Overall, this was the theme of the last ministry trip of 2014 as I felt a lot of convergence happen with multiple things that I love. Our team went to Oklahoma and Wisconsin to spread the love of Christ through healing and preaching truth and identity. Here’s where it all came together for me.
To Encourage and Empower
As you can see by the picture featured on this blog, there was a bigger team of us ministering this time. In Wisconsin, we were joined by students who are in their 2nd year of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. They were all incredible and represented Jesus so well through how they loved, ministered, and just by who they are. I saw such passion and hunger in them – first and foremost for Jesus – but secondly to learn about and see the fullness of the Gospel displayed! They were not out to “limit” God, but to let God be God and do what He loves best, which is encounter His kids. I love connecting, encouraging, and empowering others, so it was a beautiful moment to come alongside of these students and see them shine! For one student, he prayed for a young woman who suffered with bipolar disorder and the next day she decided on her own to not take her medication and see what would happen. She said that she felt totally different and relieved, like the noise had quieted down. The person of peace, Jesus, had come!
To Share My Heart and History in God
Another moment of convergence for me was when the three of us interns had the privilege of leading a Friday night service on our own. I value how my mentor Chris gives us opportunities to be stretched and trusts Jesus in us to do His thing no matter how much experience we have had in an area or not. This was my first official time preaching/sharing in a service so when thinking about what to speak on, God led me back to my own story which is where all of this passion began. It was such an honor to share my heart and my own journey with the crowd. The topic I chose was on perseverance and tenacity in the supernatural. For those of you who are Ohio State fans, this was the Friday after OSU had just defeated Wisconsin, so talking about perseverance was a timely message 🙂 I said that to them and got a mixture of genuine and uncomfortable laughs. That was fun! I vulnerably shared “victories” and “defeats” and keys that the Lord has given me for breakthrough in praying for the sick. Here’s a taste of what I shared:
Key #1 Look at the person of Jesus. He is our standard. Don’t lower the Gospel to the level of our experiences. No settling, no excuses, no striving. Don’t pray harder, just look at Him. It’s all of Him through all of us.
Key #2 Get back up. Keep praying for the next one who needs a miracle. Step out again. Let every “victory” and “defeat” pour fuel on your fire to see more!
As Pastor Bill Johnson states:
“We see victory as the changing of outward circumstances. God counts victory every time you pray again after loss.”
It was an honor to represent victory to this crowd as I shared my stories. I also feel to encourage you with something I said to this crowd. At times when people are hesitant to initiate ministering to someone, they think, “What’s the worst that could happen.” The potential responses seem meaningless so they talk themselves into approaching the person. What I challenged them was to instead think, “What’s the best possible thing that could happen?” This happened to me when I was working out at the gym in Cleveland and the Lord told me to go pray for this significantly larger, tough looking guy. The Lord said to me, “What if, Angela, by you praying for him, he not only gets healed, but also saved and then my Spirit breaks out in this entire place and you see revival happen like never before?” I think as we make this shift in our mindsets that we will be the most eager people in the world to share Jesus with others!
To Love and Minister to Kids
In Wisconsin, we had a service just dedicated to ministering to children with illnesses and special needs and their families. These are my favorite moments in ministry as it’s the Gospel in its simplicity and my passion to see these children healed. We get on the children’s level, meet them where they are at, connect with them, love on them, and let the Healer Jesus touch them in the process. With one kid, he was around 9 years old and didn’t want to be there. He suffered from ADHD and anger/defiance issues and as soon as his mom began to talk, she broke down in tears and desperation. As I began to talk to the boy, he clearly did not want to be there so I started trying to connect with him. His name began with an “A” and so does mine so we played a guessing game. He guessed my name on the first time! He then also guessed another fact about me on the first try! His mom did not realize that he had this prophetic aspect about him. She was encouraged! I then asked if I could pray for him but if we could have fun while we do it. He questioned how we could have fun and pray at the same time and Holy Spirit dropped the idea into my mind of thumb wrestling with him 🙂 I love how God knows how to touch people and how He also likes to have fun in the process. So we began to thumb wrestle and as he was trying really hard to beat me, I just began praying over him and releasing grace, peace, and the Father’s love. He won multiple times – of course! After that time, he was then open to others on our team ministering to him, hinting if they also could thumb wrestle 🙂 Breakthrough takes on different forms, and we saw it!
The Purest Form of Worship
As I stated in my blog title, there was a moment where I experienced the purest form of worship in my life. I met a new friend who was around 10 years old and he said that he wanted to come pray for people, so he came with me. Instead of praying, he just wanted to wait with me until worship began. This young boy was born with only half of a brain and he worshiped the Lord in a way that I cannot even describe in words. With an unsteady gait, limited vision, and an off-pitch voice, he just worshiped like it was just him and God. At one point, he walked up onto the side of the stage and just began singing with the worship band. I wish I had words to describe what I was experiencing as this little guy lifted up praises to God. What I do know is that anything that the enemy deals to us, God still works for the good in all of it. Even amidst his disability, this little guy’s spirit was more alive than most I’ve seen. We are waiting to hear of the creative miracle in which his brain and body is restored, but I experienced Heaven on Earth in those moments with him. I can only imagine what more might happen as we let our children freely express their hearts to Jesus!
As I end this blog, I want to introduce you to the precious mother of a preteen son that we met. They still need prayer for continued breakthrough but here’s their incredible story in her own words:
He was hospitalized for violence, aggression 4 times and about every other Sunday night this fall, we have been to the ER for sedation. I have an appointment to get sedatives from his pediatrician this week. We were dealing with police calls and holes in our walls.We adopted him from foster care, a special needs adoption and he had significant disabilities and mental health issues. At the age of 4 he began telling us that he was going to kill us with knives. His aggression was triggered by anxiety which shut down his frontal lobes of his brain. He was unable to access any expressive language and unable to receive language. The week before the healing [meeting] we were in an ER getting sedated. His anxieties were so high that he is in school in a separate building from kids and only in one class a day. The stress of that one class has sent him to the hospital again and again.That was before.Since last Sunday [12-14-15]Monday was not a good day. No changes. My faith was holding by a thread and all day I prayed to claim the Lord’s healing. He swore at me violently using all his worst language.Tuesday: On the way to school, I mentioned a criminal car with tinted windows driving by. He argued that it wasn’t. Exasperated after the prior day/week/ month, I said sarcastically, “you know everything.” Normally, I keep my mouth shut but I think I was still suffering battle fatigue. He responded with words and tone that I usually use.“Mom, listen to my voice. My voice is low and calm. I am not raising my voice. I don’t want to argue with you.”Needless to say, hearing my words coming out of his mouth, I shut mine and sat dumbfounded. On the way home from school, I was again talking to him and arguing. He again said, “Mom, I don’t want to argue with you. “Later, I thought about the day and realized that he was changing but I was still reacting as if he wasn’t.Over the course of the week, he has woken up positive and not cursing, he has done chores including extra without complaint and he had an incredible 4 days at school. I shared with his teacher about his healing from the Lord because of prayer. I have so much more I could say but it would take a book. I am daily praising the Lord.
Thank you Jesus and thank you all again for your love and support in this unique season of my life!