A pioneering woman, pt 1

Wendy Virgo has always had a pioneering spirit. She married Terry in 1968 and they moved to a small town on the south coast called Seaford. At that stage, they had no idea that eventually the work that began there would spread to hundreds of churches in 60 nations around the world. I had the privilege of interviewing Wendy Virgo in the run up to the last Newfrontiers International Brighton Leaders’ Conference. I asked her about various different points in their lives, and what lessons she has learned. (Adrian Warnock has kindly agreed to post the first three parts of this interview on his own site as a guest blog. If you haven’t checked out his site before, make sure you do as it is brilliant! www.adrianwarnock.com.)

I believe you met Terry at Bible college, and both had a strong desire to follow after God with all your hearts – did you ever imagine to what extent He would use your giftings?

At London Bible College, (now London School of Theology) Terry received a call from God that originated in 1 Chronicles to “build a house for God”. Recently baptised in the Spirit, he observed that in many of the contemporary churches there was no room for the things of the Spirit, or even a sense of the presence of God, though there was often good preaching. He began to long for something nearer to what he perceived in the New Testament early church. We began to seek God for gifts of the Spirit and gradually realised that such gifts are for the building up of the Body of Christ. We were unconsciously laying foundations in church life that attracted people who were hungry for more. We had no idea that this would lead on to church planting, let alone across the nations. We only had ambitions at that time for our own local church.

You are a spiritual mother to many – have you had someone who has been a spiritual mother to you?

My own mother was a very godly woman, and probably the most influential woman in my life. She loved the Bible and was a very prayerful person. She taught me and my sisters to pray about everything: every decision, every relationship, big things and small. I watched her submit her life daily to Christ. When I married and moved away, I really missed the availability of an older woman to guide me. One day while praying in desperation, God spoke to me clearly. “There are many women in the Bible: you can learn from them.” That’s when I began a systematic study of women in the Bible.