2016 was an intense and demanding season of ministry, particularly with our training initiatives. Our team in Europe has grown, and our leaders have been engaged in many training endeavors. We engage in such training for one reason... we see transformation, greater Gospel impact, and glory to Jesus. After all, what else matters?



However, as with any growing ministry, there comes a certain danger of increased busyness. In the midst of heavy ministry demands, I was grateful to come across the story of Horatio Spafford. After losing everything in the great Chicago fire of 1871, he sent his wife and four daughters on a ship to England with the intention of following soon after. Their ship sank after a collision and all four of his daughters drowned. Horatio quickly headed to England and as his ship passed over the spot where his daughters perished, he was inspired to write the words of the well-known hymn, It is Well with My Soul.

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul

One key emphasis we teach our young leaders and evangelists is the deepening of our intimacy with God. From here, everything else flows. We teach this Core Value regularly, but reading Spafford's story stirred an awakening inside and caused me to ask myself, "How is my soul today?"

The centrality of this question hit home after one of my dear friends and partners in the Gospel, Hamish Leighton, suddenly passed away in October of last year. He was 51, seemingly fit, and a faithful, open-air preacher of the Gospel. Indeed, being at the tribute to his life enforced this truth in my heart.

Nothing matters beyond our relationship with
Jesus and calling others to follow Him.

How is your soul today?

by Martin Durham

*Martin is the ILI International Director for Europe. He has a passion to equip young leaders and see Europe ablaze with the Gospel.