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He never gives up on us - part 8
How time flies - I've been putting off publishing this part of my life, because I don't want in anyway to be seen as someone 'special', or to be seen as someone bragging in achievements. I know that what has happened in this period of my life (and you'll have to read my previous entries to see where I came from to reach this point) is only God at work. I cannot make any claim to what our wonderful Father was to do next around about my life.
Following on from the intense pain of life's failures(see previous testimonies), our Father started the process of mending my brokeness and bringing some form of restoration to my life - although I didn't realise for many years the depth of brokeness that existed.
As in my days in the Military, I found that I could get closest to God by walking - and so on most days following work in Cyprus I would set out on a walk near to home and seek God. Although accustomed to 'comfort eating' I found the Lord calling me into a fast as part of this moving forward - during which time I found His strength re-awakening my life. I particularly remember being half way through this particular fast that the Lord prompted me to walk up a hill to a Monastery (Stavrovourni Monastery), which I'd seen from a distance but never driven up to. It was about 40 degrees centigrade (the beginning of August) and lunchtime (not that I was eating!) as I arrived at the bottom of the hill (which was just over 2200 feet). The track was about 5 miles long and I was all prepared with a large bottle of water to accompany me. I was just taking the bottle out of the car, when the Lord told me to leave the bottle and to trust in His provision.
Leaving the bottle in the car, I therefore set off up the hill - not knowing how God would provide. As I climbed, my mouth and body became dryer and dryer, and the sun was beating down on me - but I found I had the strength to keep going. I eventually reached the top of the hill, and just beside the entrance to the monastery was a drinking water fountain - I've never tasted water that was so sweet to taste, and the first drink was poured out to the Lord in thankfulness. I knew that He was showing me what the Psalmist meant when he said, "As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after you". He was increasing my yearning for more of Him and showing me that His living water is the sweetest water that we can ever experience - but sometimes we need to go without the stale and old water of what we are used to before we can appreciate just how wonderful His living water is! Over the next few weeks He took me closer to Himself, and I found myself ministering to people on the military base who were struggling with all manner of concerns. I can remember the joy of seeing a couple come together in reconciliation after they'd been on the point of divorce. I also remember vividly being asked to go to one of my employees home, as they were experiencing paranormal activity taking place - including their baby being attacked by demonic activity. They were desperate for help and the Lord opened their hearts to let me support them, which eventually led to the wife of the couple giving her life to Christ.
I remember walking into their home and the washing machine was 'dancing around the kitchen', in spite of the fact that it wasn't plugged in - so there was nothing other than the spiritual forces to explain the activity. I rebuked the spirits at work in Jesus' name and peace came to the kitchen. I saw teeth marks on the baby and they told me of how they'd actually seen their baby levitating down their hall way, and the baby was screaming. So I prayed for the Lord's peace to transform their house. It was as I was praying that the Lord prompted me to ask about previous occult involvement and I discovered a long history in their family of occult involvement. This included the wife's mother (who was staying with them at that time) using Isis Tarot cards on a daily basis - so after warning the couple of the dangers of these, they approached their mother, and she reluctantly stopped using the cards (otherwise they were going to get her to leave the house). After this time of prayer the atmosphere of the house changed and the family were able to enjoy a peace that they hadn't previously known - Praise God.
This wasn't the first time that the Lord had given me the joy of seeing people set free, but I know that some of my previous experiences (not written down in this continuing testimony) had built me up the understanding of His Strength for such times.
Another vivid memory I have is of a time when I was still attending the chapel on the base - where the Chaplain who didn't stand on scripture was going to carry out a dedication of a child. One of the Ex-pats who used to come to the chapel used to look after a Cypriot mother's child at weekends - due to the mother's mental health needs. The lady who looked after the child wanted the blessing for the child (with the Mother's permission) as she was concerned about the potential repercussions of the child being brought up in a broken family. As she shared about the desire to see the child being protected by the Lord I couldn't help feel that because of the stance of the chaplain, that the child would need protection from any wrong blessing that the chaplain might impose on the child, and I prayed to the Lord that He would protect the child from anything harmful. Within a matter of moments, the Lady walked across to me - put the baby in my arms and said that she felt I should be holding the baby as it was prayed for. So, as the chaplain prayed, I silently prayed in tongues over this wonderful child in my arms - a truly beautiful moment.
A short while later, a group of people came across to Cyprus from the International House Of Prayer in Kansas - and they led a long weekend of worship. I joined them (along with many others) and as we worshipped the power and presence of our Father impacted our lives. We saw reconciliation; healing and all manners of His manifest presence impacting on people's lives. But what followed that weekend was to shake me further into an understanding of His annointing through worship.
After I left to return to my work commitments, I felt in tune with God in ways I'd never known before. As I put on worship music the heaviness of His Presence impacted me in such a way that there were tears of healing and tears of joy all combined.
One of the Christian Mothers on the Military base was concerned about her son, and asked me if I'd pray with her.
I agreed, but had to do an errand first - which meant a 20 mile drive. As I set off in my car, I saw a little owl sat on a post and an eagle flying above - and it felt like the Lord was saying that the darkness of night(the owl)is overwhelmed by the power of light (the eagle). As I drove, the music of worship filled the car and I meditated on Him throughout the journey.
Jacqui was waiting for me on my return, so we went indoors and started to pray. As we prayed, I found myself being drawn to different scriptures and His presence was powerful.
It was like an audible voice telling me exactly where to go in the scriptures and each verse was a promise to Jacqui about her son.
Eventually, our Father led me to Psalm 86. And as I prayed through this Psalm the annointing was coming heavier. In my Bible (NIV), I turned the page for the last verses, and these are what they said,
" Turn to me and have mercy on me;grant your strength to your servant and save the son of your maidservant." Tears flowed as we realised that God was responding to the prayer for the son of this 'maidservant' Jacqui. But the Psalm doesn't finish there, but with these words,
"Give me a sign of your goodness that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,for you, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me".
At this moment, I heard the Lord say, "Pray for rain".
Was He calling me to pray a sign of His goodness into being?
I said to Jacqui - "I've never done this before, but I believe that the Lord has just called me to pray for rain".
You have to understand - Cyprus was in drought conditions; there were no clouds in the sky; they didn't expect any rain for at least a couple more months, and the storm drains on the Island had ceased to be needed for a few years. Lakes had long dried out, and some valleys were just dust.
As I prayed for rain and finished off the prayer time a rumble was heard in the distance. As Jacqui set off home, the heavens opened and for over 4 hours the area was drenched with monsoon rain. Incredibly the rain only fell on a couple of square miles of land around the Military base for that period of time. Over the next few weeks - valleys long dry were filled and became the most beautiful of green land; the drought over the Island had finally broken, and I believe that this was because of the praise that flowed the previous weekend.
It was 6 years later when I met someone in Market Drayton - who lives in Cyprus, that he shared how he knew of 2 other people at the other end of the Island who also felt called to pray for rain following being at the same worship weekend. They too had seen a physical outpouring of rain for several hours over the places they'd prayed in. One lived next to a reservoir that was just about dry - and he had seen the reservoir filled, as a result of God's amazing grace upon the land.
This was an incredible experience of how much God loves to respond to His word and the needs of the world He created. For the remainder of my time living in Cyprus I felt like I was living under an 'open Heaven'. I'll share a bit more about this in the next part of my testimony (part 9).
Though, in closing this part I must reiterate that none of this is about 'me' - it's all about Him. I cannot claim to be in anyway instrumental in what I experienced. It was purely His grace outpouring in a way that would leave me hungry for Him. But as I've said - I still carry deep wounds that the Lord continues to work on in me.
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