Healing Line

Healing Line

Summer Excerpts: Letters from Francis

by Francis MacNutt
Fall 1998

July 22, 1998 Suffolk, England

There is so much to share ... Mostly I want to tell you about our time the last couple of weeks in Malta. It is a fascinating place — the whole island is a rocky fortress with all kinds of fortifications like the one we know in St. Augustine. They were built by the knights of Malta to ward off the Turks. Only 16 miles long, it has been occupied by waves of invaders: Normans, Sicilians, Arabs, French and English. They acquired independence from the English in 1964.

The language, Maltese, is its own — 80 percent Arabic but mixed with everything else. The people have an olive–complexion and are very Mediterranean and hospitable, just as Paul found them. The main business is tourism, with a million and a half visitors last year, mostly Germans, English and Italians. To them, America is like the promised land, and the influences of our culture are everywhere — our T–shirts, Coke, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, etc. A waiter told us his king is Elvis and he wants to journey to Graceland! They seem about 20 years behind us. For young people, the discos (which Rachel and David quickly discovered) are like "Saturday Night Fever!"

Most of the island is Catholic. There are two strong Catholic charismatic communities. The one that invited us is made up of people mainly in their 20s and 30s. Founded t O years ago, it is the strongest such group in all of Europe. We were really impressed by the combination of fervor and wise young leadership. They seem to have avoided the over–control of some of the communities in the U.S. and simply emphasize loving each other and reaching out to others. The community could not have been more kind or generous, taking us all around the island to see the sites.

About 230 came to the conference in Sliema. Also, they have an outreach meeting every Saturday night for over 800 people, where I spoke last week. Young people come because they have a great praise band, like the one at Vineyard. Laypeople lead, and the priest is more like a chaplain than the head.

They invited us after reading my book on deliverance, believing there was a need for it in the community. They have some good experience with healing and deliverance. Judith and I were scheduled to give several three–hour talks, but they cut those down to one–and–a–half hours each so we could spend the rest of the time praying with the leaders. About half of the prayers were deliverance of a dramatic kind.

It is so clear God is doing something similar all over the world: raising up pockets of Christians who really experience the presence of God and the power of the Spirit, desire to evangelize and share in the midst of a basically inert institutional church. The bishop in Malta is favorable, so these two groups are flourishing spiritually and reaching out to a starving world.

It is wonderful to see our friends here in England again. Rosemary Phillips is taking me to a bird sanctuary today before I have to speak (!!!}, and I had two hours last night to talk to Sandy Miller, pastor of Holy Trinity Brampton.

P.S. The only sad thing about Malta is that the people are known for killing small birds. The "Maltese Falcon" is no more.

July 29/30, 1998 Just outside London

Everyone here is talking about the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Council. It is all over the news. It has been an exciting time to be in England. Denton and about 330 people involved in the healing ministry in the London area, as well as Rev. John Ryeland and a dozen leaders of English healing homes, a unique feature in English renewal. As you can see, a major part of spiritual renewal in England is coming from the healing ministry.

We head for Scotland tomorrow. Will write from there. Give my love to everyone.

Aug. 13, 1998 From Scotland

We made it! Thank you for your prayers! The retreat for clergy in Scotland went very well. Of the 75 who came, 15 were Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) ministers, t O were Episcopal Church of Scotland, a couple of Baptist pastors came, and no priests but four Catholic laypeople. The Episcopal Bishop of Elisabetown, South Africa, came from Lambeth, as did Ann Watson, widow of the famous David Watson.

The group was very reserved (the Scotch are even more reserved than the British!) but came to life after the first night. Judith and I went around the room praying for them as we usually do and all but one asked for prayer. It was very powerful and beautiful.

Most of them were older, which is a major problem here and in England, as the young people are not in church. There are very few younger pastors whom God might use to lead the Scottish churches into a more charismatic future. A heavy spiritual oppression shadows the country, which has a long history of witchcraft and the Scottish rite of masonry, centered in Ayr, where we were two weeks ago. But people here really responded to prayer — both the clergy and the 550 people who attended the last night of the conference at the ice rink last week in Perth. When we prayed for the group, there were surprisingly many deliverances. They want us to come back, which we would love to do. We hope we have at least somewhat encouraged the Christians here who have been worn down.

The place where we are staying is run by a young couple in their 40s. It is a beautiful site, reminiscent of all those Jane Austen movies, and they plan to turn it into a healing home.

The place where we gave the clergy retreat, Bonskeid House, is run by the YMCA and is in the Highlands. It is gorgeous country with some sun and mostly gentle rain — huge picture windows looking out onto giant fir trees and small mountains.

They just called for dinner, so goodbye for now. We can't wait to see you next week.

Much love, Francis

Francis MacNutt Francis MacNutt is a Founding Director and Executive Committee member of CHM. Fall 1998 Issue