Compassion Church, which is our AMI affiliate in Mexico, was celebrating their 10th anniversary. I had the wonderful opportunity to attend, along with my son, Luke Bourns. The Sunday morning celebration was very encouraging in many ways, and the church was beyond capacity with over 500 attending. The Mexicans know how to celebrate! They showed a video which contained an overview of ten years of church life. At the end of the video they thanked me for my investment in their lives and their church. They continued by saying that I had been there 22 times in 10 years and spent 2,680 hours with them personally. This tender moment of their thankfulness made me cry and I thank God for these wonderful people.
Following the celebration, we spent several hours each morning with Pastor Miguel and his wife Jenny. We spoke with them regarding how to advance their church in Mexico and how to advance into Cuba.
During this same time, we taught a four-day seminar called “Spiritual Warfare and Demonization.” This seminar was well-attended with approximately 150 people each evening. We came prepared with notes, powerful teaching, and ministry time after each session. In the first two nights, all who attended responded to ministry, and we had several people manifest demons, which were cast out. Yes, Lord!
In the last session of the seminar, 75 people responded to the ministry invitation for those dealing with various types of demonic influences. Most of those who responded had some degree of demonization. There were demonic manifestations during this time, but successful ministry was received by all, and the captives were set free!
We love the Compassion Church in Vera Cruz and plan to continue our apostolic ministry to them!
Belfast & Northern Ireland
I will be traveling to Belfast in April; it will be my first time to visit Destination Church Belfast since they launched their Sunday morning services. They are doing very well in their first three months and I am excited to be present and participate in their success.
I will have the opportunity to speak in the Sunday morning service and in the evening service we will have a “Worship and Ministry night.” Wes Grierson, whom many of you know, has a new band called Remnant, and they will lead worship for this evening event which is sponsored by DCB and AMI.
Following this report, Andrew Montgomery, AMI Ireland Director, will give further details about AMI Ireland and DCB.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support for AMI. What an incredible blessing it is to partner with you.
Remember this is the Hebrew year 5777, which represents special grace, divine order, and triple perfection to you!
Dr. Dennis Bourns
Please do not post or re-communicate details of this communiqué on any websites or blog sites.
Greetings from AMI Ireland!
There is only one story dominating the life and witness of AMI Ireland in the last quarter: the launch of Sunday morning services for Destination Church Belfast [DCB]!
Much planning and preparation was eclipsed by much more prayer and seeking God for the task ahead, confident in His leading that in the words of Caleb, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” [Num 13:30]. This faith was also tempered with the prayer of St Brendan “Protect me, O Lord, my boat is so small, and your sea is so big” as we clung to the sides or held on to the oars and just kept on rowing through the storms and the swell!
So on Sunday 8th January 2017 at 10.30am in Mossley Pavilion, Newtownabbey Northern Ireland, DCB had its first morning service! In spite of the intensity, and at times, significant adversity, of the preparation, the sense of celebration, joy and peace was quite incredible! Our proceedings had no nervousness or anxiety that can so easily stir up awkwardness and restrict Holy Spirt flow.
We had a total of 93 in attendance, two and a half times our largest gathering to date in DCB!! The hall was full which was so encouraging! We had expected support from friends and family, and we were not disappointed, with some individuals travelling significant distances to be with us. We had to expect our own core people to attend in full and they did, serving, loving and participating fully in all the various aspects of Sunday worship inclusive of children’s ministry (Kingdom Kids and Kingdom Tots).
What we had also hoped and prayed for were ‘new’ people, drawn by personal invitation or our publicity. This also happened, but in some surprising ways! We found that some individuals attended with little or no apparent interest in church, but they invited their mothers and relations as well! One lady had a dream in which she was ministered to and struck down by the power of the Spirit. She was rather bemused by the dream because what she dreamt had never happened in reality. The next day she received one of our 2000 flyers distributed to the homes around our church venue and felt convicted to join us at the launch… and she loved it!
Part of the DCB vision statement is to “prioritise God’s presence as a community known for His love…” And that we did at our first Sunday morning worship, and intend to do so every Sunday until Christ returns! We worshipped, experienced His presence, responded to receive more of Him following the message, related, ate cake and gave out pens and balloons! It was a grand time!
Knowing that there is always more in God’s economy, and always assessment and tuning to do, we believe that we gave a good testimony to the church and its head Jesus Christ. The Sunday morning launch is the end of the beginning for DCB and exciting days lie ahead!
Since our launch we have had a steady stream of visitors come amongst us for the 1st time each Sunday morning, almost without exception. In this season of gathering, our challenge is keeping those who visit!! Some came just to support us on our 1st Sunday morning and have come regularly ever since! Some have come for the 1st time, are full of praise and excitement and what they have seen and experienced, and they don’t come back!! And everyone else is somewhere in between.
We continue to welcome everyone enthusiastically, build relationships, and involve those who want to, to come on our adventure! We are seeing a steady stream of testimonies as we see lives being transformed and people experiencing new found freedom, inclusive of regular healings.
For your further encouragement, here are some excerpts from one of our AMI Ireland intern’s end of year reflection [reproduced with permission]:
“I have been so encouraged and uplifted by participating in the programme and I know I have learnt and grown so much… I feel really expectant for what is still to come… There’s been fruit that has sprouted without me even really noticing it. I’ve liked that fruit the best – like you just wake up one day and there it is! It’s been a beautiful process and I am so thankful. My overwhelming emotions at the end of this year are of thankfulness and humility. I have loved being part of the intern family, I have been humbled by the love I have been shown, and the intentional discipleship I have received. I love that people have been patient with me when I’ve needed it. I’ve loved that I’ve pushed when I’ve needed it. I’ve loved that I have never once felt like this has been a painful process (which was a pleasant surprise to be honest) – it’s felt like a process of transformation into who I was really meant to be. There’s been times when it’s felt awkward and uncomfortable – growing
pains as such – but I’ve (largely) managed to get over it, and to submit and there has always been blessing from it.”
Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support on this grand adventure here in Ireland!!
(Director AMI Ireland)