This week I went to pick up some regulars for our Thursday night bible study when a bunch of ‘extras’ jumped in the bus who had (they said) “never been to church”... There were two young women and a little girl...
We have started watching ‘The Chosen’ series with the people, and before the screening, we read the relevant scriptures that the episode then shows visually.
After the first episode, without planning to, I stood to tell the people Jesus is as real now as He was then, that He is powerful and that He loves them.
I talked to one of the young women after the meeting and she said it was her first time at church. I asked her what she thought of the movie and she said “I was shocked at the end” (when Jesus was there). I was compelled to tell her Jesus can heal her like He healed Mary in the first episode and straight away, in a flood of tears, she invited Him in, to wash away her brokenness and sin. As I prayed for her I told her Jesus makes us new inside and, after, when I asked her what was going on she said: “I just feel happy. Before I didn’t and now I do. I feel different”
After the meeting, when I did the bus ‘drop off’, the same young woman’s mother just happened to be sitting outside the house and Jesus made a way for me to minister to her too... I told her while I was sitting in the bus that I had looked over and saw her alone there, smoking a cigarette, and that I heard the Holy Spirit telling me to go tell her Jesus loves her so much. Although it was late seeing her and hearing the Lord had made me turn the bus off, get out and go and sit with her... When I told the woman the message, she smiled from ear to ear!
I didn’t know then that it was the mother of the young woman who had just got saved back at the church... After I was introduced and made the connection, the mother told me both her children are heavy marijuana smokers. I told her what happened to her daughter that night and to my surprise the mother said: “I miss God, I miss worship, I miss the gospel”. She had followed Jesus many years ago in her remote community and since living in town had fallen away from Him. So right there, in front of her home, we prayed together, and God crashed back in to her life!! Then the family brought her son through to their front porch, where we were, and we also got to pray with her son. Jesus gave me some encouraging words to say to him and he seemed really hungry as he sat to receive prayer.
After that, some of our ‘regulars’ were asking God for the gift of tongues, so I was able to teach from Acts 2 and explain how praying in tongues edifies/builds up your spirit, making you strong inside... I left them all there, full of Heavenly joy, as they all called out “good night! God bless! “ smiles all over the place and some excitedly planning to go to bed that night, practicing speaking in their heavenly language!
As I drove the bus away, I thanked Jesus for the opportunity to see Him moving powerfully in these ones hearts and lives and for the instant powerful hope and love He brings, breaking through the most desperate situations. I thanked Him for ‘the meeting after the meeting’- on the front porch of the families home and shuddered to think of the opportunities missed if I had just dropped them all off and raced home in the bus for an early night... Some nights He will show us to get home quickly, but I realised again, His pace is so often slower than my flesh wants to move... To move low and slow through this town, giving Jesus and people time, stopping for one at a time in rhythm with His heart is such joy!