Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ministry Update

Our B.U.D. team had just returned to the hotel from a Christian conference in Kansas City, Missouri. My seven year old grandson, Jason, took a seat with my daughter, Molly, in the main lounge area of the hotel. Suddenly a young man, who was also attending the conference, walked up and introduced himself to Jason. "My name is Alex and God has given me the gift to be able to see light and dark coming from a person. I noticed so much light coming from you that I would like to pray with you." He then prayed for Jason - that the light God gave him would always be there. His prayer was very sincere. When he finished, he started to say good bye but then Jason asked to pray for him. Alex was very excited at the offer!

Jason then began, "Jesus, I pray that you will take away all the fear Alex has that he is going to die. Please remind him that you will keep him here until he has done everything that you need him to do. Thank you God for Alex and just please take away all his fear, Lord." When Jason was done praying Alex fell to his knees. He looked in shock for a few seconds and then began to share something with Jason and Molly that they were not expecting. He told them that he had been consumed and haunted with fear his whole life. He never slept through the night for fear that he would die while he was sleeping. He was convinced that something was going to kill him the moment he fell asleep. Even after giving his life over to the Lord just a few months prior, he was still struggling with fear. He could not believe that Jason knew something that only he and his mother knew. He felt like God had set him free, but the true test would be going to bed that night!

We saw Alex the next morning and he looked completely different! He was going around telling everyone that the Lord used a seven year old to set him free. His mother, Crystal, came up to Molly and became very emotional. She told Molly that her son had never slept through the night for fear of dying - until last night! Crystal later shared she had been recently set free from a very difficult past and was now in an apartment with running water! We decided to give her Molly's CD, Set Me Ablaze and a CD player to listen to it. A few days later we received this email:

Molly and Jason, ~ Just wanted to send a hello and let you know that I've been thinking and praying for you. I also wanted to let you know that the CD that you gave me is way beyond awesome!!!! On the way home I was listening as the rest of the vehicle was talking and what a sight. Everyone else is laughing and cutting up and I'm bawling like a baby. Track three so hit the nail on the head. I don't know how but you managed to describe me. I am still listening to it at least three to four times a day. I thank the awesome Lord that I was blessed by having you sent into both mine and my son's life. May the Lord continue to bless you. ~ Crystal and Alex

Whether in the urban core or when traveling occasionally out of state, we see God reaching out; touching, healing, and loving. When individuals have an encounter with God, families are impacted. When families change, neighborhoods are affected. A lot of effort has gone into improving the urban core of Minneapolis. "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong" (1 Cor. 1:27-28). Jesus is using those who possess sincere love and childlike faith more than the "experts" with the latest church growth formulas and methods. May God grant us the grace to reflect the true nature of His Kingdom.

As Bethany Urban Development has passed its ten year milestone, could you prayerfully consider increasing your involvement? We are conducting a major outreach next month with the urban churches and Bethany College of Missions. Let's work together to make a positive difference in people's lives!