Gifts Of A Revival
It was a bright Sunday morning. I wasn’t sure what to expect today, but I did want to explore. I was intrigued by what Winston said and it somehow stayed in my head, even the directions. Normally I would forget the things I did in the morning by the evening and especially forget at times what I did the day before. Maybe it was a sign.
I had let the children go to their normal Sunday school and I got ready to go to Winston’s church.
He was right, it was a relatively easy journey. I got there about ten minutes early and there were lots of young people greeting and talking to each other and children running around. I took a seat towards the back as I didn’t see Winston and waited patiently. A young lady came up to me after a few minutes to say hello, something I was dreading as I didn’t want anyone to talk to me as it would mean I would have to speak back and I was conscience of my speech ‘Hello my name is Lisa, nice to meet you. Is it your first time here? I looked at her and smiled, anxious to open my mouth, and she went on… ‘How did you hear about the church, did someone invite you? I was defeated, I had to answer now otherwise it would be rude. ‘Winston invited me’ I looked at her face to catch her reaction, every stranger always had a reaction. But there wasn’t even a flinch. She looked at me as a normal human being as if she heard no impediment. ‘Aww Winston yes he’s not here yet but I’m sure he’s on his way. Sit right here and I’ll tell him you are here when he arrives.’ I said thank you and totally relaxed. How friendly was she wow, and didn’t even make me feel different, I liked it here already.
A few minutes past and I glimpsed Winston coming in from a side door. As he walked I saw Lisa approach him and his head looked up and had the biggest smile once he saw me. He beckoned a woman behind him and they headed towards me. ‘Hey you made it, aww man I didn’t think you’d come, I’m so happy to see you, meet my wife Sabryna.’ I smiled at them both and I felt rather overwhelmed. Sabryna smiled and said hello and told me to come and sit with them as they sat more to the middle rather than to the back. I got up and as we took our places the service began. The songs were so wonderful and the music, it was nothing I ever imagined church music to be. Everyone either had their arms raised or were clapping hands The energy was so good.
The Pastor was a visiting Pastor and he had me captivated from the beginning. He spoke on broken vessels and how God is the Master Potter and we are clay, that he takes us cracked, breaks us, melts us and remoulds us stronger than before. He spoke of the power of love and how it conquers a multitude of sins. I sat very quietly. At the end of the service some people went to the front to kneel and pray and there were some who hugged and spoke to them. Nearly all the people that listened to them had tears and the ones who spoke smiled. It was a strange sight. Sabryna asked if I wanted to go up to the front but I declined. The less I was seen and heard the better.
Winston seemed a little disappointed that I didn’t go up to the front, but he smiled, still thankful that I came. They dropped me home and said they could pick me up tomorrow night for the second day. I didn’t realise I spoke so much to Sabryna she was absolutely lovely, and I thought she was the perfect wife for Winston.
As promised they came to collect me, I left the children home with Ken it was a school night and I wanted some time out on my own.
Just like the day before, the church was busy and the worship music was so good. The worship team, the music, everything was amazing. The Pastor preached on the effects of unforgiveness and bitterness and how it is related to certain illnesses and diseases. He spoke of the healing power of the love of Jesus and how much God loved us so much that He gave His son to die for us. I knew about God and Jesus and the Trinity etc that was standard knowledge, but the way he broke it down was so different and it made total sense. I wanted my healing so badly that when he asked who wanted Jesus in their heart and t be healed from the past I raised my hand whilst every head was bowed. The pastor looked at me and asked if I meant it, I nodded and he encouraged me to come out of my chair and come down to the front. A lady stood with me and she told me to repeat the words she spoke, and I did. An overwhelming feeling came over me and my eyes involuntarily filled with tears and the lady beside me smiled…. Awww I thought, as I remembered the scene the day before!
A young Asian girl came up to me after service with the biggest smile, actually it was more like a grin, she seemed so excited ‘Congratulations, you got saved that’s awesome’ I was confused, what did she mean? ‘You went to the alter and gave your life to Jesus,’ ‘Oh yes, thank you’ I searched to see where Win and Sabryna were standing, I felt safe and not so intimidated once I was near them. This girl was persistent and continued to tell me how much my life would change and I will receive a miracle healing and how God loves me so much. She was a lovely girl but overly chatty and bubbly, she was definitely filled with the joy of the Lord.
The other girl that came to the alter and spoke to me and lead me in prayer was called Michelle. She had a gentle kind nature about her and spoke to me for a while. She was so patient as she waited for me to get my words out, in fact they were all so nice. I felt so accepted with this disability to the point I forgot anything was wrong with me.
The third night Win and Sabryna came to collect me again, this time I brought the children with me. They had two young boys roughly the same ages as my three. They had a seven- seater car, Ethan was small and we were able to squeeze in the extra child.
When we got to the church, quite a few of the familiar faces came to say hello to me and the children and made them feel very welcomed.
They had children’s church that ran at the same time as the main service so I sent my lot along with the rest of them.
Service once again was amazing. The Pastor touched further into the powers of healing and that we all as children of God, had the power to heal. Many other people got ‘saved’ that night and I understood the tears and smiles now.
After service Win introduced me to a few more people. He was particularly excited for me to meet an elder in another branch of their church. When the person turned around every part of me shuddered, I wanted to run, I wanted to hide, I wanted to be sick. What kind of church was this, was this a joke? Ethan was standing at my feet and I literally froze. Win was like ‘Don’t you remember Edmond?’ He had a smile beaming across his face, ‘Edmond look who it is, can you believe it we’re all here, saved, how many years later, who would’ve thought? Edmond shone a smile ‘oh my goodness is that Maria? Wow hi sis, it’s been a long time, it’s so good to see you.’
Was this guy seriously going to act like nothing happened? He looked straight through me like he had no idea what I would be upset about. although I did not show it, to be honest I was so taken aback by his calm casual outward look that I was silenced. Winston started to explain to Edmond about the stroke and the symptoms it left me with. Edmond turned and said he will pray for my healing right there and then. What was I hearing? I was not about to let him lay any kind of hands on me. This was the guy that touched me indecently in the worse way as a young teenager, that jumped the fence, that after the ordeal I still ended up getting licks from my mum as my niece told her there was a boy in the house, whose touch made me feel dirty and soiled, and started my need for scolding hot baths. Did I hear right, Winston said he was an elder of the church, what the heck was that? I assumed that meant something important like being the pastors’ right-hand man or something, and anyway, how was it even possible the church could be run by womanisers who had no regard for who they damage.
I was apprehensive but Edmund reassured me that God was going to make me talk again and Ethan was looking up excited that he might see some kind of God magic or something. I decided to go with the flow. I wasn’t the type of person to rant and rave in public and it seemed Edmund was oblivious to anything he’d done to me. Was this God? Could He take such a dark horse like Edmund and change him completely? I found hope three days ago and It was sweeping away from me as fast as it had come.
Edmund asked about the chain and pendant I wore around my neck. It was a gift from my brother in law, the pendant was a patron saint of nervous diseases. ‘Nope take that off and throw it away, healing comes from God not images we wear. ‘ There was a good few people around us including the pastor that preached. All who were near enough laid their hands on me and the rest stretched their hands out towards me and they started praying. Edmund prayed mostly in English but most of the others prayed in different languages. I couldn’t make out where they came from, whether some parts of Africa or somewhere. I closed my eyes and tried to clear my head and just ask God to work for me. The praying stopped and Edmund said ‘say something’ well what? Ethan tugged on my skirt and said ‘ Say hospital, you can’t say hospital’ which was true, I pronounced it something like ‘harspidial’ so I opened my mouth and said ‘horspidal. Horspi… hosspidal.. hospital… HOSPITAL’ omg was this real? Ethan was jumping up and down ‘say Nadia say Nadia’ ‘Narrrrdyah… Narrrdayah… Nadyarrr… Nadeeear… Nadia, Nadia Nadia’ I was jumping up and down and laughing and crying at once, I hadn’t been able to say my daughters name in five months. Everyone was cheering and clapping. Pastor Dillard said ’say Jesus’ ‘Jayzus… Jeeeayzus… Jesus, Jesus, Jesus’ the whole group was I uproar, Ethan was jumping up and down, Pastor Dillard, Edmund, Winston, Sabryna and Michelle all started to pray. There was others but I was in a daze. I tried again to talk but it fell back into the impediment, I was exhausted and felt like I was going to pass out. The pastor said I made huge progress and not to be discouraged that I am not completely healed but God has shown His healing powers and sometimes it’s a process. I had a taste of who God is and what He could do for me. He encouraged me to keep coming to church and keep praying and believing. What a night.
The excitement in the car going home was electric. Winston couldn’t stop going on about it, he talked and laughed about how great God was for the whole car ride home. Me, all I could think of was how a teenager that made me feel so dirty and was one of the reasons my sex life was so screwed up, became a decent Christian man that respected others, especially women and prayed for peoples healing. It was mind boggling.
The last night of the revival meeting and Pastor Dillard preached a message on the gift of speaking in tongues and how the Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we can’t find the words to pray or need specific details, when we pray in tongues it is a heavenly language which speaks directly to God exactly what needs to be said for our spirit knows more about what we need or desire… or something like that. I realised that what I’ve been hearing is not a load of different nationalities in church but them speaking/praying in tongues.
By the end of the service I also put my hands up to receive this gift. After a while I started to say things I didn’t understand, it was just flowing out of me like a cup over flowing, my goodness, what a week.