"When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:1-3
The Psalmist struggled to find words to describe the joy of all that he had seen the Lord do – just like I am going to do. The question I was left with as I began to write this report on the plane home from Brazil was ‘How on earth do I capture such a rich, profound and spectacular experience?’ So here goes.
The stats of this trip are amazing:
96 team members of the team from 8 different countries came together for 11 days in Sao Paulo.
We visited nine different churches; Gravidade Zero, Four Square, Plenitude, Plentitude, Familia, Sao Jose Dos Campos, Igredja da Cidade em Taubuate, Rhema, Vida Nova and held meetings which touched approximately 13,000 people.
Almost 4,000 healings took place – of which 2,050 were physical healings after team members prayed with them, 720 sovereign physical healings (where no team member prayed directly with the person), 1103 emotional, spiritual or deliverance healings. Twenty five blind eyes were healed, 33 deaf ears opened, 18 lumps (tumours) disappeared, 3 lame walked and 24 people who had metal in their bodies received their mobility back and / or pain healed. Team members led 127 people in prayers of salvation and there were 33 rededications and 171 people responded to an invitation to salvation from the stage. 1300 people were ‘blasted’ by the Holy Spirit which is a dramatic experience of the power and fire of the Spirit, beyond the thousands of others who were ministered to generally and received the Spirit.
But these stats alone do not capture the full work of the Spirit among us. So here are four themes that seemed to be central to what God was doing among us and through us.
Despite there being so many people on the team there was a great sense of family right from the first meeting. Partly this was because of the number of people who already knew each other either from previous trips or as members of the same church back home. But the Holy Spirit definitely broke the ice in the first team impartation meeting, which went way beyond the team leaders (Carter and Tom) ministering to us, to everyone praying for one another and a lot of joy and drunkenness. There was also a carefulness with one another as we caught people and looked out for how we were all doing. It took us to a deep level with God and one another from the start.
Throughout the trip quite a number of team members were ill with colds, cough or flu-like symptoms. This was tough for them but again the love and care of other team members was shown as they prayed again and again and looked out for them. And throughout a trip like this everyone experiences ups and downs, some nights of great breakthrough and others of frustration or simply tiredness. Again I always found someone with an encouraging word and a willingness to listen and pray. Inevitably there were some people who never got to know each other in such a large team, and there were some relationships that were harder for some people, but there was such a sense of love and family and I have made friends for life.
Faith for all that God wanted to do was a key theme. The faith of the church members was an important factor. At certain churches it seemed that Randy, with his teaching and the intercessors’ prayers, needed to bring a breakthrough and change the spiritual atmosphere. At others it seemed ready to ‘pop’ from the first moment. But wherever we went the passionate worship, the dancing and responsiveness to the teaching showed a level of faith that was ready to receive what God wanted to bring. And as we ministered in a church over time we could see the faith levels rise.
One key aspect of building faith was the power of testimony. It was great to have Joseph on the team taking video testimonies and then editing them so that the next day people could see what God had done in the previous day’s teaching - this really built faith. The one that stood out was the little girl born deaf in one ear who had been healed and as someone clicked their fingers behind her she raised her hand and her Dad wept with joy in the background.
I will also never forget the evening when the woman, who on the previous night had been healed from the pain and limited movement of having six metal pins in her back and six more around her jawline, brought in her X-Rays. She showed her X Rays and one of the doctors on the team interpreted them showing it would naturally be impossible for her to bend and move in the way she now could. Randy then called for anyone with metal in their body to stand and four people were healed without anyone praying for them. One woman was shaking her arms and crying saying how she could not bend her arms in that way – but she could!
The practice of giving words of knowledge built faith in people that God wanted to heal them and seeing them come in response to those words and God heal them built our faith. Randy consistently built faith through his Biblical teaching and testimonies; he removed obstacles to faith and spoke one night about different levels of faith. I certainly found my faith being built throughout the trip so that by the end of the trip I was surprised when people weren’t healed and didn’t think that God didn’t want to heal, just that we needed to pray some more, find the key to that healing and (or) I still had to grow in faith. The level of healing that God was doing was beyond anything else I had experienced before and the challenge and question it leaves me with is – ‘How can I take this into my ministry back in the UK and what factors need to need to change in me and in the context in order to release this?’
One of the most significant aspects of this trip was the times of impartation. Every Global trip has a balance of seeking to be a blessing to the local churches and at the same time receiving a blessing to take home. But Tom Jones reflected that on this trip it seemed that the Lord was showing a greater emphasis on us receiving something that God wanted to release through us in our ongoing ministry. There were some very significant times of impartation and I loved that Randy released team members to ‘take their badges off’ and receive if that was what God was doing in a time of impartation in a local church. It was the first time that I had ever used the phrase ‘blasted’ to describe the work of the Holy Spirit but that was definitely something God was doing. Randy explained it helpfully from the testimony of Heidi Baker when he asked her if she would have believed the word about God giving her Mozambique and converts and churches and blind eyes and deaf ears opened and raising the dead.
This trip was great fun. Not least because of the humour of Pat and Danni who organised us too well each day. Their humour lightened the journeys and transport logistics and was important in preventing the feel of ministry team becoming too intense. The Holy Spirit seemed to think this was important and there was plenty of Holy Spirit joy and laughter in impartation sessions. And again we will never forget the day that Randy slapped and wrestled his interpreter to the ground as illustrations of deliverance ministry.
With thanks to Randy and the whole Global team for an amazing trip and glory to God for all that he did.