Thursday, November 14, 2013

Encountering Old Friends, New Friends, and The Holy Spirit

The "Healing For Today" Conference was held at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Westport CT where Pastor Paul Teske serves as senior pastor.  Paul travels with his wife Rivers all over the world sharing his story of healing from a stroke.  In obedience to God he now has a healing ministry while also serving his congregation.  St Paul Westport is a Missouri Synod Lutheran church, so his ministry is unorthodox to say the least.  From what I understand, most Missouri Lutheran churches are very strict about who is able to commune at their church or even pray with them.  They are a conservative side of the Lutheran denomination, so we were curious as to how Paul Teske would present the conference in an inclusive manner.  He presented the conference and the church services with love and grace~ we were so blessed by Pastor Paul and the congregation while worshiping, communing, praying, and fellowshipping with others.

The Wednesday before the conference started, Joel and I attended their weekly healing service.  It was a very special time and certainly blessed by God.  Not only did Joel experience falling under the power of God or some people call it being slain in the Spirit, but after the service we were able to spend 45 minutes speaking with Paul Teske about his ministry and how Joel can bring what God has shown him into his own ministry for the people he holds close to his heart.  It was a great evening and God opened the doors for Joel and Paul to have a relationship that will continue on as Pastor Paul offered to mentor Joel on our journey.

Katherine and me

 Friday evening was extra exciting because we were able to meet in person my dear friend Katherine.  Katherine and I were in a conference call prayer group for people with Lyme Disease a couple years ago.  From this group came an email and then Facebook connection and eventually we picked up the phone and began talking.  Thanks to God we are prayer partners and friends on this journey in healing.  Now we were able to actually meet! 

Joel, Katherine, Renee
 Katherine holds a very special place in our hearts.  She is the angel from God who suggested we listen to Andrew Wommack's teaching on "God Wants You Well" and through that teaching Joel realized that we have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead inside of us.  He prayed that same night as he was going to bed~  commanding his body to heal..........and he was healed.  I recommended Paul Teske's book to Katherine and she read it, then let us know Teske was holding his first conference in Westport.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Katherine was able to come from a nearby state to attend the conference, and we drove from Iowa to attend.  I don't think we ever thought we would meet in person, but God had other plans.  Thank you Jesus!
The worship was outstanding and the teachings helpful and inspiring.  Paul spoke several times along with evangelist Michael Koulianos, who wrote The Jesus Book and George Brandon who runs a ministry called "The Filling Station".  An impartation was given for healing ministries, many were prayed over for healing and several were healed, and new friendships were made. 

Joel, Jonathan, and Gertrude

We became acquainted with a couple, Jonathan and Gertrude, who are from Namibia but now live in CT and attend the church.  Jonathan went to Wartburg Seminary in Iowa to be an ELCA pastor and is a chaplain at a rescue mission and also a missionary at large for St. Paul's.  He is in Namibia right now on a mission trip.  We also got to know a man named Prebin, born in Denmark, a retired NYC foreign money broker, who loves the Lord and is anointed by God as a powerful prayer minister. 

Prebin and me
We visited with people from Sweden, Germany, and states across the country.  It was great fun to get to know others who are on the same journey.

On Saturday evening Michael called people forward to pray or listen to their testimonies of healing.  Of the 300 people there only about 10 were called out.  I was the last one.  I confess I did not hear what I wanted to hear, but I do know it was from God partly because the words he shared were similar to those of Daniel at the healing service we attended last June in Mpls.  We know now that Michael was speaking to my heart when he said,  "You have been very faithful.  You have been praying for a long time and God wants you to know he has heard every prayer. Do NOT give up!" 

Only God!

It is hard to explain how you could feel the presence of God there that Saturday night. There was almost a warm heaviness in the air.  On Sunday I experienced that when Prebin prayed for me.  He kept telling me we needed to pray together throughout the weekend, and about a half hour after the service on Sunday when I was thanking Pastor Paul's wife Rivers for sharing her story, Prebin waved me forward to where he had been praying for others. 

What happened to me is very personal, but I do feel it is important to share parts of it.  When Preben started to pray he asked the power of God to come upon me.  He blew on my face gently and I literally flew back with such force that Joel, Preben and I were quite startled.  Thankfully, Joel was able to catch me before I hit the ground.  I laid on the floor for a period of time while Preben got down on the floor to sit beside me and pray.  A feeling of deep peace and joy came over me , and yet a sleepy heaviness that kept me from being able to get up.  Joel agreed that his experience was much the same but for a shorter amount of time and less intense .  I tried to get up a couple of times, but just went back down, especially when Prebin would try to help me.  The Spirit moves through him in a mighty way.  My description is that it is like being hugged by God.  Powerful!!  I can see it on my face in the picture above, that sleepy joyful feeling. This has happened to me once before but not at all to this extent.  The interesting thing is, it leaves me with more energy.  It is like the Holy Spirit moves through my body and healing takes place increasing my energy levels.  That was evident when we went to NYC.

In obedience to God we went to this conference.(more on that tomorrow)  In obedience to God I am opening myself up to you here.  It sounds confusing, maybe scary, and maybe even a bit off the wall unless you have seen or experienced it, I suspect.  For me (and for Joel) it was an encounter with the Holy Spirit that I will not forget.  What a beautiful way to end the conference.  Only God.  Thank you Jesus.

Sanctuary at St. Paul Westport

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