Mexico Was Amazing!
March 1, 2016
I returned recently from Acapulco, Mexico. I didn’t know what to expect as this was my first trip to Mexico. Jay DeVries a missionary to Mexico invited me down to Acapulco. Jay is the gentleman in the white shirt. He has a heart for the people of Mexico in the villages and surrounding areas of Acapulco. The man on the left is Bruce Quinlan a friend from Florida that helped arrange the trip and also did some of the teaching. Bruce is a great guy and gifted teacher. Danny Ruiz is one of my young guys that accompanied me. Danny is gifted in the prophetic and praying for the sick. Plus he speaks Spanish, is a good teacher and just fun to have along.
Pictured here with Danny is the lady that did the translation for me. She is a sweetheart, easy to work with and lots of fun. It’s difficult to find an interpreter that flows well with you but she has the ability.
During the day Bruce and I shared the teaching from “Learning To Do What Jesus Did” with the Pastors and leaders. I took two cases of the books in Spanish which we gave to the leaders with the hope that they would take it back to their churches to train their people. I’ve since heard that three of the Pastors have already started groups in their church utilizing the material. Others have asked for permission to copy it as they intend to do the same thing at their church. That’s exciting for me!
I wanted you to see the church that sits up on a small hill, which the people have to walk up to get to the church. I’ve also shown you a picture of two people walking up the hill through the dirt and weeds. This stuck me as I know this would not happen here in the U.S. as we try very hard to make our churches “user-friendly.” But it just shows me the level of commitment these people have. In comparison to the living conditions of many of them this was a matter of no concern.
Just below is a picture of the crowd in the evening. We saw a number of significant healings. As a team prayed for one man they watched a cataract simply disappear! Needless to say, they were all excited. One of the ladies I prayed for had been suffering from migraine headaches for 30 years. The pain went away and for the entire time we were there it never returned. Not only were there a number of physical healings taking place but significant Inner Healing and deliverance was happening. Danny and I prayed with a young man who had invited satan into his life due to early abuse. We started praying for inner healing that led into praying for deliverance. God brought complete healing and freedom!
One of the things that excites me is when I watch people who have just been trained take what they’ve learned and begin to use it to pray for others. There are always several hundred to pray for in any healing service. What we did was utilize the leaders we trained during the day in “hands on” ministry each evening. This was a new experience for many of them and they were excited to try it out and utilize it in their churches.
WE NOW HAVE AN OFFICE! We have finally been able to locate a new place to operate from. It will be located downtown as we are renting some office space from 1st Presbyterian Church. We will need about $300 a month more to come in to offset this. If you can be of help let me know. Thank you for your continued support of this ministry.
Listen to The Music
February 1, 2016
Often someone will ask us, “what’s happening?” And we reply, “nothing.” But there is never nothing going on. Even when we are in a place of total solitude and quiet there is the music of what is happening. Even silence is the music of what is happening. Often, no matter what we are doing we are thinking or living in excited anticipation of what’s waiting in the future. The future being that marshmallow sundae we’re going to have as soon as we finish dinner. Thus we miss the music of the moment. It’s been said that life is a symphony, but some would say that it is a tragedy. For some life is meant to be lived for others endured. In the song “Time,” by the Pozo Seco Singers, one line goes, “some people never laugh, some never cry, some people never live, some never die.” It’s tragic that we so seldom live in the moment.
What do I mean by the music of what is happening? Life is filled with sound. There are cars and trucks rumbling by on the freeway, jets roaring across the sky, babies crying, people dying, mothers sighing.
Sitting in a quiet forest where nothing is happening, if one is listening, is also a place filled with music. Woodpeckers pecking, birds singing, bugs buzzing, or a deer unexpectedly walking by where you are sitting, crunching through the dried leaves and pine needles as it somewhat nervously moves quickly away after you have made eye contact. We often don’t hear the music of life because we don’t recognize it as music.
Fionn MacCumhaill asked his followers, “What is the finest music in the world?”
“The cuckoo calling from the tree that is highest in the hedge,” cried his merry son. “A good sound,” said Fionn. “And Oscar,” he asked, “what is to your mind the finest music?” “The top of music is the ring of a spear on a shield,” cried the stout lad. “It is a good sound,” said Fionn. And the other champions told their delight: the belling of a stag across the water, the baying of a tuneful pack heard in the distance, the song of a lark, the laughter of a gleeful girl, or the whisper of a loved one. “They are good sounds all,” said Fionn. “Tell us, chief,” one ventured, “what do you think?” “The music of what is happening,” said great Fionn, “that is the finest music in the world.” (John J. O’Riordan, The Music of What Happens (Winona, MN; St. Mary’s Press, 1997) 109-10.)
The music of what is happening can only be heard in the present moment, right now, right here. Too often much of life seems filled with busyness, noise, chaos. There is so much to do each day that we seldom live or fully experience whatever we happen to be doing, rather much of the time we are working to get it done so we can move on to the next task.
In his book, The Miracle of Mindfulness, (pg.74) the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh in recalling a visit from a Christian leader named Jim Forest beautifully illustrates living in the now as excellent preparation for prayer.
So they finished dinner and Nhat Hanh said he would wash the dishes before getting the tea. Jim offered to do the dishes, while Nhat Hahn was preparing the tea; but Nhat Hahn said, “I am not sure you know how to wash dishes.” Jim laughed at him and said, “Of course I know how to wash dishes. I’ve been doing it all my life.” “No,” the monk said, “you would be washing the dishes in order to have your tea and dessert. That is not the way to wash dishes. You must wash dishes to wash dishes.”
Living in the ordinariness of every day, doing all those trivial tasks that seem meaningless is where real life is lived. And that’s where most of us live. Whether life for you is “Song Sung Blue Everybody Knows One,” or “Everybody Knows I Got A Happy Life,” fully live every moment of every day and listen to the music of what is happening.
City-Wide Prayer Breakfast
I had an opportunity to attend this event here in Bakersfield the end of January. It was so encouraging to see thousands of people gathered in the Civic Auditorium to pray for our city. In addition we were led in prayers for our nation, our national and local leaders, law enforcement, business people, the media, ministers, educators and countless others. We truly live in a city where much of it’s leadership is openly willing to talk about their faith and pray for each other. Thanks be to God for Bakersfield.
Continue to pray for this ministry. I will report in next month’s newsletter about my trip to Mexico. As I write this letter I am about to depart for Acapulco. Thank you for your prayers and support.
Acapulco In February
January 1, 2016
I will be going to Acapulco, Mexico the first week of February to conduct a 3-day training conference. I will be taking with me Danny Ruiz, one of the young guys I am mentoring. Danny and I will be training Pastors and other leaders from various towns in Mexico on how to pray for both Physical and Inner Healing. We will also cover such areas as Deliverance and Spiritual Warfare. I have been invited by Jay DeVries the missionary that works with the people in Mexico. This came about as the result of his receiving a copy of our Learning To Do book in Spanish. He was very excited that we had this material in Spanish as there is very little available on these topics that can be used by Spanish speaking people. Pray for us as we go to present this material and equip these leaders to train others in praying for the sick.
2015 was a good year for Wholeness Ministries. We are looking forward with excitement to 2016. One of the challenges we face is locating an office that we can call home. It was necessary for us to move from our current location. One of my friends Elizabeth Deeths who is a counselor has been kind enough to let me use her office when I need to meet with people, so that has been helpful and something I am thankful for. Pray for us to be able to find a location soon.
Gouge the Heart Out
In some of my reading I came across a quote by Edward Schillebeeckx and it rocked me back a bit when I caught what he was saying. The entire quote is, “In a revealed religion, silence with God has value in itself and for its own sake, just because God is God. Failure to recognize the value of mere being with God, as the beloved, without doing anything, is to gouge the heart out of Christianity.” He states that this is the bottom-line reason for waiting on the Lord. And, if you don’t recognize this, you are missing the point.
Scripture indicates that God not only wants us to spend time with Him but that in order for this to happen we not only must learn to wait but also to be separate. When I think of the word, “gouge” it brings to my mind a violent act. “To reach in with your hand and violently rip the heart out.” So if we fail to recognize the value of merely being with God without doing anything we are violently ripping the heart out of the very thing we so deeply believe in.
If merely being with God, not doing anything, is the heart of Christianity, why do so few Christians take time to do it? I believe the answer is both simple and complex. Simple in that it is so foreign to our normal way of life and complex in that it involves ignorance and fear, shrouded in mystery and mysticism.
Being separate and waiting often brings about guilt. We have this nagging feeling that we should be doing something useful. Part of why we feel guilty is that we do not fully know the God with whom we are spending time! We would not feel guilty spending time with a brilliant scientist or a famous author or a world-renowned artist, so why would we not want to spend time with the God who made it all? If we truly understood that the God of the universe, the God who made everything that is, wants to spend time with us, we would do anything, give up anything, go anywhere to be with Him.
The mystery and mysticism swirls around stories we hear and read of many of the saints of the church spending hours, days and years in solitude, meditation and prayer. Their spirits are caught up, overwhelmed with or plundered by the very presence of God. They are left speechless and without strength. They write and speak of the mystery and wonder of “being Alone with the Alone.” These things are not only foreign to us but may even seem threatening.
I have discovered the cure for this unfortunate state of being. It is coming to an understanding and acceptance in your relationship with God that you know that it is good to be “there,” even if you don’t know where “there” is, just because He is God and you are His beloved.
Don’t be so shy about spending this incredibly important time with God. He wants to be with you, as a Father wants to be with their child. Grasp the importance of this. Don’t let anyone convince you that God is too busy and has more important things to do this spend time with you.
Why wait until heaven to be freed of the invisible burdens that oppress and defeat you? God wants you to face those burdens now, on this planet, and through the power of specific prayer be freed from them. My newest book, subtitled 0, is a guide to assist in discovering freedom from the invisible burdens that oppress and defeat you.
Go here to purchase: www.wholeness.org/shop
Thank you for your continued support of this ministry. All your gifts are much appreciated.
Our Missionary Family In Hungary, December 2015
December 1, 2015
I wanted to give you an update on Adam Balogh and his Family who work among the people in Budapest and the surrounding villages throughout Hungary. Wholeness Ministries has been a significant part of financial support for this family for many years and we want to be able to continue that support with your help. It’s exciting to read what they are doing. This is a report from Adam.
“These months brought huge changes in our lives in terms of direction and ministry. In June we organized an International Christian Leadership Conference where the Lord worked mightily and spoke to us deeply in terms of His present working in the church and the world. There were 90 leaders from different churches and denominations. During this conference it became clear to me that major changes will need to take place in my life and ministry if I want to follow His leading. I took three months to seek the Lord in prayer, to think and to consult with brothers about these things. In September I was able to make a sound decision to leave the New Jerusalem Community where I belonged and ministered in the past 18 years and start a new work.
In September we started to plant a church community from scratch. We are now four families and a handful of single young people meeting to build His Kingdom. I am very excited in this new season of my life. I sense the leading of the Holy Spirit daily as I witness and experience the birth of His new work.
In July I was invited to go to Nurnberg, Germany to an event called Awakening Europe. It was a huge stadium event with over 20 thousand participating. We were able to make a good connection with the leadership team for potential future cooperation.
During the summer I did a mission trip to Slovakia and another to Hodmezovasarhely southern Hungary. Both trips were very anointed and the people were edified and lifted up. At the end of the summer we had a weeklong kids camp that was particularly blessed. God did a remarkable work of change in the hearts of the kids.
In the beginning of September when the recent refugee crisis peaked in Budapest I felt that I needed to get involved in this. As we went out among the migrants and refugees at Keleti train station we experienced remarkable openness to the Gospel. As the border of Hungary gradually closed we made several trips to Serbia and Croatia to help with the crisis. We took loads of items of immediate need like blankets, food, water etc. We also brought Bibles and Christian material in Arabic, Persian, Farsi and Urdu languages. I cannot begin to describe the suffering these refugee families go through as they are stuck between two borders on no man’s land at night in the cold pouring rain with small kids. Unbelievable. This I consider a historic opportunity to share the gospel with all these Muslim families. I think a good portion of them are ready to receive. In some ways this has brought them to a place to prepare them to receive Him.
Recently we had our annual weekend with TJCII young leaders in Hainburg, Austria. It was a very fruitful and blessed time. Many good decisions were made for the advance of TJCII vision among young Christian leaders in Europe.
Well, this is only the outline of the bigger things that have been happening. I do a host of other things weekly – like street outreaches, meeting people and praying for them, teaching Bible study, preaching, translating material and building a church community.
I am very grateful to the Lord that He involves me and lets me see His mighty works.
Please keep praying for us. This is a very exciting yet also a difficult time in our life. We need the wisdom of the Lord each day. With love and blessings, Adam.”
I hope you were as encouraged by this as I was. Thank you for your continued support of our work.
Thank You For Your Generosity!
October 30, 2015
In last months newsletter I let you know what was going on with Wholeness Ministries financially and the difficult position we were in. Many of you responded with generous donations for which I am very thankful. Your generosity helped us to catch up with our giving to our missionaries as well as the finances to run the ministry on a daily basis. I am thankful for those of you who gave one time gifts both large and small as well as for those of you who agreed to increase your monthly giving. That is most helpful. We believe it is our responsibility to be good stewards of these gifts and we are diligent in how we spend the money. Remember that we would not be able to function and reach the people we do without your generosity. Remember that all that we do you are a significant part of making that happen.
FREEDOM WAS INDEED HAPPENING! This last month we held our FREEDOM! Retreat which was led by Mark & Dawn Thompson. They have been doing these retreats for about seven years and they just seem to get better each time they do another one. This one was no exception. In addition to their teaching, which was excellent, Beth Kliewer taught on The Father’s Love. She did an excellent job in communicating how we often miss how much we are loved and how we can move back to that place of intimacy and understanding our value to Him. I taught on Restoring Your Spirit, which is a topic that helps people identify areas where they may have difficulty connecting with God or others. This teaching helps one understand how to heal those areas and bring about a restoration of your spirit in the way God intended it to be.
Mark & Dawn’s teaching on Forgiveness, Healing the Wounded Self-mage and Breaking Curses and Soul Ties was also significant in helping people identify these areas in their life and how to be freed from the wounds associated with them.
Many thanks to our prayer teams that did an excellent job of helping guide people as they prayed through the various issues associated with these topics. Without their faithful participation these retreats would not be as significant as they are. Keep watching our newsletter for the dates of our next retreat. You will want to tell your friends about this and invite them to be a part.
FOLLOW-UP If you were part of this retreat and need further follow-up prayer you can contact me at 661-833-2920 or firstname.lastname@example.org for continued prayer.
Healing Prayer Available by appointment. On a weekly basis I have prayer ministry appointments available Monday through Thursday 9:00am to 4:00pm. If you are in need of Inner Healing prayer make contact at 661-833-2920 or visit our Personal Ministry link. (Ministries > Personal Ministry) Follow the instructions there and we will contact you and set up an appointment to deal with those issues you may have been carrying around for years.
Why wait until heaven to be freed of the invisible burdens that oppress and defeat you? God wants you to face those burdens now, on this planet, and through the power of specific prayer be freed from them. Mike’s newest book, subtitled Baggage To Drop On Your Way To Heaven, is a guide to assist in discovering freedom from the invisible burdens that oppress and defeat you.
While new birth through faith in Christ Jesus is the instantaneous work of a moment, achieving wholeness is truly the labor of a lifetime. The deep healing of our brokenness, whether it’s physical, emotional, or spiritual, is often something we are incapable of accomplishing on our own. It goes against the grain of our cultural training towards independence; we assume that the prayers we lift to God on our own behalf ought to be enough. But we have prayed, and breakthrough has not come. What are we to make of it? My newest book will help identify where you need breakthrough and how to achieve it.
Before You Get Here by Michael Evans is available in our bookstore. Additional ministry teaching products are available in the Wholeness Ministries Shop at www.wholeness.org/shop.