This testimony borders upon fantasy and the insane. (This is not an apology, just a heads-up that those who read this should prepare to have their ‘this is how God does things’ boxes broken open. I know that it broke mine.) Enjoy!!!
The third week of our outreach was Friday, September 17th, 2010. A group of about ten students from Hand of Mercy and various campus ministries met together in Danforth Chapel. After about an hour or so of prayer and worship, the group split up into two teams to go do outreach on Mill Avenue.
A lot happened that night, but I’m just going to share one particular testimony that stood out to me.
One of the teams consisted of Kiah, Alea, Will and Justin. At one point in the evening, one of them felt like a guy that they saw on Mill Avenue matched one of the images that the Lord had shown them during prayer. He disappeared from their sight, but they thought that he had gone in the CVS on the corner of Mill Avenue and University Dr.
Once they were inside the CVS, they couldn’t find him anywhere. What they did find was a group of three high-school guys hanging out in the liquor isle. They overheard the kids talking about their fake IDs and what they were going to buy that evening. The outreach team approached them and struck up a conversation. The first 20 minutes of the conversation primarily consisted of trying to convince the kids (amidst discussion about Jesus) that they really weren’t undercover cops.
Amidst the awkwardness of the conversation, Kiah’s knees began to hurt and the Lord gave her a word of knowledge about one of the kid’s knees in the group. She interjected into the conversation and abruptly asked, “Who’s knees are hurting?”
One of the kids instantly responded with a mixture of shock and questioning concern. Looking quite taken aback, he tentatively told Kiah that his knees hurt. He told her that he had knee problems and that they had been hurting pretty bad while they were standing around talking.
She told him that God wanted to heal his knees. So there in the liquor isle at CVS, the four college age students from the outreach team gathered in a circle around the high-schooler with the bad knees and began to pray for God to come and touch him.
Will later shared that as he was praying for healing that night, it was the first time that he had ever had the faith for the healing. He shared that something had just ‘clicked’ inside of him as he was praying and he knew that the kid was going to get healed. There was no ‘might get healed’. He knew what God wanted to do and was doing right then.
After the team finished praying for the kid, they asked him how his knees felt. He said that he didn’t know.
Will exclaimed, “Well try ‘em out dude!”
The kid walked around. And then jumped up and down on them. And then squatted and bent them and stomped his feet.
To the amazement of both him and his friends, his knees were completely healed.
This is where, in my opinion, the story gets crazy…
So the team and the kids were congregated in a circle as they were continuing to pray and worship on the liquor isle.
All of a sudden, another group of people walk in the CVS, start heading towards their circle and then run towards them. When they get there they start saying things like, “Oh my gosh! There’s fire here! Whooooaaa there’s fire!!!!”
The outreach team assumed that the group knew the high schoolers and the high schoolers assumed that the group knew the outreach team. As it turns out, nobody knew anybody else.
The group that had come in and was now praying and still talking about the fire began to share why they were there. One of the guys from their group said that they were a group of Christians out on Mill Avenue doing prophetic evangelism. They had congregated outside of the CVS and the Holy Spirit had told Victor, one of the guys in the group, to draw a triangle. The Lord then told Victor to draw a circle at the top of the triangle. Victor shared that after he had done this, he felt like God told him to follow the triangle and that after they followed the triangle they would find a circle and inside of the circle there would be fire.
That circle was the prayer circle in CVS and that fire was the fire of the Holy Spirit.
The high schoolers and the Hand of Mercy team both got pretty rocked by this and the high-school kids were convinced (and were correct in thinking so) that the people in these two groups really didn’t know each other and this really wasn’t an act (it wasn’t).
So there in CVS, a large group of students congregated together and worshipped God.
As they were worshipping, the manager of the CVS came up to them and told them, “If you’re going to pray, you can’t congregate in the aisles like that, please move to the pharmacy section.”
So they did. And God continued to show up in the Pharmacy section. By the end of the night, those three high-schoolers were forced to come to terms with the fact that there was a God who loved them so much, he had sent a small mob of people after them to make Himself known and to reveal to them just how much he loved them. God was after each and every one of their hearts.
God is the pursuer. Jesus was faithful and pursued us to the very end. He pursued our hearts to the point of death on a cross, then overcame death itself for the sake of love. He pursued us while we still hated him. While we wanted nothing to do with him. That is the love of God the Father. He’s not disappointed or angry at you. He loves you and there’s nothing you can do to make him love you any less. He loves you because he loves you because he loves you. While we were still in sin, Christ died for us.
You were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2