So, the theme of the 2015 ONE Youth Rally was PHENOMENON. The idea was to invite youth to connect to and experience the manifest presence of the God--AKA the Holy Spirit--to be PHENOMENA whenever/wherever God led us. We put God to the test like we had never done before...
When people arrived on the Friday night of the Rally, I noticed Joel, who arrived in a wheel-chair. As I would discover, Joel had been in an accident 3 years prior to the event, which had left him unable to use his right leg, which was in constant pain. Joel, wore 2 braces--one on his leg and the other on his ankle. He was sort of able to get around with these braces and a cane, but spent most of his time in his wheel-chair.
On Saturday morning, we had the chance to attend different workshops--one of which was a workshop in which the workshop leader, Jessica, encouraged people to step out of our comfort zones, and to pray for people around us who were in need of healing (physical or other) and watch God do miracles. While Jessica shared story after story of how she had seen this in her own life and ministry, one of the leaders present, Daniel, felt like God was telling him to go and pray for Joel. For different reasons, including fear, he tried to ignore the inner prompting of the Holy Spirit.
Fast forward to the Saturday evening service. During the worship time, Daniel felt an overwhelming urge to go and pray for Joel. Finally, he got up and left his seat, and as he did so he passed by me. I asked him where he was off to and he responded with: "Do you want to do something cool?" I am always up for doing something "cool", so I followed, not knowing what Daniel had in mind. It didn't take long for me to see where he was headed, and as I took a step of faith with Daniel, I quickly offered up this simple prayer: "God, if ever you were to show your power, this would be a good time!"
So, we went over to Joel and asked if we could pray for him. He agreed. We simply and humbly asked God to bring healing to Joel's leg. In the workshop, Jessica instructed us, after praying for someone, it is always important to ask them if they notice any difference, which we did. In next few seconds everything changed. As Joel touched his leg, we could tell that he was trying to understand what he was experiencing. Suddenly, he began to remove his braces, and he did something he hadn't done since the accident--to stand up without his braces, albeit with his cane. Then heaven met earth as Joel threw away his cane and began jumping up in down, and then dancing. He had been instantly healed!
All of this was happening in the front of the sanctuary. As you can imagine, when Joel began jumping and dancing, everything stopped, as people tried to understand what had just happened--and then the whole place erupted in worship to God. We had just witnessed a miracle!
Now, it was already amazing to have witnessed a divine healing, but what was perhaps even more remarkable, was that the level of faith in the room went through the roof. When our speaker invited people forward for a ministry time at the end of his message, people came streaming to the front. We experienced breakthrough in a way we had never seen before. People met God in an amazing way, and many experienced healing, freedom from a multitude of things and went home transformed.
I met Joel the other day--7 months after his healing--and he has been permanently healed--a seal of what God did in that moment in October. God showed up at our little Youth Rally to show us that He is the God of miracles and that when we walk with Him, and allow the Holy Spirit to work through us, we will see His wonders. :)