It’s been a LONG time…. since the last blog post. For those of you who faithfully checked to see, thank you.
There are many reasons why this gap has been so long: I’ll explain them in a separate blog, as there have been many wonderful things that God has done in these recent months, and to 1) to write the testimonies: 2) the reasons, would make this a mighty long blog post: and 3) some of the reasons are the result(s) of what a great friend from Australia, a very prophetic man, described in an email to me this week (and he knows virtually nothing of the events of the past 4-5 months, as I’ve not ‘publicised’ a lot of what’s been happening) what the Lord had shown him, as a constant ‘crushing attack’ from the enemy. Being human, human nature dictates that if there are a clutch of miracle and healing stories here, they’ll be forgotten in the main by the time the onslaught has been detailed!
SO – despite the silence, I have been doing ‘stuff’ – an God’s been doing ‘the stuff’ (I still love John Wimber’s wonderfully simply description of God’s wonderful works). What has pleased me – no, it’s excited me – is that I’m getting more opportunities to be involved in ministry in Ireland, and in the past 2-3 weeks, have got the opportunity to be involved in Wales. In all my 37¼ years in ministry, I’ve never done anything in Wales: the reason for my delight (and my desire to be involved there) is that I’m half Welsh – my dad was born in Penarth, just outside of Cardiff, so it has always been in my heart to go, especially as I’ve done loads of stuff in England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland (though I’d love to do more in all of them!).
I’ll start with recent first! I’ve really loved getting involved in new (to me) churches in Northern Ireland, and, in one case, a new church, at which it was my privilege to be the speaker at their first weekend of meetings the weekend before Easter. That church is Still Waters, in Drumahoe, Londonderry: for meetings organised at relatively short notice, the two meetings, Saturday and Sunday evenings, were well attended, and I had the joy of praying with many of the people. There were also lots of visits to people’s homes, and the Royal Victoria Hospital, in Belfast, to pray for people.
Some lovely things happened in the hospital on my way up to Derry/Londonderry (for people outside of the UK, it’s the city where, at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, in 1972, 14 men were shot dead by the British Army in what became known as ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’, so in case foreigners ever wondered what U2’s song of the same name was about, that’s it). The Pastor of Still Waters Elim church, in Coleraine (I preached there over a weekend in January), Colin Wylie, Arron, had been a back seat passenger in a terrible car crash 3 weeks previously: the rear seat belt caused a broken back, ruptured lungs, broken collar bone (I think), and a ruptured bowel. He should have been dead. Instead, he was due to be moved to another hospital for rehab and physio, for a few weeks. Prayed for him, and within an hour, he was told he could go home, and left hospital with his dad… Prayed for a couple of others in the hospital, one young man, Dean, paralysed from the waist down (broken back and 4 totally crushed vertebra), had feeling come back to his feet, and a lot of tingling…
For first-ever meetings of a new outreach ministry/church, the meetings in Londonderry were well attended, with some ‘Christians in waiting’ (not yet Christians!!) there. Needless to say, as the Saturday evening meeting had been advertised as a Healing Meeting, I ended up praying for pretty much everyone in the meeting – the same on Sunday, too. I can’t remember who was prayed for on which night, but here are some of the things that the Lord did:
- Kendra, a young lady, about 24 I’d guess, with chronic fibro-myalgia: a Christian in waiting, she was in so much pain that, halfway through the meeting, she asked her mum to take her home. But she knew she had to come back, despite the pain, as she wanted prayer. It was amazing watching the transformation in her appearance as God healed her instantly, ALL of her pain going immediately. That opened the door to Kendra giving her life to Jesus straight away! Thank you, Jesus!
- Fiona, won’t try and guess her age(!), more fibro-myalgia, osteoarthritis, AND osteoporosis: in a lot of pain in her lower back from the osteoporosis, and in many parts of her body from the arthritis, and sheer exhaustion and muscle pain from the fibro-myalgia. Again, it was wonderful to see the transformation: and again, all of the pain went, including the osteoarthritis in her knees – thank you God, for that one! – raises my faith another notch for the healing of the same excruciating pain in my knees. (It was funny – though excruciating! – that while I was preaching, the bones in my knee, which crunch against each other with every step, did an especially loud crack, head by everyone!!).
- Hilary – friend – or maybe sister? of Fiona – fibro-myalgia, osteoarthritis in her back and neck, and right knee – all the pain went, and I sent her off walking across the hall, which she did without pain, having got up easily and moved away promptly – it’s often after sitting, even for a few minutes, that the knee stiffens up, and the pain takes some moments to subside when standing up, as well as balance taking a similar time to ‘arrive’….
- William – unknown undiagnosable white lumps across the top of his chest, and a trapped sciatic nerve on the right hand side of his back, that gave him more problems at night (if my memory serves me well), and pain in both legs. Anything that doctors can’t diagnose, or give a reason for, are often far more worrying than knowing what it is that’s wrong. I felt that God prompted me to tell him that he’d sleep well, without the sciatic nerve giving him pain: and that the white lumps would have disappeared Monday morning. It’s times like that when something comes out of my mouth that I haven’t thought, or processed, but it’s out, loud, and I have to trust that it is God! The next day, Davy, who leads this new ministry, told me that the lumps had gone, and William had no pain…
- One lovely man, I won’t mention his name, 40 years old, had suffered years and years of depression: he’d battled to live as ‘normally’ as it would allow him, but those who know depression, will know it controls your life. It was wonderful to see the transformation in his face! It was like watching the steel shutters shops use to secure the premises, rise up: his face and eyes were totally different….
- A lovely lady, Sissy, mid 80’s I think, with two sons – one born with cerebral palsy, the other a recovering alcoholic and with acute depression – had suffered many years of severe kidney infections, which the medics had been unable to cure. She’d was on constant, but changing antibiotics, always in pain as one infection immediately followed the last. Worse, she never slept for more than about 40 minutes at a time in the night, up between 8-10 times for toilet visits. As I prayed, another one of those ‘did I say that out loud?’ statements came out of my mouth – you’ll sleep 9 hours tonight, with one bathroom visit: and you’ll wake up and the pain will be gone. She actually slept 8½ hours, one visit to the bathroom, and woke with no pain…. I can’t imagine how she must have felt! Other pain in her body – that ‘friend’ (or should it be ‘fiend’?) arthritis, also went. Her son felt totally different the next day, and again, Davy and I had watched his face change as years of depression lifted off of him, and his eyes went from dull – dead? – to sparkling….
- Stanley, an older gentleman, had all of his pain disappear: I’m trying to remember from where, but I know he had pain in his hands, and I think – he had a heart condition, with pain.
Something happened on the Sunday – and I think the ‘Monday’ people in their homes – that has never happened for me in the UK before. It’s happened abroad quite a number of times – but everyone who had some disease or pain in their body that they could feel (as opposed to people who, for instance, who suffered migraines / asthma etc., but weren’t suffering there and then) – were healed. 100%. That’s been a goal of mine for our countries for a long time: I’m asking God for it to happen every time from now on. If I – and you – can do what Jesus did, and greater things than he did, then that’s what we should EXPECT. Jesus healed 100% of people who came to him, and that he went to. I’m up for that…..
Here’s the Facebook post from Still Waters about the weekend:
We would like to thank all who came to the Launch of the BT47 Weekend in Drumahoe YMCA. Special thanks goes to our visitor Paul Bennision who visited many homes in the District and prayed for healing with over 50 people . Praise God our father for the healing that has been taking place and is taking Place as we progress with the Lords Calling. We also thank Pastor Colin and the team from BT51 Still Waters who travelled to be with us and for all their support .