Rachele Ward, a mentor at BCOM, had recently gone to Sonshine Fest in Willmar, MN with a team of BCOM attendees to promote Bethany College of Missions. This is one of many stories of BCOM students going out in faith and courage. I hope it encourages you to move forward in what you believe God is calling you to do. Here is her account of what happened:
This past Wednesday through Saturday, Ashely Griggs, Jamie Hoff, and myself promoted for Bethany College of Missions at Sonshine Fest. Saturday morning, (our last day) I woke up and felt the Lord heavily speaking to me. I felt like He said, “Rachele you are here to bring my Kingdom, not to promote BCOM.” He was really stirring in me. I went to the other two girls and I began to tell them what the Lord was speaking to me. Jamie Hoff mentioned the scripture in Hebrews 6 that says, “Therefore, let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead and the eternal judgment.” We also talked about the verse that talks about the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead living in us. That is crazy to think about. I went back to my tent and left the girls and the promotion booth. I began to dialogue with the Lord. I told the Lord that I would step out and lay hands on people and pray for them here at Sonshine Fest if He wanted me to, but I would need Him to back me up. Otherwise, I’d have nothing to work with.
I waited on Him and still felt like He was saying He wanted to break in at Sonshine. I got scared because I remembered Pastor Matt preaching that when someone is healed, it is our responsibility to bring them a Kingdom perspective. I wasn’t sure how to do this and it scared me. I am not a preacher, so I told the Lord that He would have to be on my lips as well. Later I found out that you don’t always have to bring a Kingdom perspective through preaching.
I went back to our booth where a few more students had joined, and I told them what the Lord had been stirring in our hearts. Drew Powell got excited and said he was going to make signs. He made one that said “NEED PRAYER?” and another that said “NEED HEALING?”. We prayed and asked the Lord to bring only who He wanted. From the time we began, until four hours later, people didn’t stop coming. We began laying hands on people and praying for their requests. At one point, Jamie asked a guy if we could ask the Lord for a word of prophecy for him. In my head I was like, “Do not sign me up to prophecy Jamie Hoff.” But the Lord quickly reminded me that He is the Shepherd and I can hear His voice. From that time on, we continued praying for the people, while also listening to see if the Lord wanted to speak to us about them. We began calling them forth into who the Lord created them to be. We spoke truth over them and prophesied. People began to come up for healing and many of them were healed! The first time we prayed, we asked how they felt and they said better, so we prayed again until they were healed! A guy’s back was healed, a shoulder, ankles, depression, schizophrenia, and sickness. We prayed for a lady who was addicted to narcotics and was beginning the withdrawal process. Some of the girls prayed over her and later she came back and said the Lord was healing her but she was being attacked by the enemy. She was shaking and stuttering. I believe she was manifesting. We prayed over her until she stopped shaking.
People ran to get their friends and brought them back for the Lord to heal them. One guy came up and said he wished he could do what we were doing. I told him the process of the Lord speaking this morning. I asked him if he felt weak, and then told him to jump on board. He was able to lay hands on people with us and see the Lord heal. It is amazing how the Lord delights in our weakness. In our weakness, He just asks for obedience. Simply beautiful!
A lady named Karen was the vendor next to us. She was running it by herself all weekend. If she wanted to go to the bathroom, she had to lock everything up. We went and got her food sometimes to make it easier on her. Saturday night, her husband showed up and I introduced myself. He said that he knew a little about us. I thought that was an odd statement for someone I just met. He said when he got there, his wife leaned over, pointed to us and whispered, “Those people are the real deal, honey.” I started crying. The Lord really spoke to my heart through that. I felt the Lord’s heart for the end-time Church. I thought about the scripture that says they will know us by our love. I always wondered what that would look like. Love is going to come through obedience in our weakness. We are going to love the Father so much that people are going to see the overflow of our hearts. Not in just hugs and joyfulness, but in obedience of laying hands on people.