I realized that yesterday’s blog post wasn’t incredibly clear on what we’re up to this week, so in a brief nutshell, I’m going to share what we’re doing before I get into some testimonies from today. This week, we’re in Columbus, GA with a group of the Penn State students who are part of the ministry that I work with. We’re here ministering to the lost and broken, we’re in some relatively dangerous scenarios. Really rough neighborhoods but God’s covering is on us and He’s giving us the privilege to be the vessels that carry His love into these incredibly dark areas.
We can pray that God blesses us and equips us but what we don’t always realize is that in that blessing comes a prerequisite that we have to be willing to be sent to the dark places. God is in the business of redeeming what is lost, bringing life where there’s death; so when we pray for more of God in our lives, we need to pray that prayer with the understanding that we’re going to have to go to the uncomfortable places and it’s such a blessing and honor to be able to do this alongside of these students.
So here it goes, the testimonies. There’s honestly so much from the day but I’m going to share what I can in 1000 words.
The morning was fairly quiet. We were out in a pretty rough neighborhood ministering to people in the street with prayer and prophesy. Trying to be a light in the darkness; but when we turned the corner of a certain street, we could tell that we just crossed an invisible barrier into a totally different realm. Both physically and spiritually.
Physically, we could tell that it was a different neighborhood. The rest of the neighborhood that we were in was rough. Low income, run-down, neglected. Everything you imagine when you think of low income, subsidized, inner city housing was where we were at but it still felt relatively safe. People are friendly, they enjoy the conversation and relationship that’s born out of the encounter. They love receiving prayer and if they don’t want any prayer they politely turn it down.
But when we turned the corner of this particular street that whole feeling changed and we felt the floor of safety just drop out from below us. The clothes we were wearing, the way we carried ourselves, we blended in the way oil blends with water. We knew something was different when the first words spoke to us were, “Are y’all cops? You better be getting up out of here if you are. Oooohhhh you brave.” But we were still comfortable, just aware.
Spiritually, you could feel the shift as well. We turned the corner and the weight of oppression was so heavy that you could tangibly feel it in your body. Not all that dissimilar to the feeling of walking outside to an 80% humidity day from the comfort of your air conditioning. It feels like walking into a wall.
So as we walked down this street, just taking in our surroundings and trying to be aware and attentive to how the Lord might be wanting to move. The young woman who asked us if we were cops gave us the opportunity to strike up a conversation after finding out that we were just a group out blessing the community. So as we were there talking to her, one of our girls shared a word with her that just rocked her and opened her heart entirely to what the Lord wanted to do for her.
As this was happening with the girls, us guys were simultaneously carrying on a conversation with a couple of guys in the yard. They began to share with us about the history of the house we were standing in front of and really the neighborhood in general. How the house we were at was a dope house. How a week before a young man had been shot in the neck and killed. That drugs had just taken over the streets and basically every second or third house on the street was a drug house. Just an incredibly dark neighborhood, spiritually speaking, a stronghold for darkness.
I share all of that to illustrate the stark contrast and enormous victory that was won when the young woman we were ministering to got saved while standing in the street. With broken hypodermic needles on the ground and drugs being peddled from the house ten feet behind us a young women found Jesus and her life will be forever changed.
That was one of three salvations in that hour. The other two is a story for another time but it involved a gun, a domestic dispute, and a couple of women on their way to their drug dealer’s house.
The other encounter I want to talk about happened when we approached a woman and just simply asked her if she needed prayer for anything. No big build up, no lead in with, “We’re a student group from Penn State, we’re here doing…” We just asked her if she needed God to move in any particular way in her life and she swiftly replied with, “I have cancer.”
She went into how her grandfather was a pentecostal pastor and that when she was a little girl somebody had prophesied over her that she was going to struggle with severe health issues in her late thirties. So here she was, 38 years old, with cancer of the brain. So I assured her that I didn’t believe that was a word of God that had been spoken over her and then I asked if it would be ok if rather than praying for healing if I could pray to break off that curse that had been spoken over her 30 years earlier.
So we prayed. It was a couple of simple but powerful prayers of “breaking off the curse in Jesus name” and “binding the power of darkness over her health.”
After praying, she informed us that she was actually on her way to the doctor this afternoon to see if the cancer was operable. So I asked for her number because I wanted to be able to follow up with her and see how her appointment went.
And then the miraculous. After an afternoon of praying for her and waiting to hear back, I got a text message around 5:30 p.m… The report: there was no cancer found on her brain where cancer had previously been identified and confirmed to exist. God healed her on the spot when we broke off the chains of a 30 year old curse.
A women who woke up this morning believing that she had cancer is going to bed cancer free tonight because we prayed a prayer and God used that prayer and turned it into something incredible.
I share these testimonies for no other reason than to encourage people that God still moves like this today. And I share these testimonies because in Revelation 12:11 it says that the testimony of the people defeats the powers of darkness. So be encouraged by what God is doing through this group of students in Columbus; but let it move you beyond simple encouragement and into a place of defeating the darkness. Like I said, God’s in the business of redeeming what seems un-redeemable, He’s in the business of doing the impossible, just agree to enter into that place just long enough to shed the light.
Much love guys! Peace