| Jesus in Brazil: Prologue|
In February a man named Randy Clark came through the town where I was living, Santa Barbara. At the time, I was disillusioned about Christianity, at least how I was experiencing it.
He had a public conference one night which I couldn't attend, but then he came over to my spiritual mother's house the next night. THere was probably only about 40 of us there so it was fairly intimate, at least compared to a public conference. I didn't know what to expect. I had never heard of this guy before except maybe that he was somehow connected with the renewal in Toronto.
What I saw that night encouraged me a great deal. I saw effectual faith in action. I don't believe I had ever seen such faith in my life.
One middle-aged, tall, heavy-set man with a scruffy white beard that had come out from New Mexico, named Allen, was there in the house. He was so hungry for revival he kept asking Randy what they must do and other things. It was apparent that Allen didn't really care what anyone else thought about him, he was just too hungry to care. Keep this man in mind while I momentarliy change the subject.
Randy brought along one of his interns named Will. THey shared their recent experiences of revival in Argentina and they both said something to the effect, "Once you have experienced it, you can't live without it." Or "you won't be satisfied without it."
Allen asks Will (Randy's intern), "Do you feel that you have something to impart from the revival?" or something like that. Will humbly and simply replies, "Yes."
Next thing I know Allen jumps to his feet and says something like, "You're gonna have to pray for an old man right now." He quickly makes his way to Will's feet and bows his head. Without a moment's hesitation, Will shoots to his feet to pray for Allen. I had never seen such a look as Will had on his face. Eyes full of faith and expectation. Somewhere between absolute seriousness and a smirk of joy. I got the impression that this was normal for him, and he liked it.
Next thing I know, Allen, weighing probably 260 pounds, is on the ground groaning in the fetal position. Now this was way out of the norm for me, I had never seen such a thing. Never heard about "imparting" stuff before. Never seen a man get prayed for and then fall on the ground in agony. I can't remember exactly how I felt, but I wasn't offended.
Next thing I know, Randy and Will are going around the room praying for people. Men, women, and teens were there. Some would fall down, some would shake, some (I especially remember one or two girls) were screaming and balling, many were just crying. THe HOly SPirit was working in his poor people in Santa Barbara.
As I mentioned before, my condition at the time was not really ready to receieve this kind of thing. And I was as far away from the commotion as I could get while remaining in the same room. I just stood there on a little step with my eyes closed and waited. I didn't know what would happen next. THen Will came over and prayed for me. I didn't fall or do much else but I think I cried a little. I was sad that God could be moving so powerfully in our midst and yet I felt hardly anything. Will didn't pray too long for me before he said, "You can't run from your calling," and with that he gently tapped me on the chest and moved on. I believe that was right from God. It spoke right to my situation. How did he know? It was a word for me.
I went away from the experience so challenged and encouraged. It refreshed my weary and dry bones and gave me some life. Some hope and expectancy. God, what will you do with me? How can I experience these things? How can I experience You? Basically I was hungry and had a new hope.
I got a brochure type of thing and thought about going on a trip with Randy Clark. I would have to wait until school was out and the summer over. So I looked at September. I saw that September 9th he would be in Brazil for 11 days. That sounded good and I set my sights on it.
| 2003/9/21 12:03||Profile|
| Re: Jesus in Brazil: Prologue|
I have moved this post to another forum:
| 2003/9/21 13:24||Profile|
| Re: Jesus in Brazil: Part 1|
Between February and August many things happened in my life and other cool opportunities for future adventures came up. I nearly went to New Zealand to live there for about a year with some people who were friends with Leonard Ravenhill at a place called "Kodesh." I also thought I might move to New York, then I almost decided to go to a year long training school in Texas. And I think some other ideas came up as well.
In the beginning of August I was told that a couple people from Santa Barbara had gone down to Curitiba, Brazil with Randy Clark and that they were going to share about it at my spiritual mom's house.
A mom and her daughter had been encouraged by the husband/dad to go on the trip. The husband has been involved with this type of ministry for awhile but the mom and daughter weren't into it I think. THey had gone to Calvary Chapel for a long time and I think the husband was even an elder at some point. Needless to say, the mom and daughter were in for some surprises.
The mom spoke first and explained how nervous she had been and how broken she got. How unsure and skeptical she was of many things involved with the trip and ministry. She mentioned how one of her main motives to go was just to protect and be with her daugheter. Being accustomed to the Calvary Chapel setting, she was taken back and very challenged by what she was experiencing on this trip. She told of how she broke down and just cried out for the Lord to help her in desperation. ANd he did.
The girl, only 17 I think, went into it more excited and full of faith. She experienced all kinds of miralces. One time she healed a woman's cist of her wrist and witnessed it go down with her open eyes.
"The people in Brazil are so different," they said, "they expect and are used to the supernatural." After that incident with the cist being healed, the woman simply looked down, said thank you to the girl, looked at her watch, and said she had to go. Like she just expected that God would heal her and He did.
God used the mom powerfully as well. They told many wonderful stories. THe supernatural was becoming natural to them.
After they were finished sharing, I asked the girl to pray for a cist that had been in my wrist for about 6 or 7 years. She did and it went away.
I went home so excited. I wanted to be used in this way. I wanted so much more of God and to see Him work. On August 11, the last day possible, at 10 o'clock at night, I signed up to go to the same city, Curitiba, Brazil, from September 7-18 with Randy Clark. I just went for it. And I am so glad I did. I will never be the same.
| 2003/9/21 22:18||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
I just went for it. And I am so glad I did. I will never be the same.
Intrested to hear the rest :-o
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2003/9/22 1:57||Profile|
| Re: Jesus in Brazil: Part 2|
Prior to this trip I had no experience in healing ministry. In fact, this was my first trip of this sort at all, and also my first time out of the country except for one trip down to Mexico with my school to build a house for poor people and one "border-teaser" in Canada. But the Mexico mission trip was completely different. I don't think I prayed for anyone down there, at least in a ministry type of setting.
Anyway, I left for Brazil on the 7th from LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) and the flight took about 12 hours straight though to get to Sao Paulo, rumored to be the third biggest city in the world. On the flight there I "just happened" to sit next to a woman in her early 50's who I soon found out had cancer and was going to Brazil to see a healer. Randy Clark? Nope, some man titled "John of God" who I think was more in the jungle. I couldn't really decipher by what kind of power he did healings because she didn't know a lot. She was just desperate and she had tried many things since she had been diagnosed with cancer over 10 years ago I think. And she was tagging along with some more seasoned travelers to "John of God." I also found out that she lives in Santa Barbara. We had a very open and exciting conversation about many things. I told her to go to Curitiba if she could. But I never saw her there. I will probably call her soon to see what happened with her.
I had a layover in Sao Paulo for a few hours and then took an hour long flight south to my final destination, Curitiba.
My roomates name was Bruce. He was a big bear type of guy from New York state, not the city though. More the country. He was a pastor and this was his first trip with Randy as well. But he had much experience in this type of ministry already. He just wanted something fresh I think.
That night I met the rest of the team in the hotel's dinning room were we held a little meeting. There were about 40 of us I think. People from all over the country and even one man from New Zealand. Average age on the trip was probably 40 but there was one other guy who was 22 like me and two girls about our age.
Here's a funny twist. One man I met and got to know who was on the team, I think in his mid-40's, holds a very significant leadership position with "Focus on the Family" and regularliry meets with James Dobson. He had been encouraged to come by a good friend (who happened to be the same man from Santa Barbara who convinced his wife and daughter to go a month earlier and was now on this trip). He took the challenge. It felt good having him there with me. He was very fatherly. :-)
We didn't waste any time. After a short nap we were off to do ministry that same night we arrived. Our first stop was a "Quadrangular" (Portuguese for "Foursquare") church downtown. It held probably 2-3000 people and was pretty full when we got there. I think the population of Curitiba is around 1,000,000.
After some music and singing, I believe Randy gave the message with the assistance of a Portuguese interpreter. At some point, after charging the atmosphere with faith and expectancy, the ministry team (yes, me included) was directed to go and pray for the sick.
All I had at this point was a simple faith in God that he would both take care of me and use me to heal His people. He did both abundantly.
| 2003/9/22 9:57||Profile|
| Re: Jesus in Brazil: Part 3|
They had told us to bring voice recorders so that we could quickly talk about our experiences after they occured so we would not forget. Because they warned us that we would forget, even miracles done right before our eyes, if we didn't keep a record of it. We could even forget before we got home to record it by hand in a journal.
So I brought a really cheap recorder and it never worked correctly and completely broke on the second day. So there are many things which I have probably forgotten. But many are lodged into my mind and heart very deeply. And I prayed that the Lord would quicken and protect my memory of the events I was witnessing, to encourage both myself and others in the future. For the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. I think that means that the testimony about what Jesus does is along the same lines as prophecy, to encourage and empower, etc. And I have found that very often the fresher the testimony is, the more powerful it is.
I witnessed many miraculous things first hand, especially healing. And God used me in many of them. One that sticks in my mind is an elderly woman who approached me the first or second night up near the front of the church. She was probably about 60 and was wearing a nice blue suit and she had glasses. She explained to me through an interpreter that a lump had developed slightly below her armpit in the last couple of weeks. So I had my interpreter (who was a woman) lay her hand on the lump and I laid my hands on her and we prayed. I think this was one of my easiest (shortest) healings and most powerful for me because it was right at the beginning of the trip. After only maybe a minute or two of prayer, commanding the lump to disperse and leave in the name of Jesus amongst some other prayers, we asked her to check for it. So she did and the lump could no longer be found. So we praised the Lord for a short season and then moved on, with more confirmation and knowledge that Jesus is alive and healing in Brazil.
The majority of healings I was used for involved things like aches and pains. I remember many sore backs being healed, some knees, shoulders, etc. I think that maybe God led these people to me, at least for one reason, because He knew my faith level and experience, etc. He knew just what was right for me. He is such a good teacher. There were many emotional healings that took place as well.
One lady I prayed for had a sunken right side of her face. Basically the muscles had given up on her. So the right side of her face kind of sagged. I commanded the muscles to rebuild and be strengthened in the name of Jesus amongst many other prayers. This one took many sessions of prayer and then asking how she felt and then more prayer, asking, prayer, etc. But after some time it was clear that the Lord had restored her face to normal. She said it felt 100% healed.
The basic formula we used for healing goes like this. First, you interview the person to try and get to the root of the problem. Basic questions like "where's the pain?," "how long have you had it?," "did anything change in your life when it came?", etc. The goal is to get to the root of the problem as specifically as possible without having them bring out their whole medical history with all the technical terms and all the discouraging stuff the doctors have told them. Very often I found unforgiveness to be a root problem. Then you pray. Then you ask them questions like "do you feel anything?" Sometimes they feel fire or electricity. That's a good sign. Sometimes the pain even does strange thigns like move. That's good, becuase then you know it's a stubborn spirit of infirmity that doesn't want to leave. I had one case of this and it was so weird. But we chased it around and finally out of a 18 year old girl. You ask them to tell, as best they can, what percent better they feel. No matter what percent, let's say only 10%, we give thanks and praise to the Lord for that. Then we ask if they want more prayer. We will continue this process for as long as they want. Sometimes it takes hours for them to be totally healed. Then we give thanks to God at the end and, if necessary, give them some direction and encouragement for the future. If nothing happens, that's ok, we tell them not to lose heart, to come back, etc. There have been tons of cases where they are healed on their way home or even days later. You just never know what God is going to do. You just be faithful to do your part, and He will take care of the rest. God actually told one of the men on the trip, "You do your part, and I'll do mine."
One huge thing I learned in this process is that healing ministry is a win-win situation. If you pray for someone and the Lord touches them in any way, both win. If you pray and nothing happens, you get humbled and put in your place and faith is challenged. That should be no problem. It gives both parties a chance to express their unconditional faith in God.
I learned so many other lessons from this experience. I had to be so completely dependant on God every day. I learned that it all depends on Him and not me. All I do is believe, regardless of the outcome. I learned even more to simply say, "I don't know" and be ok with that.
I learned a lot I didn't know about Randy Clark. What a fascinating story he has. And he is not ashamed of any of it and doesn't hide or shy away from the strange things. I heard him share bits and pieces of his testimony and experiences over the time I was there. He is very open and honest. You get the impression that he has nothing to hide.
The man from "Focus on the Family" was struggling with some theological-type of questions and I got to talk with him some about what he was experiencing. It was comforting for me because I think he was even more inexperienced than me in much of what we were experiencing. He had a very healthy attitude that really encouraged me. He commented one night to me, "This is really just a big love fest, isn't it?" Yep. That's a big part of it. He also realized later on in the trip and commented to me something like, "Randy didn't just fall off the apple cart." He explained to me how he had talked some with Randy and realized that this man had a tremendous amount of knowledge and understanding.
I learned that Randy was a Baptist pastor for many years. That he had gone through something like 7 years of theological training. That the steps he made to get to where he is were very challenging and humbling. His story is that of a man hungry for God and willing to do what it takes. I gathered from some others on the trip that he had to lose nearly everything, especially reputation, to get to where he is.
I only got to talk to him twice very breifly one on one. I just asked him some questions about William Branham and the healing revivals of the 40's and stuff like that. He comes across as just a normal guy, very sincere, who knows a big God. All of the fruits of the Spirit are evident. I hope to join him on another trip someday.
One other thing I wanted to mention was the Brazilian people. They are really great. The supernatural is so normal for them. They seem to have great expectancy for the Lord to do stuff in their midst, and He does. They are also so hungry and desperate for the Lord. For more. Not to mention they are beautiful people in appearance and very loving in deed. The food was also very good.
One man on the trip mentioned how he needs to get out of North America at least twice a year to keep his faith and expectancy fresh. That statment would probably have bothered me before this trip, but now it makes sense to me.
I just got this in my email today:
"These are the testimonies of the 51 people on the Global Awakening team that went to Curitiba, Brazil in August, 2003. Conservative totals for the results of the trip are as follows:
Called into ministry -- 426
Rededications -- 72
Salvations -- 1006
Emotional/Inner Healings and Deliverances -- 1000
Physical Healings -- 2100"
Many other amazing and wonderful things happened that I haven't written here. I would love to discuss any and all of this more, with anyone who wants. Please feel free to send me a private message if that is more appropriate or start a thread to discuss a specific topic in another sub-forum.
| 2003/9/22 14:45||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: Jesus in Brazil: Prologue|
At the time, I was disillusioned about Christianity, at least how I was experiencing it.
Is our walk with Him to be based on experiences or on His Word?
One man on the trip mentioned how he needs to get out of North America at least twice a year to keep his faith and expectancy fresh. That statment would probably have bothered my before this trip, but now it makes sense to me.
Is the Holy Spirit not adequate to provide and keep us wherever we are, in America, in Brazil, in China, in prison?
| 2003/9/22 15:27||Profile|
I don't know if these were meant to be rhetorical questions or not but I will try to give a response.
"Is our walk with Him to be based on experiences or on His Word?"
Are we to experience His Word?
"Is the Holy Spirit not adequate to provide and keep us wherever we are, in America, in Brazil, in China, in prison?"
The Holy Spirit is adequate, yet God's ways are mysterious.
| 2003/9/23 12:29||Profile|
| Re: Jesus in Brazil: Prologue|
The Word of God defines mans experiences.
Mans experiences cannot allow for re-interpretations of the Scriptures.
Anything spiritual is not holy.
Anything miraculous is not of Heaven.
Anything mysterious is not Gods ways.
Two gifts are needed more than anything in this late hour
Discernment and Wisdom.
Holiness is not harsh.
Truth may hurt, may even break, but brings eternal strength.
| 2003/9/23 13:00||Profile|
Two gifts are needed more than anything in this late hour
Discernment and Wisdom.
God help us all!
| 2003/9/23 13:11||Profile|