Illuminate Chicago 2014 Debrief
At the beginning of April, we went to Illinois for a week to help lead the second annual 24 hour prayer meeting for spiritual awakening in Chicago with the Chicago Prayer Network. About 20 different churches from around the Chicagoland area came together to worship Jesus and agree with His purposes for their city. Last year proved to be very fruitful as many shared personal testimonies of answered prayer. Additionally, the participating churches gained fresh vision for strategic prayer, church unity, and true fellowship. We expect to hear the same and more from this special gathering this year.
Yet again, we just want to thank all of you who have partnered with us through prayer and finances so that we could be free to serve the praying church in Chicago. We know that God will richly bless you for sowing into good spiritual soil. It is amazing to see how God is stirring the hearts of His people to not settle only for what can be accomplished through the strength of their own hands, but to seek Him to do what only He can do in their city! It is amazing, inspiring, and beautiful to see the Church go beyond denominational walls for the purpose of unifying in worship the One True Living God!
IHOPKC Mission Base Testimonies
One of our interns recently shared with me that she had an opportunity to help lead an evangelistic Bible study with some YWAM missionaries in the area this last week. She said that there was one woman who came to the Bible study who began to weep as they talked about the love of Christ and His sacrifice to bring us into His family. This young woman began to confess that she didn’t feel worthy and that she had lost all hope in life. Before she came to the Bible study she had swallowed a bottle of pills in an attempt to kill her self, but she came to the group in an attempt to “give God a chance.” During that meeting, she experienced the love of God, was filled with hope, and decided she didn’t want to die. They took her to the hospital immediately and her life was saved!
An IHOPU student named Chase recently shared with us that during his mission trip to Seattle a few weeks ago, he had an opportunity to share the message of Jesus with someone he met at a college university. Immediately Chase discovered that there was a language barrier between him and this other student. Thinking of a way that he could share the Gospel with this student he took out his smartphone and used an application called “Google Translate” which automatically translated his speech into the native language of the young man he was speaking to. It turned out that the student he approached was from a people group in the nation of China who had never heard the message of Jesus, and he moved to the United States because he wanted to know more about God. Chase was able to pray with this young man, download a Bible in his native language on his phone, and download the IHOPKC prayer room application and directed him to the “All Nations Prayer Room” webstream so that he could experience day and night worship and prayer in the Chinese language. Praise God for technology! The opportunity for global evangelization is now greater than any time in history. We are truly living in an unique era; His return is near, even at the door!
John’s 1st Birthday
On May 4th, our little John will turning 1 year old! Our lives have definitely seemed richer since the Lord blessed us with this special little boy. He brings joy to our hearts and smiles to our faces as we get to experience the honor of discovering who the Lord created him to be. We pray that the Lord would grant to us His wisdom on how to shepherd John’s heart as he grows.
Before he was born we sensed the Lord impress on our hearts that we should name our baby John (not knowing if he was a boy or a girl) because he would possess the same heart of the John the Baptist. Many who read the Bible see John the Baptist as a wild-haired crazy man who lived in the desert, preaching fire and brimstone messages, but this is a shallow and incomplete picture of who he was. John the Baptist was a “Friend of the Bridegroom” (John 3:29). He was the greatest prophet ever born of women (Matthew 11:11). He was a forerunner who prepared a generation for the first coming of Jesus, the Messiah (Luke 1:17). It is our prayer that in whatever John decides to pursue in his life that he would be great in the Lord, a friend of the Bridegroom (Jesus), and prepare people for Jesus’ return. We know that God is raising up many like our little John all over the earth to prepare a generation of people who will cry out like Jacob, “I will not let go of you [Jesus]…” It is our heart’s desire to see a generation arise who will “hasten the day of the Lord” (2 Peter 3:12) and refuse to be passed by.