Monday, 25 October 2010

Out of My Comfort Zone

I don't know about you, but I have a very strong 'Flight Instinct'.  At the merest sign of danger, I will be out of the situation as fast as my little legs will carry me.  Sadly this will also take place if I see an accident, I will normally feel so scared that I will be unable to stop and help.  This has bothered me a lot in the past and I remember many years ago praying about it.  I think the reason I would have such a great urge to get out of the situation was from a lack of knowledge of what to do, so feeling helpless.  I had an experience the other day that amazed me and scared me but I didn't run away.

I was meant to be meeting someone to do some Treasure Hunting, they were a bit late but I was amusing myself with reading signs outside the cathedral and watching this huge gaggle of French School children with clipboards trying to find random things around Exeter.  Some of them were beginning to disperse when I saw one of them running down towards the main entrance of the Cathedral, jump down the steps and pretty much right in front of me, fall over!  As soon as he went down he grabbed his leg and was rolling on the floor crying out in pain!  Now it is amazing what thoughts can cross your mind in a split second,  I thought that maybe he was messing around, I thought that his friends would run to his aid, I thought that I had no idea what to do, I thought Yikes this boy doesn't speak English and I thought I need to pray for him! As I looked at him, he was sitting up and holding his ankle and I could see that it was swelling really badly, I thought it was broken really as the ankle bone was looking very odd!  He shouted to his friends and they just laughed, like typical teenagers.  So I went over to them first and said that he really needed help, as he was hurt.  We went over, and the only thing I could really think was 'I need to pray for this boy - but how do I bring this up with teenagers who don't speak English and with someone who is in obvious pain.'  I think I should mention now that my other nightmare is trying to get people to understand me when they don't speak English, or maybe it is me not understanding them - either way, it is way out of my comfort zone.  I asked them if they had an adult with them and they didn't, but then their Coach Driver turned up, he really didn't speak any English, at least with the school children they had some understanding.  Then some other children from the party turned up and one of the girls spoke really good English, so she was translating for me when I was asking questions.  But really the only thought that kept going through my head was 'how am I meant to turn this situation around to offer to pray for him'  By this time I was pretty sure his ankle wasn't broken as he was flexing it but it was swelling good and proper! So after standing there for what felt like an age I said to the girl 'Could you tell him that I am a Christian and I would like to pray for his ankle',  the girl queried the word 'Christian' to me and as she did, the French girl stood on  my other side said that she was a Christian as well!  Well there is power in numbers, so at that I felt a bit more confident.  The boy was asked if I could pray and in good French style he shrugged and said 'If you like'.  So I asked the Christian girl if she would pray as well and she said she would.  So we both bent down, laid hands on his ankle and prayed.  It was quite a surreal experience because as soon as I began to pray some more of his group turned up and the boy we were praying for was regaling his story to all who would listen, so taking no notice of what I was doing.  I asked him if it felt any better and he said no, and there wasn't really an option for me to offer to pray again as some Adults looking after the group turned up and they began sorting out what they were going to do to help him.  I chatted to them for a bit and told them where the NHS Walk In Centre was and helped them where I could, but then there was nothing more I could do, so I left.

I walked away with a lot going around my mind, my fellow Treasure Hunter never turned up as I had got the wrong day,  but it looks like God had another reason for me to be there. I was at the right place at the right time to help in a situation.  It was the first time I hadn't felt helpless in such a situation, and so hadn't wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.  I actually knew that I had something that I could do, my only concern was how to introduce it to the situation. 

Monday, 18 October 2010

More healings in Church

We had an exciting time at Frontiers Church this Sunday - I was given a bit of time to share testimonies of what God is doing in healing and signs and wonders from around the world at the beginning of the meeting. Testimonies stir faith and they also prophecy to what God is doing, can do and is going to do!  I loved being able to tell people some amazing stories that I had heard, like the man who had his leg amputated above his knee and since he has been prayed for, his leg has been gradually growing out - he now has a knee joint and it is continuing to grow!  Also the girl who had lost a finger nail and whilst she was being prayed for they watched the fingernail grow back and amazingly it grew back with the exact same colour of nail varnish as she had on her other fingernails! During the Worship time, people were invited to come forward for healing - there were loads of people who wanted prayer!  It was fantastic to see people in faith, get out of their chairs and come to the front for healing! A lot of the things we prayed for in the morning are going to take a while to be able to find out what God has done, but I know that God is doing great things so we will wait to hear the stories.

We have been praying regularly for healings on a Sunday morning for about a month or so now, and I am beginning to hear stories of what God has done - here are some of them.

We prayed for a lady with painful knees and the pain has gone, I have since seen the lady about 4 weeks after we prayed for her and her knees are still pain free! Thank you Father!

We prayed for a lady who had a cyst on her ovary, she had a scan the day after we prayed, and the cyst had shrunk to half its size and at the second scan, the cyst had disappeared!  The Doctors cant explain it - but we can! Amazing!

We prayed with a lady who was experiencing pain and bleeding in her pregnancy, she was quite worried, So we prayed and the baby had a fantastic time, spinning and kicking, and the Mum didnt experience any more pain after we had prayed! 

I prayed with someone who was in the early stages of pregnancy and was experiencing horrible Morning Sickness (well all day sickness really!) and she was finding it difficult to work.  She hadnt had one day without being sick since she had fallen pregnant - after praying for her she wasnt sick all week and was able to work with no problem!  Fantastic!

We had a girl come forward for prayer as she had lost her fingernail in an accident, the Doctor had said that the nail bed was dead and that she would never have a thumb nail again! Well we know that God is the God of life so a dead nail bed has no place in a child of Gods body - so we prayed and commanded life into the nail bed.  I completely expected that when I took my hand away that she would have a new nail but she didnt, but our faith was strong (the force was strong with this one :-)).  I didnt see her for a couple of weeks, but after hearing the testimony about the nail regrowing with the nail varnish on it, I really wanted to pray for her again.  She found me on Sunday morning and showed me her thumb, with its new nail on it! It has grown back, but not from the nail bed, it just has sort of formed (!).  She is thrilled and so am I! God is so exciting!

I am so expectant of creative miracles and God doing incredible things through his people, I want to see people have new limbs just growing out and where better to start than with a fingernail!  There is no small miracle - all healings are incredible and miraculous and we need to give honour and thanks for all things that God does.  Honour the little and God will give you more! So I am over the moon about this fingernail and all the healings we have seen so far, and my expectation is increasing each day! We can do all things through Jesus who strengthens us - all things!!! Cant wait!

Green shoes and loads of other clues!

On my most recent Treasure Hunting adventure we really only found one treasure - we let some slip away as we discussed the actual colour of their shoes, but I am sure they will be treasure another day, note to self, just go for it!

We headed to Burtons and just as we got there we saw a man with green shoes on walk past, he was a very tall man with very long legs so we had to really move to catch up with him!  When we finally stopped him, we explained what we were doing and asked him to look at our clues and so many of them matched with him.  His middle name was Anthony, his wife's name was Lousie, she had  fertility problems in the past and had been on IVF, he sometimes suffered with Asthma and had lower back pain and had just come from the Osteopath! We asked him if we could pray for his back and he accepted, but he said it wasn't hurting at the time so difficult to tell what healing had taken place.  But then we chatted with him for a bit and asked him about his beliefs and he was a really interesting guy, very open.  The interesting thing for us was that he had a Christian friend who he had quite a lot of conversations with, so it seems like we were just another step along the way for this man and his journey to find God. We have been praying that his eyes would be opened to see God, we may never know what happens but it is great to be a part of the bigger picture.

I am also trying to venture off the map when we are out, so if someone catches my attention, to go and talk to them and offer to pray for them.  It is a little more scary as you don't have the clues to fall back on, but it is exciting all the same! So we approached a Big Issue seller, she was lovely!  She told us that her boyfriend was getting out of prison on Friday and asked if we could pray that he gets a job, I said we would and then I asked her if there was there anything she would like prayer for and she began to tell us that he Son had been taken away from her 5 years ago and that she wanted to have him back.  So we began to pray for those two things.  She was really thankful that we prayed and seeing as I see her most shopping trips, I will be able to speak to her again.  It always amazes me what people will tell you about and how open people are and also how genuinely touched they are that someone has prayed for them.  Prayer to us, seems like such a simple thing because we are approaching our Father but to those who don't know God it is a wonder! It is like giving someone a gift.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Seven new Treasure Hunters and lots of treasure!

On Saturday I ran my first training session on Treasure Hunting along with some time out on the street putting what had been learnt into practice. I had seven people come who had never done any Treasure Hunting before but were very excited, and nervous, to give it a go and see what God would do through them! I spoke for a while and then we separated into smaller groups and began to get our clues. It was so amazing to see God speaking to everybody really clearly, one group of three all got the clue Rainbow which I thought was fantastic and real confirmation to them that they were hearing from God, and the other group of three all got clues about Army/Soldiers, so they knew what they were looking out for and my fellow Hunter for the morning and I both had the clue John so we set out!

We came back after an hour and the stories of treasure they had found were amazing and really thrilled my heart to listen to. Here are a selection of them :-

One group had the clues Army/Soldiers so they headed to the Army Surplus Store which was nearby and as they came to the shop they saw a man walking towards them with an Australian Hat on (not the one with corks, but a leather bush style hat - if you know what I mean!), they stopped them to have a chat and they offered to pray for the man but he asked if they could pray for his wife instead, who was with him. They didnt want to say what was wrong but just that she was ill, so they prayed and the lady began to cry. The man said that they used to go to church in South Africa (they were here on holiday) and after this encounter they were going to go back to church as soon as they returned home. It is so amazing that they have travelled half way across the world and they had a God encounter on the street of Exeter, when they were least expecting it.

Another Treasure which was found was a lady who was wearing black boots, a beige bag with brown trim, and had a blue back pack on, she was walking past the Army Surplus Store as the team were returning to the office after thinking they had finished their Treasure Hunt. She was really steaming up the hill, so they had to run to catch her up, when they finally caught up with her and they began to show her the clues and how they applied to her, she was completely blown away! She was so excited because she is attending an Alpha Course at a local church and she just knew that the whole thing was God. The team had words from God for her and she couldn't believe it and couldn't wait to go to Alpha to tell her group about what had happened. What a confirmation for her - I would love to know what happens to this Treasure, maybe we will.

We had the clue head to toe in cream, we really didn't know how this was going to look, until we saw it! Coming towards us as we walked towards the High Street was a little old lady in a cream rain coat that came down to her toes! She was definately head to toe in cream, so we stopped her and another clue was crooked and this lady was bent over. We chatted to her for a while and she told us she was a Christian and that she went to a local church, and we offered to pray for her neck, she said yes. I would love to say that she straightened right up, but she didn't at that instance, but she said that it had been a privilege to have met us and who knows what happened as she walked away. We thought we were done with the head to toe in cream, but God hadn't finished with that clue. We headed to the back of M&S, and there was another little old lady walking towards us all dressed in cream to some description. She was also carrying a black leather bag, so we approached her and she was lovely! We chatted for a while and we asked her if any of the clues meant anything to her and she said she had a problem with her eyes. She told us that the Doctors didn't know what it was, but the retina in one of her eyes had dropped so they had filled her eye with oil and now everything was blurry. So we offered to pray and she happily accepted. We sat on the wall and we prayed for her and as I watched her, eyes began to water for no reason. We asked her if there was any change and she said she didn't think that there was, but she didn't know why her eyes were watering, I offered to pray again but she said no. She was another Christian lady and we were able to share some words from God for her.

The team with Rainbow found their treasure, but she didn't want to talk, she was outside McDonalds and had a Rainbow jumper on. She was definitely Treasure and it is disappointing when you know you have found the person God wants you to talk to, and they don't want to talk to you. But we have no idea what she may have got from the encounter or if she may be treasure again. All we can do is get clues and go and find the people and see what happens from there. I still think it was great that all three of them had Rainbow as their clue.

There were lots of other stories but maybe that is enough for now :-)

I am going to be running another training/practical Treasure Hunt on the 13th November and then regularly each month from then onwards, on the second Saturday of the month. Come and join us - never before has street evangelism been so much fun and so rewarding!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Jesus Culture

Wow what an evening! Steve and I travelled up to Bath to see Jesus Culture at Bath City Church. I wasn't too sure how Jesus Culture were going to ensure it wasn't a gig that they were doing, but an actual worship event. But they did - they are amazing musicians and it was so loud that we could actually feel the sound of the bass move our clothes! The light show was so bright that I was pretty convinced that Jesus had come back at one point! But the presence of God was amazing and being with all those hungry people just crying out to God and worshipping him was wonderful.

After the worship Banning Liebscher began to tell stories of amazing healings that have been happening in their meetings, stories of mass healings of Asthma, lots of knees healed, an allergy to nuts completely gone and tested, one lady with serious knee problems and had had loads of operations on her knee, which resulted in many metal pins holding her knee together. She was prayed for and the pain went and she felt her knee and was unable to feel the metal pins any more. She went to the hospital and they x-rayed her knee and the Doctor couldn't believe it as all the metal pins had disappeared and there was brand new bone where the pins had been! That's just incredible, God is soooooo great!

After lots of stories he asked for people with asthma to put their hands up and he then asked them to go outside for a run because he believed that they were already healed without someone praying for them, so loads people went outside - I didn't really realise so many people were effected by Asthma! After 5 mins they started to come back into the building and they began heading for the stage as they had been completely healed!!! People with Asthma for 30 years, healed in an instant and without actual prayer - just being in the presence of God. One girl was healed and she had Asthma since she had come to this country about 10 years ago and it was so bad that she wasn't able to walk 5 steps without getting out of breath and wheezing, she was on a Nebuliser every night and she had just ran around the building and other than being out of breath she was fine - not one wheeze! Completely amazing! There were so many testimonies of healings it was incredible. We were praying with a lady who had Genetic Arthritis and she said she could definitely feel God doing something in her body and her joints were much easier to move and the swelling in the knuckle which we were focusing our prayer on was markedly less swollen and I could feel it moving whilst we were praying. Oh yes another story I heard out of the corner of my ear as we were praying, was a girl who two days before had been hit in the face with a hockey stick and it had broken her cheek bone and she was all swollen and bruised. After prayer the swelling went away and she was able to poke her cheek and there was absolutely no pain where as before she could hardly even touch it! So good.

God is moving in signs and wonders in such a new way, it is gathering speed and we need to jump on board and be praying for everybody with anything wrong with them as this is the season of healing - if this is what God is doing, then I want to be doing it to! More Father!!