April 2018 Newsletter - "The Harvesters" by Ray McDowell
Shalom saints, and thanks for joining us for this month’s update on the Harvesters. It has been a very exciting month and many people on the team have found themselves being stretched to reach out and share the love of Christ with people out on the streets. It is a precious gift to be afforded the opportunity to step into a stranger’s life and speak a word of encouragement and transformation from the Father to them. What we find is that this privilege comes at a cost but yet, surprisingly, it teaches and ministers to us in the moment. We have seen a tremendous response from the Body of Christ to the call of evangelism, and this past month, a few of our new Harvesters had their first experience out in the field. Following a powerful night of vigilant prayer and fasting that continued on into the daylight hours, we ventured out to a local mall two-by-two to share the gospel with those to whom we were being led. The following is a recount of some of the experiences and wisdom that the Father had imparted to some of our first-time Harvesters in their own words.
“This was an awesome experience in many ways. It definitely stretched me. I haven’t been one that was good at holding conversations with people I just met. It took boldness to talk to the people and to know who to talk to; also, trying to know what words to say was a challenge. I really had to pray before talking to people to see who to talk to. Surprisingly people were really receptive to hearing what we had to say. Sometimes I’d think they don’t want to be bothered but all it takes is you to relate to them a little bit by your testimony. It’s good to find a common interest, so that way you can come to their level to bring that word Yah gives us. One thing I’m keen on is not writing off people who look like “rough necks” or “intimidating.” Those are usually some of the friendliest people to talk to when you start talking to them. Also I think the more “hard” or “rough” life they’ve had, the bigger the testimony, like Elijah or Paul. Also you really have to have tough skin when facing rejection or insult. Some people have a mindset of combating you before you even get a word out, so we have to know how to take the bad and turn it into good by reflecting on it and letting the Lord work on you in that area. Not only do we evangelize to people, but the Lord grows us while doing it. Overall I loved the experience.” - Terrance B.
“I loved my first time going out ever! I learned it's important to go out in the Holy Spirit, so fasting is essential to this process. It helped me reach out to people from the heart and to be led by the Holy Spirit. I also saw that my partner had a little bit different way of approaching people, so we complemented each other. I felt I had one divine appointment with a young woman. Her eyes filled with tears after I asked if I could pray for her. She poured out some of her difficulties so I just prayed for her. She was open and grateful and said she would come. I do feel Yah was trying to reach her through us, and that was a needed Divine appointment.” - Marilyn O.
“The first lesson learned was to fully trust the Holy Spirit to move and speak through me. Also, I learned the importance of being patient and seeing where the Holy Spirit would lead. I decided to be obedient to what Apostle said before: God works out of our inconvenience, not convenience; therefore we ended up outside in the windy cool weather and, not surprisingly, the Holy Spirit began to move. We spoke to a young gentleman and both of us shared what the Father brought us out of and how the Father has changed our character and that nothing is impossible for Yahweh. I find that sharing how the Father has changed my life is a good tool, not only for building rapport with people but also allowing them to see how the Father has imparted his character into me. By sharing this, people can reflect on their lives, and it gives them hope that Father can change and transform them as well.” - Deidre Y.
“As God led Marilyn and I throughout the mall, we observed our environment; we knew that Father was showing us the next step. He showed me that I must not hesitate to walk up to someone because doubt comes in and destroys what God has planned. The Lord showed me that I must stay calm and ask them the questions that Holy Spirit has for them. In addition, He told me that that I must love everyone the way His Son loved the world. I understand that without the counsel and lessons the Lord showed me, it will ultimately result in a different agenda than what God has planned.” - Jose A.
“...As we ended (the visitation) one of the sisters said, ‘We wanted to hear from the Father and God showed up.’ We met a gentleman who is ex-military. He was with his kids and God spoke through us both. We prayed, and God moved in Word and Prayer in all situations. But I find that God is moving within our talents of ministry and that He is bringing a fire and a kindling not just with those He puts before us but also within ourselves. I have been blessed to be a minister of Yah! Not just that, I see He is pushing us to move in a higher degree of the spiritual realm. He is moving through us to pour out His Spirit how He sees fit in word and prayer.” - Michael G.
“Reflecting on last Saturday, I see that I was able to gain more boldness to speak to people about the ministry. I learned to keep moving forward despite my personal feelings if things don't go quite as planned. 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all [men], that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with [you]. That scripture really applies when speaking to people and being more sensitive to the Holy Spirit. I kept a list of the names of the people I spoke with so that I can keep them in prayer.” - Melinda M.
“I am looking forward to each week for Yahweh, Dad, to train us/disciple us on how to evangelize Him to the lost through His heart and vision. I definitely saw the significance in a deeper way, how Father sent people out in twos, the power and the beauty in it all and how to demonstrate His Kingdom. I saw how when we came together and prayed and made those declarations of faith and truth, it shifted the atmosphere and our mindsets. I enjoyed going to the mall, because it helped force me to break out of limitation and any insecurities. I have been crying out to the Father for deliverance in this area, so I can move in Him to the fullness, hearing His voice, and doing as He shows me. That comes through intimacy and obedience to hearing His voice. I definitely experienced moments where I felt led in different directions in the mall like I was supposed to go ‘this direction’ and ‘that direction.’ The part I want to grow in more is how to start conversations with people, being personal and led by Him, so that He can open up the conversations to share the Word, pose questions, and flow in praying for people. This is such a blessing and a huge, powerful proactive way on how to be discipled and a real-life exercise and daily walk to be His voice.” - Dawn of a new Day
As you can see, many of our new members learned a lot from their individual experiences. Evangelism is not only a skill but also a gift of the Spirit that must be exercised in order to grow and mature spiritually. We all have what we perceive as shortcomings and insecurities that would keep us from being fully obedient to the voice of Father. However, every day is an opportunity to step out and overcome these self-doubts. Dad is calling each and every one of us to an exciting season of much greater faith, and with it, an opportunity to manifest His power on the Earth and make Him real and relevant in the lives of those who may not have a relationship with Him.
You may think it’s just you, but the next time you see someone on the street and you feel compelled to make contact with them, speak with them. You may not think that you have the adequate words to speak but He that lives in you does! You will find that, just like the testimonies above, the Holy Spirit will guide you, because in truth, He is simply looking for an available and willing vessel through whom to move. So in conclusion, strive to be that vessel and step out in faith because as you do, you will see the Lord start using you in greater and mightier ways in your walk with Him.