Fire in the Valley
God did not seize to encounter hearts throughout the series of Fire in the Valley gatherings.
“I have fallen more in Love with Jesus.”
“I heard Jesus speak to me for the first time.”
“I am so filled with peace and refreshing.”
These are just three of the testimonies that were heard from people that have attended the series of Fire in The Valley gatherings held in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York State.
Another man told of how a prophetic word was spoken to him by one of the pastors, which was a confirmation of God’s caring and presence in his life. In addition he was healed of a chronic back and neck pain that had prevented him from working during the several months prior to attending a Sunday night meeting.
Fire in the Valley was a series of four meetings held during July and August 2008 at three congregations associated with the Partners in Harvest family of churches. Pastors Pj and Kathy Hanley of Banner of Love Church (PIH) in Kingston, New York, Phil and Caroline Gauthier of Hope in Life Church (FIH) in Mahopac, New York and Marlow and Tonya Dunham of The River Church (FIH) in Poughkeepsie, New York joined together to host four Sunday evening meetings every other week during July and August.
Pastor Pj Hanley and Pastor Marlow Dunham actually exchanged pulpits to kick off the event, the first Sunday in July. The first meeting was held at Hope in Life, the second and third at The River Church and the fourth at Banner of Love.
It was amazing to see the three congregations, with different church cultures, come together to worship the Father and experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in the company and fellowship of one another. Walls of separation fell as we recognized that the Body of Christ is bigger than just one local fellowship and encompasses many different expressions and manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
By the second and third meetings, various other pastors and their congregants began to show up for the meetings. Word was spread by personal contact. One evening there were six pastors representing their churches and some additional people from two or three other churches. Many of these people travelled considerable distance to join in the meetings. Each visiting pastor was given freedom to bring a word of encouragement to everyone attending. Pastors from other independent charismatic churches, Baptist, Congregational and Messianic congregations came and participated.
It was glorious to see!
Each church provided their worship team for the respective gathering at their church. In addition to exceptional worship music, the gifts of prophecy, healing, exhortation and encouragement began to spontaneously flow from the pastors and their ministry teams. We all believe this is a model for what the Lord wants from His Bride in this season. What was begun as a summer experiment seems to be turning into a continuing platform to bring unity to the churches of the Hudson Valley Region.
There is a passion and an excitement in the Body again. People have been stirred up and want more. We say – More Lord!