I am a former atheist who discovered Jesus in June of 2000. Now I am a chaplain and a licensed UPC minister who loves the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. . . I once was blind, but now I see. . . never say never.
Tonight it was Terry Wallin, myself. . .(and drum roll please!!!) Brother Larry Evans. I was so excited and glad to see Brother Evans tonight. He was such a blessing to have along.
I am so sorry if you get tired of my enthusiasm, but tonight was a really great great night of ministry on Middlebury Street. I was especially wanting to have a good night for Brother Evan's sake and we had a good one.
Zoe and David, a regular stop on our walk, are having severe financial problems. In addition Zoe lost a close friend this week and is emotionally quite fragile. Kathy (another friend in the neighborhood) showed up just as we were getting ready to pray. David is having quite an attack of gout and was sleeping. I told Zoe that we would stop and pray with him later on our way back to the church.
Rejections take a toll on me and to me the damage seems to be cumulative. The longer I do street ministry, the more I almost flinch at expected rejection before I even talk with a person. I have a tendency to pre-judge people on the basis of their appearance, sometimes fully expecting rejection before they even open their mouths, but. . .but. . . but!!! I try with everything I have, never to allow that fear or expectation of rejection to dictate my actions. If I have learned anything, it is that I am a terribly lousy predictor of who will or will not be receptive. To exterior all appearances, the hardest, meanest looking people have often proven to be among the most receptive of all the people we talk to.
I spotted a fellow crossing Middlebury Street toward us. I just had this feeling, from his age, his demeanor, and the way he was dressed, that he wouldn't be interested at all in hearing what we had to say or being prayed for, but I gave every bit of love that I could to him in my voice, in telling him that we were praying for the people of the neighborhood and asking him if there were anything that we could pray with him about. . . the man just opened himself completely to us. He had just gotten out of prison 4 months ago. He had an addiction to cocaine and he was greatly struggling with temptation. He was just so emotionally receptive. . . he greatly desired to be anointed and prayed for. There right in the street, Brother Evans, Terry, and I anointed him and lifted up a powerful prayer to God for this man to be delivered from his bondage. . .It was just awesome. . .
A little further on, a 13 year old girl crossed the street and approached us and asked if the church needed any summer help. She was so sweet. Her Mama was getting her a puppy and she wanted to earn money to keep the puppy up on its shots and vet visits. . .She wanted prayer and anointing also. We asked for the Lord to open a door for this young girl, to provide a job for this girl in a wondrous way to help build her faith in Him. . .She was such a sweetheart. . .
We talked for quite a bit with Ralph, one of the neighborhood regulars.
I went into the store and bought some water. WOW!!! What a great surprise. The owner's son and 2 daughters were in the store. I really miss seeing them every week over on Marion Street. They are such sweet kids. They are very young. I think the oldest is maybe 7. They love getting the little Bible verse cards. I had forgotten, but Terry reminded me how one day last summer when we came upon them, how they were all on the sidewalk with little markers and pads of paper. . . all writing letters to God. . .Melissa and Terry and I almost wept that day. It was such a special time. . .
At another of the subsidized apartment complexes, a man was drinking beer on the front steps. Again I had to resist the urge to just pass him by. . .I'm so very glad that I did not. He was initially closed to me, but when I told him that we were just wanting to pray for good things to happen to people, he started to open up. He had gotten laid off a few weeks ago and it was very tough on him. . .It turned out I was very familiar with the company he had worked for. I had designed tooling to help them manufacture their product. The flood gates now were full open. He was very emotional. We made a great connection. I gave him one of my chaplain's cards with my cell phone number on it. I told him I'd love to have coffee with him sometime. . .
The apartments were filled with people wanting prayer. . .a man about Terry and I's age, sitting on the sidewalk wanted prayer and anointing for his prostate trouble. . . LOL OK we laughed, between Terry, Brother Evans, and I, we can relate to that request. . .We anointed him and prayed for healing for this man.
Young mothers wanted prayer for financial help and wisdom raising their children.
I almost wept. I ran into a young woman I know from the jail. I was so happy to see her. I did Bible studies for a number of weeks with her and another lady, several years ago. She has such a sweet spirit about her. I've seen her a number of times on the street since then. The last time was in the middle of last summer. Today she was greatly pregnant. She is due this week. One of the things that I had prayed for her at the jail, was for God to raise up a Godly husband for her. . .I asked her how the search for a husband was going. . . she almost began openly crying. . .Brother Evans and I lifted up a most fervent prayer for her. . .I strongly believe that we will see her at church. I told her that I would not be there Sunday, but to please please come anyway. . .
Another lady, again I prejudged not to be interested. She was just getting out of the car in front of her apartment. She was on crutches. I told her what we were doing, praying for the neighborhood. . .praying for the drug houses to close. . . praying for people to quit shooting each other. . . (smiling looking anywhere but at her). . . praying for people to be healed. . .She just burst out with a big grin and a laugh. I said, "Those hurt don't they." "Yeah", she really agreed. She was still only half out of her car, but Brother Evans, Terry, and I anointed and began praying for her when a man walked up and asked if he could get some of this, so he joined our prayer circle. I anointed him and we all lifted up a prayer for this woman. Her cast is supposed to be on for another 3 weeks. We prayed for the Lord to take her pain and to give her a more rapid recovery. It was great.
I've got to get to bed, so I've got to draw this to a close, but I saw 2 young mothers pushing their babies in strollers, walking with another woman on Aspenwald about half a block away. I was waiting for Terry and Brother Evans to finish their side of Aspenwald. So, I walked up toward them. The one lady was so excited to see me. Truthfully I didn't remember her, but she said that I had anointed her and prayed with her last summer two days before he son (in the stroller) was born. She was very glad to see me. Everything worked out well in her pregnancy. I now remembered her. She had been with several friends and they were walking her around the apartment complex trying to start her labor. Her friends took my anointing oil and rubbed it all over her belly. It was so funny. She really enjoyed getting the flier and Bible verse card. The older lady, without a stroller and baby, turned out to be a strong prayer warrior. It was like I lit a fuse. She just began giving testimony after testimony about the power of prayer. . . She loves to pray. . .
Larry and I stopped back at David and Zoe's. David was awake and we went into his house and prayed with him. He is not well at all. . .