Go into all the world and preach the Gospel... Mark 16:15
Restoration to New Life Meetings
Thank you all so much for supporting this trip. I just wanted to take a moment and tell you about the awesomeness of God.
Wikipedia says, “The Azusa Street Revival was a historic Pentecostalrevival meeting that took place in Los Angeles, California and is the origin of the Pentecostal movement. It was led by William J. Seymour, an African Americanpreacher. It began with a meeting on April 14, 1906, and continued until roughly 1915. The revival was characterized by ecstatic spiritual experiences accompanied by miracles, dramatic worship services, speaking in tongues, and inter-racial mingling. The participants were criticized by the secular media and Christiantheologians for behaviors considered to be outrageous and unorthodox, especially at the time. Today, the revival is considered by historians to be the primary catalyst for the spread of Pentecostalism in the 20th century.”
This mission trip gave me an opportunity to glimpse what that revival must have looked like.
We arrived at Scoville Church of God, Booneville, KY, on Tuesday, November 15th around 4:30 pm. As we started to unload the vans, Pastor Rob, the local pastor, told me about his back hurting and how it was giving him great difficulty. I didn’t pay much attention, because I was in the mindset of getting everything unpacked. Well, about an hour or so later, as I was in the basement kitchen unpacking boxes, Pastor Rob came down and started talking to me again about this bulging disc in his back and how much pain it was giving him. I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to STOP and pray for him. So, I stopped what I was doing and asked him if he would like for me to pray for him. His response was, “Anytime you’re ready”. I put my hand on his back and started praying, in the name of Jesus Christ. I began to gently pray for his entire spine and pass my hand down his back. I felt a spot about ½ way down that had some sort of knot that was protruding. I continued to pray, passing my hand over his spine. When my hand reached the area where the knot was, just a moment ago, it was smaller. I commented that it was getting smaller and asked him if he felt it. He said that he felt something. I continued to pray. The next time I reached the spot, the knot was gone! As I rejoiced with excitement, I asked him how he felt. He said that he felt great and started to bend his body forward and back, then right to left. The smile on his face said more than his words. He said, “I feel so good; I think I’ll go upstairs and take part in band practice.” So he ran up the stairs. God had healed him right then and right there!
A few minutes later, I heard the “thump, thump, thump” of feet coming quickly down the stairs. It was a young lady, Misty, about 12, who was coming to ask for me to pray for her chest because she hadn’t been able to breathe very well lately. I laid my hand on her, prayed in the name of Jesus Christ, and she immediately began taking deep breaths. She went back up stairs and rejoined the band. God healed her right then and right there! A few minutes later, I heard “thump, thump, thump” on the stairs again, and down came a young woman, named Krystal, that I had never met before. Krystal asked if I would pray for her throat because it had been sore and scratchy. I touched her throat with a couple of my fingers and began to pray for her, in the name of Jesus Christ. When I finished, I asked her if her throat felt better. She swallowed and said “Yes!”, with a very surprised look on her face. Another one healed right then and right there by God!
That was just the beginning of the miracles that God worked every day that we were in Booneville.
During services, a woman named Ruby, who had lung cancer, came up for prayer; and, by the end of the prayer, she was taking deep breaths, which she had not done in years.
A 7-year-old girl named Shalena, who had lung issues, came forward for prayer; and, before the end of the prayer, she was taking deep breaths. The next night, her mother, Becky, stood up to testify that God had healed her daughter. She told everyone, “Last night, when we went home, Shalena coughed and hacked up mucus all night long, and in the morning, she was breathing normal and playing.” This mom was so thankful to see her daughter restored to a normal little girl.
Becky asked for prayer concerning her heart on Wednesday evening. She told me what her condition was, but I had no idea what she was talking about, so she started to explain. I stopped her and said that I didn’t have to know, because God could heal her. I anointed and prayed for her, in the name of Jesus Christ. At the next evening’s service, she couldn’t wait to tell everyone what wonderful things God had done for her. This is a paraphrase from her Facebook post: “I have had Mitral Valve Prolapse, the last 3 years being the worst. I was, or at least thought I was, having trouble with this. My heart felt like it was flying, irregular, and such. But, it was not that. On Thursday morning, I went to the doctor, only to find out that my blood pressure and pulse rate (instead of being 70- something over 40-something with a pulse rate of usually around 60- something) was 100 over 80 with a pulse rate of 80. Praise the Lord! The funny feeling I was having was only fear, until I learned what was really happening. I am very thankful for what God has done for me this week!!!!!!!” At the evening service she said that the “flying” heart rate that she was feeling was actually what “normal” was supposed to feel like. She just hadn’t felt that way in years. It sure is amazing when God uses doctors to prove His healing power!
A father and his daughters came forward on Friday evening to ask if I would come to the place where the mother was sitting and pray for her. When I saw the woman come in, earlier that night, I felt in my spirit that I needed to pray for her eyes. The family requested prayer for her lungs, so I asked if it would be ok if I prayed for her eyes, too. “Yes” was the reply. So, I laid my hand on her shoulder and prayed, in the name of Jesus Christ, for her lungs and then for her eyes. At the Saturday meeting, the husband stood up to tell everyone what had taken place in his wife, since we last saw them. His wife had coughed up mucus most of the night and was taking full breaths in the morning. Then, with his voice cracking, he said “but when my wife was reading the paper this morning, we stopped her in shock, because she was reading it at arm’s length.” Until Saturday morning, Rhoda had only been able to read by holding a document within inches of her face. What a witness to God’s healing power!
When ending the services on Sunday, a woman named Judy came forward for prayer. She had a growth on her face that was approximately 1 by 2 inches in size. We anointed and prayed for her, in the name of Jesus Christ. Pastor Rob expressed verbal and physical excitement, as he witnessed God’s ministering to this woman. Before his very own eyes, the growth on her face reduced from two mountain peaks to one; then, it went from a mountain to a mole hill; and finally, it went from an ant hill to a pimple. Once the growth became pimple-sized, the Spirit of the Lord was so strong on her that she could not help but to surrender to Him.
Every service, we saw Christ show up and show off. Praise the Lord! He IS still alive, and he is still doing the miraculous in the lives of people in need.
We also went to Booneville to serve the community by assisting with a couple of their practical needs. We had planned to make a coat and food distribution on Saturday, before we left; but, by mid-week, the temperatures were down into the teens, and people were coming to service wrapped in blankets. So, we started distributing coats on Wednesday night and continued each day, until we left. Praise the Lord! We still ended up with plenty of coats to distribute.
Thank you for contributing so generously to make a way for these people to have (in addition to coats) hats, gloves, scarves, and even boots, for those who really needed them.
Before we left the Charlotte area, I noticed one of the coats that was donated. It was a girl’s two-piece set with coat and matching pants (kind of like a ski jacket & pants). The pants were purple, and the coat was white with purple flowers. As soon as I saw it, I said that it looked like Shalena. Sure enough, when Shalena entered the coat room in Booneville (and before I could even direct her to it), she ran straight to that jacket and pants combo, picked it up, and (with a huge smile on her face) said, “Can I have this one?”. My heart skipped, and I said, “Of course you can, honey”. It was a perfect fit.
A very similar thing happened with a young man named Aaron; but (of course), it was more subdued, since he was a young, adult male. But, it was still the same. I knew that that coat would be for him. Then, he talked about that cream-colored coat all week. One time, he came to me and said, “Look it even has a place to put a phone. This coat was made for me.”
Earl, the father I mentioned earlier, came to the coat room, not concerned about himself, but hoping that his daughters and wife could be warm. Once his family was set with coats, hats, gloves, scarves and boots, I asked him if I could get him a coat. He thanked me for giving his wife and girls coats and said that he would be fine without one. I noticed that he was wearing a wind breaker (on that day, the temperature was between 19 and 32 degrees). I encouraged him to come in, and I told him that he would be doing me a favor to take one of them. So, he reluctantly came into the coat room. Then, I asked him for his size, and he said that he was a medium. Sitting, right at the top of the men’s medium stack, was a warm, tan, leather coat. I picked it up and asked him if he thought it would work. He couldn’t hold back the smile and excitement in his eyes. He put it on and pet one sleeve with the opposite hand, lovingly, and said, “Oh this is nice; I’ve never had a leather jacket before.”
One of the young men, who was part of the church band, came in on Friday to pick out a coat and noticed that there were a few boots left. He asked, “Who are the boots for?” I told him, “anyone who needs a pair” and then pointed to a pair on the bench (the ones he had been eyeing from the other side of the room) and said, “these are a size 10, but we can’t find anyone to fit them.” His voice was full of joy as he said, “I wear a size 10”. Then, I told him to go try them on and that they were his. He put them on with great joy (like it was Christmas morning) and started walking around the room, in what seemed to be disbelief, talking to himself about the shoes. I glanced at the shoes that he had taken off. They were worn-out black tennis shoes. He wore the new boots every day, thereafter.
The food boxes were a tremendous hit. Witnessing the excitement over receiving a coat, hat, gloves or boots may not be very surprising (for some), but seeing someone look at a food box with the excitement and anticipation of Christmas, the 4th of July, Easter and their birthday (all rolled into one), it is difficult for the hardest of hearts not to weep. Lola, the women’s ministries leader (and a lovely lady), saw us on the day that we sorted the food and packed the boxes. She commented on the applesauce - how much she loved it and how expensive it was.
Saturday afternoon, we conducted a budgeting and frugal living class. The class was well-received, and we had many in attendance.
The hugs and kisses of thanks that we received were more than I can remember to count. But, one of the sweeter things happened on Sunday morning, before our last service, when Ruby gave me a hand-woven vine wreath as a “thank you”. The other makes me want to cry each time I think of it. Lola brought me 2 quart-size jars of green beans that she had canned herself as a “thank you”. My first thought was, “no, you need the food yourself”, but my second thought was to not offend, so I hugged and kissed both of the ladies and thanked them so much for the wonderful gifts. (Some of you may be wondering if Lola ever received the applesauce that she had been admiring earlier in the week. Yes, we searched through about 5 boxes, until we found the one with the large jar of applesauce.)
Thank you all so much for your gifts of coats, hats, gloves, scarves, boots, food, money and prayers. Look at what God did through you! Yes, through you! We are all different parts of the body, reaching out and ministering to others.
Our ministry has a handful of events over the next several months.
February 8th-12th: “Restoration to New Life” meetings in Indian Land, SC;
(God has put on our hearts to minister to this area by teaching practical life skills. They have a lot of land, and we are planning to help teach them ways that they can use what God has given them);
June 2nd-9th: “Purity” Vacation Bible School in Booneville, KY;
June 2nd-9th: “Restoration to New Life” meetings in Booneville, KY;
July 16th – 20th: “Purity” Vacation Bible School in Indian Land, SC.
Would you consider participating in these events as a team member, prayer partner and/or with a financial contribution? Once again, we thank you for all the support you have given in advancing the message of Christ and reaching out to those in need. Donations