Ministry Along the Way
Ministry Along the Way
by Jan De Chambrier
Have you ever considered just how much ministry takes place on the way to somewhere else?
Just after Jesus had healed the demoniac, as recorded in Mark 5, by sending the impure spirits into a herd of 2000 pigs, He was probably hoping for a little R&R. But a large crowd was expectantly waiting for Him as His boat crossed over to the other side of the lake. Immediately Jairus, one of the synagogue leaders, fell at His feet and begged Jesus to come to his house and lay hands on his dying daughter. As Jesus was following Jairus, He felt someone touch the hem of His garment and asked, "Who touched my clothes?" With fear and trepidation, a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years confessed that it was she. Filled with compassion, Jesus blessed her and said that her faith had healed her. Meanwhile, a contingent came from the house of Jairus to announce that his daughter had just died, so Jesus needn't bother to come. It was then that Jesus simply said to Jairus, "Do not be afraid; only believe." With that, He took His inner circle to the house, commanded the girl to get up, and when she did, told her parents to feed her. Just as simple as that. He was not rattled by anyone's agenda - and not even death fazed Him.
After several days of intense teaching and healing ministry at a conference in Pennsylvania, my husband discovered that our return flight out of Baltimore was overbooked and we would have to reroute our return through Washington/Dulles. We made it to the airport just in time to claim the last two seats and scurry through the jetway before they closed the door. Collapsing with relief, I looked forward to the hope of some solitude.
Philippe and I were seated several rows apart, both of us in the middle. On my left was a young man in his 20's who was looking for the plug to charge his phone. He motioned to his throat that he could not talk and then began communicating with me by texting on his cell phone. I thought at first that he was deaf, so I typed, "Is your hearing normal?" He wrote "Yes, but I was born mute." So I began responding to him verbally as he answered me by text.
I asked what his name was and he wrote "Toby." Then I noticed that the wallpaper on his phone was of a beautiful baby girl and I asked if she was his. He responded affirmatively and I asked her name. It was Paris, because it had been his wife's favorite city. When I asked if she was no longer alive, he texted that she had died 13 months ago during childbirth.
At this point, I dissolved. I began to weep and he wrote that he was sorry he had upset me. I said, "No, it is not I who am upset. I am a Christian and this is the compassion of Jesus for what you have suffered." I then began to share some of my own story with him and tell him about Jesus and His love, sharing many testimonies of healing. Toby wrote that he knew about God but that his heart had grown distant. He revealed that at the age of 7, he had seen his father shoot and kill himself. More tears on my part.
I asked Toby if he had ever received healing prayer. He responded, "I have received prayer, but what is healing prayer?" When I explained it and offered to pray for him right there, he looked a bit nonplussed and indicated that he was feeling a need to just listen to his music. He put on his headset as I sat there and silently beseeched God to heal him.
After about 5 minutes, Toby text me again: "You are the most amazing person I have ever met. If I change my mind, can I contact you?" I gave him my card and assured him that would be fine. Then he pointed to the magnificent billowy clouds outside the airplane window and wrote, "That is so beautiful! Nothing can keep me from that!" And I said, "That's right. Toby, whether God heals your voice or not, you have a voice - a powerful voice! You express yourself beautifully. God wants you to know that He has never stopped watching over you and that He loves you more than you can imagine. He is so very proud of you as His son!"
He reached over and took my hand and simply beamed! And then he fell into a deep slumber - a sleep so deep that I couldn't wake him after we landed. I was about to walk up the aisle when I noticed he had finally awakened, so I waved.
Waiting for my husband at the gate, I noticed Toby standing there. Wanting to say goodbye, I went up to him and said, "God bless you." He looked at me and in an AUDIBLE voice as clear and strong as my own, he said "Thank you!"
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of Him.
I John 5:14-15
Do not be afraid. Only believe.