Preface for blog: Below is a slightly edited set of three reports I sent to interested friends regarding my trip to Germany as part of a team accompanying Randy Clark and Tom Jones. Their ministry includes a strong emphasis on prayer for healing. I have previously posted a description of the healing of a nearly-deaf boy in Brazil with Randy. The first two sections were written while we were still on the trip. We saw many people come away feeling blessed and spiritually renewed after prayer. A number of folks also reported feeling physically better.
REPORT ON MISSION TRIP TO GERMANY WITH RANDY CLARK, APRIL 25-MAY 6, 2013
PART 1: FIRST THIRD OF TRIP, ALL IN BERLIN
It is 12:30 AM Sunday night of our first weekend here, which is the typical time we get back to hotel room and get unwound. Here are some impressions of the first third of our trip with the team accompanying Randy Clark and Tom Jones of Global Awakening to Germany.
On Thursday, April 25, we drove to Newark airport, parked, and went to the terminal for our flight to Berlin. There we met several of the members of our team. There are 25 of us who have paid our own way to be a part of this mission. Ages range from 15 to 84. Mainly from the U.S., but also folks from Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, and U.K.
We had been given advice on mitigating jet lag by shifting our sleep schedule beforehand, but had not been able to implement that. We just tried to sleep as best as we could on the flight, knowing that it would not be enough. As expected, we were pretty under-slept for the first two days, but that just goes with the territory.
A Global contact met us at the airport and got us into taxi vans that took us to a pleasant hotel on the northern side of Berlin. We were directed to stay in groups of at least three whenever we left the hotel. This was a very general mission trip precaution, not because of any particular concern about this location.
Several of us went to a nearby indoor shopping mall with a food court. We were leery of eating any uncooked vegetables, so went with Chinese food (cooked vegetables) instead of a place that offered salads. Later in the trip we loosened up and at salads and apples with (almost) no ill effects.
The days are pretty full, so it is hard to find time to sit down and write it out. Typical day so far has been to go to morning session and evening session, and pray for folks afterward. We are going to a fairly big (by European standards) evangelical church in Berlin called Gemeinde auf dem Weg (“Church on the Way”).
Thursday- Sat AM was a pastors conference, Sat night and Sun AM were teaching and prayer for healing for public, and tonight (Sunday) was mainly impartation for empowerment. Impartation is a special topic for Randy, being something that God specifically commissioned him for. Sometime around 1981, when Randy was pastor of a small church and not looking or feeling very successful, John Wimber prayed over him. John did not tell Randy at the time, but John heard the audible voice of God (a rare experience , even for John W) saying that the day would come when Randy would travel the world laying hands on people to empower them. For another 10-15 years Randy remained a low-profile minister, just faithfully serving his flocks.
It was early 1994 when he came to preach at Toronto, and a huge revival broke out. Some three million people visited that church in Toronto over the next three years, typically experiencing waves of joy and laughter, and a sense of God’s presence.
Tonight Randy shared Scriptures about impartations, e.g. Rom 1:11, II Tim 1:6, Heb 6:2 as being very much part of apostolic Christianity. Then he shared some specific instances, e.g. Heidi Baker in Mozambique, Leif Hetland (has evangelized a million in Pakistan, which is impossible), and Henry M in Ukraine – – where Randy had prophesied destiny over them, which came to pass. These were illustrations of the power of impartation.
Tonight after Randy prayed for people to be filled with the Spirit and empowered for good works, and we the team were deployed at the front to pray with folks, maybe 10-20 people seemed very heavily touched to the point of shaking or crying out, and eventually being overcome and lying down. That probably doesn’t seem so amazing when I just write it, but it was an authentic bodily reaction to heavy encounter with the spiritual realm.
My typical experience praying for people so far is approximately this: out of 5 folks I pray for, 2 experience nothing (which is still a little awkward to end; I encourage them to come back again…), 2 experience significant inner healing or spiritual encounter and maybe a little physical relief, and 1 find full or nearly full relief of pain or other symptoms.
I have learned by now not to put much energy into dissecting why some don’t get healed. I empathize for them, but even the best healing ministers don’t have the answers to “why not…” either. The first couple of people I prayed for, nothing happened at all. But I remembered one of the recent talks by Randy we listened to in preparation for this trip, where he challenged us not to give up on healing prayer until we had prayed for at least 200 people. So, onward.
I will just take these disappointments as a spur to become more the kind of person who can be entrusted to broker heaven to earth. And of course I rejoice for the ones that did get healed or otherwise blessed.
For instance, this morning: A woman came for prayer with chronic back and other pain. As we prayed , she felt warmth and felt a little better. That seemed promising, so I prayed a couple more times, total 5-7 minutes. By the end, she felt 100% better and went away happy.
A young man came for prayer for allergies and stress. I spoke words of encouragement over him, including release from fear that he had made mistakes in his life. His face lit up, since he had in fact had those worries (about choices of where to live and work). By the end his face had changed from anxious to glowing. He felt great peace and presence of God.
A woman, about 30, came having problems relating to God the Father (she was good with Jesus) , because her earthly father had rejected her, and still does not really accept her. That still hurts. I encouraged her to speak forgiveness of her father, and prayed she would experience God’s love and peace. She did feel great peace and left with a big smile.
PART 2. MIDDLE OF TRIP. FINISH IN BERLIN, START IN SPEYER.
It is Thu afternoon, May 2. This note recaps my experiences of the middle third of our trip. The sun is shining through the windows of the hotel lobby here. The days are so packed that it is hard to find time to write much down.
Sunday night and Monday afternoon and night there were more meetings at the big Berlin church. The pastor is Wolfhard Margies. You can find a few YouTube videos of him preaching in German. Beautiful, smart, loving man. The folks in his church were very hungry and grateful for all that Randy and his team (that would be us) brought. The level of impartation and healing was above their prior experience, and something they aspired to. Grace is typing up some of the team’s written testimonies. Lots of emotional healings and some physical healings as well. Last night I prayed for a woman who had problem in neck or spine that gave numbness in the ends of the fingers in her right hand. As we prayed, it got better and better till it was all better. She went away happy.
A woman came up for prayer who was broken-hearted from divorce, etc. I prayed the blessing of Joseph over her– Joseph was misused by family members and it looked like his life was a failure. The woman said that spoke to her of new beginnings.
Monday afternoon I prayed for a short, stout old Russian (I think) woman who had pain in her heart and back and legs. She started swaying as I prayed, and in the end her heart pain was gone.
Monday night Randy started by having only the local Germans try giving words of knowledge, and then praying for one another. Dozens indicated that they had been healed. A young lady came up to me, noting a number of birth defects – small but noticeable and demoralizing. I declared in prayer that she was not a mistake. She got very happy and said she felt “big” inside.
Tuesday was a travel and catch up on sleep day. We bussed to Berlin airport, flew to Frankfurt, and vanned to hotel in historic Speyer. I think it is historic because it was home to a number of kings and emperors in the middle of the middle ages, and because it was a city which was not bombed and shelled in the war. Clean little hotel, tiny but functional rooms.
We are doing meetings at the Vineyard church in Speyer. Wed AM Randy and Tom Jones taught, and Wed afternoon the local pastor ( Reinhard Rehberg, another wise and loving leader) gave us a tour of the big old cathedral in Speyer. Old as in built around 1050. That was about 200 years before they figured out the airy gothic architecture, which had thinner walls, pointy roofs, lots of windows, and flying buttresses. In Speyer the “dom” is Romanesque, with thicker walls and a rounded ceiling. This sucker is really big. I don’t have the stats in front of me, but it looked maybe 100 feet high (must have been a bear hauling those big stones up the scaffolding) and 400 feet long. We got a tour of the underground crypt area where lie the carved stone coffins of around 15 kings and emperors. It was like something out of Lord of the Rings, only this was the real deal that Lord of the Rings was based on.
Wed night (last night) we all drove in vans over an hour eastward to a town, Schwabisch-Hall, where a family from the Speyer Vineyard was planting a new church. It is small, maybe 30 people renting the use of another church. That night they brought their friends and maybe some curious acquaintances. There were something like 50 young adults and teens in the main room, and another 20 teens in the balcony. Randy taught on the power of impartation (i.e. passing along powerful blessings) and prayed for the Holy Spirit to touch and empower people. As usual, Randy prayed that everyone will be strengthened, but also that a few would be specially affected and empowered.
After he prayed, about 12 people (not all 12 at the same time) manifested shaking or crying, and seemed to have deep spiritual experiences. Most of the team members prayed into those folks, which was in line with the instructions we had. I felt moved to converse with a few teens who were more on the fringes, not experiencing much. I encouraged one young man, who was feeling the heavy Presence of God but not any shaking. I also pointed a teen who was struggling with skepticism to my website with its links to YouTube videos of legs growing out and deafness getting healed (see. e.g., https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/healings-on-youtube-legs-growing-out/ ). Grace saw gold dust had fallen around one teen who was being deeply affected.
In the van on the long drive back, Simon on our team told me about his experiences doing “treasure hunts.” This is where a small group writes down impressions they get about where they should go and whom to pray for, and then they go out (e.g. to a mall) and try to find people that match their “clues.” They then offer to pray for these folks. On Simon’s first such outing, nothing much happened. Then he went out with some experienced brethren from Bill Johnson’s Bethel church, and saw miraculous healings such as fingers and legs growing out. He now has a high faith level for healing.
Simon is from New Zealand, but is currently working in Germany. He gave us some local cultural tips. For instance, if you clink drinking glasses with somebody, it is important to look them in the eye. To look away whilst clinking is considered rude. This is not something I have paid attention to before now.
The countryside and towns we have seen are beautiful. The population is largely packed into towns and cities, leaving lots of farms and surprisingly large forests. The soil around Speyer is dark and rich. Good taste prevails in planning the buildings in the towns. They look nice and harmonious.
I speak only a little German, left over from high school 40 years ago. Most Germans under age 40 speak decent English, so that is what we have to use for extended conversations. Pretty much all the local people I have met, in churches and out in the shops, have been very pleasant.
Early afternoon today (Thursday) Randy prayed impartation on folks at the local Speyer church. Dozens of people got blasted (this is a good thing).
Will sign off now, catch 30 min nap before heading back to the church.
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PART 3. FINISH IN SPEYER, AND REFLECTIONS
This is my third and final update on our trip to Germany. I’m writing this after being home for a few days.
On Thursday (May 2) night Randy began teaching for the formal healing school series at the Speyer church. He taught there is a difference between what God can potentially do and what He chooses to actually do. God is omnipotent and omnipresent, so He doesn’t need angels or humans to get things done. However God has chosen to work through angels and humans. This includes using our prayers of faith as a means to accomplish healing. We need to learn the way God actually works, rather than philosophizing on how we think things should be.
Randy’s method has people not just sitting passively, but getting involved in the healing process, e.g. by standing up when someone calls out a word of knowledge for their affliction. Randy noted that in John’s Gospel most of the miracles were preceded by a person’s act of obedience. We saw a video from a meeting in Brazil that showed lots of dramatic healings.
At the end of the Thursday night meeting were prayers and words of knowledge. About 70 people got healed just from the words of knowledge, prior to having individual prayers. I prayed with teammate Jac, for a girl with pain in her left neck and shoulder – – and the pain went away. Then I prayed along with Grace for a woman who had pain in her hands. Her pain level started at seven on a scale of 0 to 10, and went to two and then with more prayer went to zero. Other team members continued to report various healings, typically disappearance of pains.
Friday morning Tom taught on their five-step model for healing prayers. Friday afternoon Randy spoke on “God Can Use Little Ole Me.” This was kind of a short shortened version of his “Agony of Defeat” talk. Randy noted that most Christians, even those with the theology of healing, do not actually pray for the sick much, because they have gotten discouraged. It is very painful to pray for people and have them not get healed, so Christians just back off, lower their expectations, and stop doing it.
Ready told about the time when John Wimber let Randy “shadow” him, to try to learn about John’s healing ministry by observation. The two men had gone to a Methodist church in the southern United States. On one night every person got healed. The next night not a single person John prayed for got healed.
When Randy went to ask John a question at the end of that night, John interrupted him, saying,”I’ll tell you what you’re going to ask me. You want to know why last night everybody got healed, and tonight nothing happened.” When Randy nodded, John continued, “You still don’t get it, do you, Randy? I had no more faith last night than tonight. I have no more sin in my life tonight than last night. Last night I stuck out my fat hand and said ‘Come Holy Spirit’ and blessed when I saw. That night everybody got healed. And I did not go to bed thinking I was somebody. Today I did the same thing and no one got healed, and I will not go to bed thinking that I am a failure.”
When the church prays and fasts for months and still the loved one dies, it is a shock. People then face a choice. Will they give it up? Most do. Or they can decide to fight harder for healing, pressing in even closer to God.
Friday night Randy started with stories about metal disappearing from people’s bodies. The metal in these cases is mainly from surgical implants put in as repairs from accidents, where the implants are causing pain or limiting mobility. At the end of the meeting Randy asked people who had problems with metal in their bodies to stand up. After prayer about 25% of those people indicated by waving both hands that they had been at least 80% healed of their problem. I do not know exactly what this meant for any particular person.
This is probably an overgeneralization, but when ministers like Randy and Tom go to less developed countries, they often see spectacular physical healings (e.g. in Brazil or Mozambique). Such events seem less common in Europe or North America, although I am starting to see credible reports (e.g. this and this) even there.
In the whole prayer time after the meeting, but before individual ministry, about 50 people waved both hands over their heads indicating that they were at least 80% healed from their problems. I prayed for three people after the meeting at the end of the meeting. I did not see physical effects but all three of them felt blessed and peaceful and close to God.
On Saturday morning Randy taught a message on pressing in. He noted that God’s sovereign grace, and man’s responsibility to respond to God, are both important. Forceful men press in to take possession of the kingdom. God originally lit the fire in the Holy Place, but it was then up to the priests to make sure that the fire did not go out. Randy talked about the crucial times in his life when he took the initiative to go to get prayed for by men on whom God was moving.
At the end of the Saturday morning session there was another impartation time. The spiritual presence was “thick”. I started off praying for people and saw three people start shaking. Then I switched over to catching for Michael on our team. He was a real impartation machine, touching and blowing on one person after another, and down they went. I must have caught 20 bodies in 10 minutes with him.
Saturday afternoon Tom Jones talked about keeping a positive attitude. He said there are two kinds of people: those who focus on the possibilities like Joshua and Caleb, and those who focus on the problems. If you focus on problems your destiny gets blurry. To make an impact you have to focus on possibilities, not the problems. There will always be problems and challenges. The enemy does not want you to live out your destiny, so he will challenge it.
If God has called you to the nations that is wonderful, but start now, in your own city or Sunday school. Enjoy the process. If you stay faithful, what God has spoken over to your life will come to pass. Maybe 20 times a day you need to listen to the voice that says you can, not the voice that says you cannot.
Saturday night Randy taught on “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. At least 30 people with their hands indicated healing before the time of individual prayers. I used my little camera to video parts of healing testimonies for people who came upon the stage. First was a woman who had some accidents leading to various problems and pains that got healed that night. Second was a young girl in the church who had a bike accident several years ago and could not extend her elbow without pain. After prayer she demonstrated that she can now fully extend her elbow without discomfort. The third was an older girl who had some sort of temperature regulation problem. Her skin was normally very cold, sometimes white or blue, but after prayer it was warm like normal people.
On Sunday morning May 5 Randy preached a powerful evangelistic sermon. He shared on seven reasons Jesus had to die. He described the huge character difference it made in his grandfather’s life to become Christian. He also shared his own experience when he was 18. Randy and two friends were driving back from college. Just a few days earlier Randy had given his life back to the Lord. In the car they had a conversation that went something like this. “Clark, if you died you’d go to hell”. Randy replied to his friend Joe, “No I wouldn’t, but how about you?” Joe’s game plan was to spend his 20’s selling drugs and living an immoral lifestyle, but when he got older like 30 he would go back to being a good Catholic. However, less than five minutes after this conversation, Randy’s car was knocked off the road and completely wrecked. Randy had massive injuries to his face, head and spine. But Joe was killed instantly. Joe had good intentions and thought he had lots of time. Randy grieved that he hadn’t shared the gospel more fully with his friend.
After this accident Randy was miraculously healed over the course of a couple of days. When Randy got up and testified to his healing in his church, revival hit. Even though it was a small church, they had 49 straight nights of revival, with 220 conversions.
Sunday afternoon our team met together for a kind of debriefing. We chatted about various things among ourselves while waiting for Randy to show up. Jac on our team shared a poignant personal story. Jac is a big man with a huge heart. I would often see him wrapping folks in a fatherly bear hug. He is 71 years old and wants to make each of his remaining days matter. He was suddenly widowed four years ago, when his wife fell off a cliff walking back to their cottage. She kept a prayer journal, and her last entry read: “May I glorify you while I still have time”. She didn’t know that when she wrote that she had only eight more hours to live. These last words stand as a powerful legacy to her surviving family members.
Randy met with the team and shared his vision for the future of his evangelistic association, Global Awakening. There are about 50 people on staff and currently Randy’s speaking engagements and trips are the main engine for raising the money to pay all those people. Randy is trying to raise up sons and daughters who can carry on the work after he is no longer able to keep such a full schedule. At this point there’s no single individual who has all the key abilities that Randy has, which include both healing impartation and academically sound teaching. Therefore, instead of trying to groom a single successor, Randy is raising up a number of young men and women who can each carry on some piece of the ministry. There’s the possibility of starting a university in Asia. Randy prayed impartation over us and later we went out to dinner together.
On Monday, May 6 the team took a bus to the Frankfurt airport and then all split off to go our separate ways. We have grown to love and appreciate the other 23 team members as well as the five staff members for this trip. We also enjoyed meeting some of the people in the local churches.
On Marion’s advice I bought some Mon Cheri liquor-filled chocolates and Guylian extra dark Belgian chocolates to take home. Both have exceeded expectations, and (while they last) serve as an ongoing reminder of the refinements of European culture.
We are left with intense memories that we are still processing. We know that hundreds of people in Germany were blessed in the course of this mission trip, and we believe that the three churches that we visited will experience a deeper spiritual life. We have experienced what John Wimber called “doing the stuff” (i.e. getting out and praying for unusual blessings on people) and we want to continue to walk in that.