The Cyprus Report – by Pastora Patricia Rivera (WIN – Dublin)
It was early summer when I was approached by Pastor Manny De Leon if I could go visit our church in Cyprus where our brethren or should I say sisters in the Lord needed some encouragement. It was already September when I was able to get away from work. So off I went.
What I found there was rather more of an encouragement to myself.
I have not met previously any of the core leaders in the church and yet I was welcomed among them like a family member.
It is such a joy to see them thriving under the leadership of Sis Marta Fernando, Sis Geraldine Ariate, and Sis Ched Ocampo together with a core of leaders, they have kept the fire burning in the spirit of our brethren there. Despite being busy all week with work commitments, they find joy and strength in coming together every weekend preparing for Sunday Worship Service.
Everything in the Sanctuary from the stage, lighting, audio, video, wiring including curtains and other decorations were all set up by women. (I couldn’t resist adding this bit!)
There are 3 churches in Cyprus of which Nicosia is considered as the main church; with 2 Outreaches in Larnaca and Lemesos. There are 2 Bible studies during weekdays and possibly a third already started. All workers are women with little or no training but willing to serve in the Kingdom. They come with whatever gifts and talent God has given them and use these to minister to one another.
One of them said ‘I only know what the Lord is teaching me. And all I have to do is tell others about it.’
We were housed in the church premises together with 3 sisters who brought memories made dim by complacency and an easy life. One sister prays and sings well into the night and wake us again early in the morning. It was strange at first but when I realized what it was I was convicted deep in my heart – reminded of when I first met the Lord. It is easy for us to forget why we have been ‘saved’. It is easy to become comfortable with the thought that ‘I am already serving in the church’ ‘I am faithfully giving’ ‘As much as I can, I follow what the Bible teaches’ or whatever reason we like to believe.
The church is not without its problems but it was the longing that they have for someone to lead them that really struck me. Although they were functioning as a body, they are looking for a ‘head’, a shepherd to guide them. It is instinct that is guiding them. But believe it is the sovereign grace of God that has sustained our sisters and they have continued to work together as a body despite not having a resident Pastor even up to the present.
I would like to thank:
Our sisters and brother in WIN-Cyprus for sharing their life with me
The Leaders and Pastors of WIN- Ireland
To everyone who supported our trip to Cyprus through your prayers and giving – may the Lord bountifully bless you all.
And thank you Lord for being with me and the assurance that you are the Living God. All glory and honour belong to you.