Posted date: 13 Jul 2018
SOME GREAT STORIES
If you weren’t at The Gathering last month or have never been, take a few moments to read some great stories that some of the guys shared with us, from the weekend.
If you did attend TG18, we’re sure you’ll want to read them anyway.
Remember, booking for is open with our ‘Early Bloke Super-Saver’ rate currently on offer.
Our group brought 3 non-Christian guys and two Christian guys who were far from God. The 3 non-Christians gave their lives to Jesus and the other 2 moved closer to God and will hopefully continue to do so. It was brilliant as always but this Gathering was probably the best yet, something happening from start to finish, free tea/coffee, laughs, banter, Gospel, fellowship, singing 'till your throat was sore and you couldn't sing any more.
Paul, Torquay (TG18 attendee)
Hi Guys, My first time at The Gathering. Been having a dodgy time with my faith last couple of years, was like a china bowl I had dropped, had all the pieces but did not how to put back together. Pledged my life to Jesus and totally restored my faith, lifted a great weight off me and left feeling like a new man with Jesus back in my heart. Will be at TG19, idea, could we have 2 prayer tents or bigger one? Could not get in on Friday night as rammed. Thanks for everything, keep up the fight.
Cheers and blessings,
Gary, Chichester (TG18 attendee)
I gave my life to Jesus on the Saturday night at the Gathering 18. I have never felt so emotional in my life. Have never felt so part of a group ever.
Andy, Coxheath (TG18 attendee)
Guys I just wanted to thank you for the amazing weekend, something profound happened to me on Saturday evening.
I answered the call and went forward to get prayed for, thinking no one is going to bother, God isn't interested in me because the stuff I had been involved in was so beyond the pale.
A bit of back story, I was in the Army in Northern Ireland in the Late 70s and early 80s and worked in Intelligence in the ‘grey bit’ between legal and illegal!
We justified it to ourselves by saying that it was OK to do bad stuff [as it was] for the greater good.
I have carried this guilt for all these years going through the motions at church but still carrying the monkey on my back thinking that I was unforgivable. This guilt fueled my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and caused me to have flashbacks and nightmares...
...but on that Saturday I slept for 8hrs with no nightmares and an incredible sense of calm. I didn't get up to check outside.
So, despite my cynicism and doubt, Jesus has come into my life in an amazing way. When I got back home, my wife noticed the difference immediately and was walking round the flat in a daze. So, from the bottom of my heart thank you for organising such an awesome event and helping me to come back to faith. I am going bring a close buddy of mine next year who has similar issues, as I want him to find the psychological healing that I found.
Anon (TG18 attendee)
I went to the Gathering for the first-time last year and was absolutely blown away by the refreshing, fun, manly weekend that it was. I couldn't wait to come back this year and it didn't disappoint. I personally have had quite a turbulent year working in a tough environment, so to be able to get out in the awesome weather, have some proper man time and worship my God and my saviour with so many blokes, has not only recharged my human batteries but completely refocused me and recharged my desire to serve God. Thanks to the whole team for all your faithful work and serving heart.
Mike, Cheltenham (TG18 attendee)
I hardly slept on Thursday night. Like a kid at Christmas. I first met Christ at a Salvation Army Summer School in 2007, an invitation to respond was given and I suddenly felt like a 'great big hug' had wrapped around me. For a young man with a fear of loneliness and a history of being bullied and isolated, this was the moment that God said, "You're mine!". I stepped forward at the Summer School with a gentle nudge in my back.
I always approach The Gathering with excitement, because I go ready to learn more about my Lord. On Saturday night at The Gathering our group sat one row from the back, almost feeling that the response time was for the 'not yet believing' gents in the tent. Well... God put me where he needed me to be. During the response time, I witnessed a man step forward from the area near us, tap another man on his shoulder and say something in his ear. Both men embraced, like long lost brothers, the man who responded and gave his life to Christ stepped forward with an obvious, encouragement from the same nudge in the back... well, two hands and a shove... but God reminded me of the wonderful day he saved me in a simple moment in a field near Swindon.
Tony, Ilkeston (TG18 attendee)
Thank you for changing my life. "Thank you" doesn't come close to acknowledging the massive, life changing events that have occurred since the weekend. Before The Gathering, I considered myself a Christian but during Saturday evening when others were giving their lives to Christ, it dawned on me that I hadn't fully given myself. I was only 95% a Christian. A Christian with the handbrake still on slightly. It was my heart that I hadn't fully given. After the late evening session on Saturday, I went to the prayer tent and explained my story to a wonderful man. In short, I've not seen my daughter's (23 and 11 years old) for almost 5 years. Their mother chose to be with someone else and after 18 months I found an amazing woman who is now my wife. I'd been seeing my children every weekend for the first 18 months and doing everything to support them financially (trying to be a good dad in bad circumstances). Unfortunately, when my ex-wife learnt of my new relationship she was gripped by jealousy and over a period of 6 months turned my children from me. I've expended a great deal of time and effort with Court but my experience was one of an under resourced service trying to do the best they could but taking easy options rather than putting the children first. Not seeing my daughters combined with some other events led me to a dark place last year. I was mentally broken and unable to function. My wife and step-daughter have always had a strong belief in Christ and cared for me, cajoled me and protected me. They were truly servants of God and their love has been amazing. I made some big choices around my work and life priorities and am in a really good place now. The point of mentioning this is that I'd put steel walls around the part of my heart that had been damaged, too afraid that although coming back from the brink once, I might not do so again. Having time in the prayer tent made me realise that those walls I'd built were keeping out the one thing that could truly heal me. The unconditional love of Christ. That 10 mins or so in the tent helped me to knock down those walls and now I'm 100% with Christ and the handbrake is off! I'm not ashamed to say that I've had lots of tears as the pain has flowed out and been replaced by peace. Still a way to go but my path is straight and true now. In the prayer tent we prayed for a miracle and for God to intercede in my situation with my daughters. On the following Thursday I received a call from my ex-wife to say that Zara (my 11-year-old) wanted me to watch her in a schools production of Peter Pan (she has the role of Wendy).
I did indeed see Zara. We met at McDonald’s and I then went onto the performance. It was wonderful to be reunited with her. Despite not seeing her since she was 6 (now 11) we instantly clicked. There is still a long road ahead but I hadn't expected to see her for many more years and this is a fantastic gift from God.
I truly believe that God has found a way to bring light to our situation.
Thank you to the whole CVM team for the work you do in reaching out to men. You're awesome.
Michael, Lancs (TG18 attendee)
One guy invited his son and father to TG18. He had not spoken to his son for 2 years and it was the first time they had been together as a family. On Saturday evening, he witnessed his son give his life to Christ and his Dad reaffirm his relationship with God.
Neil, Poole (TG18 attendee)
The Gathering is a men's weekend festival like no other!
It's fun, it's life changing, it's THE standout event for guys.
Taking place 21 - 23 June 2019 in a field near Swindon the Gathering.
It's the perfect event for men's groups or individuals and tailor-made for you to be able to invite your unchurched mates to. Every year we see many guys come to faith for the first time.