Nine of our readers from four countries responded to the invitation to join Steve Stewart and myself on a Journey of Compassion to India. As you will read below, their lives were greatly impacted! I highly recommend you prayerfully consider doing a Journey of Compassion with Steve. He does about six of these a year. It is a wonderful opportunity to minister to the truly needy, while personally increasing in this healing anointing.
Below are some amazing stories! My personal story is in my India blogs. Six days after returning to the U.S. I did a CWG seminar and a healing activation in the evening using Steve's 7 Step Healing Model (Blog here). At least eight people received healing as they were prayed for by various volunteers from the evening service. Praise God!
One had a swollen, painful foot released from pain. Another had a frozen shoulder healed (as we prayed 4-5 times for it). For the first time in five years she was able to feel sensation in her finger tips!
Hospital Procedure Canceled!
Nina shares another testimony from our healing activation practicum that night: “Oh, what a blessing I received this weekend! I had been in A-Fib for several weeks. I was weak and it was affecting me as to how much I could do. Saturday during the CWG conference I began to feel that God was touching me and correcting the heart rhythm. I began to feel better. Saturday night during the healing service I went forward to be prayed for because I desired it to be completed and sealed. I was scheduled for a cardioversion (stop and restart the heart) on the following Wednesday. When the Heart Hospital called and asked me if I had any questions, I expressed that I thought I was back in rhythm.
"They asked me to get an EKG and have it faxed to them. After they looked at the EKG they called and canceled my appointment. Praise Jesus!!!!"
Back Pain "Melted Away"!
My Administrative Assistant, Cheryl, shares her story: "Last weekend something in my back went out. The pain started in my left shoulder and over a period of 3 days crept across my shoulders and worked its way down the right side of my back. It intensified to the point that that right side kept going into terrible spasms when I would try to stand up from a sitting or laying position.
"I had called the chiropractor over the weekend but he was going to be out of the office until Tuesday. I came into work Monday and told Mark how bad the pain was in my back and he offered to lay hands on it. I directed him to the lower half of the right side of my back where the pain was so severe. The muscle was taunt and swollen. Over the next minute or so, I felt the pain lessening in the area where Mark's hand was very gently touching.
"He asked me how it was and I told him and he prayed again. The pain lessened more. He decided to wait for another 10-15 minutes and then came back and asked me how it was doing. That lower half was really quite better but the pain from the mid part up was still very intense and swollen. Mark again laid his hand on that part of my back and started praying. As he prayed, I could feel a very intense heat coming from his hand and the swelling in my back felt like it was 'melting' away. All the tenseness was released, the swelling subsided and the pain went down to more of a soreness in that area. By the time I went home that evening, my back felt almost normal again. It was an amazing healing! Such a simple, quiet prayer yet the Lord honored it and did an amazing work in my back!"
Blessings, Cheryl Rinn - Adm. Asst. - Christian Leadership University
Note from Mark: Interesting that as I prayed for Cheryl, I did feel energy leave my hands, and I could feel her back relaxing, but I would not say I necessarily felt heat. However, energy obviously does produce heat so if you feel energy, I would think you could also assume heat would be present.
What Not to Do!
Then a couple of days later my wife, Patti, worked hard all day long moving things and ended up with a tight muscle in the top of her shoulder. I prayed, once, quickly, not following the 7 step healing model, and nothing happened. So the next morning, I did it right. I followed the 7 step healing model, and after one prayer, the pain in the muscle was reduced, and after the second prayer, it was gone. So it really pays to know and follow the 7 Step Healing Model.
From now on, if the first prayer doesn't bring a result, I will surely pray a second and third time consecutively. I will "ask and keep on asking" (Matt. 7:7 - see the NASB marginal notation).
"He Put Away His Cane!" - Mike & Laurie Leiding, Canada
What an incredible experience this journey was for my husband and I. We saw many people delivered from their oppression. Many were healed and accepted Christ into their hearts. As I prayed for the people in India, I fixed my eyes on Jesus. This is what Christian Leadership University taught me through Communion With God. I would see Him standing there in front of me and He would either reach His hand out to them or send a flash like a camera flash. I would take this as confirmation that the person was healed... and they were!
I waited to see what Jesus would do. Just like in Habbakuk 2: 1, 2. In John 5:19-20 Jesus explained that He could do nothing by Himself. He does only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. Laying on hands and praying in Jesus' name. The healing light which is from Jesus. To fix my eyes on Jesus, reminds me that it is Him that is healing the person not I. I am only a vessel and it is His name that gives me the power and the authority to cast out all demons and heal all sick. Hallelujah!
We are now back home for a week and Mike and I got to share our testimony at church today. We were given 30 minutes which was not enough but the people seemed to feel encouraged. We had a member come up for prayer. One man had been going down hill quite drastically over the past few months. He has bold faith though and Mike and another member prayed for healing and he put away his cane and started walking all around the church with such joy on his face! He then went over to his drums and started jamming. This is not like him in church. He is pretty reserved but to see the joy in his face was amazing! His pain is gone and we will continue to pray for him each Sunday until his legs are completely strong. Mike and I can't wait to go on another journey with Impact Nations, maybe this August.
"Could God Really Be Using ME?" - Susan Nash, Australia
I recently visited India on Impact Nation’s Journey of Compassion (JOC). These two weeks have changed my life and expanded my view of the Kingdom of God. During the journey we were the hands and feet of Christ. We reached out to people with the love and power of Jesus. After the first day of village ministry I realised for that for the first time in 30 years of being a Christian, I had been a follower of Jesus as described in the New Testament. Wow!
There were many highlights, but one morning I was stationed in the prayer chamber – which meant I was praying with people who had just attended the free medical clinic we were providing. With my newly attained and imparted knowledge about healing prayer, I commenced praying with these precious people. One after the other told me their pain ‘had gone’ as I prayed. At first I was incredulous: Could God really be using me??? Something equally amazing followed: as I then shared with people that it wasn’t me that had healed them, but Jesus, there was an eagerness to hear the gospel. I then found myself with the beautiful privilege of leading these people who had just been healed by God into His kingdom.
Before the JOC I had been journaling and I believe God told/showed me "…I am so glad that you have come with Me to India; that you chose to be obedient and didn’t listen to the voice of the enemy. I have been excited awaiting this journey, so wanting to show you things - greater things of My Father, things that have been prepared for you, things I desire to release in you…Do you see what you are doing?...you are praying for a person and this person is healed ….you have stepped out boldly, believing I will flow through you – and I have…"
In the lead-up to the JOC I knew God was calling me to go to India – but I had fears: that God would use everyone else except me, fears that I would be intimidated etc. I now know that God has used and will use me, and that he will continue to do so. Whilst journaling towards the end of the JOC I saw God place a seed in my hands. This was a seed to take back to my home town and church in Australia. I saw this seed, on reaching home and being presented to my pastor, quickly growing into a plant then a tree, complete with leaves, fruit and birds. The Journey of Compassion is only the beginning of a life that has been changed. I’m excited about what God is doing in India – and I can’t wait to see what God has planned for our church and town.
Greg Nash Quickly Learned "Ministry Is Not a Spectator Sport!"
I knew our “Journey of Compassion” with Impact Nations would be challenging. It would present many opportunities, but first we had to commit the time and money, and surrender ourselves to a different life, albeit for only 2 weeks. We were warned of of long days, different food, potential illness, and lack of western comforts (like toilets). What wasn’t explicitly stated: we would be put on the spot, invited and expected to keep stepping out in faith.
At an orphanage (additional visit, prior to Journey): “The children are all here. You can speak to them now.” Oh, we’re expected to address them as a group?
On the first day, after orientation and teaching, clinic opening was delayed. “Go to the people who are waiting.” No chance to watch someone else apply their field experience, just go heal someone. Um, ok.
On the same morning, I was part of the prayer team tasked with walking through the village and praying, healing, evangelising. Those who know me know that I’m not a good conversationalist. I don’t engage people easily without an existing common interest. Seeing our group of four contained someone experienced in such outreach, I figured I could watch and learn before having to apply. No. We were split into pairs. My partner spoke Telugu so we didn’t need a separate interpreter, but then I couldn’t understand what he said as he greeted people and initiated conversation. Then he wanted me to join the conversation, and also to start praying for people. Take a deep breath..
Practice helps. Once you’ve prayed for a dozen people, and seen healing actually occur, it gets a lot easier. Fun, even. Then comes the next step. Healing is a gift from our Lord, Jesus, the Son of God. He is also interested in healing hearts, and changing lives. I said I’m not a conversationalist; I consider myself a most awkward evangelist. Our next responsibility after compassion and healing is to tell the good news of the Kingdom of God. Take another deep breath…
Curious fact: people who have been miraculously healed are quite interested in finding out about the source of their healing. So are their friends and family!
On Sunday, our small groups were distributed to various village churches. People would be called on to give testimony of what they’ve seen God do lately, to preach, or to explain the 5-step healing model we had been following. For me the choice was simple: 5-step model, as I wouldn’t have to decide what to talk about, just how to speak in terms an interpreter can easily translate. It’s still a role I hadn’t exercised in the church for considerable time, but in this place I found it a fairly easy step.
For the following service, another group member was struggling greatly with this same step, having also held back for some years after a hurtful experience. We talked and prayed briefly, and are both joyful that she did step out, and teach.
It was in some ways a big decision to join this journey, but it was so clearly God’s plan. I am thankful for the many wonderful opportunities we found to put faith into action, and then to find that faith growing. The opportunities came thick and fast. We often addressed the challenges with “this is what we came for”. There was usually encouragement nearby. I think I see why Jesus sent His disciples out two by two (Luke 10:1).
Now I hope and pray to keep hold of that faith, recognise the less-obvious opportunities in “everyday” life, and find ways to encourage others to take a step…
"For a Long Time They Have Waited in Their Pain" - Steve Hutchison, England
I live in Paignton, Devon in the southwest of England. I joined the team because I saw that Mark was making a visit to India. The highlight of my time was praying for a man on the street. He had pain in his legs which left as I laid hands on him. He immediately went to his house and brought back his daughter who was suffering from barrenness, she wanted children so I prayed for her, she went away happy. Next a lady came from her house and asked me to bless her family. I stood outside her home; a tin roofed shed about six feet by eight feet. She cooked and worked on the concrete slab alongside the road. It was a good to be part of a team that worked so well together, bringing help and enabling people to encounter the love of Jesus.
My testimony: 18 months ago I was having Chemotherapy treatment for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in my liver. The injections into my spine left me with a Haemorrhage into the brain. My wife was called to my bedside as they expected me to die.
During this time I had a strange experience of lights moving very fast across my room, then another day I experienced flashes of light, different colours which filled the room. I am reminded of Psalm 104:1-4. … Covering Thyself with light as with a cloak … He makes the winds His messengers, flaming fire His ministers.
I am now 67 years old, I lost my grey hair, and I now look 10 years younger as it came back dark brown!
From my journaling: Lord, what do You want to say to me?
“My love is forever increasing. Every time you reach out to touch the one beside you, through your words and actions, the river of My love increases. That river carries my life, destroying death, fear and captivity.
As you turn towards Me, so you connect with Me and we become one in thought, words and actions.
Do not be fearful or hesitant but let faith arise within you, and you will see the fulfilment of that which I have commissioned you to do. My love is being experienced by those you meet along the way.”
“I hear the sound of the crying and the hurting. For a long time they have waited in their pain. They have sought for help from their idols and their gods. Still they wait not knowing that they have a Saviour who made provision for them in His death and resurrection.
Here they come, the shining ones. Purposefully they step forward to bring rescue and release. They carry My word in their hearts and My glory upon them. They speak in My name and with My authority, breaking the chains of oppression, setting the captives free.”
"Deaf Ears Were Opened!" - Pat Shaw, Texas
Thirteen months ago, if someone would have told me that I would soon be having two way conversations with the Creator of the Universe and that He would be sending me not only to Africa but also to India, I would have suggested a psychiatric evaluation for them. But it happened - to me, a retired investigator who lived by the standards of proof demanded by the criminal justice system. I dealt with physical evidence and based decisions on facts produced by evidence. So what happened?
Thirteen months ago, I enrolled in Christian Leadership University's course "How To Hear the Voice of God." I told the Lord that it would be nice to have a group to go through the course with but I had looked and there wasn't a group within 100 miles. I had just received my course materials when I visited a new church. In their bulletin, they advertised a course and by the description, I knew it had to be the same or a very similar course. I discovered that God had indeed intervened to get me in the group I had wished for!
When Mark Virkler, author of the course, explained the left vs. right brain function, I decided to give it a chance since evidently God had given me a clear indication that this course was important. To my amazement, communication with my Father flowed almost effortlessly. It would be futile to try to relate how the relationship with Papa God developed and what it meant to me. Awesome. miraculous, wonderful doesn't even begin to convey the wonder of His Presence.
Dreams & Interpretations class was next & since I knew the Bible stated that God would counsel us in the night seasons, I eagerly signed up. Who is going to turn that down? About mid-course, I dreamed I was standing in front of a black wrought iron gate that said "Welcome To Africa." I had some dealings with a ministry in Africa but I was pretty skeptical. Within a month, God told me to go a second time and confirmed it through prophecy. Three months later, I was boarding a plane bound for Africa and found myself in the Korogocho slums of Nairobi, Kenya.
We traveled north to Kisumu where I met orphans and widows who stole my heart! I gave 40 bush pastors their first Bible they had ever owned. God had also provided them a solar audio Bible recorded in Swahili for those who cannot read that I presented to them. I went to their homes and came to appreciate their infectious joy and their simple delight in the Lord, in spite of the tremendous needs of food, water, clothing and basic first aid. There is no running water, no electricity and no appliances to make quick work of laundry and cooking. There are no cars to transport them. There are no books, televisions or radios and certainly no video games. AIDS has made many orphans and hunger is their constant battle. Yet the smile on their face is genuine.
After returning home, I began seeking God on ways to help them become self-sufficient. This led to the creation of Bootstrap Initiatives ministry. A poultry operation has been started in hopes of supplying each household with chickens to produce eggs. Plans for a fruit orchard are in the works as well as training in vocational areas such as tailoring and emergency medical services. One micro loan has established a widow with 4 children to begin supporting herself in the grocery business. She is well on her way to becoming independent. But the Lord was about to put me in another whirlwind school...
Mark Virkler issued an invitation on his blog to join him on a "Journey of Compassion" (JOC) to India with Impact Nations. I studied their website and was excited to realize that they were involved in the same type of ministry as I was doing in Africa only on a much larger scale in many nations. But what really intrigued me was the bold statement by Steve Stewart that everyone who went would heal the sick. God had already put it in my heart to open a healing room in my city and I knew that there had to be more than the limited success I was having through my prayers. Plus I would get to thank the man who radically changed my life by teaching me how to hear God's voice. How could I turn this trip down?
For two days after we arrived in India, I listened to Steve and Christina Stewart teach and by the third day, I was ready to get up on my wobbly little knees and start walking. Within minutes of taking the leap of faith to pray for people and actually looking to see what changed, I realized that Jesus was indeed willing to heal the people in front of me. I will never forget the smile that appeared on the face of the first person I prayed for. I did not need an interpreter to know that Jesus had just taken the pain away and healed his knees. That gave me the momentum to pray for the next person, then the next!
Knee pain, back pain, headaches and sick feelings left. They readily accepted this Jesus who had just healed them. Some were not healed right then but I believe that Jesus began a good work & He will finish it. The highlight of the journey came when a deaf ear was opened then Parkison's disease left a man. A second deaf ear was opened. What an amazing Lord! He could have done it any way He wanted but He chose to share the joy and wonder of these incredible miracles with His sons and daughters! I am amazed at the desire of Jesus to have us participate in the ministry with Him. What a tremendous honor He has given us!
Just 13 months ago, who would have ever thought I would have taken two overseas mission trips, started a ministry and be developing plans for a healing room? It could not get any more clear of what God is able to do in the life of His kids, if we are just willing to let Him, than it is in my life. I could not even claim to be a pew warmer much less an activist! I am grateful to Him for planting Mark Virkler and Steve & Christina Stewart in my path to teach and mentor me. It has certainly been a life changing journey! I am very happy that it depends on His ability and the only real qualification I need is willingness! Jesus has not mentioned another trip but then, we haven't been home a full week yet either. One thing is certain: I'm going wherever He wants to go!
Go Deeper - Get Healthy!
Check out this entire blog series on Vibrant Health! - Miracles PLUS Gifts of Healings. Working through this series on health is ideal for both individuals and groups. The more we take responsibility for ourselves - spirit, soul and body - the healthier we become! Won't you join me in living to at least 100 in vibrant health?