Mighty Works of the Spirit in Jamaica, Spring 2011 (Week 1)

3/28–4/3/2011

After a couple of brief days of rest following his March 28th arrival on the island, Michael was ready to commence the work of a missionary. The only significant difference between the anticipated work of the next 2 weeks and that of so many other return visits over the previous 18 years was the heightened awreness there would be significant prophetic ministry.

Wednesday night, Cornel, the Jamaican member of the team, and Michael, were scheduled to begin their series of meetings at the Hopewell Deliverance Center. It rained not long before the service and the turnout would be smaller than anticipated since most people walk to church. As Cornel was leading those present in worship, Michael heard the Spirit say, “Those behind you are burdened; minister to their needs.” When it was time to speak, Michael turned to see the presence of only 3 elderly ladies. But rather than be disappointed in the turnout, he knew that God summoned only those He desired to be there for that particular service. He was also aware that what was about to take place would likely not have taken place had a larger crowd been present.

When it was his turn to minister, Michael closed his bible rather than offer a lesson and called Cornel and the 3 ladies to stand with him before the altar. The Spirit of prophecy then moved mightily among the little gathering of believers. Each of the ladies, in their turn, received powerful prophetic utterances. The Spirit spoke to each individually over matters no one else present could have known—deeply personal and complex matters the Lord addressed as suited His purpose. The tears that streamed that night did not flow as a result of embarrassment, but rather in great joy in the presence of God. The last words He spoke to the missionary as he was preparing to leave for the evening were “I have seen their faithfulness.”

Thursday evening’s meeting held in Bishop Reece’s Granville church was a very different sort of meeting. To begin with, it should be noted that prior to his arrival, Michael was stricken with severe stomach cramps—something he couldn’t remember having had since childhood. Of course, he immediately knew the source and the sinister goal aimed at discouraging his involvement in the upcoming meeting. But along with a little Pepto Bismal (which still reminded him of liquid “chalk” some 40 years after his last dose), he shook off the pain which left him a short time later. But that was only the first of 2 surprises. As it turned out, Michael had misunderstood the evening’s purpose. Thinking the service was to be a street meeting–an evangelistic event held on the street to reach the lost–he quickly discovered his mistake. As he approached the double-wide entrance to the church, he paused long enough to notice those within were dressed in church rather than street attire. He whispered with a slight chuckle, “Lord, you’re gonna have to work this out because I certainly don’t have anything prepared to speak.” With that, he was escorted through the doors and directly to the platform. All was well however, for he had an assurance the Spirit was prepared to move—and move He did.

From the start, God moved in prophetic ministry. As he approached the podium with bible in hand, the Spirit had Michael describe a series of specific events that were taking place in a lady’s life; that shortly the Lord would be ministering to her in greater detail. With that, he then turned around to face a visiting minister sitting upon the platform and said “The Spirit has a word for you too if you’re willing to receive it.” Then a brief teaching from 1 Corinthians 13 and 14 was shared to demonstrate the purpose for prophetic ministry.

With the teaching finished, God began to move in powerful ways. At first, Michael couldn’t help but notice there seemed to be a serious spiritual “slumber,” or even a measure of resistance. Although the congregation was unresponsive in the beginning, the awkwardness of the moment was soon overshadowed by what the Spirit began to do. Michael asked the lady the Lord described at the beginning of the service—who had not yet been revealed to him—to stand. A moment later, a single elderly lady stood. As Michael approached her, God began to pour out specific and detailed information regarding things she was currently experiencing, the newness of her experiences, how others were unable to understand or relate to her when she would attempt to explain God’s fresh work, and how the Spirit’s work had caused her to stand alone within the church and apart from long-time friends. With the message completed, God then addressed the congregation as a whole and the bishop (Bishop Reece) specifically. The word to the church was only the third prophetic rebuke Michael ever shared before an entire congregation. “You are taking advantage of your bishop” began the word. “You have chosen not to follow the one God has set before you.” Then with considerable precision, the Spirit began to describe the bishop’s brokenness, including even the very words he uttered in his intercessions for the church and the physical manner in which he knelt to pray. The Lord then described how the bishop had tried everything he knew to do to make changes within the church, but to little avail. With that, a call ushered forth for the trouble-makers to repent or to depart from the church, but that this situation must change. Michael then related how he encountered a similar situation in Browns Town a few years earlier when the congregation was warned that by their deeds, it was “killing” their bishop. In truth, the warning was literally fulfilled 3 months later with the untimely death of their pastor.

With the corrective word finished, Michael called for “several men” in which God had begun a new work, to stand. Three men stood to their feet. All 3 were called to come forward and then face the congregation. One at a time, all 3 men were prophesied over, with God revealing past and present events, contents of their communications with the Father, and what He was about to do in each of their lives. Finally, the guest pastor Michael addressed earlier was called forward. The Lord showed him that contrary to his thinking, he’d not come to the end of his call as a pastor; that he wasn’t in a “dead end” position. “God will advance you, even though you and your wife are not in agreement as to what will come next. Is this correct?” The pastor acknowledged that what had been spoken was accurate. Michael then prayed for unity in the matter between the man and his wife.

As the night of ministry concluded, the bishop announced that God had indeed worked “miracles” and truly visited His people. In every prophetic utterance, the validity of each message was verified.

Friday night, Delilah, a guest from New York who was also staying at the villa with the missionary team, mentioned she had been suffering from pain in the neck, painful carpal tunnel nerve damage in both her hands, and from a knee devoid of cartilage. Michael briefly touched her neck and prayed for healing just prior to turning in for the evening. The next morning, she said “Last night was the first night in a long time that I got a good night’s sleep because my neck didn’t hurt. I think I’ll give you a whole list of things to pray for.” The 2 laughed and went their ways the rest of the day, but the next morning would witness a far greater manifestation.

Saturday morning breakfast was set at a poolside table just outside Michael’s room. Although he was accustomed to fixing his own breakfast to save on expenses, Michael briefly joined Delilah and Nevil, a young man that worked at the villa, at the breakfast table. They spoke of her need for further prayer and that they should pray together later in the day. Michael then returned to his room. He had not been in his quarters more than a few minutes when the Spirit said, “Return and pray for Delilah now.” Barging back to the table, he interrupted, “We need to pray now.” With that said, Michael prayed for her neck, hands, tennis elbow and knee. About an hour later, he saw Delilah again. Wide-eyed and excited, she said, “My hands are fine; the pain’s all gone. And you know, when you prayed for my knee, I felt a burning sensation and it’s now much better. I don’t feel the throbbing pain anymore.” It’s important to note that when she left the island on the following Monday, she was still free from pain in her hands—the first time in 6 years. Her neck and elbow were free of pain (except when she slept on them a certain way in the night) and her knee had only a mild, dull ache rather than the throbbing pain she’d lived with for so long. Her body had definitely been touched. It should also be noted that she’d been on heavy doses of pain medication for years.[1]

Sunday morning marked the beginning of a long and powerful day of prophetic ministry. The day began at Pitfour Heights in the Valley Christian Ministries International Church, located near the top of a mountainous region overlooking Montego Bay. As the music began, it became abundantly clear that the church took to heart the words “make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” The overpowering drums were no more than 5 feet from where Michael was sitting, making it virtually impossible to hear the praise leader’s singing. Not that it mattered much at that point, but whatever hymn was sung, the keyboardist knew only one arrangement which was always 2 or 3 keys off from that of the singer. In addition, the microphone squelched almost non-stop for 25 minutes. But regardless of the music situation, a great time of ministry would break through for the glory of God.

Following time in the word, the Spirit ministered powerfully and individually to His people. One lady was called to come forward. “You have gone through one difficulty after another your entire life, and it seemed as if those struggles would never end. Is that correct?” asked Michael. The lady took the microphone and testified not only to the validity of what had been declared, but how she had been “passed around,” among other things. The Spirit then ministered to her about current things that were taking place and what was yet to come, giving her the hope she so desperately needed. When he finished ministering to her, Michael then turned to a young lady sitting near the front of the room. In the same manner as earlier in the trip, God shared past and current matters only the recipient could know, along with what was yet to come. With the word complete, Michael asked the entire congregation of approximately 30 to stand and join hands in a circle. Next, it was Pastor Robinson’s turn to receive encouragement. After spending several minutes speaking of past, present, and future matters, the pastor testified how God had just spoken a word to His servant. Finally, Michael turned to a man standing nearby and said, “Please stand next to the pastor.” He then continued, “Sir, you need this pastor. Pastor, you need this man.” As it turned out, the 2 men had worked together in times past before the man walked away from the Lord for a season. On this particular morning, the 2 were reconciled.

Sunday night witnessed a very different sort of church service. Back at the Hopewell Deliverance Center, Pastor Blair was now in attendance having returned the day before from the United States. While seated with the pastor on the platform, Michael received instruction from the Lord that would take him in a quite different direction than he’d planned. With microphone in hand, he stepped off the platform and stood quietly before the congregation. “You have become a church without unity” came the words. “As a church, people have gone in separate directions.” Then issues such as gossip, the lack of carrying out even a single plan pertaining to correcting identifiable issues, even plans for reaching the lost that were never carried out, and more, came forth. Everyone knew it was the Spirit that spoke that night. After several minutes of rebuke, the entire church was called to come down front and join hands in a show of unity. Then the pastor was asked to step forth in the middle of the circle. “There are a couple of ladies here tonight that are close to you. Please step forth and lay hands on the pastor.” (Please note the pastor is a lady pastor.) Two ladies came forward and burst into tears as they interceded for their pastor friend. Then the question was uttered, “Why are you (pastor) doing all the work in this church?” The men who were present were admonished to become more involved. Next, Michael turned to a lady who was involved in certain ministry matters. “You’re not satisfied with what you’re doing in the church. Is this correct?” he asked. She acknowledged in the affirmative as expected. Words of encouragement then followed. Finally, Michael turned to a tall, slim, elderly lady standing nearby. “Sister, you have prayed much for this church, with a mixture of results. But God is about to take you to another level in your prayers.” She burst into tears. As it turns out, she was one of the principal intercessors for the church. A short time later with the prophetic ministry concluded, the church was dismissed, but not before the pastor’s acknowledgement that God’s Spirit had indeed been present.

This marked the end of the first week of ministry in Jamaica. As was his regular practice in all his meetings, Michael asked every prophetic recipient the same question: “Is this correct?” He makes it a practice to do so wherever he goes for 2 reasons. If he is not hearing from the Spirit of Christ, he wants to know in order that he might stand corrected. But on the other hand, if the Spirit is speaking, then let the words be a testimony to others within the congregation so they might be encouraged that God still speaks to His people today.

_____________________________________________________________

FOOTNOTE

[1] After Michael returned home, he met with a long-time friend and intercessor, Tom Stoy, who shared a revealing story with him of how he was led by the Spirit to pray for Michael during the mission trip. The Lord spoke to him in a dream, before the trip began, that after Michael had been on the island for 5 days (a dream that he told Michael about via an email shortly after his arrival in Jamaica), he was to spend extra time in intercession. Calculated out, the 5th day was Saturday. That morning, Tom prayed for a full hour from 8-9 am for his friend. Michael noted that the time of Tom’s prayer was the same day and time the healing took place.

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