I got back on Tuesday and have been trying to catch up on sleep and otherwise just trying to process the trip. People told me that it would be life changing, and they were right. I feel sort of like I did after GSI, that I didn’t want it to end but it was time to go back to the “real world.” I’d never been under what is called an open heaven before, and I’m not sure I can even describe it. It’s something that has to be experienced.
I did some journaling, but not near enough. The first few days most of us operated out of sleep deprivation and massive amounts of coffee and adrenaline. As I was in the second group that flew out of Baltimore, we had next to no rest before the first meeting. My roommate Laurie was a friend from GSI, and we spent some time in prayer before we hopped on the bus to head to the church. My mantra (to myself) for the trip was “It’s not about you!” even though my emotions tried to tell me otherwise. I knew I was going to have to battle those bad girls down there, and they didn’t relent. But victory finally came the last day as we checked out of the hotel. And all it took was a rhema word from the King…but I’m getting ahead of myself.
That first night the music was so loud I thought we might all need prayer for healing for our ears, lol. And trying to talk to people over it was difficult as well. God showed up in a big way after Randy preached about the baptism of fire, with many coming forward crying. He told the team to lay hands on them, and many fell before anyone even got to them. The first person I prayed for went down and though I thought I was prepared I ended up going down with her in an attempt to keep her from hurting herself. Honestly I don’t think it would have mattered who prayed for her, the anointing was that strong. My translator, Michael, had been healed earlier through a word of knowledge, and though he didn’t have the best English, he certainly was on fire for the Lord.
The first person I prayed for for healing was a woman around 30 years old. She’d had shoulder pain for six years and couldn’t raise her arms above her shoulders. I prayed a short prayer and then asked her to lift up her arms. I think I must have been holding my breath as she raised them to shoulder height, slowed, and then kept going, raising them completely over her head! Our eyes got big as saucers and I literally jumped up and down shouting “Gloria Deus!” I don’t know who was happier, lol. I prayed for a woman with foot pain but didn’t understand quite where the pain was. After the first prayer she pointed and I prayed again, this time with my hand on the part that was hurting, and commanded it to go. She said she felt heat (I didn’t) and that the pain was gone! Not everyone I prayed for was healed, but it was encouraging to see God answer prayer right in front of my eyes!
In the mornings we had ministry training, and those were special times as both Randy and Tom Jones shared from their experiences. They also did impartation. Twice Randy skipped me, and the one time he did go “down the row” I managed to stay on my feet, not because I was resisting, but because I was telling God I didn’t want to go down too soon and thereby “short myself” of any blessing. And about five seconds after he moved on I went down, lol. That time was interesting, because as soon as I laid down my heart did this flip in my chest where it literally felt as if it came out. Laurie said God was freeing me from something, and I really couldn’t say, but I’ll take that word. I could use more freedom :)
Some notes from the teaching: The baptism of the Holy Spirit is to give you power to work miracles and the power to contend when the miracle doesn’t come. God’s love gives you the power to continue even when you don’t see it. 1 Corinthians 13 was never meant to be the alternative to 12 and 14. It’s meant to be the atmosphere in which 13 happens. It is the better way–moving in the gifts of power motivated by the love of God. All gifts except tongues isn’t for the person that’s exercising it, it’s for the ones involved. Healing in the old covenant was a stream of water. In the new it becomes a flood! Don’t try to make it (healing) happen by your energy or your emotion. Don’t go there, because you’re moving into the flesh. It’s not you, it’s Him! Pray what He speaks to you!
Our second night there (at a different church) Randy spoke on words of knowledge and something like 200 people were healed before the team even got up to give theirs. As I stood there I believed I heard “right ear” so that’s what I said. Many were healed just by standing up when their problem was spoken! Over 100 people came up to receive Christ after this. And then there was more time for ministry and I prayed for a woman named Soraia who had back and neck pain. After prayer it had moved so I prayed against a spirit of affliction. She also had pain in her legs which she said was generational, so there was more prayer in that regard. She said her pain went away! Daniel, a man in his 30s, had lower back pain. I prayed for him and he checked it and said it was gone! Then a father brought up his young son named Samuel. He sought me out because I was the one who said about the right ear and his son had hearing loss in both ears and was due to have surgery the following week. The dad believed prayer would heal him, so I prayed not just for healing but that like Samuel in the Bible this young man would hear God calling him. The dad said he’d take him home (it was too noisy to check in there) and come back the next night. They did come back the next night, and I don’t know if it was any better or not but I saw a picture on Facebook of this little guy lying on the floor. It turns out Randy had prayed for him and he went down, so I’m sure he’s healed now :)
Tom Jones taught one morning and said things like, “Make His presence a priority and walk with an awareness of the Dove that’s on your shoulder.” He spoke from Psalm 42 as well and said that your level of hunger will dictate the degree to which you go for more. I’m pretty hungry :) Tom said we shouldn’t be complacent and should expect another touch and that God would water the prophetic seeds over our lives. After training there was a time of prayer. I was close to the front and at one point Laurie said Tom looked at me and walked across the stage right to me. I couldn’t have told you that because my eyes were closed and I was praying. Anyway he prayed for me and I dropped to my knees and kept on praying. Then he asked us to pray for others the way we’d want to be prayed for. As the training was for the team and for the church, I often found myself praying for a Brazilian who didn’t know any English (and vice versa) but it was still sweet. Love is the same in any language :)
We were turned loose at lunch to go to the mall and I did some shopping, but it’s hard to shop when you have to go by groups of three. Still, it was fun. I found a cute pair of shoes (it’s incredible the styles they have down there). Also got some coffee at a Brazilian Wal-Mart (they’re everywhere, they’re everywhere!). Because Laurie and I were on the team to type of testimonies we had access to the computer and were able to get online for a little bit (though the connections weren’t so great).
The third night was an amazing night. Randy said it was one of the best nights of his life. Earlier he’d told us that he doesn’t see angels but he can tell when they’re there because there’s this electricity on top of his head (must be from the fly-overs!). In any event, he didn’t even get done preaching his sermon on impartation and the people started running forward and crying and manifesting right there. He gave a shout “Global team, get in here now!” and the rest of us who were in the hallway praying for sick people came. What a sight. Laurie had a big night that night and really felt the power of God come through her to the extent that she could tell when a person would be “touched” and go down (or whatever) because it flowed down her arm. I’m not there, so I more or less looked for the ones who looked scared and prayed God’s peace and love over them. I remembered Tom’s words about praying for others the way we’d want to be prayed for and so I did that. At one point a Brazilian woman stopped me and started speaking and I had to do the “Nao fala Portuguese” and then she spoke in English, “Your face is so beautiful!” That meant a lot because for some reason that night my faith was weak and I was battling my feelings. No one I prayed for had healing, and my emotions were running the show. I thought it was awfully sweet of God to have her say that to me. And then I spent some time with my interpreter and she thanked me for asking her to come back. She said she wasn’t going to but had told me yes so she came. The impartation scared her, but she said she was glad she was there. So touching lives can be just as miraculous.
The next day we took the bus to Anapolis. The atmosphere of this church was totally different, and it didn’t appear that they were quite as prepared as the first one was. I learned that the original pastor had died a couple of years before. His widow was one of the leaders in the church, and they continued the vision to build. They have a beautiful building with a lot of room to grow! The meetings had a different “flavor” but God is still God and moved. Four team members prayed for someone in a wheelchair who had been partially paralyzed and he got up out of the wheelchair!!! And I forgot to mention in the first church someone had a word of knowledge for a tumor at the base of the spine and there was a young girl there going through chemo (she was bald from it) and God healed her on the spot! There was also a girl of maybe 10 who had had a brain virus and was unable to speak for a couple of years. When Randy prayed she felt something move in her throat (it had felt constricted) and she talked! They have both those testimonies on film. I hope they put them up on the website.
Our translator there was a “rogue” translator who just showed up the first night because a friend told him about it (he wasn’t from that church). He’d only been a Christian for three months. We found out the next night that he’d been involved in the occult and had toxoplasmosis with partial blindness in his right eye. Laurie prayed for him and he said he felt a burning (to which we replied, That’s good!). He came back the next night and said he’s healed. Laurie knows a lot about deliverance and led him in some prayers. The last night there he shared that he’d not cried in six years, since his grandmother died (which is how long he’d been involved in the occult as well). Anyway, the Lord really touched him that night. I bought him Randy’s ministry manual in Portuguese and one of his prayer cards as well. He’s on Facebook, and we’re friends already :)
The morning we left there was one final GSSM meeting, and Max asked people to share. As many went on to talk about how God had touched them (in some pretty fantastic ways) I heard the familiar negatives start their chanting but I shut them down and told them I was going to rejoice with those who rejoice and not focus on the gee-I-wish-that-could-have-been-me thing. So each time someone shared I would silently thank God for touching them like that, and I meant it. After the meeting was over and I was walking out I told God that I was going to keep pressing in until I had a breakthrough, and that I was going to trust Him, and at some point in my rambling He broke in and I heard, “I will come to you” and something in me shifted. I think Graham would call that a “yahoo moment.”
I realized after I got home that I’d been waiting for something to happen, and may even have blogged about feeling as if I was in an upper room, so to speak. But now I see that though I am still waiting, I have things to do. If I believe the words that were spoken prophetically over me (and I do) then I need to be about the business of preparing to walk in that anointing. That includes a business idea (which would help fund the trips I plan to make) as well as more ministry training and studying specific medical conditions so I can be more effective in my prayers. Oh, and I think I should start praying for people now rather than wait, so I’m going to be making a point of visiting nursing homes. And while I’m at it I think it would be a good idea to document any cases and send them in to Global’s Medical Research Institute (MRI) that’s just getting started. So yeah, lots to do. Somewhere in all of this doing God’s going to show up and surprise me, which is good. I like surprises :)