On a Quest for New Location for GOHOP

We are guests.

And have always been.

For the entire life of GOHOP, over 13 years, we have been the grateful recipients of the hospitality of others.

First it was the Crossroads Centre in Burlington, where for seven years they gave us free prayer and office space, complete with 24/7 access and security.

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And then Youth Unlimited, up in Waterdown, invited us to come and pray at a little house that would eventually be torn down and replaced with their exciting new Centre for Youth Excellence.

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And a local church, Flamborough Christian Fellowship, donated a room at their facility for us to set up an office.

When we responded to God’s call to bring the House of Prayer to downtown Hamilton, Hughson Street Baptist and True City offered us prayer and collaborative office space.

And then Philpott Church generously gave us access to the Vine, a block from Jackson Square, where we have been praying for the last few years. Rent free. In fact, it cost them to have us there, in terms of utility expenses.

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For the entire life of our little urban monastery, the generosity of others has made it possible for us to devote ourselves to prayer, urban mission, and developing leaders in the city.

Hughson and Philpott are now in exciting seasons of renovation and expansion, but it means for us that the time has come to find another place for our office and prayer room, hopefully by the end of September/mid October.

When it was time for us to move to Hamilton, The Lord gave us a word, to speak to our friends and enter the city. I wrote about it some time ago here.

So as we are discerning next steps, it made good sense to us to speak to our friends about the upcoming move and to see what doors God might open through those conversations.

Please pray for us as we transition, and drop me an email if you want to chat about it, and pray and dream together! God has been faithful to date, and we look forward eagerly to see what He has next for us. All of us. Together.

Truck By Day, Fire By Night

“So we were thinking, if you’re already doing 17 hours of prayer a day in the truck, why not just add another 7 hours and pray through the night?”

I was chatting with Andrew and Kristen, team leaders of MoveIn Hamilton.  We’ve been buddies for a while, loving on and praying for and with one another.

“30 days is a long time.  If you think you can do it…” (ah, to be so young and energetic, I thought).

When Hammerhop (the other House of Prayer in town) heard that MoveIn wanted to do 30 Nights of Fire, they didn’t hesitate, and marshalled their resources as well.

MoveIn, Hammerhop, and GOHOP, working together.  One of the beautiful things about what God is doing in Hamilton, is building collaborations built on friendship, mutual respect, and shared vision.

So for the last month, with the exception of a Sabbath night every Saturday night/Sunday morning, there has been 24/7 worship and prayer for Hamilton.

30 Nights of Fire at the True City Office.

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The crowd at 6 am this morning...
The crowd at 6 am this morning…

And then, at 7 am, the baton was handed to the Prayer Truck

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Then at midnight, back to the night watch team again!

“I found it to be an amazing complement,” said Laurie, who frequented both Truck and 30 Nights of Fire.  Get filled up at night in His presence, just worshipping Him, and pouring it out in the Truck by day, bringing His presence to the neighbourhood.

I arrived at 6 am this morning, to catch the tail end of the last shift of the 30 Nights of Fire.  They were singing, dancing, praying and proclaiming over the city.  Praying through the night is difficult.  Praying through 30 nights in a row is miraculous! 

“Thank you all for your sacrificial service,” I had an opportunity to share with them, right at the end.   “In prayer rooms like these, behind closed doors, we build invisible things.  But there is a river that makes glad the city of God.  The Lord Most High is in the midst of her, and she will not fail.  God will be with her at the break of day!”

Tonight we finishing up the Prayer Truck with a Barbecue at 7, at the truck.  We will feast together, enjoy each other, and enjoy God’s goodness in our midst.  30 days of night and day prayer for the city.  Several salvations, many hearings.  Countless divine appointments.  Lives changed.  We have much to celebrate!

True City Conference – Tale of Two Kingdoms Feb 21 & 22

It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

“Our churches are figuring out how to collaborate together around mission – we’re pretty good at that part.  What we need from you is help strengthening the prayer piece.”  Dave Witt, the leader of True City, explained.

“Hmmm, you’re probably better at prayer than you think you are.  Maybe you just don’t recognize what your prayer language is.”  I countered.

That was seven years ago, and over the last years we have enjoyed a fruitful partnership.  GOHOP teachers have been invited to teach at True City churches.  I’ve met with leaders on a consultative basis to look at strengthening prayer in their churches.  We are developing emergent leaders from True City churches in our 10 month Studies in New Monasticism Internship.  Many True City folks participate in the Prayer Truck with us each summer.  And together we have mobilized the one, and now two weeks of 24/7 prayer around the annual True City Conference.

This year’s conference is going to be a good one!  Check out the conference video and come join us as we learn, serve and pray together for the good of the city!  I’m helping to lead one of the workshops, which will explore “lifestyles of resistance”.

Many Streams Make One River – Bob and Gracie Ekblad coming to Hamilton

In just over a week, from January 25-30, GOHOP will be hosting Bob and Gracie Ekblad. Bob and Gracie will spend their time building up the GOHOP community. They will be visiting with with Mission Services, The Living Rock, Barnabas Prophetic group as well as meeting with a number different leaders in the Hamilton community.

Who are they? Bob is bridge-builder. As a pastor, practitioner and theologian, he weaves together different streams of the Church: the charismatic, contemplative, academic and social justice. He and his wife, Gracie, have given their lives to bring “the good news of God’s love and liberation in Jesus to the poor and outcasts.” His work includes, prison and gang outreach, teaching graduate students, running New Earth Refuge retreat centre, preaching, running a recovery house, leading English and Spanish services and running a family support centre. He is also the founder and director of The People’s Seminary and Tierra Nueva, a multi-faceted ministry in Honduras and Burlington, Washington. Having experienced work of the Holy Spirit in life-changing ways, Bob and Gracie’s work is profoundly infused and empowered the by the Holy Spirit. They seek healing, deliverance and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit wherever they minister. Bob also teaches internationally on hearing God’s voice, reading the bible with people on the margins and on advocacy. He lives with his wife and three children in Burlington, Washington. For more information about Bob, visit www.bobekblad/about/.com.

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Come to Spaghetti Tuesday on the 28th and have dinner with Bob and Gracie, and stay tuned to hear where and when you can meet them over the course of the week.

The View From Here

Today I gathered a group of a Hamilton leaders for a working lunch where we discussed where we saw God at work in the city. It’s the first of a series of lunches we are calling “the view from here”. Each person got five minutes to share their perspective, after which the rest of us could ask questions.

As we munched on Indian Dahl and naan bread, several themes began to emerge. Here are some highlights.

– the key role of coffee shops as third spaces in the city, where relational connections amongst the body, and beyond the body, could occur. Freeway Cafe, Mulberry, Homegrown, the emergence of 541.

– people feeling the call of God to move to the city.

– a recognizance of the foundation laid by present and active collaborations, which makes it a fertile ground for new ministries and church plants to establish. A hospitable and supportive atmosphere.

– an increased practice of mission and prayer fused together.

– Christians actively involved in Neighbourhood hubs, being agents of shalom in their neighbourhoods.

– a proliferation of intentional community houses, and intentionality in community in tight knit neighbourhood groupings.

– a strong cohort of 20-30 something’s actively engaging in bringing shalom to the city, both Christian and not yet believers.

– greater awareness, prayer, and now increasingly collaborative action around the issues of trafficking and street level prostitution.

– a greater openness and hunger for different streams of the church to flow into one another and learn from one another.

– the appointment of Pope Francis bringing hope, life and vitality to the Catholic Church, and bringing hope and inspiration to Protestants.

There was lots more as well. It was so encouraging to get the view from different perspectives! We’re going to do it again in January with another cohort, and maybe Middle eastern food this time….

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Adopt a Street in Brantford

Last night at the a Transformation Hamilton meeting at the John Perkins Centre, we got an update from our friends Dave Carrol and Brian Beattie, pastors of Freedom House in Brantford. After years of sacrificially serving their city, they are experiencing a tipping point of favour, both with God and with man. Their church helps run several major city events each year. Their kindness project has been in the papers and in the public schools. Brian is co-authoring a book on city transformation with Brantford’s mayor!

“Favour comes from continual service,” said Brian. Then he quoted Matthew Barnett, founder of the Dream Centre in LA. “Whoever shows up and stays the longest wins.”

Brian and Dave and One Church, which is a collaboration of churches in Brantford, have decided to take that favour out for a test drive to see what it can do. So this Sunday they are launching “Adopt a Street Brantford”. There are 1000 streets in Brantford. 30 churches have made commitments to mobilize their congregants to adopt their own street and pray for it daily, believing God for a breaking in of His kingdom.

So keep your eyes on Brantford, and watch to see what God is going to do!

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