Another wonderful night of praying on the streets of Elkhart. . . It was such a wonderful night. . .Are you getting bored with my saying that over and over? I don't mean it was a nice night or a merely good night. . . It was a wonderful. . . a wonder filled night. . .I try to share the happenings on these prayer walks with you, but I cannot do the wonder and power of it justice. . .a voice of doubt in my head asks what is the point of writing virtually the same things over and over week after week, but it is so amazing to me. . .I have to share it. . . this is to bring Glory to God. . .to lift Him up. . .
Melissa Wolfinger, Marvin (a fellow who has only been coming to Life Tabernacle for a few weeks), and I walked and prayed tonight. It was such a full night. We took way longer than we ever usually do. After nearly 2 1/2 hours we were still on Marion Street. We talked with and prayed with just so many people. . . hundreds of Bible verse cards. . . hundreds of fliers. . .we handed out all of Ruby's VBS fliers and ran out of Cathy's English class fliers. . .
We talked with an older man, not long after we got out of the van who is in his own way trying to clean up the drug houses, etc. in the neighborhood. He is very very angry and frustrated with the prostitution and drug houses. He was working in his well kept very tidy yard with his little dog by his side. He came to the fence and talked with me for several minutes. I told him that we were joining with him in his desire to bring change. I explained a little about our experience in the Middlebury Street area, of how effective prayer and the power of God is in cleaning up an area.
We sat and talked with Cigar Bob for maybe 10 minutes or so. His delight at seeing us is obvious and we surely look forward to talking with him. We anointed him and prayed with him, just a general prayer of healing, blessing and protection. As we were finishing up, he suddenly remembered he desired prayer for his voice. I'm not sure what is going on, but Bob began very nearly weeping as Melissa, Marv, and I laid hands on him. At times his voice fails him and Bob is fearful of soon not being able to speak at all. Earlier Bob told us that God had spoken to him and told him that God was going to take him home with him. Bob said this with great power and enthusiasm.
We went to the grocery store for our usual bottled water and pickle barrel pickle for Melissa. The lady shop keeper was there with her husband (the man who runs Saleh's market on Middlebury Street) and their beautiful children. She thanked us for our prayers for the neighborhood. She said our prayers are making a difference. She said that the neighborhood was much "calmer" than it was just a few months ago.
We talked to a whole family sitting of a porch. The somewhat intoxicated father wanted anointing and prayer for all of his family for various needs. The wife and daughter were OK with it and we anointed and prayed with the father and both them. The boy was reluctant and we told him that we would just keep him in our prayers as we walked. He had just recently quit high school. . .as we left we prayed for him.
We helped several members of the local Wicca coven carry bags of groceries and cartons of pop in from a cab into the house. I didn't know who they were until later. I asked the one lady if she needed prayer for anything. . . She politely declined my offer. . .I think Melissa was looking for a rock to crawl under. . .Melissa didn't remember at the time that she was wearing a big chaplain's cross on her shirt. . .
Two men were drinking beer on their very small porch. I told them we were praying for the neighborhood. . . praying for good things to happen to people. I asked them that if they wanted prayer for anything, we would surely love to join with them. . . The one man, pointed to his beer bottle, a little exasperated with me, "Don't you see? I'm an alcoholic. How can you want to pray with me?. . ." I told him that didn't matter to me. We would be glad to pray with him regardless of the beer bottle. He was silent for a few moments, and then, "Yeah. . .I'd like you to pray for me." He did not want to be anointed, but Melissa and I lifted him up before God in fervent prayers. . .It was a very special time. . .I think it was this man's brother who was drinking with him on the porch. Anyway, he knocked over his quart bottle of malt liquor and it went running all over the porch. There was just a sweet sweet little boy toddling around the porch, sidewalk, steps and in between these two somewhat inebriated men as they tried to clean up the spilled beer. I talked to them about our upcoming VBS. There was no sign of the child's mother around. The man I'd been talking to had just gotten out of prison and it was his boy on the porch. He was interested. I had left them a VBS flier and was walking away when it struck me that there was really zero chance of that VBS application being filled out unless I filled it out and took it with me. So I headed back and got all the information from them for this little boy to come to our VBS. What ever it takes, if I have to pick up that little boy every night, I'm going to do what I can to see that he comes to our Vacation Bible School. The little boy was just so sweet, it pained my heart. . .please keep this little boy in your prayers.
A lady and her children we sitting on their porch enjoying the evening, she came down the sidewalk to greet us and she asked for a flier. She said that a few weeks ago we had come through praying (I do not remember praying with them about this) and the next day Oaklawn Psychiatric Hospital had called with a very unexpected opening for her severely mentally ill brother. She attributed this to the power of God in answering prayers. She thanked us profusely. She regularly attends Calvary United Methodist church and she very much appreciates what we are doing. She just loves the fliers and Bible verse cards.
We talked to our three Hispanic friends (they speak maybe 6 words of English to match our 6 words of Spanish) on their back porch drinking beer. We've talked with them and given them fliers, etc. for the past 3 weeks or so. They had gone to Life Tabernacle on Monday evening to attend Sister Cathy's English classes, but saw no bike rack to chain their bicycles up to and were afraid to leave them outside, so they left. I tried to explain to them that there was a fence for them that could be used to chain their bikes to, but I'm not sure they understood. I called Sister Cathy on my cell phone, but I couldn't get hold of her.
Marvin got the hang of praying and handing out the fliers. He ran into several people whom he knew. Several times people offered to sell him drugs. Please keep Marvin in your prayers. He very much enjoyed this tonight.
I was talking with one lady. She was telling me about the demons in her and about Lucifer who rules her life. She wanted prayer and for the demons in her mind to be cast out. I was just beginning to pray with her, when she saw Melissa walking up and the minute she saw her, she just turned, ran into the house, and slammed the door. I have no idea what was going on with that. Melissa felt very badly and kept apologizing to me, but Melissa had done nothing wrong on her own. It is such a blessing to have Melissa with us. Every time we pray on the streets with people, I think if possible we need to have a woman along and Melissa is so enthusiastic and again her presence is such a blessing to this ministry.
The neighborhood kids just love Melissa and she surely takes great delight in them. At times they just run and squeal with delight when they see her. I had forgotten about this until just this moment, but we prayed and anointed with one precious little 5 year old girl who has, since she was 9 months old pulled her hair out until she has bald spots on her head. We first prayed with her Mama for peace and stability in her life and then for this wonderful beautiful little girl to be healed from this habit. This little girl is so precious.
Melissa's legs began hurting and she sat on the stoop of a house on Harrison as Marvin and I finished Harrison and brought the van back to Melissa. Melissa ended up just talking and talking to this family whose stoop she was sitting upon. She apologized for our having to come back to get her, but I'm not sure that her talking with this family for half an hour or so wasn't the greatest act of ministry done all evening. . . We talked to so many people. . . many more than I can relate here. Again it was a wonder filled. . . God filled evening. . .
I love you Lord. . .
Thursday, July 10, 2008