For the last couple of days I have started to get to know the thirty new residents. Each one a unique individual, with their own histories, pains, sins and sufferings. You realise People that enter rehab centres (willingly) are very brave. They have made the decision to face their problems and no longer run from them. As far as soil goes, it is fertile and 'good'. I see more and more why Christ wants me to open Harvest of Hope.
The mentoring here and amount of Bible study is amazing. It is God's Word, fed through the Holy Spirit in Love, that is healing people. For 14 years now hundreds of men have been set free, who then go on often to be Pastors, Nurses, Judges, Missionaries or work within the ministry. No medicines, no psychology, rather; the living God and His people. Trying to explain that to the west is difficult. You really have to experience it to realise how real it is and how far away in the 'wealthy west' we can fall from the real Grace and Peace that His Spirit provides.
The first three hours of every morning is spent focusing on God. Yes three hours. Group Bible study and discussion, then a full service (daily). Each morning a different resident leads the worship - EVERYONE does this. Each day four people pray, which rotates daily. Thus within weeks men have gained confidence praying (in public) singing (in public) reading from the Bible etc. Then a different Pastor comes from a number of churches to preach. The Spirit brings the message and miracles happen..of which I am about to write...
Two nights ago I gave my testimony. I know many of you were praying and I thank you sincerely. I originally had thought to do this near the end of my stay, thinking 'get to know the men, soften up hearts first etc', however, in hindsight, this was insecurity - the worry of what if they didn't respond? I spoke to the Pastor and He said do it tonight (which was my third day here). We both saw logic in this, get a few saved and infilled with the Holy Spirit prior to teaching Romans, rather than afterwards. The thinking being; they wont understand much of it unsaved. Very true.
All day I prayed and by night time found myself weeping in prayer. I knew the Holy Spirit was moving, I could literally feel Him! All the staff prayed for harvest. Thus people at home, people all over the world and people here were praying for harvest.
I showed a presentation on the Gospel, a contemporary kind of rap message a good friend gave me (thank you again Manuel!). In four minutes it provides an overview of the whole Gospel and our combined plight. Then I put up the 'happy' snaps of my past life. By the time I finished preaching nearly an hour had passed. I remember bits and pieces, but it was a bit of a blur to be honest. Then the moment of truth. I asked them to stand if they wanted to give their life to Christ (As in TRULY give Him your WHOLE life). I told them don't if you are not ready, don't if its not from your heart, don't just to be a sheep, you have free will.
Thirty men stood up. A Platoon.
Since then a change has come already. The Spirit is moving and all can see it. As individual Pastors preach, the messages are combining (including my own) without any consultation or collaboration. And thus God's directing. More importantly the men can see it! They know God is showing Himself. I have began Romans and presented them with powerful testimonies of Hells Angel Bikers being forgiven, right through to the 'everything' drama. Last night was Romans Chapter 1 and the somber news of God's Wrath.
They were given both barrels. Heaven, Hell, God's Wrath or God's Love - you CHOOSE! Bad boys know devils exist, we played with them as they played with us for long enough. Thirty men right down to a 16 year old, that looks terrified half the time, (I am laughing, this morning he had a tshirt on saying 'Jesus loves you' with a big love heart) all thirty understood Romans chapter one better than many Bible Scholars I have read. They understood the drugs were idols. I didnt need to theologically defend the position or take a stance against secular medical "theories". They knew they had worshipped the creation instead of the Creator. They got it! They understood only a Spiritual cure (Christ) can fix a spiritual problem. Psychology cannot destroy an idol by itself, neither can a 'wonder' drug. Often, the last thing ex drug addicts want (this coming from one) is more drugs. Whatever colour they are!
I promise you, the singing outside this office is now worshipping the Creator . And to Him, Jesus Christ, be all the praise.
Thank you all for your prayers. Please pray now for their protection (VERY Important) they are babies and yesterday Satan tried to make one quit and leave. Thank God with loving support from brothers and staff He stayed. Thus pray for the men's protection and growth as the Word comes flowing in. Pray the Holy Spirit speaks to their hearts. A Platoon of Christ's soldiers are born. They are worth more than all the earth's combined gold. God will reward you for praying for such men.