Sunday, May 08, 2005

Our Collection Is Growing…

Two young ladies from our church had to attend a business function to help their Dad this Saturday morning. They were a little bummed that they couldn’t go out for our Saturday Morning neighborhood outreach but decided to “Make the most of every opportunity”. So they were looking for an opportunity to bring the Kingdom of God there in the hotel where they were at.

Here is their story…

We (Erin and Sarah) were planning on going to the neighborhood on Saturday to do outreach stuff with Ryan. But then our dad told us that we were not going to be able to go because he needed our help at a business conference. We were really bummed, but we were just like, “whatever”. So, all day Saturday we were praying for God to send someone for us to either heal or get born again or something like that. We were really bored and found a TV in the hotel foyer, and started watching Star Wars.

Then, all of a sudden, this guy on crutches comes hobbling through the hotel lobby. Immediately we looked at each other and just ran after the guy with the crutches. Unfortunately, he got in the elevator and the doors closed, we missed him. So we started praying for God to bring the guy back. No less than two minutes later the guy came hobbling back out of the elevator. So we jumped up and went after him, yelling, “Hey dude, hold on!” Then he turned around with a weird look on his face, and replied, “Yeah?” We asked him what was wrong, (We were kind of hoping it was his ankle because Ryan had told us that we had complete authority over ankle injuries. – We have seen a bunch of instant miracles with ankles and knees) and he said, “I sprained my ankle and ever since then I haven’t had any feeling in my foot but have had severe pain in my ankle”. So we said, “Do you mind if we pray for it because Jesus can totally heal your ankle”. He said, “Yes”.

Before we prayed we asked him to rate the pain 0 being the best 10 being the worst, he said it was a 7. So we laid our hands on his ankle and commanded all pain to go, and all feeling to return to his foot in the name of Jesus. Immediately his countenance changed, and he got really wide eyed and said, “Oh my God I can feel my foot!” We asked him to rate the pain again, but he never did because he was so dumbfounded. We prayed again for the swelling in his ankle to go down and for total mobility to return. The swelling went down right before our eyes. He started walking around, saying, “Oh my God, thank you!” We prayed one last time for total and complete healing, because he was still limping a little bit. The whole time we were praying he was saying, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!”

By the time we were done praying Jesus had totally healed him! He was walking around without his crutches and jumping up and down. He said his name was Antwon, and he asked us what our names were, and we told him. We asked, “Are you born again?” He answered saying, “Yes, I believe that Jesus is King and that he died and rose again.” He continued to tell us how he had just gotten back from serving in Iraq a month ago and how ever since he has been back his view of Jesus, America, and people in general had been very pessimistic. He told us, “You don’t understand, this is the best thing that has happened to me since I have been back, thank you!” We told him, “Jesus is King, and he healed your ankle. Now you have total authority over ankle injuries, so every time you see someone with an ankle injury, command it to be healed in Jesus name and it will happen because you believe.”

He thanked us again, and we went our separate ways. We were so excited about what Jesus had done that we ran back into the hotel and interrupted the business meeting to tell our parents. We started telling our parents the story, and by the end of the story everyone in the business meeting was gathered around us listening intently. As we were telling them, Antwon walked over and started telling everyone his testimony himself and showing them how he could now walk and also jump up and down. When he was done telling everyone, we pulled him aside and asked him if we could have his crutches since he obviously no longer needed them. He said yes and ran to get us his crutches. He gave us his crutches, thanked us again and then walked away completely healed!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

A Good Night…

It started on Friday night. We soaked in the presence of God before going out, praying specifically for a lady with cancer that the doctors gave 2 weeks to live. We will not lose this one! Several folks from the church have been fasting and praying with all their heart, believing that God will touch and heal her. Anyway, the presence of God was thick; we juiced up and prepared to leave.

When we arrived at the parking lot, I sent a group from our team to prayer walk the perimeter of the lot, an idea that I was given by an African evangelist friend of mine. He told us to prayer walk the perimeter of the lot, praying that God would arrest everyone inside the perimeter for the Gospel and that they would have to hear what we had to say. They went on their way and the other half of the team started walking the lot, asking the Holy Spirit to show us who to talk to. We started out feeling aggressive; believing that what has been happening the last several weeks would start again. Things have been getting hot lately, with lots of screaming, yelling and anger going around as we confront the religious demons.

We started aggressive, but when we were looking around, there was really no one to get aggressive with. So we just kept walking. A few minutes later, we bead in on a young guy who looks like he could get rowdy. I walk over to him and start the dialogue with, “So, what’s it gonna be tonight? Are you going to get born again or are you going to go to hell?” He (Rusty) looks dead at me and says, “Born again, I guess”. His buddy that’s hanging with him (Josh) walks up and says, “You shouldn’t say stuff like that, it makes people feel bad”.

We start questioning Josh a bit and find out that he was one of the kids we had talked to a couple of weeks before. We were very confrontational a couple weeks before and he tells us that when he went home, he felt bad about his brand of Christianity. He explained to us that he wants to do right, but keeps doing wrong. We explain the empowering of the Holy Spirit to him and encourage him to go 100% with Jesus and stop playing religious games. We have his attention because a good friend of his had just died the week before in a car accident. He had known the guy for years and never said anything about Jesus to him, because he was afraid. He told us, “I know without a shadow of a doubt that he is burning in hell right now”.

This gets Rusty’s attention, so we shamelessly use the opportunity to discuss Rusty’s eternity. Rusty hears the Gospel and is ready to get born again. Right before I am about to lead him to Jesus, the Holy Spirit speaks to me and tells me to let the backslider win his own friend to the Lord. So I point at Josh and tell him, “This is what we’re going to do. You are going to lead Rusty to Jesus, ok?” Josh agrees. The two of them get in Josh’s car to pray and we are leaning in the windows, hearing what they are saying. They talk for a minute or two and start praying. Our former backslider starts asking God for forgiveness for leading a compromised life and proceeds to lead his friend to the Lord. They pray the prayer, Rusty says, “Jesus is Lord” and they’re in! A sinner and a backslider, both saved with one prayer.

One guy, Mike, comes up to me and I recognize him as a guy we really ticked off a few weeks before. He was this smart mouthed punk that was telling everyone that he was 75% Christian. I told him that he was 100% going to hell and that doing it part of the way wouldn’t get him in. We preached the Gospel to him that night and he did nothing but mock us the entire time. I remember leaving him feeling discouraged that he wasn’t listening to what we had to say.

So he comes up to me, shakes my hand and starts the conversation with, “Do you remember me?” I tell him that yes, I remember him. He says to me, “When you talked to me that time a few weeks ago, what you said messed with me all week”. “So, what did you do with it?” I asked. “After a week, I gave my life to Jesus!” Mike tells me. The Holy Spirit had been working on him the entire week, reminding him of the conversation we had. It had produced a conviction of sin and after a week of being under conviction, he had given his life to the Lord! It was a real deal too, you could see the light of God in His eyes! He tells me that every time that he picks up the Bible, the words jump off the page to him. “It’s like the book is alive!” he tells us.

The night goes on and everyone we talk to is literally “arrested” by the Gospel. They just stand there while we preach to them. Everyone we talked to that night got born again! Three new believers and one rededicated backslider!