The last two weeks were life changing and the shortest two weeks of my life. Jesus definitely met all 45 of us there and filled us to overflowing but sending us out satisfied and still wanting more, crazy how that works, huh. There’s a lot to talk about so I think I’ll give short details on a little bit of everything:
The Institute is called Luke18: Wilder Institute. I believe I’ve explained this before but now having more information on it I can explain it a little better. It’s an institute dedicated to creating prayer furnaces on college campuses, in young adults ministries, etc. Wherever God has called you basically, but it’s so much more than that! In the process of learning how to pray you receive a biblical foundation on who Jesus Christ is as a Man and why we should pray. The institute was originally called the SLP: Summer Leadership Program but the name was changed to Wilder; named after a christian pioneer, Robert Wilder. Born in 1863 Robert had a true Christ-like heart for missions and praying. God accomplished incredible things through him, Wilder laid a foundation that still is strong to this day. So the program is based on mainly praying and missions (there was also a two week missions trip to North Africa, but a lot of people weren’t able to go). In this time we had a strict schedule: 7am: Wake up, Briefing 8am-12pm: Prayer room 12:15pm-1:20pm: Lunch 1:30pm-4:45pm: Seminar class 5:00pm-7:00pm: Dinner 7:00pm-10:00pm: Workshop 10:00pm-11:00pm: Dorms and Lights out It was exhausting but extremely beneficial. We had speakers like Cory Russell, Brian Kim, Matt Candler and Shelly Hundley. The Wilder Institute had they’re own apartments but we stayed in Herrnhut with the other students from Onething, Fire in the Night and ACTS. The setup was boy, girl separation and about four to an apartment. I didn’t expect to grow so close to my roommates but I did. We had shuttles to ride in if we wanted to go to FCF (Forerunner Christian Fellowship) but that was about it. For any other place you would have to get someone to take you, but everyone was pretty generous with their cars.
- IHOP: Prayer room
The Prayer room was so unique and made such an impact in my life I had to give it a separate section. For Consecration day (the first Monday) we spent eight hours in the prayer room. I have to say that alone changed my life. The way God speaks when you sit in his presence is remarkable. Sometimes you don’t even have to say anything you just sit at his feet and listen to him speak, like the Mary who also just sat at his feet. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” so believe it or not it’s the exact same as in the days of the gospels. In the prayer room I really learned what his voice sounds like, I knew it before but now I’m confident in it! It’s not the fact that it’s IHOP that makes the prayer room so great, it’s the fact that this prayer room in 24hours. You could go anywhere all over the world to any prayer room (that’s genuine) and get the same results. The fact that hosting Holy Spirit in that way has the ability to change lives still amazes me but I’ve experienced it, so I can now say from personal experience it’s so true. If you’ve never been to or heard of IHOP-KC prayer room (International House of Prayer Kansas City) heres the link for live streaming. Their prayer room is set up with healing and prophetic ministry rooms in the back, communion on the right back side near the giant picture of Jesus hanging on the cross (right side, with your back facing the stage) and they have desks and side rooms on the side walls of the prayer room. Their setup is quite interesting they have a Harp and Bowl structure with two hours of Intercession and two hours of Prayer with the Word (If you don’t know what there things are and you would like to, contact me and ask). Being in there 4 hours a day, this place became my home.
When I first arrived God provided divine encounters with people that I will have in my life forever… not exaggerating. Everyone in this program has made it what it has become. We had people from South Africa, Mexico, Korea, Hong Kong, Arkansas, Texas, California, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, you name it! I have to say the greatest influence to your callings, is hearing what God is doing all over the world straight from the source. Just getting a whole bunch of Jesus loving young adults in a room is the recipe for success. We were all so madly in love with this Man and our love only grew deeper through this time and we got to witness the process happen within each other. People got radically saved, healed, received tongues, and the baptism of Holy Spirit. I got to see some genuinely beautiful people at heart these past two weeks, it felt as if as soon as we were all getting comfortable with each other, we had to part ways. But we’ll see one another again. (:
- Jesus Himself<3
Jesus met us there! I know I keep saying that but there isn’t another way to put it. He showed up and met all of us there on a personal level, inspired us, loved us, encouraged us and just did what Jesus does best, he blew everyone’s mind! Personally I would say that I now have a solid prayer life not because I’m an expert prayer but just because over the past two weeks I learned how to talk to him and relate to him. There were so many deliverances and things that happened under ground that I feel like I still don’t know all that he did, and I wont until I notice past things that I use to do, that I don’t do anymore.
I have to say besides the encounters with Jesus and the lifelong friends I made (including with the leaders) some highlights were seeing Misty Edwards, Jon Thurlow, Tim Reidner, Justin and Jonathan Rizzo, Laura Hackett, Jaye Thomas, Mike Bickle, Alan Hood and the other emerging on fire people of God there. Not because they’re on iTunes or speak on a stage but because they’re so in LOVE with Jesus! They truly know him and their fame is one that comes straight from the exaltation of Christ because of their humility. More than anything seeing them made me want to love and get to know Jesus more. Everything I saw at that church was so genuine and biblical and that church is an example of the blessings that come from sticking with the Word, not watering it down and not making it more elaborate than it is, but just the Word itself. Other highlights were the culture they’ve built there, because their people have amazing Character, and the High Grounds Café. I loved Higher Grounds because it was more like a restaurant, they understand that Christians eat as well, they don’t just drink coffee, and when you just wanted to get away rather it’s blogging, sitting in the umbrella courtyard or meeting one on one because you have to really talk to your small group leader about something that’s been on your heart…. it’s the perfect place for that.
- The Future
Some of the things God spoke into my future were very profound. Words can’t describe it all, only time can act as a testimony. Two huge things that have really stood out to me… that I can put into words are: 1) His faithfulness: I was struggling a lot the last day… Friday about the things he’s spoken over me. I just wanted to know deep down inside that when I came home this would continue and only move upwards and I know what the word says but I needed to hear it straight from my Dad. During the Fascinate conference that we were all required to go to (although we were beyond tired) I left.. kinda. I was going to leave in the middle of worship, ’cause I was not feeling it. I was already sick with the 24hr flu and on top of that my stomach was harboring sharp pains. My heart wanted to worship God because he’s soooooooooo worthy to be worshiped no matter what season, but my body wasn’t allowing me. Earlier before the conference, I was talking to my new best friend Cora and she was telling me how sicknesses are spiritual and how God is trying to get my attention, I’m everywhere and he really wants me to sit down and be still; at Fascinate that’s exactly what he did. I went over to Bruce (our leader/friend/apartment..church caddy/blessing straight from God) he told me I should pray about it. Not wanting to hear that, but knowing he was right I went outside and just sat. It felt so good because even being in the program you can get lost in busyness and sitting before the Lord in silence is more significant than we think. As I sat there the Lord gave me my answer right away but I still sat because in my heart, rather or not I should stay for the conference wasn’t why I went outside, and He knew that. I think I sat there for a good 30 minutes before tears started to flow, I know Gods goodness and I know he’s faithful but I just wanted to hear my Dad say everything was going to be okay, and He did<3. In that time he just reaffirmed his love and faithfulness to me all over again and it’s everything I needed, he even took me through psalm 22 highlighting things that related to what he was speaking over me. If you ask me now there’s no way I can read over that psalm and tell you what he told me, I just know what he spoke. It’s crazy how God can take any section of his word and make it completely relevant and relatable to your life in that moment. He’s such a good dad. He just knew what my heart needed to hear, the way he’ll go about to that to make sure all our needs are satisfied just ravishes my heart. 2) UNLV: He spoke that over me soo clearly… like it’s undeniable. He wants me there. He has huge plans for that campus. I can’t explain everything he told me, because most of it he showed me, and I can’t put into words what He’s put into images but good things are coming to Las Vegas. If you’re interested in attending the Wilder Institute next summer or any of the IHOP-KC Internships check out this website. (Pictures coming soon of my trip to Kansas City> Photobook) Feel free to contact me, with questions, comments or if you just wanna talk (: Love, Shels<3