Boldness

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On Friday nights, teens and young adults who are hungry to know more of God get together. Zach usually preaches (bless his heart, he is amazing and passionate) and then we play some worship music and pray for one another and just soak in the presence. This past Friday, one of the guys who comes brought 3 new friends and as soon as they walked in the room they were like, "Dude I can just feel something in this place, it is historic." I just smiled because I know the feeling. It is God’s presence in His simple beauty. As I was sitting listening to Zach speak, God started talking to me about one of the guys there. He was telling me that something was wrong with this young man’s dad. I said to God, "Tell me more,,," So He did. God continued to tell me that his dad was sick. I kept asking God for more information until I had gathered that his dad was sick, something serious, and something is wrong with his lungs. I was excited and nervous all at the same time to get this word. I often see or hear things for people and I am tired of keeping it to myself. So I wanted to tell the guy this word but then I stopped one more time to say to my Father, "What else should I say? I mean there is no hope in me just telling him that God knows his dad is sick…" Of course our Father, who is most faithful told me to tell the guy to pray for his dad everyday until he believes that he will be healed and then he will be healed, simple. After worship I just had to share, I couldn’t wait to say something. I was a little reluctant to be so specific but I wasn’t wasting my whole detailed conversation with God! I just started telling him what the Father was telling me in front of everyone and before I could even finish he had dropped to his knees, praying and praising God. He was in awe as he told us that his dad has been in the hospital for 2 weeks with pneumonia. Right then and there he just thanked God and recommitted to Him and getting to know him on a deeper level than ever before. He was spiritually awakened! Two of his friends just dropped to their knees, humbly praising God. It was such a beautiful moment. I also continued to speak what God had told me about someone’s mother and someone going to Saudi Arabia. At the end of the night I just felt so encouraged to tell others what God wants to say to them through prophecies and words of knowledge and I pray that I have more boldness to take this outside of the church walls!

Submitted by Brittany Bear

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He is I AM

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Friday night service testimonies, prayed for someone with a headache and they felt better. Then I got a text later that night and it was completely gone. Prayed for someone who had back and ankle pain from a recent car accident, which felt better after prayer. I also got a text that night and it was 90% gone.Prayed for someone’s back and it was healed. Prayed for someone who had financial need and the next day received the amount needed three hours before the dead line. Someone prophesied over several people and was dead on. Prayed for someone with a fever and they felt better. Offered to council a family member of someone who attends Friday nights, and was told that they were not to sure they would agree to it, then got a text later that night and the person agreed. Amazing grace how sweet the sound….God not only saved us but he gave us authority over everything. Begin to walk out what you have and what you have already received. Don’t worry about the why nots, and focus and the yes and amen! Move in power because you have the spirit inside you, Faith increase in the name of Jesus! Believe He is who He is and He is I AM!!!

Submitted by Carlos Zapata

Confirmation

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I was at a small diner in northern York county with my good friend and boss. Our server came over and we saw that she had scars all up and down her arms. It was very obvious that she was a cutter. Not wanting to upset her, I asked another server about it and she said that the girl has had a very rough childhood and life and that she used to indeed cut herself. She said that she had awful self esteem and no identity. So I said thank you. Later I asked our server, Danica, to come over to our table when she had a minute. She came over and I asked her if I could pray for her. I explained that I believe that God loves everyone and has a plan for everyone and that I would just like to speak some truths over her and break off some "junk." She said ok. I took her hands in mine and they were cold and felt almost lifeless. I prayed that God would give her a touch and reveal his plan for her life to her. Then we broke off chains that she was allowing to hold her down and the bondage of her past. I spoke over her that God is going to have her speaking to women who have the same kind of troubles and that cut themselves. That she is going to be an example or proof to them that through Daddy’s love and grace she was set free and that they will be too. Afterwards she was so happy and thrilled. She excitedly shared that her mom and her moved here from California and that her Mom had gone through New Life For Girls and now in fact works there. She said that they have asked her to come and be part of the program and then she may be able to speak to other woman. It was confirmation for her. It was great, you could see the release in her!

Submitted by Steve Snyder

The Crowd

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So, since I came to Gonaive its just been one bad thing after another (though through it all I’ve been really content and happy). A bad bus accident in which I was first on the scene and helped pull bodies out of the overturned bus, several deaths of children in our community, and then last night I was robbed at gun point while walking home after dark with two friends. Thankfully, we were not hurt.

Anyway, the bad stuff was not what I wanted to write and tell you. So, I have never forgotten what you spoke over me before I came here, that there would be healing in Haiti when I came and that I should expect, not ask. I’ve been frustrated because it seems like there has NOT been healing since I came. At least not for the people I’ve laid hands on. Last year, one man had a healed back after I prayed for him. But, since then…nothing. I’ve laid hands on people in the market. A week or two ago, a three year old little boy (he was a brother to two of my students and a son of a Voodoo priest) died. The family was distraught. The Holy Spirit moved me to go to their house several hours after he died to pray for him. He was in the house covered by a sheet. He had been dead for 6 hours or so. I laid hands on him and prayed that he would be raised from the dead. As I prayed his father just wept, and wept. It was probably one of the most difficult things I’ve done. I was just wrecked. I was so expectant for his tiny body to start moving again…but nothing happened. It was really hard.

In a recent prayer meeting with my American’s here, I asked for prayer for patience. What I didn’t know was that the next day, two friends prayed that God would give me a visible sign of my work here, that I would see why I am here and how it is impacting those around me. That day, I just had one of the most positive days. I had decided that for every person that I passed that called to me or was rude, I would stop and talk to them. So, I did. It was taken so well by all the people. Every conversation I had was just different from normal. Because I’ve done that before and have not always had great results. This time, no one begged…everyone was happy to talk to me. It was great.

I was almost home and I passed by four beggar women that ALWAYS sit in front of the huge Catholic church in the main town square–the busiest part of the city. They always look really poor and rough. They are there almost every day. They reached out their hands begging. I told them, "I’m not going to give you money, but If you would like to talk, we can talk." They got so excited and had huge toothless smiles. They were very old and skinny. They jumped up to talk (by the way, this was right after the hurricane). When I asked how they were doing, they told me they were not good because they got muddy and wet in the rain. I asked if it had flooded their houses. They said, no we don’t have houses. We sleep under a tree at night. I was floored and didn’t really know what to say. All I could think of was "can i pray for you?" They all said "YES!" except for one lady. She said, "Do you go to this Catholic church?" I said no. She said, "well then no, you don’t need to pray for me" and she sat down. I said, "Madame, that is no problem. If you don’t want prayer that is ok, but I believe that the church we go to does not matter. The only thing that matters is that we love God, we pray to him, and we worship him." The three ladies that were still standing all said, AMEN! So, I put my arms around the three ladies and started praying. I was praying in Creole so it was kind of hard. I’m mostly fluent but I never pray in Creole so it felt kind of awkward. I warned them of that, but they didn’t care. They just said, "pray, pray!" As soon as I began to pray, the lady who didn’t want prayer stood up, joined us, and put her arm around me to receive prayer. It was so cool. I didn’t know what was happening really in them, but I knew God planned the ENTIRE thing and that he was doing something within them even if I didn’t know what it was.

After I prayed for them as a whole group, I figured I already looked crazy in the middle of the street praying as people were stopping to watch and stare, so why not keep praying? So, I asked them if anyone had pain or sickness. They all said, "YES YES!!!!" and started pointing to places and telling me all of their problems. As this was all happening, the crowd around me was growing. People were literally pushing and shoving and starting to argue so that they could get prayer first. It was INSANE!!! I could not believe it!!!! Nothing like that EVER happens here…people always just want money or things and this time ALL they wanted was my prayer. So, one by one I prayed for each of the 4 women. Some of them just said, "everything…pray for everything…my entire body is in pain." The lady who originally didn’t want prayer was the first to ask for MORE prayer. She asked me to pray for some physical pain, but more importantly for her son. She said he is a wicked man who has killed, stolen, lies, and has raped many women. She said he is an embarrassment and that she didn’t know what to do. I just prayed as best I could and spoke love and forgiveness and grace over all of them.

So, after I prayed for the first four women, people just kept approaching me and pushing their way towards me for prayer. I prayed for SO many different things. Blind eyes, crippled bones, swelling, chest pain, leg pain, arm pains, hips, backs, head pain…honestly, you name it and I prayed for it…seriously! And then, as I was praying and stumbling my way through in Creole, people in the crowd were yelling, "AMEN! MESI JEZI! (thank you Jesus)." I was addressing the crowd and asking them if they believed in the power of the Holy Spirit to heal their pains. They all said “yes keep praying!!” One lady had a lot of leg pain, and I prayed for her multiple times and she said it was starting to feel better. I encouraged her to keep believing in the healing.

IT WAS SO AWESOME. People were hilarious too. There were so many people staring at the crowd. I heard whispering, "What is the white girl doing?!" People responded, "She’s praying". I heard one man behind me say, ‘Oh, the white girl isn’t really praying…her eyes are open." hahahah! Hilarious! 🙂 I think I prayed for at least 15-20 people. I was so overwhelmed and full of joy when I got home that I just started crying. It was INCREDIBLE! Then, the very next day, I got asked to lead Saturday youth group in Port au Prince (three hours away) with the youth group that I helped lead last year. So, I got to share the whole testimony and there were over 60 Haitian teenagers there. They were all really encouraged by what had happened.

Submitted by Katie Benner

Celebrate Testimony (No Matter How Small)

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In the very beginning of 2012, Brian prophesied over our church that 2012 was going to be a great year of blessing and that we would see promises being fulfilled. Ben and I took a hold of this prophesy and have nurtured it in our hearts these past 9+ months. We believe that God is about to bring us into the fullness of our destiny, and we have been relying on His provision and promises for many months now. One area in which we have no choice but to rely on Him is with our finances.

We keep looking for a big miracle, a huge supernatural display of power and love. And often, it doesn’t really look like God’s doing a whole lot. But recently, He has been reminding me that He is present and He is blessing us by providing for our needs…no matter how small. I recently posted a testimony about how He has been multiplying the gas in our cars, which is an amazing blessing! And this past week, we saw Him meet our needs in two small but significant ways.

First, our washing machine stopped working and we were going to have to buy a new one. This was made more frustrating by the fact that we’re trying to sell our home, so we would basically have to buy a new washer just to leave it behind. However, a woman that Ben works with said that we could have her old washer (in perfect condition) for free. Her husband even helped Ben get it into our home. Right after we got the washer situation fixed, we noticed that our shower was leaking and a wet spot was forming on our living room ceiling. So, we called the plumber to come take a look. Before the plumber came, we prayed over our plumbing and I had a fleeting thought that maybe God would bless us by prompting the plumber to forgive our bill. (The plumber is $70/hour…no free estimates). After about 30 minutes, the plumber showed me where the leak was coming from and explained how to fix it. Thankfully, he said that it wasn’t a problem with our plumbing, just some leaking around the old fixtures and tiles. As he went to leave, he told me that he wasn’t going to send me a bill for his time!

God has used these two examples to remind me to celebrate each and every move of His power, love and mercy and to share every testimony, no matter how small. Like Brian said yesterday, God blesses us in increments in order to increase our faith for more difficult and daunting circumstances. We praise Him for these blessings and give Him the glory through our testimony.

Submitted by Tabitha Phillips

Who You Really Are

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Just on Monday, the principal of our school told me of a student that was coming to my room “immediately”. I teach an emotional support classroom ranging from kindergarten to fourth grade. God has been doing some amazing things in my room for several years now where healing and restoration is the norm. Often we can overlook God’s power and take what He does for granted. I wanted to share this testimony as an encouragement to everyone to not underestimate what God can do through you right where you are.

This student was coming to my classroom immediately and urgently because he was getting violent and unreasonable for anyone to deal with. He was punching, kicking, and hitting other students at school, mouthing back, rebelling against any direction or guidance from teachers and administrators, and even was acting in the same manner at home and on the baseball field. This third grader was brought to my room with urgency portrayed as some monster out of control.

I met with the student for ½ hour initially on Monday morning connecting with him, showing interest in him, and building trust. I reviewed with him the information I was given and he confirmed the things he had done that landed him in my room. I simply stated to him that these actions and choices where just that…actions and choices. That is not who you are! I told him that I was not mad at him. I care about him and that is why he is in my room. I emphasized that these choices he made does not make him a bad guy. At this point, he was staring at me wide-eyed as if he never heard this before (probably because he never did). I had his attention, then I said again, that is not who you are. Then I proceeded to tell him who he is. I said, “did I ever tell you how amazing you are? You are amazing! You are a smart kid with lots of talent and skill! You are creative, athletic, and…. I went on and on with the truth of who he really is, and after the first compliment, his eyes welled up, got watery, and he was zoned in on every word I said. For the first time, this young man wasn’t defined by what he did, but he was defined by who he was created to be. Now he believed it because someone cared enough to clarify who he is by speaking the truth over him.

That was just the first ½ hour. I then sent him off to one of his classes and had him come back as a follow up about an hour later. I probably didn’t even need the second ½ hour, but I wanted it to stick. I have him check in with me three times a day (for about 2-3 minutes unless he needs to talk) so I can remind him of who he is. Everyone is in disbelief. Even the mother called the school and said she doesn’t know what we did at the school, but he did a complete turn-around at home and even on the baseball field. He is in the same school, on the playground with the same kids, playing baseball on the same team, living in the same house, but with a different understanding of who he is. The principal said he doesn’t understand what I do, but he can’t argue with the results. He said if we could bottle and sell whatever it is, we could be millionaires. That is the problem. We have bottled up who God really is. What we need is to make His truth known and many of these issues and problems will simply go away. You can speak life or death over others. The Truth of who you really are (and the power that lies within you) will set you free. Clearly these life-changing stories come about through the Power of Holy Spirit.

Submitted by Mark Heidel

Dice

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"Dice." This is what I believe I heard when I asked God for a word for my waitress. With nothing else to go on, I stepped out and fumbled through my words to ask her if she liked dice. She paused for a moment to process what I said and it turned out she thought I said "spice" instead. That’s funny to me since "spice" is slang for substances used to produce experiences similar to marijuana. Also, "dice" didn’t seem to register with her so I felt a little awkward. My friends and I continued our dinner and I excused myself after we finished. While away from the table I started asking God about the "dice" and what He wanted her to know. I believe I heard, "Tell her how much I love her." Returning to the table I learned my friends already prayed with her, but there was a window where I could share with her too. "I believe God wants you to know how much He loves you. I believe He also wants you to know that He wasn’t playing dice; He wasn’t gambling when He made you….." and I shared other words of encouragement about destiny and uniqueness. She was thankful for what I shared and got back to her work load. It didn’t seem like there was a giant impact, but I believe God can use what was shared. Also, I’m praying that now "dice" comes up in her life in so many ways that she undeniably sees God’s hand in reminding her how much He loves her.

Submitted by Matthew

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