The Powerful Life Changing Message of Christ
Summer Institute - Hamilton
From May 22-29 I was able to attend a YFC credentialing training session in Hamilton called Summer Institute. This is a gathering of people mostly from Canada but also including international staff from countries like, Muldova and France.
God taught me some truly amazing lessons in those eight days and I was able to build relationship with some wonderful staff from all over the world. Our time consisted mostly of classroom learning on topics that included leadership, unity, reliant spirituality, critical youth issues and partner development. And while the classroom time provided some great head knowledge, for me the best stuff came from God outside of the classroom.
To begin with I came into the weekend with a bad attitude and a desire to be back at home with my pregnant wife (for those of you who are not aware, Ally is currently in her third trimester carrying our first child!). God instantly corrected this as I was immersed in a wonderful community of believers who loved Jesus and shared a desire to see the lives of youth changed by Him. This provided the base for what was to come next, the truly amazing guidance and work of the Holy Spirit in me and through me, which culminated in the following two stories.
“Sing to the Lord; praise his name.
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.“
Story #1 - Ian Healed
The first story of the weekend surrounds the evangelism night we participated in that was led by YFC’s Adam Chevsky. The plan for the evening was to head into Hamilton to walk the streets praying for people and sharing the love of Christ however we could. Adam began the night by saying the point of this was not to see God work in some cool ways, but for us to live everyday looking for opportunities to share Christ.
There were 13 of us there and Adam thought we could start the night with prayer and asked if someone needed prayer for something. My roommate Ian, who is 45 and recently had hip surgery, put his hand up and asked for prayer for his legs which now 9 months after surgery were still about an inch and a half different in length (the doctor said this should have corrected within 6 months). The problem was such that he could not stand straight and had resulting alignment issues all over his body.
So Ian sat down on a bench and one of our team held his legs and prayed for God to heal. The team member lifted the legs up and held them together and the 1.5 inch length difference which was just there, was gone. Ian stood up and after the shock and disbelief wore off, began to cry and praise God for the healing which had just happened.
With this primer we went out into the streets of Hamilton. In my mind I kept asking myself, what does it look like living this out daily?
Story #2 - A Meeting Setup By God At The Airport
It was as the week was wrapping up and I was getting ready to fly home that God was going to give me opportunity to put into practice all the things he had been teaching me.
I was flying home with Carissa Plett and in the course of going through security we got separated. Our flight didn’t leave for several more hours so I wasn’t concerned and decided to sit down at some couches in the airport to charge my electronics. As I was about to begin playing on my phone I looked around and saw that nobody else sitting there was interacting but instead were head down playing on their phones. Instantly the words Adam spoke at the evangelism night went though my head. So I prayed to God and said, “your servant is listening, who can I tell about You?”
Within a couple minutes a guys sat beside me opened his bible and began reading from the book of John. I asked him what he was reading and he said he was reading about Jesus feeding the 5000. Then I asked him to tell me about himself and why he was here. Turns out he was a brand new Christian from Bulgaria who was here to meet with a Christian faith healer. He was seeking to be healed from several different debilitating health issues. Now he was on his way home and had not been healed and was very depressed and struggling. He finished his story and I prayed for him, but it wasn’t me praying as God was speaking directly to this guys soul through me. I am not a cryer, but in the middle of the busy airport began to cry as I prayed. God did a miracle right there and as the prayer finished this guys head popped up and he had this biggest smile on his face. He told me that he was so discouraged and crying out to God on his flight home that he was seriously considering suicide. He said God spoke to him through the prayer and he now knows that God loves him and has a plan for his life. Praise God!
The change that God brought about in those couple hours we talked was truly amazing. I can do nothing but praise God for the way He had setup this meeting and the way He worked in both of us in the middle of the busy Toronto airport.
Before he left for his flight we connected on Facebook and hopefully the story will continue.
I would ask that you pray for this young man as he still needs healing for his body as well as needing to find connection within the body of Christ at home. Within his family are many broken relationships, pray those are healed.