One of the visions and main aspirations for the NDHOP has always been that through continual prayer and worship, that God’s Presence would be so evident, so tangible and so real, that anyone walking through the doors would encounter Him for themselves.
During a Bible Study recently, a man was led in by the sign outside, curious to investigate what goes on inside.
After a warm welcome from everyone and an invitation to join us, he was also asked if there was anything that we could do for him. He was drawn aside so that he could speak in privacy. After his initial reserve and hesitancy, he was very direct and honest about his own accountability, with no self justification or blame towards any one else. His story was one of deep wounding, perceived failures and past regrets that had badly affected him, damaged his self worth and identity, and had caused dire repercussions with those closest to him. He is man of obvious intelligence, expertise and professional education. He had been given a small booklet with scriptures in it, from a specific help agency in Exeter, and had been led to buy a Bible from a secondhand shop with his last bit of change.
He was asked how he would feel if we could all pray with him, and after accepting, he was drawn in among us. The Holy Spirit moved so tenderly and so powerfully as each one was released to pray, give him personal scriptures and to prophesy over him. Two of the scriptures given were the very two he had read and been challenged by, earlier that morning, which was confirmation and encouragement. Then one of the men went to put his arm around him, as he prayed for release and reconciliation, protection and provision, and finished by saying God your Father wants to do this to you, and he just embraced and held him – and many tears were released.
The Love of God was so profound, that wallets and purses were opened to give him a gift. Initially, it was firmly refused, and he said that he did not need it, until it was explained, that it was in no ways patronising, or charity, but that each of us had been moved by God’s Love for him, so it was God’s gift to him, not ours. He was overcome with emotion as he felt for himself the Love of God just overwhelm him, and said he had never experienced anything like this. He also said that when he returned back to Thailand, he would use that money to buy resources for the 15 blind students that he teaches voluntarily, as well as dual language books for his own class students.
About a fortnight ago, he blessed us with a long and newsy letter and included beautiful, colourful photos of his class enjoying the dual language books that he had purchased, similar to Aesop’s Fables with a moral theme for discussion, as well as for reading. Other photos were also included of some of his blind students making use of the resources that he had also been able to buy to bless them with. Best of all, he and his wife and two teenage sons had been reconciled, and had met up after 10 years, and although geographically far apart, the communication is ongoing, and they hope to visit him there in the near future.
And all of this, because he encountered the awesome Love and Presence of our God for himself, when he came through the door….