Part 5: NACT Day 2 – in the training and spending time with the Lord

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champign accommodated 2800 trainees during the NACT in two different university housing complexes, Ikenberry and Florida Avenue Residence (aptly acronymned as ‘FAR’).

The majority of the European saints stayed in Ikenberry. Ikenberry had seven different halls available to the saints: Hopkins, Bousfield, Snyder, Scott, Weston, Oglesby, and Trelease halls.

Scott Hall University Housing, with Ikenberry Cafeteria in the background.

Like typical American university halls, many of the rooms had two single beds and storage space, and corridors had shared bathrooms. In some halls, the rooms were arranged in suites with two to four rooms sharing a bathroom and sometimes a common area. We used the common areas near our rooms for our small group fellowships during the week.

Sisters in accommodation

During the college training, we were arranged into five different cohorts, which corresponded to the colour of their badges: light blue, medium blue, dark blue, pink, and red. Each cohort ranged from around 300-700 trainees and had the morning sessions in five different meeting rooms.

Throughout the day, each of the five cohorts also had a different schedule from one another! This was mainly so that the mealtimes could be staggered and we could all eat in a timely way. The saints coordinating the NACT ensured this college training would go smoothly in order for all the students to make the most out of the training and to gain Christ every moment. Thank You Lord for their service to You!

An example of the NACT schedule located at the back of our name badges.

There were three meetings each morning (the grey boxes on the schedule): morning revival fellowship, a morning session on the keys to experiencing the jubilee, followed immediately by a special fellowship meeting, and then each evening all the trainees gathered for the evening session in the State Farm Centre. Aside from the meetings, there were assigned times for memorising verses, Bible reading and ministry reading, recreation, small group fellowship (in groups of about 10 trainees), and evening room time, and of course three meals a day at the cafeteria.

It was really helpful to have a detailed schedule during this week. In order for the Lord to work Himself into our whole being we must redeem the time we have in our day. We should pray to allow the Lord to flow into our spirit moment by moment. We can enjoy Him as the Jubilee when we eat, rest, do activities, in the meetings, and in the mornings and evenings! Praise the Lord He is so available to us!

Singing in the light blue cohort.

In this post, we will also share a little more about the morning revival fellowships. Each morning started with a lot of enjoyable and releasing singing, encouraging us to turn our hearts to the Lord. Then some brothers shared with us some principles related to spending time with the Lord in the mornings.

Matthew 6:6

‘But you, when you pray, enter into your private room, and shut your door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.’

When we wake up to a new day, we must build up a habit and set a time to be revived and meet with God. Having a personal time with the Lord removes any barriers we have between us and Him. He deals with the blockages in our heart and our growth in life increases! When we have an intimate time with Christ, we can enjoy Him and His word in a deeper way.

We learnt how to build a more intimate relationship with the Lord (EAT!):

  • Early – rise early in the mornings to find the Lord. This can be 5, 10, 30 minutes earlier than the time you usually wake up.
  • Audible – speak! This is where our being goes. Our mouth is connected to our spirit and the Lord wants to hear our voice (S.S 2:14)
  • Tethered – our mind should be tied to something solid, as our mind tends to wander. If our mind is tethered to our spirit and the Word, we can focus on the Lord and look fully unto Him.

Each morning after this fellowship, we would find a spot around the campus and spend 30 minutes for personal morning revival. Some days we might feel tired, some days we might find our mind wandering, but every day we are practicing to build up this private, intimate, and spiritual time with the Lord!

Hymn 643 – stanza 2

Take time to behold Him,
The world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret 
With Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus
Like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends, in thy conduct
His likeness shall see.

Hymn 643

Part 4: Blending Day 2 – Sightseeing in downtown Chicago

We had a full day out in Chicago today! As we are staying at the homes of believers all over the city and around the area, we used different modes of transport to get around: CTA trains and buses, metro, divvy bikes, water taxi, and our two legs!

 

The Cloud Gate (more commonly known as The Bean) at Millennium Park was our meeting place in the morning to gather over 70 UK saints from the UK travelling to Chicago before the NACT.

 

From there we scattered in groups to visit many tourist attractions. Some bought the Go Chicago Explorer Pass, which included entrance into 3-5 sites whilst others opted to wander around the city and see the Navy Pier, listen to a live orchestra at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and go up the Skydeck. There is a lot to see and do in Chicago!

We made sure that some of our sightseeing including trying the Chicago food. We were recommended by the local saints to go to Giordano’s Pizza to try the famous deep dish pizza. We were not disappointed!

During the day, we held our third photo competition. This time the prize was a froyo or boba (bubble tea)! Head over to the Chicago Photography Competition post to see all the entries and their captions. The winners have been announced here!

Part 2: Semiannual Training Day 6 – know authority, and know life

When we had our last study group session, brother Ricky Acosta gave a special fellowship to the college students. He spoke about his time as a young person and the dealings they went through in his generation. When there was a difficulty in the church life, some of his companions decided to leave and go their own way in the world. He gave a very encouraging word on how our vessels need to be tightly closed whenever we come into contact with death and rebellion.

Numbers 19:15 says, “And every open vessel, which has no covering tied down on it, is unclean.” Our vessels need to be open for the Lord to flow His life into us but it must also be closed from any death and rebellion that can easily come in.

This speaking is very timely when we go back to our universities as there are ways in which the enemy can come in tempting us to touch death, through friends or environments. May we be the young people who preserve our vessels and pray that we may be cleansed for any uncleanness which is around us.

Hymn 639 (stanzas 2 & 6)

Death cannot hold the resurrection life.

Though all its force against it  may combine;

Death only gives it opportunity

To show the boundless power of life divine.

 

Oh, may I know this resurrection life,

In every kind of death its power outpoured,

In my experience ever realise

This life is nought but Christ my living Lord

 

After the last message was spoken, this concluded the summer Semiannual Training. For the graduating trainees, this was their official completion of the Full-Time Training! May we pray that they continue to go on for the Lord and remain useful to Him in their normal Christian life.

Some attendees and trainees stayed behind after the message to help ‘break down’ the MCC. This meant stacking all the chairs and cleaning the place. The others headed back to accommodation. In Grace Gardens, the sisters had some corporate time in their living rooms where they could overflow their top enjoyment from the training. It was also a time to say their goodbyes and exchanged emails and contact information so we could all stay in contact with one another. We were hopeful to see some of them again at the North America College Training in Chicago, Illinois on 14th July.

 

 

Message Eleven
The Vision of the All-sufficient One –
the Divine View of God’s People

Our Enjoyment: What view do we hold? We need to adopt the divine view! All God’s people are beautiful and excellent in Christ! May we have a clear heavenly vision. If we have God’s view of His people, we will see the saints as God sees them: chosen, redeemed, enjoying Christ, and prepared by God to possess the all-inclusive Christ.

 

Message Twelve
The Necessity of Spiritual Warfare
and
God’s People Formed into an Army Ready for Battle

Our Enjoyment: The church must be a corporate warrior fighting the battle to gain Christ as the good land and spread the Kingdom of God on earth. Praise the Lord that He has already won the battle! We must continue to fight to maintain Christ’s victory. All the churches need to be in one accord, form God’s army, and be ready to take the good land!