The Backstory of 'CitybyCity'
The Backstory of 'CITYbyCITY' ?
In 1995, a World Vision worker in Auckland, Lleon Downes, had a cry in his heart for greater unity in the church of Aotearoa. Just after completing a forty day fast with this in mind, Lleon had a very brief conversation with a complete stranger in the middle of an Auckland car park.
That person, Peter Aspin, a Kiwi, who was formerly a pastor in Toowoomba, Australia, told Lleon how the three-day Pastors Prayer Summits were having positive unity-building outcomes in many places. He mentioned that Colin Shaw, a Kiwi pastor living in Toowoomba at that time, would be a good person to communicate with, because of his involvement with these summits…. a brief conversation that was to have far reaching consequences.
Lleon went to Toowoomba to discuss with Colin the possibility of having summits in N.Z. This was quite amazing because Colin had stopped over in N.Z. after attending three of these P.P.S. in the U.S. with the hope of finding pastor’s in N.Z, keen to engage with this vision. This had not born fruit. Nevertheless, through the support Colin was getting from Toowoomba City Church and Lleon’s initiative, plus World Vision NZ’s subsequent funding of three different travel itineraries, Lleon and Colin were able to promote P.P.S. throughout N.Z. Thirty, mostly three-day Pastors Prayer Summits, were held from the far north to the far south.
City by City. While there have been few of these Prayer Summits recently in N.Z., the ones that were held laid a good foundation for what was to follow. This included strategic regional roundtable gatherings. Then several of those who had been part of the journey formed City by City. This initiative gave definition and clarity of purpose to what was already under way.
This led to the one-day City by City gatherings, where leaders from different cities and towns gather in another city to support, encourage and pray with the pastors and other leaders there, all in line with:
Zechariah 8:21 ”The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, “Let us continue to go and pray before the LORD, and seek the LORD of hosts. I myself will go also.””
Through these and other initiatives, with God’s blessing, it has been a privilege for the current team to serve with others and witness the coming together of God’s people in many places to pray and reach their towns, cities and regions.
We are truly thankful first, for God’s enabling and secondly for the many people who have been part of this journey. Grateful thanks also to Ray Sheldrake for his freely given time assembling this website and the three E Books.
Seth Fawcet, Mike Cullen, David Dishroon, Keith Harrington, Len Butner, Paul Cornish and Stewart Patrick, Colin and Grace Shaw.