Monday, 8 February 2010

USA Tour: Day Two

We were at Bethel Atlanta today. Wow. A young church in both senses, they’ve only be going about two and a half years and a lot of the church is young people. We arrived at about 8:30 to set up and sound check for a 10am start but due to a snafu with the words, which weren’t typed up into PowerPoint, we started a bit late. A guy called Ryan pulled out all the stops to get the words cut & pasted from an email into something that could be projected on the screen…it added a bit of stress into the mix but it all worked out OK. The reception for Godfrey was so open and warm and there was no sense that we were cutting across anything or anyone – but that we were drawing alongside and running together. They crowd of several hundred (I’m no good at estimating numbers but I guess maybe 300+ or so) sang “Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven” with all gusto to start – and I doubt many of them knew it. Then after a bit of an intro we got into the flow with “Lift Up Your Heads” and it popped! I’ve not seen anywhere respond so enthusiastically other than “Emerge Wales”. “R U Ready” went down a storm and the bass player and keyboard players were really in the groove.

Once the worship time was over some folk came out to share some testimonies and they were brilliant. One guy was driving between two towns and was running really late but stopped at a “Wendy’s” for some lunch and the Holy Spirit told him to have lunch with an older man who was in there. He said to God “I can’t today I’m running really late” and got his food in a take-out bag and headed back to his car with the Holy Spirit prompting him a few more times to stay and have lunch with the older guy and his wife. He resisted and set off out of the car park and then the Spirit said “I want to heal the guy’s wife” so he turned round and went back! He approached the couple and said “Would it be OK if I eat my lunch with you?” and they seemed welcoming but as they were at a table for two it was a bit awkward and the conversation stalled a little so he said “The Holy Spirit is really on you two and I just wanted to sit with you” and that didn’t help at all and things got quite uncomfortable. Eventually he said “Can I pray for you?” to the old lady and her husband jumped in first and said “You tell the nice young man what’s wrong with you honey, he wants to pray for you” so she started reeling off a list including her only remaining kidney was packing in, her liver was playing up, her heart hurt but they couldn’t find anything wrong and she had crippling arthritis in her hands. He asked to hold her hand and prayed a simple prayer and she said, when asked if she felt any better, that she didn’t physically but that felt God’s presence and knew God loved her because he’d had the young guy turn around and come back to pray for her. He said “Well that’s good and all, but I really think Jesus wants to heal you” so he explained about praying again and then he prayed again. The husband suddenly said “Look at your hand – the swelling’s gone right down” and she held her hand up to her face and declared that it really had. She made a fist and wiggled her fingers and said that she couldn’t have done that earlier. He then noticed the hand he was holding had the fingers fixed folded right back across her palm and the knuckles were hugely swollen. So he prayed again and the swelling just started to go down and her fingers straightened out. She said she also felt a lot better inside and was sure that Jesus was working on her liver, heart and kidney. With that the place erupted in cheers and praise of Jesus.

After a couple of other testimonies about awesome healings, a guys with kidney stones who got pain free and passed them pain free(!!) and an atheist who called up a girl in the church to pray for his Dad who was dying who was then discharged from the hospital within days perfectly well, a girl who looked about 17 called Lacey Thompson got up to preach. She isn’t 17 apparently, she and her husband Scott have kids and work with Jesus Culture, and she spoke really well about the encounter of the Holy Spirit and the relationship we can have with him. Loads of people came forward to declare their desire for a deeper relationship with him and she and a few other started praying for people and ministering. Godfrey went up and started playing his guitar quietly and it gradually built up so I joined him on the drums and it all kicked off again. This is a church that knows how to worship – to turn the attention of their hearts onto Jesus and to pour out their love to him.

We had a restful afternoon and evening with our hosts Graham and Linda and are going to do a bit of sight-seeing tomorrow during the day and then we’re back to lead the worship at their equivalent of School Of The Spirit tomorrow night. I think that will really explode as these guys are ready, ready ready!

Oh and for those that are interested the drum-kit was a really nice Gretch four-piece with reasonable cymbals. I re-tuned the snare ‘cos it was awful, to my taste, but the toms sounded sweet.

2 comments:

  1. sounds great, really happy for you Phil. have a great time at school of spirit lol.

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  2. Good one Liggy, U iz under tha birth sign of tha star ;)

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