Sid RothComments Off on Our Guests Donald & Bridgette Wilson
Sid: I have a couple in the studio that are red hot for Messiah Bridgitte and Donald Wilson. Bridgitte works for Messianic Vision, and Donald is in the construction industry. Bridgette and Donald were high school sweethearts. Donald you were on the football team, Bridgette you were the cheerleader and take you back to those days and they were wonderful days and you had dreams and visions, but then your almost a child 16 yourself and you find out that your pregnant what did you do about it Bridgette.
Bridgette: Well Sid I only had one choice and that was the decision of my parent and that was to have an abortion. When I went to the abortion clinic it was all I’d seen was women all over the place Sid. One of the things that I wanted to do was escape, it was a terrible experience. Words cannot explain the experience, it was as if someone had taken this glass window behind us and hit it with a hammer and it shattered into just hundreds of pieces, that’s how my spirit was in my soul. But through the abortion procedure it was cold it wasn’t anything…no one really told me what it was going to be like, but it was a very cold place. As I said, I wanted to escape out the back door. The whole procedure was impersonal-able, it was cold, and it felt as if my insides were being ripped out. It’s hard to put into words, it’s a part of you being separated from yourself unwillingly.
Sid: Donald did you care at all that she was having an abortion, I mean your only a year older, your only 17.
Donald: Well, I felt like there was nothing I could do, I really wanted the baby, but in those times the man had nothing to say because her parents had made it very clear that it was going to be that way. And the only thing I could do was really to support her.
Sid: Okay, but then a year later she’s pregnant again, what did you think about that.
Donald: Well, this time I felt as though that we could of have the baby, but I saw in her mind that she didn’t want to have the baby, and then again I felt like it was nothing I could do, when it comes to abortion I don’t understand that.
Sid: Okay Bridgette you then are ready for another abortion, but it was a little different this time you knew the procedure, you knew what was going to happen tell me about that second abortion.
Bridgette: Well, Sid the second abortion is like a blur to me because after the first abortion my mind was just so shattered and my insides were shattered as well. My emotions were tore up as I was walking and it looked like I was in tack, but the insides of me was ruined; just completely ruined. And I was a different person from the day I walked in to have that first abortion, I was a different person thereafter.
Sid: You used a word before that you were almost numb.
Bridgette: Exactly I was numb and it’s vague, the second abortion I know what happened but it’s vague. And someone would say “Well, why did you have it?” Well, it was the mindset that I was in, it was a form of birth control. And I still needed to accomplish those things in my life and so that’s…
Sid: Donald, today, what do you think about abortion?:
Donald: Well, the late 70’s and the early 80’s when we was going through this, we didn’t have anybody to tell us what we were actually doing was killing off our family. And that’s what we were doing. And today right now there’s millions of babies out there; people have lost millions of their babies and they paid people, people are getting rich. You pay them to kill your babies and that tears me up every day that I think about that.
Sid: A lot of people think that isn’t a baby when they have their abortions, it’s only a baby when it’s born.
Donald: There’s a baby there, they’re brain starts to form and he’s there. Soon as conception the baby is started. The word says “I knitted you in your mother’s womb.” And that’s what He does God starts putting the baby together right then. And that baby there when he gets to a certain size he starts moving around he starts swimming and dancing in his mother’s belly. And that can happen at 3 months he’s moving, he’s doing things, and you can see fingers and you can see him forming.
Sid: Well, Bridgette two abortions your numb at the second one, but in ’81 again you’re pregnant and you decide you’re not going to have an abortion, how come?
Bridgette: Well, life Sid in 1981 when I had my son I realized that the pain that I had caused myself from the first 2 abortions it was just too great, I couldn’t bear another abortion. It was as if, it was as if my whole soul was crying out not to do it; so that’s what we did we had our son.
Sid: Okay, your living together your raising your son and you decide to get married your 22 Donald is 23 your also pregnant now with what would be your daughter, but Donald you’re not acting like a married man but how come?
Donald: I didn’t think I was a bad guy but what I did was go out and spend nights away from the house, I’d go out drinking and doing drugs with my friends. We’d go away I had a wife at home but it didn’t matter to me because I thought I was doing a good thing as far as being a man. I thought I could handle this thing and it was my way, and I still loved my wife and she’d be there. I had a very poor conception of life at that time. I’m sad to say, but I looked back and I don’t understand where my head was at but I really really had a poor conception because I’d leave my son and my wife there with nobody there to protect them, maybe not even have enough food.
Sid: Okay what you suspected was true you found out you have two children now Bridgitte, and you find out that Donald is cheating on you. What did you do about it?
Bridgette: Well, first thing I did Sid was I confronted him, and he denied the situation. We both knew that this relationship had come to a point where we had to make some type of change in our life.
Sid: But previous to that though there was a change in you; you literally became a believer in Jesus, tell me about that.
Bridgette: Yes I did I was watching Jimmy Swaggert in the mid ’80s, and he had on his program these children, they were undernourished from a third world nation. At the end of that program my heart was touched by the words that were spoken and I said the sinner’s prayer Sid. Then shortly after that and I tried to find a church, and so I went back to the church that I grew up in as a child.
Sid: Donald as so she tried to influence you; could you see a difference in your wife out of curiosity?
Donald: Yes, I could see a difference there was an awesome change in her; she had a purpose now and I could see her striding forward now. I still had blinders on my own eyes because I thought my way was the best way.
Sid: So you’re continuing on your drinking and drugging being promiscuous, and she’s going on with the Lord but so the two can’t continue that way. So you just finally move out Bridgette you move to Georgia with your children. You’re headed towards divorce, did you want divorce?
Bridgette: Divorce was never my goal in the relationship but when I seen that he was not going to change over the ten years or more that I laid on my face and I prayed for him day and night and I had friends to pray for him as well. I could not see a change, I tried everything. I tried tapes, I tried going to different seminars anything just to see him come to the Lord because I’d seen Donald as a different person than he was portraying himself.
Sid: So you were looking at him as what he could be not what the world had made him.
Sid: See you really still had faith that he could be the man that you fell in love with in high school, that high school football star.
Bridgette: That is correct.
Sid: Okay, let’s hold that thought both of you because Bridgette you went to a church that is a very unusual church it’s one that has seen hundreds of divorced couples and separated couples come back togther. So that had to be building your faith. And I have the CD series of entitled “What God Has Joined Together,” by Dr. Gary Whetstone. Gary went through divorce and he has found that when you understand the communication skills of marriage; when you understand how to deal with finances; when you understand the needs that the husband have and needs that the wife has; when you understand God’s given rules for the husband and wife; when you understand God’s plan for marriage, and there’s a supernatural anointing.
Sid: On yesterday’s broadcast I made this statement if you do not understand the One New Man; if you do not understand the Jew, if you do not understand Israel, I guarantee you will not understand the last days. But those that listen this week will understand the last days, will not be ignorant of what God is up to on planet earth.
Now on yesterday’s broadcast I read my favorite passage, I have to say in the entire Bible Isaiah chapter 53 from the One New Man Bible. You know the One New Man actually used an approved copy that was in the public domain of the Jewish scriptures and updated the words and it is so obvious Isaiah 53 written 800 years before Jesus came to earth is a perfect description of the Messiah. I even read… I have absolute proof you don’t have to give me any more proof than this, My Orthodox Jewish father who did not believe in Jesus when I read the 53rd chapter of Isaiah to him he said “Stop your reading from a Christian Bible.” And I showed him no, it’s the Bible that I got at my bar mitzvah from the Rabbi.” But he knew it was talking about Jesus so then the question I have to ask you is “Why doesn’t every Jew see this?” Well, there’s several reasons, number one we don’t read the entire Bible in the Orthodox Jewish synagogue. We read the first five books of the Bible during the year, the Torah, and then we read selected passages, we read Isaiah 52, and we read Isaiah 54. Guess what chapter we leave out? Isaiah 53 so most Jewish people have never seen this but there actually reasons why Jewish people do not know Jesus as the Messiah.
Now here are the three reasons that I believe Jewish people don’t understand that Jewish people don’t understand that Jesus is the Messiah. Number one, the Bible says we have spiritual scales upon our eyes. Number two Jewish people have been taught not what a Jew is but what a Jew is not. What I mean by that is we’ve been taught we can’t be Jewish and believe in Jesus by the Rabbis but guess what the Rabbis aren’t the only one that taught us that; the Christian church taught us that. The Christian Church says “You can’t be Jewish and believe in Jesus. You’re now a Christian you’re no longer a Jew.” And you see the church doesn’t understand, the Rabbi’s are blind they shouldn’t understand we know that. But the Church should understand because you see God says in Jeremiah chapter 31. As long as there is a sun and moon and stars in the sky, last time I checked there are, they’ll be a physical Jew on the face of this earth. And if they understood the way God keeps us Jewish people maintained as the distinct group of people it’s almost like an instinct that is put within the heart of every Jew even a Jew that’s an atheist, even a Jew that’s an agnostic will say “I was born a Jew and I will die a Jew.” And that’s how against impossible odds God has kept us as a distinct people. You want proof that the Bible is of God? It is impossible that the Jews still exist as a distinct people. We lost our temple, we lost our nation, we were scattered to the four corners of the earth. In every country we went to we were persecuted as the Torah said we would be. We should have been wiped out or we should have all assimilated, but against impossible odds God put this instinct within us. I was born a Jew and I will die a Jew and that’s what has kept us a distinct people.
So since we’ve been taught you can’t be Jewish and believe in Jesus and this instinct within us tells us I must be a Jew it’s a Catch 22 you know can you be a female and believe in Jesus? Of course you can, do you remain a female if you believe in Jesus? In the Spirit there is no male or female but in the natural there is. In the Spirit there’s no Jew and Gentile but in the natural there is. So the first is there’s spiritual scales on our eyes. The second is we’re taught we can not be Jewish and believe in Jesus. And the third is we’re taught that when the Messiah comes, and most Jews they don’t even know the Bible anymore. Most Jews are secular today, but the ones that know the scriptures are taught the Messiah would not come until there’s peace on earth. And even the secular Jews know that, they say “Look around there’s no peace, the Messiah can’t be here.” But you see they don’t know the scriptures, ancient rabbis before there was prejudice understood there were two difference distinct descriptions of the Messiah in the Torah. The first description would be one the called Messiah Ben means son, Messiah son of Joseph. You see Joseph was rejected by his own brothers, thrown in a pit, left for dead but he rose from the pit and he became the savior of the Jewish people. They called him Messiah Ben-Joseph. Then the second descriptions were like David; in other words it would usher in an age of peace and they called him Messiah Ben which means son, Messiah son of David. So that you may be familiar with Isaiah 11 it says the wolf shall dwell with the lamb and they’ll be peace on earth. Well, we’re taught about about Messiah Ben David, but we’re not taught about Messiah Ben Joseph. And of course just reading Isaiah 53 you would see one that would be rejected and there were so many types we weren’t taught of the Messiah. For instance, Moses was a type of the Messiah. Do you know we Jewish people rejected him the first time he came to us? But then when he returned he was a savior type. The same with Joseph, his brothers rejected him when he returned he was a savior type. So the ancient rabbis said “There’s obviously two Messiah’s,” this was before Jesus came and that was pretty good speculation for them at that point. But rather than two Messiah’s now were looking backwards what about one Messiah two appearances. Make sense doesn’t it, well because of the spiritual scales it flat doesn’t matter if it makes sense as long as there’s spiritual scales on the eyes of Jewish people. But despite these judgments that came upon Jewish people let me read some of them to you Deuteronomy 28 verse 63 to 65 it has the three judgments that have come upon Jewish people. The first judgment was that we would be vomited out of our own land. The second judgment was we would be scattered to the four corners of the earth. And the third judgment was we would be persecuted; Deuteronomy 28 verse 63- 65 it has these three judgments that has come upon Jewish people. The first judgment was will be vomited out of own land, the second judgment was we would be scattered to the four corners of the earth, and the third judgment was we would be persecuted. Deuteronomy verse 63-65 lists these three judgments. “Just as the Lord has found great pleasure in causing you to prosper and multiply the Lord will find pleasure in destroying you. You will be torn from the land you are about to enter and occupy for the Lord will scatter you among all the nations from one end of the earth to the other. There among these nations you will find no peace or place to rest, and the Lord will cause your heart to tremble, your eye sight to fail, and your soul to despair.” And then the fourth judgment is spiritual blindness found in Isaiah chapter 6 verse 10. “Harden the hearts of these people, plug their ears and shut their eyes, that way they will not see with their eyes nor hear with their ears nor understand with their heart and turn to Me for healing.” Now despite these three judgments Jewish people were supernaturally preserved as I explained of Jeremiah 31:35. As long as a sun and moon and stars there will be a physical Jew. But God tells us clearly when the judgments will end on the Jewish people. And guess what the judgments ended it’s called the fullness of the Gentiles. It’s mentioned twice in the New Testament. Luke 21:24 “And they (that’s the Jewish people) will fall by the edge of the sword and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles until the times the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Well last time I looked Jerusalem was in Jewish possession. And then Roman’s 11:25 the only other thing necessary for the end of the judgment “For I do not desire brethren that you should be ignorant to this mystery less you should be wise in your own opinion that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” And I tell you that the blindness is over and Jewish people are coming to the Lord in large numbers, I’ve proven it in the Ministry of the Messianic Vision, It’s Supernatural. This is the set time to favor Zion. The curses are lifted, the blindness is gone. I’ll stop right here and pick up right here right at this place.
Sid: You know Jesus puts it really well He’s the Word of God that became flesh; the Word of God in Revelation says “I’d rather you be hot or cold, but if your lukewarm I’ll vomit you out of my mouth.” Could it be the greatest placebos on planet earth is religion? Lukewarm religion? Those are strong words you say Sid. Hah they’re not my words they’ve God’s words. Speak for yourself I have on the telephone someone that does know the difference; his name is Tommy O’Dell. His grandfather most of you have heard of T.L. Osborn, but just because he had TL Osborn or a mother like the Osborn’s daughter LaDonna Osborn who is an Evangelist in her own right. Just because his father was in ministry, doesn’t mean you have intimacy with God and although he went forward perhaps was born again he really didn’t have an experience with God. He quickly got into drugs, became a vegetable and should have died except for the prayers of his family that prayed him through. They surrounded him from Kenneth Hagen who his dad was working for senior and Hagen said “Just surround your son with faith and love.” And his father dared to just kept doing that. Any time he’d worry he said “I’d just surround my son with faith and love; faith and love. And then he would quote some scripture and he got to the point where Tommy you told me that your dad he could not worry he was in such supernatural peace.
Tommy: That’s exactly right.
Sid: Anyway could only say a couple of words his brain cells were burned out. He yelled out the name of Jesus and he understands now the power of the Name of Jesus. Tommy correct me if I’m wrong but it wasn’t a formal prayer that you might say with Billy but it was just Jesus.
Tommy: So many of my brain cells had been destroyed that I was incapable of praying anything elaborate. My whole prayer it’s almost comical was “Jesus okay” that was the whole thing.
Sid: (Laughing) That’s all you could get out?
Tommy: That’s not the most eloquent prayer I ever prayed.
Sid: Now, would you say almost immediately your brain started functioning correctly or was it gradual?
Tommy: It was instantly, the power of God just perked in me…
Sid: Wait, wait wait if we had a doctor right here he would say “Impossible yes brain cells can regenerate over years and years of time maybe, maybe. But not instantly.”
Sid: It can’t happen.
Tommy: No that’s true in the natural in medical science it’s impossible but with God nothing is impossible. And so when we experience the supernatural power of God like that…
Sid: Well, let me take you to Ghana now you were talking about a campaign in Ghana; describe what happened.
Tommy: Yes, there was one boy in Ghana that I’ll never forget one of the campaigns we had there right there in the beginning. That was a leper there was a leprosy had eaten so deeply into his leg that it had eaten into the nerves he was leprous but he became paralyzed and he couldn’t even move his legs from the waist down. His mother was not a believer they lived in a small village far from the city and somebody came a friend came and told her about the wonderful miracles that were happening, and she misunderstood and thought that I was a witchdoctor. So she got together her meager belongings to come and meet me the witchdoctor to pay me so that I would do some mumbo-jumbo and take the curse off.
Tommy: And so she put the boy and carried him many miles to the campaign that we were having. It was marvelous she saw this great crowd of people; she saw way up on the platform this guy preaching these wonderful things about the love of God. She had never heard the gospel before not even once and as she heard me preaching she got so excited because she realized I wasn’t a witchdoctor; I wasn’t somebody that you pay money to and I was going to cut off a chicken’s head and squirt some blood around that don’t work, but she came to a living God. I began to pray for people to receive Jesus she reverently bowed their heads and they received Jesus. And then I told the people “Now I want to pray that you be healed lay your hands where ever you suffer. And wherever you lay your hands I believe that Jesus the Messiah will lay His hands. And they did; she laid her hands right on his leprous legs; they were just oozing and just lifeless. And the power of God went into the boy’s legs instantly, the leprosy dried up; instantly life began to pour into his legs and he began to move them. She said “Boy I have carried you long enough, and she reached down and yanked him up and he took off running, it was the most remarkable thing for him. He was running back and forth and this woman his mother came up following him stumbling and screaming and crying for joy. It was incredible, when we found out what God had done the whole multitude rejoiced because of miracles like that every night tens of thousands prayed to receive Jesus.
Sid: Are you getting this Mishpochah a 19 year old kid just off of drugs and should have been dead or should have been a vegetable in a mental institution all of his life. How many people came to that first campaign?
Tommy: The first campaign there was at least 40,000.
Sid: Forty thousand; are you getting that. You realize that most who devote their life to evangelism don’t reach 40,000 people in a lifetime.
Tommy: That’s absolutely right and now we’ve been going for 25 years and have seen those kind of miracles all around the world some thousands of times. We’ve had hundreds of those kind of outreaches.
Sid: Is there just out of curiosity I find that many people, many ministries almost there are certain things that are almost automatic that people get healed of. With me it’s physical pain, with you is it everything or is there a specialty area?
Tommy: Well, it seems to be everything, but there are certain campaigns where we see a large percentage of blind people healed. If I have any specific gift it would probably be healing those totally blind. And we had a powerful outreach in Serowe, Botswana we counted 27 people healed of blindness. Up in the northern area of Ghana in a city called Bawku was almost entirely Muslim. If you looked at the crowd everybody was wearing the Muslim skull caps. The woman were all covered up.
Sid: Why did the Muslims even come to your meeting?
Tommy: For the miracles. They came because the Muslim Hadgees and the Imams they don’t provide healing they don’t pray for the sick. That’ not within…
Sid: But in the African culture these witchdoctors do.
Tommy: Well, the witchdoctors are mostly just crooks, you know and they don’t do anything. And a lot of times when you go the witchdoctor you are demon possessed or worse off because they don’t heal by the power of Jesus.
Sid: And they don’t have the money to go to a doctor, they don’t want to go to the witchdoctor there Imam isn’t going to heal them. So you’re the only option Tommy. (Laughing)
Tommy: In Africa and much of the developing world the poverty is such… they don’t have health insurance if they get sick they suffer, they die. If they beg, if they get in a car accident. There was one man A.K. Niazne who was a professional dance instructor. He was hit by a truck, they left him in a ditch and carried him to his hut and he healed that way. He developed a large hump on his back his legs withered up and drew atrophy and he was like that for 10 years. One day we came to his city for a campaign, and he said “Bring me to that place,” and so they carried him and he was in horrible, just excruciating pain. He laid there on the ground and they picked him up and take him back to his hut and bring him back. It was on the sixth night he felt something stabbing into his hip and he tried to look in his condition because he honestly thought that some rascal was stabbing him. And when he looked there was nobody there, then he felt that invisible knife leave his hip and all the pain went out of his body immediately then. He felt life, the living God flow through.
Sid: Tommy it reminds me of the power of God that flowed through your body right after you had your encounter when you had your marvelous healing of your brain being instantly restored from drugs. And you got a hold a book that was out of print by your grandfather called “Miracles Proof of God’s Love.” Did you remember the time that you read that out loud and what God did to you?
Tommy: That was a very very significant moment in my life because I was so fresh; I read my grandfather’s marvelous book. Really what it does it paints a picture and he develops a case like a lawyer would do. The fact that God still does miracles today, it’s for us now.
Sid: Not only does he prove that as an attorney would, but I’ve read that he doesn’t have to prove it to me I’ve read this book and it just reinforces who we are in the Messiah and that all of us the works of Jesus.
Tommy: That’s it and that’s what excited me about the book. When I was first …
Sid: I mean that’s what probably thrusted you out into ministry.
Sid RothComments Off on Our Guests Tony & Felicity Dale
Sid: My guest by way of telephone they’re headquarters in Austin, Texas is the heads of “House to House Ministry” Tony and Felicity Dale. We’re featuring their book “An Army of Ordinary People” it is so exciting, it’s 19 stories of ordinary people that have started congregations in such a New Covenant way. But something I have to ask you Tony and Felicity; let’s go back to the group we were talking about yesterday in this low income housing project where you saw so many answers to prayers and miracles, and salvation “What was a typical meeting like, paint me a picture.”
Tony: Well, it’s very difficult to paint a picture of a typical meeting led by the Holy Spirit because there is so much variety, but there are certain things that we encourage folk to try to incorporate as typical parts of a gathering. This would be based from Acts Chapter 2 verse 42 where it says “They devoted themselves to the Apostles doctrine, to fellowship, to sharing meals, and to prayer.” And so we would always typically start with a meal and we do it pot luck so that everybody is taking part it’s real simple it’s not a burden on anybody. Now I have to admit sometimes in a low income housing project it again reminded us again about Luke 10 because it tells you there to eat what is set before you. And sometimes we weren’t naturally choosing shall we say the things sat in front of us. Especially if we saw the things moving over some of the food, but you learn to just accept that, in whatever context you find yourself to be really grateful.
Sid: You know what I want to land here for just a moment, what is it that causes such a release of the Holy Spirit when people share a meal with each `other, but I’ve noticed that.
Tony: You know I don’t know for sure how to answer that but hospitality seems to be so central to the work of God. It fascinates me that in you know in Timothy and Titus where it’s looking at the qualifications for leadership; hospitality is one of those qualifications.
Felicity: It’s also very interesting how much Jesus’ ministryoccurred over a meal. You know if you read through the gospels often times the context of what Jesus did during a meal time.
Sid: Okay so you break bread together what might happen next?
Felicity: Often we would move into a time of fellowship, of waiting on the Lord, of worship, of sharing what’s being going on within each other’s lives. Within this context one is looking to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit. You know another verse is very key in our thinking in this is 1 Corinthians 14 verse 26 where it talks about when you come together each one has something. And that there is something about a time together when everybody can share and share what the Holy Spirit if putting on their hearts. And it’s like a little bet of like an orchestra you know you’ve got all the different instruments and with the Holy Spirit as the conductor the instruments don’t very often all play the same melody, they all have their own part to play but the Holy Spirit is able to create something very beautiful His own message for us for during that time together, His own ministry for us.
Sid: Now, do you have one person that acts for a lack of better words, as the Holy Spirit facilitator?
Tony: You know that’s going to vary from group to group we don’t usually designate someone as the facilitator but clearly there are different gifts within the body of Christ and yes someone or ones will probably emerge who are particularly good at helping to steer a meeting to draw everybody in.
Sid: But if someone says something that’s totally umbilical, totally off the wall, what normally happens in a group?
Tony: Well, that’s a great question of course that does happen particularly when we’re are getting into Bible study and getting everybody sharing their thought and ideas around a passage. And one of the things we found is very important is don’t just slap the person down who has brought something that’s right off the wall because if you do that effectively what you’re saying to them is “Your contribution isn’t important, you’ve got it wrong, I’m the one that’s got it right.” Instead we teach those that are facilitating how to gently draw if you like the more accurate Biblical understanding out of the passage by asking others in the group. Sort of like “Wow, that was an interesting comment from John, did any of you know see it that way? Or do you perhaps see something different?” That give an opportunity for others to bring it back to scripture and to make sure that you’re really keeping a focus on what the word of God says.
Sid: Now in recent years because your major expertise was with the house churches but in recent years many of the traditional model churches are reading your materials or really inquiring. Why are they showing such interest and what are they doing with your information?
Tony: This is so encouraging to us in what’s going on and it’s actually one of the things we very specifically prayed for because when you look at the history of moves of the Holy Spirit what so often happens is that what God was doing last becomes a persecutor of what God does next. And we just found ourselves praying over many years and encouraging others to do the same, “Lord it be so great if it was different this time around as this new movement gains momentum if it really be blessed by all of what we call the legacy churches you know the existing traditional structures to which we owe so much. And it is exciting, I mean I’d love to give you two very specific examples within of Felicities book “An Army of Ordinary People” having been published Katrina hit. And the day after Katrina hit we were called by the head of church planting from Saddle-Back Church that we’re told is well known because of Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven Life. And the head of church planting there calls us and says “You’ve just published all this material on church planting, there are now hundreds maybe a thousand plus churches that have literally lost their facilities because of the damage of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Could we get a hold of those materials and give them to all the pastors who have lost their church facilities?” Well, I mean our hearts just leaped that Saddle-Back would even know what we were up to and that they would want to endorse it enough that they would give it away to those that had been so devastated by Katrina. A second which I think is equally remarkable story; a hug mega church down in Orlando called “North- land, a church distributed. They contacted us out of the blue and said “God has been telling us that we must find a way to bless this emerging house church movement, what can we do to bless you?” Well, we had no idea I mean we don’t have buildings, we don’t have facilities, we really don’t have any paid staff, so you know in the typical way that a church might help financially or something we didn’t have any needs, And so they said “Well, come down and let’s just spend a day with you two and with our church leadership and let’s see what the Lord brings out of it.” Well, what the Lord brought out of it is that they have a fantastic video department and they said “Well, we want to put the video department at your feet, can they do a project for you guys that would help that house church movement?” And out of that they took “The Getting Started Manual” that Felicity’s written and helped us develop the whole “Getting Started Manual” into a course an interactive DVD course that a couple of two or three couples could get together and meet around that course for 6 weeks and at the end of that 6 weeks they would know what a house church is and they would actually be living house church life together. Now what a gift to the Body of Christ for that church to give us.
Sid: You know, both of those are wonderful because the truth of the matter is if we can’t learn to work together, if we can’t appreciate each other’s gifting, even if our style maybe different, or our model maybe different, then what hope is there? I mean if the one thing God blesses is unity. But you said something that sparks something in me and you said “When Katrina hit the only option was house churches.” Well, according to the Bible they’re going to be some tough times ahead between now and the return of the Messiah, according to weather prognosticators there’s going to be some tough times in the United States. I just really believe, no it doesn’t matter what I really believe – you paint a picture of what you see will be happening in the near future in America in reference to house churches.
Tony: Well, we think it’s fascinating the way that particular question has come from you because clearly God is doing something to prepare the American church. You know everybody is familiar with China and the story of what happened under the communist there and how house churches spread all over that country in a time of great persecution. And we find ourselves asking the inevitable question. What is God preparing the America church for that in such a breathtakingly short period of time house church has gone from virtually unknown to rapidly becoming one of the predominate forms of gathering of God’s people here in the United States. So I don’t claim to be any expert on understanding end times or Biblical prophecy, but I think that just a casual understanding Sid is God’s is preparing His people for something and it’s probably not going to be life as normal here in the United States.
Sid: Tell me one quick one minute story from your book.
Felicity: One minute story is not so easy; let me just describe one story to you that we got an email a while ago from a friend who had led somebody to the Lord over the internet. And that person lived in one of the Carolinas’ this person lived here in Austin. Asked if we would follow up and the person came from a very very New Age background. We met with her and her husband and within a few days she had emailed us when we told her what we did about church saying “Could I have church in my house?” And we said “Absolutely and so she invited together, a group of her New Age friends and we had church in her house and over a period of probably 3 months we saw them change from a group of New Ager’s to a group of lovers of Jesus.