Hey you all! Well I feel blessed to be alive today. Blessed that I am coming out of this sickness that has plagued me for the past week and a half.
A lot has been going on and, as always, I am a busy girl. Elevate (2nd semester) is in full swing and I'm back to the huge chunks of reading. Which, actually, I absolutely love reading. Ask my parents! I was such a bookworm in the summers of my childhood...reading up until dinner all the books on the Book It list. Hey it was worth the free personal pizzas from Pizza Hut! The prizes were always dinky, but when you're a kid, you only think they're kind of goofy...not totally lame.
Anyway, I am currently in 2 Chronicles and also reading Jimmy Seibert's book, The Church Can Change the World. I really love all of his stories and it's so cool to hear the adventures of our pastor and how his ministry evolved through a series of him and his wife listening to and obeying God's voice no matter how much it cost them. That man has seen God move in WILD ways and in lots of countries!
Last Thursday after worship, our Elevate class went out to share the gospel. My group of 4 went to the Bellmead Wal Mart (well actually several groups ended up there). When we got there, we split up in pairs and walked around prayerfully, asking God who he wanted us to speak with. Ashley's back started hurting as we were walking by this woman, and so we stopped and talked with her. We introduced ourselves and asked her if she would like prayer for anything going on in her life. She immediately said we were sent directly from God to her. We were like yes!! We were actually! She said she wasn't even wanting to come to Wal Mart at all, but she got a new puppy today and had to get him a bed. She was so encouraged as we prayed for her. She said, "What church do y'all go to and who is the pastor? He needs to know they're doing something right at that place, that you guys are truly sharing the love of Jesus with people and not just saying you are Christians!" She was eager to share our method with her church (of how we asked God for a specific place to go and specific people to talk with). She actually did have back pain so we prayed for it and she said it was better!
Our second encounter (we had a word about a person in the produce section standing by the tomatoes)...sure enough we found one! It was a man with sunglasses on and his little baby. Same intro, and the man said we could pray for him but he didn't give any specifics, so we just prayed for his baby and his family, etc. He said he didn't need any healing in his body. He didn't seem encouraged, but was not hostile either. Just seemed closed to hearing about God.
Then we prayed for a woman and her son who had already been prayed for by another group! But they said they could use more. We gave her Antioch info since she didn't have a church home and invited her to the church service.
We also had a word about the color "red" and a heavy-set black woman. Well we found one wearing red in the medicine aisle and prayed for her. She was so abundantly joyful that we had heard from God that she needed a touch from him that night, which she said she really did. She was a single mom trying to make it and pay bills, etc. Her friend came up, eager to tell us her story and even more eager to be prayed over. She said, "You're lucky you didn't find us up by the cash registers for this, because I would've grabbed the microphone for the store and let everyone know you guys were offering healing and prayers." Ha, that might've actually been awesome! They went on and on praising us. The lady who made the microphone comment said she at first thought Ashley and I were makeup artists and that we were so pretty! lol.
So about the time we made the decision to pray for the ladies above, we had been torn because on the other side of us, there had been a woman in a motorized scooter. But as we rounded the corner after talking to the ladies, the other woman from before was scooting along so we still had our chance. We talked with her and she explained her situation. She was Catholic and believed that God could heal her heart and mind, but probably wasn't going to heal her body. As we prayed for all aspects of her life, she began to cry and was so touched by the Lord. We had her test her leg and so as she stood up on it, she goes, "Hmmm!! It actually feels better. It really does!" She kept praising us, but we kept pointing the glory up, because we can do nothing apart from Jesus and his power! She said the true test would be when she went to her car after she was done shopping. We didn't see her, but I wondered if she walked out of that store completely healed!
When we all got back to EPM, we testified. There were some more healings and 7 salvations too...all in 2 hours time! Some of the stories were pretty awesome and our faith was built once again to keep sharing about our Jesus.
7As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, and drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.