Well, it was such a joy to be back at St Hilda’s Church, a Church of Ireland, just a day and a half after my first visit! The Vicar, David Boyland, is such a lovely man, so honouring, and generous in giving his ‘pulpit’ to little old me…. there’s a very ‘sweet’ spirit in that church, it’s not just a lovely building, the love and the presence of God emanates from it, into what is – and certainly what WAS, during the ‘troubles’ in Northern Ireland, a tough area. It’s an area that is responding to David & Glynis’s hearts of love for the people. If you don’t love people, and are in any way biased, or ‘closed’ in your attitud towards any category of people, you’ll never make an impact. But a pretty full church, with many involved deeply in the community, is demonstration enough that the love of God is there, and flows from there.
David was lovely in the way he introduced not only me, but my ‘style’ of praying for people: I know I’ve said this before, but I can’t, just can’t – and won’t – ever simply
have a line of people, walk along tapping them on the head saying ‘be healed’ – or worse still, hand on the forehead, other hand in the small of the back, then a loud sudden shout and push to get people on the floor…. it seems to me that Jesus ‘connected’ with many that he healed: talked to them, moved by compassion not only to heal them, but to make them feel valued.
So, I sit down, and, if people want prayer, they know, often, they might have to wait a bit, as I love to connect, build a bridge with them: when people come for prayer for healing, it’s obviously not always physical healing, there’s a lot of ’emotional’ stuff, depression, you name it…..and in talking to me, they make themselves open, and more’s the point, vulnerable, to the pray-er, and they deserve time.
So, Friday night’s prayer time was 2¾ hours(!), today’s considerably shorter (not!!) – perhaps a mere 2 hours. There was a lovely testimony from Janece, whom I wrote about Friday: she’s got – and is paring company with – incurable cancer, which began in her breast, but had spread, into her spine, the oncologist reckoned it was in her bones, and in some organs… Friday, she could hardly walk from her seat to the one next to me, her husband had to hugely help her to do that. She’s a lovely looking lady, but her face showed the pain, the ravaging of that foul, despicable disease. She left, on Friday, saying she felt ‘lighter’, was walking better: and, her report this morning, was that in the car on the way home, she was laughing, before realising that she hadn’t done – or been able to do – that for a long time. I’d felt to say to her that she’d wake feeling significantly different yesterday. Ronnie, her husband, looked at her, and said her face had filled out to it’s ‘pre-cancer’ appearance, and said it was like someone had put a bicycle pump in the back of her head, and blown her head up! This morning, she got up early – that doesn’t happen in recent experience: and there are so many changes going on in her that I feel it’ll only be a matter of days before she’s fully restored….
A lady named Barbara,who’d had – to put it mildly – a rough last 40-50 years, very low, with depression…..was another facially and spiritually transformed. Others who couldn’t be there this morning had sent messages to say they’d been healed, or were well on the way to being healed…. and this morning, God touched people in a lovely, gentle way, removing, or diminishing pain – some with arthritis felt an instant change….
I can never say enough what a privilege it is to be given access by people, who don’t know me, or have just got to know me a little, into their lives. I love it, I really do. A good number WILL be healed over the course of the next day or two, of that I’m sure, as well as those who’ve already experienced God’s healing.
Then it was back to the home of the Eric and Elizabeth Lewis: I’ve known them for some years now, and our friendship is getting stronger and deeper, which is a great blessing. Not only that, Elizabeth’s a great cook…. :). Lunch was with their daughters, one of the husbands, and a whole army of grandchildren! Louise, one of their daughters, I had the joy of praying for some time back, as she longed for children. I must have said that it would happen: and even (probably, knowing me!) within a certain time scale. She’s got the daughter we prayed for: but not in the way we naturally expected it! She brought their gorgeous daughter Annie Marie today, who was adopted when very, very young, like 3-4 months if I remember right. That is SO unlikely these days, as most children ‘up’ for adoption are heading towards, if not already in, their teens.
Elizabeth said something to me this afternoon (lunch ended when I had to leave at 6pm!!), that blessed me so much, she has no idea. She said that that she’s never seen so many men laughing so loud in church as my ‘odd’ humour got to them whilst making a very important point or statement…. I really do love to use humour: it’s an ice-breaker, and a great ‘tool’ when story-telling. I sometimes wonder what some people thin, but Elizabeth laid to rest today any thoughts I might have (I haven’t yet!) about being ‘more serious’, but really, that just ain’t me….
Another thing that made this weekend such a blessing: when God ‘wrestled’ the control of my diary away from me when I came here (I’d normally be booked up 2 years ahead), in a way, it my security blanket being taken away from me. I felt ‘assured’ and ‘secure’ that people ‘wanted’ me. The wrestling went on until I finally let go of my diary, not having anything in it at the end of any given year, apart from knowing that somewhere in the coming 12 months, I’d go to Colombia and Mexico a couple of times. Booking so far ahead was like a straight-jacket, though, as people would often ring, or email, inviting me to their church/ministry/country, and I couldn’t go, for at least two years.
This weekend in Dunmurry was ‘booked’ last Monday, and so I want to thank God here, for fighting me for control over my bookings…. this weekend has been SUCH a blessing.