September 08, 2010

reflections on the outreach - equipping youth

hard to know how many people were involved in the 3 outreaches (maybe 200). many who came said they wanted to see their first miracle on the streets - and they did! I was particularly moved by the teenage guy from our Vineyard Church who was skeptical about all the healings he had heard about and joined our team to see one. He basically said, "show me the money" - after God used him to bring healing to 3 people. I asked him how he knew it was real and he told me that when the man who was healed asked, "Did you do magic on me or something"? he was convinced!

That was powerful - a youth from a Charismatic Church who himself was a skeptic UNTIL he saw people healed. Guess who was on EVERY outreach? He was hooked! Can't wait to see what happens as he returns to our Church believing that God heals and wants to use him to release His Kingdom.

Also had others see healing flow through their hands for the first time on the streets as they saw a whole new approach to reaching out.

reflections on the outreach - demonstration 1st, talk 2nd

in all of our training, we emphasized that we wanted the people we met to encounter something of God's Kingdom 1st, before we spoke to them the Gospel verbally. Whereas BOTH approaches are Biblical (sometimes Jesus preached 1st, and then demonstrated miraculously and other times the demonstration came 1st), I believe that in America we find ourselves needing to demonstrate the Kingdom supernaturally BEFORE we try to talk about Christ.

This happened on the streets on Saturday over and over again. An accurate word of knowledge, a physical healing, meaningful prophetic ministry or even an encounter with God's love. I am reminded of one Arab muslim man who witnessed the healing of a friend of his AND THEN I was able to speak boldly about the Jesus who just came in a miraculous demonstration. He gladly took the Arabic New Testament I offered him and I spoke about Christ's Deity openly (which isn't always easy with muslims). He told me he would cherish the gift I came him (the NT) and would study it carefully. I know that without the demonstration of a healing miracle, I would have never been able to speak as clearly about Christ without an argument. No debates, no arguments about muhammad and the quran - Jesus was all we talked about!

All afternoon, Kingdom encounters came 1st and then we spoke more about the Gospel message. I heard from other teams and heard exactly the same types of stories. Several people gave their lives to Christ.

I believe we have a serious credibility problem in minds of many unbelievers and yet, when the Kingdom comes in power, our credibility is often instantly restored and they are asking us about the Jesus who just healed them.

reflections on the outreach - power of the testimony

a number of people we approached were not interested initially in our offer of prayer for their healing. this seemed to be the case with many who had conditions we could see (cane, crutches, casts, wheelchair). However, if somehow we could get a testimony shared of their condition being healed (either earlier in the day or at some other time), then we got to pray for them. The testimony helped them overcome their initial skepticism and released faith - at least enough faith to let us pray.

one man I remember had just limped out of a Psychic/Palm Reader shop walking with a cane. I didn't think he'd let us pray (because of the shop he had just emerged from), but we asked anyway. He thanked us for our concern but wasn't interested. Then I quickly recounted a couple of testimonies of scoliosis being healed (one that was dramatic and instantaneous), and then he let us pray. God began to move and in the exact spot in his spine where the scoliosis was the worst, he began to feel the Holy Spirit's power! At the end of our prayer, he agreed with us IN JESUS' Name (which I heard him utter).

As he walked away, we saw that he was walking NORMALLY. We were probably as shocked as he was! The power of the testimony seemed to be the key to entire encounter!

There were several others who initially either declined us or were very hesitant to receive prayer UNTIL they heard a quick testimony.

many healings on the streets this past weekend

a large group of us did a series of 3 outreaches this past Saturday and saw God work a number of Kingdom miracles. Here is a summary of what we saw:

1. A mother and her daughters were sitting on a bench. The mother had a cane, so we stopped of course. She had had a hip replacement that hadn't healed well. First we prayed for a neck problem which was healed. then we prayed for the hip which was also much better after prayer. She didn't stand up to fully check it out, but was moving her leg up and down without pain. They were strong believers and very encouraged!

2. We see a woman in a wheelchair. She had suffered from a stroke. We got a word of knowledge for her neck. The Lord began to touch her as we prayed. At the end, a chronic pain in her foot was healed. She didn't want to try walking. We did ask. Another word of knowledge came for her friend - a wrist condition in her left wrist. She had carpal tunnel and then all the pain left after prayer.

3. We got a prophetic indication to approach a couple who we felt needed prayer. They asked for prayer for their marriage. God just really touched them. They knew the Lord and we prophesied over them.

4. We see a man with a cane walking out of a Psychic/Palm Reader. He had scoliosis. Initially he didn't want prayer, but after a testimony we shared about a healing, he let us pray. God began to touch him. He felt tingling in the EXACT place where he had scoliosis. It was getting better. He prayed with us IN JESUS' Name (which was a bit of a shock after leaving the psychic). he walked away without limping from before.

5. A Nigerian taxi driver took us up on our offer of a miracle. His knee was all wrapped up. We prayed for him and he said it felt better. We asked if he could test it out - he began running down the street! He came back - totally healed. This opened door to speak to Arab man from Algeria and we gave him an Arabic New Testament and I shared the Gospel with him in Arabic. He had seen a miracle and now it was time to communicate Jesus' message.

Others were able to minister to another taxi driver who needed inner healing and forgiveness and his dream interpreted.

What a difference it makes to minister the Gospel after everyone sees a miracle!

6. A group from a Church walks by but were not a part of our outreach. We tell them about the miracles we've just seen and then one girl in their group tells us she had a knee injury. Painful.

You could tell that they weren't a Church that was particularly interested in healing (unbelieving believers). The girl looked to her pastor to see if it was OK and and they let us pray.

But, Jesus destroys pain and she was completely healed! Then she looked back at her pastor to see if it was OK to that she was healed. He was! They were so stoked and said that they will share it publicly in Church this week.

7. Three Hispanics healed - we approach a group and ask if anyone needed a miracle. One man said he had pain in his foot. We prayed and this hispanic man's foot is healed. Another man in their group also saw his foot healed and then asks "what, is this magic or something?" We said "No it is Jesus!" Then we prophesied over 2 girls in their group and imparted gifts of healing to them. We also did some training to teach them how to pray for the sick.

One from the hispanic group that we had just ministered to, came back after like 10 minutes and brought another man with foot pain and we see the 3rd foot healed in a span of like 10 minutes.

We then imparted a gift of healing to the woman who brought him so she can "go and heal the sick" too! Gave a her quick training on how to do that. We trust she'll go for it.

8. We started talking to two Hispanic women. In broken Spanish, we were able to discover that they had pain. They let us pray. One of them saw pain left her legs. I asked several times and she confirmed it was gone.

The other woman had pain in her shoulder and it felt better (most of the pain left) and she felt peace. I asked her in Spanish if she was feeling "la paz" and she said yes!

Funny thing happened when a policeman was walking up to their car which obviously needed money in the meter and I asked him not to give them a parking ticket. He said, "I would never do that when people are telling others about Jesus Christ"!!