Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Harrisburg Report February 2004

"…For the builders, for the builders, for the builders…. I’m seeing a breaking forth of expansion, now, of the work as under builders under the apostle of this house. And the word of the Lord is, ‘There will be children.

There shall be children! And these children shall help you build and they shall help you establish, they shall help you stabilize and they shall help you groom the harvest that is coming in. For what has been laborious, my grace shall remove the labor out of it with these children.’ – Melissa Clayton Nov. 1999.

This was another special trip for us. Carol and I got a chance to spend a long Thursday evening with her brother, Chris Dennis. Even though he still has many struggles and addictions, he is definitely being affected by the Spirit of God. We look forward to being a part of his deliverance and discipleship as we are taking him through Encounter (A Time of Healing).

The next day, we were able to sit down with Bishop Veney and begin to work through some of the details of the transition. He is moving to Weldon, North Carolina in one week. He would like to dissolve his ministry (called Greater Heights Deliverance Center: formerly Abundant Life Ministries, Int’l.) and turn over the assets to us. He has 2 computers and 250 chairs in storage and we can have them when we make the transition. He also wants us to meet the pastor of Crusaders Christian Center. This pastor is a Nigerian brother who served under

Bishop Veney for 3 years. Bishop released him out about 3 or 4 years ago and he is the pastor of a congregation in "uptown" Harrisburg which is similar to north side St. Louis. Bishop was scheduled to speak at Crusaders Christian Center Sunday at 10:00am and then host us at 1:00pm at his own church (Greater

Heights) at 1:00pm. The next time we go to Harrisburg, we will try to meet with this pastor. Bishop Veney says that he is one of his true sons in the gospel and he really desires that we meet one another.

Sunday did not start out so well. Carol and I picked up her mother and her youngest brother Michael Dennis and made our way to church. There was no one at the church to let us in when we got there. " Greater Heights" , since losing their church building, has been meeting in the fellowship hall of an old Methodist Church. They have to wait until the Methodist Church service is over so they can’t start their services until 1:00pm. Well, no one was there and we discovered the Methodist Church had canceled their service because the boiler had gone out. The temperature was in the teens over night so it was very cold in the church when we finally got in.

Having been through this before in Metro, I saw instantly why God allowed so many things to happen to us in St. Louis. The emergency did not faze us at all. When the Greater Heights members arrived, they moved their equipment to the basement of the church into a small cafeteria where it was still warm. They set up a screen for me and I taught using our new portable projector with our presentation software on my laptop computer.

During the worship, the Lord had me to pause and, kind of, reset the atmosphere. We had rushed and set up everything and was rushing through the service. I stopped and we took our time to really focus and welcome the presence of the Lord. I remember seeing Carol’s brother, Michael, with tears streaming down his face. There is a lot of hurting and pain here in Harrisburg. God, why did you choose us?

The Lord had me to teach on what it means to have a Fruitful Life just to begin to introduce the heart and message of our ministry. Bishop Veney came in about half way into the teaching. He was all smiles right from the beginning. He loves seeing modern technology used in the house of God. He told his congregation, at the end, "There was something special between this couple and this church and we are going to pray and see what God does!"

After church, we went out to eat. Bishop talked Carol’s mother into going also which is a miracle. She’s very quiet and reserved. She never goes anywhere or does very much beyond her daily and weekly routine. As we sat at the table, other pastors who were in the restaurant stopped by to say good bye to Bishop Veney. They kept commenting how God has used him to establish them in their ministry. I was sitting beside him just marveling. Why was God honoring me that I would be sitting next to such a great man of God hearing the gratitude and appreciation of other pastors? As we finished the meal, it dawned upon Bishop that this was really finally happening. He began to cry as he said, "I’ve been with these people such a long time. I’m going to miss them all." I just placed my hand on his back as he wept. Again I thought, "Who am I to be witnessing this moment in this man’s life?"

We finally parted for the night making promises to return next month in March. We took Carol’s mother and brother home and spent a little time talking about what God is doing. We shared with Michael about his wife.

Already the enemy is at work. They separated a month after our Thanksgiving visit. We prayed together and finally made our way back to the hotel. As we returned to St. Louis, we did so with great anticipation of what God is doing. We haven’t done anything and already we have 2 computers and 250 seats waiting for us. Like Bishop keeps saying, "Let’s just see what God does!"