My grandson, Hudson (14), had heard my stories about being involved in street/mall ministry, and he asked if he could go with me. So, on my third time-out, I took him with me. We started as always with prayer, worship, and a talk at the Zion Apostolic Church. At the end of the talk one of the leaders, Kevin Penner said he felt we should gather the 5 youth in attendance and pray over them. During the prayer time, 3 of the youth were prophesied over. Hudson was told his music (saxophone and guitar) would play a large part in his life, that he was being developed as a leader, and that he should consider involvement in politics (in particular school council). Before we left the church for Portage Place, Hudson made an interesting comment. Referring to the pre-ministry talk he said that he had learned more about Christianity in that half hour then he had learned in all his years in the church. The talk included info on the authority of the believer, and the importance of putting our agendas aside and just going out and loving people.
As we left the church the Bond Slaves for Jesus (ex-bike gang members) were just arriving on their Harley’s for a meeting. There were about 12 Harley’s in the parking lot and more rolling in, much to Hudson’s delight.
On the way, Hudson stated that he would just like to observe and not participate (that was about to be short-lived). It took a while for everyone to arrive, so during the wait, I asked for prayer for my lower left leg, that was in a lot of pain (I noticed it often does that when I am involved in ministry). Pastor Chris, prayed for me and had Hudson lay his hand on my leg. After the first prayer the pain was greatly diminished, and after the second prayer, it was gone.
At about 8 o’clock we divided into 5 teams, anywhere from 3 to 6 in size. Hudson, myself and Mel were with Pastor Chris. As we entered the food court Hudson spotted a lady in a wheelchair and pointed her out to us. Chris approached her and engaged her in conversation. After a few moments, he introduced her to the rest of us. She was a First Nations lady named Delia, from a small community North of Thompson. When Chris asked her if there was anything we could pray for she said yes her daughter (who wasn’t at the mall) but who had badly broken her leg. He prayed for the daughter and then asked about herself. She said 5 months ago she had a stroke, and could barely lift her arm, and could only walk with a walker. Chris asked her if she would like prayer, and she said yes. He asked her to show us how high she could lift her arm. She lifted her arm a little (her knuckles were about level with her chin). With her permission, he asked Hudson to put his hand on her shoulder and repeat the prayer that he was going to pray. He then said, “We speak healing to this arm in Jesus’ name.” Hudson repeated the prayer. Chris then asked Delia to try to lift her arm again. She was able to lift her arm considerably higher. She also mentioned she had some pain in her shoulder. Chris then prayed again, the pain was reduced, and she could lift her arm even higher. Eventually, the pain was completely gone, and she could lift her arm almost straight-up over her head. To see her smile was so rewarding. Chris then asked if she would like us to pray so that she could walk – but she declined. I think she was very overwhelmed by what had already taken place. He spoke some words of blessing and encouragement over her and then we said goodbye to her. Hudson said he really liked her, that she was a really nice lady, and he was amazed about her arm being healed. On the way home, he also told me that he was pleasantly surprised by how much time Chris spent with Delia. He said it was obvious he wasn’t in a hurry.
The mall was thinning-out so we decided to go to Central Park a short distance away. In the park, we noticed several members of the other teams actively engaged with people. Chris approached 3 First Nations people sitting at a picnic table. He introduced himself and then asked if they would like to see a card trick, and they wholeheartedly agreed. Chris then opened his mouth and out flowed a deck of cards (I have no idea how he does that). He then showed them another trick where they pick a card and write their name on it, he then draws a simple stick man on the other side with a felt marker. He places it between one of the men’s hands and when he opens his hands the drawing had changed. The stickman was now a more elaborate drawing (I don’t know how – amazing to watch). Chris then uses that trick to launch into a talk about how God’s love can change things, and he asks if anyone needs prayer to change anything, or if they had any pain.
The people’s names were Kevin, his wife Carla, and her uncle Darren. The two men were somewhat intoxicated. Darren responded first he said he had heart pain. He was separated from his daughter and he really missed her (he didn’t give us any further details). Kevin then said he had a sore foot, and the pain was about an 8. Chris prayed for his foot and the pain dropped to 4. Chris prayed again and the pain was completely gone. Kevin got up and walked, and jumped to test it out. It was perfect he said. Kevin then confessed he was a believer, but lately, he hadn’t been going to church. He added that when he was in prison he went to church often. I told him that what he was experiencing right now was the church – the 7 of us sharing God’s love was the church (I felt the guilt and shame he was experiencing was the workings of the enemy and not compatible with God’s love in this situation).
Chris then asked again if anyone had pain. Kevin then said he and his wife also had heart pain. His wife just had an operation on her knee, and while she was in the hospital ‘they’ took their child away (I suspect ‘they’ referred to Child and Family Services). I picked up on the knee operation and asked her how her knee was. She said it had been doing better, but today the cut had opened-up and it was very sore. I asked if I could lay my hand on her shoulder and pray for her – she agreed. I prayed, “I command this open cut to close, to heal completely, and for all the pain to be gone.” I then asked her to check it. She said the pain was less. I then prayed the same prayer again, and she felt her knee and said there was no pain. I then prayed for the pain of her and her husband’s hearts. I am not sure what exactly I prayed. I think I was in the ‘zone’. Whatever I prayed it hit its mark as Kevin broke down crying.
We then turned our attention to Darren’s heart pain. I prayed for him, and then Mel prayed (or maybe it was the other way around). The prayers touched his heart and he too broke down crying. They thanked us very much for the tricks and the prayers. They added, “you made our day”.
Of course, much more happened, and much more was said – this is the abbreviated version.
It was 9 at night, and time for Hudson and I to depart. Kevin Penner, his team, and other teams showed-up and they began a debrief. Hudson and I left so we don’t know about any of the other teams’ experiences. On the way home, Hudson and I reviewed the night’s events. We were both very excited. Hudson said he definitely wants to come again, and he hoped he would get an opportunity to pray for one of his friends some time.
What a privilege to spend an evening releasing God’s Kingdom on the streets with my grandson. Hudson said he will never forget that night, and neither will I. Thank you Jesus.