“When we turn our backs on the poor, we turn them on Jesus Christ.” Mother Teresa
This Week’s Highlights
*Team Encounters Man Named ‘Chaos’ – see Iris
*Hot Chocolate on Cold Night Results in Connections – see Michelle
*The Lord Gives Favour at Hospital – see Warren
Fifteen Kingdom Developers showed-up last night and went to Siloam Missions, Health Sciences, and Portage Place.
I was with Monica and Jeremiah at Portage Place. Friends had given me a large box of chocolates, and we started handing them out to the regulars, and suddenly many other people were congregating around us. Even though there were a lot of chocolates they didn’t last very long, but it brought people to our end of the food court, and gave us people to connect with.
During the ‘chocolate frenzy’ Kansas, a regular I have known for a long time approached me and asked for prayer. I hadn’t seen her since May. She told me she has been in the hospital where she received a serious of operations to try to correct complications that her internal organs had received from knife wounds to her mid-section. She said she came to find me as she was struggling with fear and anxiety as a result of all the trauma she has experienced. We were able to pray, and encourage her. I asked her to come back next Thursday, so we could continue to pray with her.
Just as we finished praying with Kansas, Henry came into the food court to find me. Henry is a full time First Nations street evangelist, who witnesses to people along the downtown North side of Portage Avenue. He was feeling very discouraged, and tired. I discerned he needed a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit. I held his hands and prayed for the Holy Spirit to fill him, and prayed a blessing of empowerment over him. I also gave him words of encouragement about the value of his ministry. He left me, heading back to the streets, with a renewed vigour.
Shortly after that, Jeremiah asked me to join him. He was witnessing to Lloyd, and had just asked him if he would like to receive Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. Lloyd had answered that he thought it wouldn’t be appropriate as he was intoxicated. I assured Lloyd that Jesus could handle his situation, and Jeremiah quoted the scripture that while we were sinners Jesus died for us. He appeared ready. I was about to lead him in a prayer when Kyle (see Iris’ report) plopped himself on a chair at our table and interrupted by loudly talking about himself. Then, suddenly, friends of Lloyd showed-up and said they all needed to leave. Lloyd immediately got up and left, it all happened so fast it felt chaotic. My prayer is that the devil doesn’t win this one, but that we get to complete Lloyd’s call to salvation in the week’s ahead.
As Gaylene and I walked towards the entrance of Portage Place, we were asked if we wanted to buy drugs. A for-taste of what was an evening that felt heightened in spiritual intensity. There were different groups walking briskly through the mall with tattoos on their faces (drug dealers?), someone trying to sell a Canada Goose jacket for $50 in the food court, and being told that even heroin could be found to be bought in the mall tonight. The security guards were on the move all evening, constantly on the alert, and sometimes running.
A young man and his girlfriend stood near the food court and Gaylene asked him what his name was. “Chaos” he replied, and there was a tattoo that said chaos under his right eye. He seemed agitated but was willing to talk. Gaylene asked him what his real name was and he said ” ‘Nehemiah’, funny right, that I am named after a prophet.” “And that it’ funny because I am wondering about God and if he is even real.” Gaylene asked to pray for him, for God to reveal himself to him. Chaos’s girlfriend did not like that idea, and quickly left. Chaos leaned his back on the wall, bowed his head and received prayer. It was clear the Holy Spirit was touching Chaos’s heart with the softening of his eyes and with the tears on his cheeks. And then he left just as quickly, saying he needed to look for his girlfriend.
We then started chatting with Kyle who was also standing next to the same wall next to the food court. He was 21. He seemed unsteady on his feet so we asked him to come sit and talk at the tables at the food court. Kyle shared with us some harrowing details of his life. He was the son of a Hell’s Angel, ten people he was close to died in the last three years, he had three children and stated he had lost his soul at 17 when he was attacked and locked up in a house for 5 days due to his dad being a Hell’s Angel. We prayed for him, but it turned weird with him asking for the prayer his grandma used to pray. We eventually figured out it was the Lord’s prayer, but even praying that over him seemed to stir up the spirits that were clouding his mind. When asked if he had spirits that were living in him, he immediately said, “Yes, two, I am two-spirited”. He then said he wanted more prayer. We waved Al over to our table to pray with us, as we felt at a loss and needed backup. Lani also joined us at this point. (Al’s note – Kyle began by lamenting that if it wasn’t for the circumstances he was born into he would probably be a famous hockey player today. I tried to engage him in prayer, but he was very intent on controlling the conversation, and wasn’t actually receiving any prayer. I decided to move-on as our time with him was going nowhere.)
After that, Lani, Gaylene and I headed to the second floor, and next to the elevator stood a young man with his girlfriend, Riley and Christina. Gaylene asked Riley if he followed Jesus, and that started a most incredible conversation. Riley said he was reluctant to answer because it was personal, and that he did not think he knew enough. I have never seen Gaylene do this, but she challenged that statement from him by asking him to tell us what the Gospel was. He started from Genesis, walked a bit through the Old Testament, talked about Jesus and his death. Turns out that Riley was the son of a meth couple from BC, said he grew up with his home and life being chaos, and while he wanted to follow Jesus, he was addicted to that chaos. Gaylene, Lani and I were spellbound as Riley shared his story and as he shared about God and Jesus his eyes got brighter and filled with joy. The pull of his past and drug addiction was strong, but so was the presence of God in his life. So much so, that he attends church every week at House of the Risen Son – an ex-biker church that meets at Zion. His girlfriend stood quietly the whole time and listened. Lani prophesied over them that there was a call on both of their lives and that God had marked them. At the end we prayed together we all stood in a circle with arms around each other and the Holy Spirit’s powerful presence was on us and especially on Riley. It was a dynamite encounter and an amazing end to an oddly charged evening in Portage Place.
This Thursday Ed , Cory and I prayed for several people in front of Siloam Mission. Ed brought 3 kegs of hot chocolate and we handed it out. At the end of the evening, Cory a first timer to H2O, made a connection with a man Jeff and they plan to meet at a later date. After the hot chocolate ran out we went to Portage Place. It was a night filled with making connections and prayer, God was with us.
This evening I was with Linda, Lena, George and Ken. Near the end of the evening, we were in a ward in the Health Sciences Center and we asked a nurse if there were people we could pray for and she asked the shift supervisor; who came out and told us that no one stood out. But the Lord gave us favour, the head nurse said, go into any room you like and ask for anyone who wants prayer. Unfortunately it was late and Team Members had to leave – so return visit next week.