I said I’d think about it.
Well, it kept coming to mind. So I thought, “Saturday’s my day, if I want to go. Maybe Leah will come with me.” House-mate, co-worker, sister-in-the-Lord, I asked Leah if she’d like to come but she had plans to go to Cambridge. Hmm. Well, maybe I won’t go after all.
I messaged a friend to see if he wanted to meet me there from St. Catharine’s, but no; he was studying for finals.
Saturday morning, I woke up. A little late. Leah and I made coffee and she asked me, “so, are you going to Burlington?”
“I’m undetermined. Are you going to Cambridge?”
I really was in that 50/50, I could go…I could not go…space. It was Saturday; one is permitted to be undetermined about their Saturdays. But something in me, I am sure it was that spirit-part of me, wanted to go. By myself? Sure. I’ve done that before. Why not.
Maybe I can spend the night with Elise and catch a church-service in the morning, I thought, so I texted my friend. No good…she was living in Guelph. Maybe Karla is home, I thought, and I messaged her, but didn’t hear back. Well…maybe I’ll just pack an over-night bag just in case. Who knows.
So I did. And I got in my car and drove to Hamilton, en route to Burlington, to run some errands. (sidenote: actually, to pick up some new worship music…”The Loft Sessions” by BethelMusic. Get it!)
Ran my errands and was heading to Burlington for the meeting when I thought, I should grab a bite to eat. I’ll go for sushi quick. (sidenote: I always eat sushi when in the city because the nearest sushi joint is FORTY-FIVE minutes away from where I live out here in the Sticks. So, as a rule, I always eat sushi when I’m in the city. This is just to say that…I really wanted sushi.)
I searched “food” in my reliable GPS, found a restaurant 5km off my current route, hit, “Set as new destination point” and off I went. Around the block and on to King St E.
Halfway there, I passed a sign that read, “Randy’s Burgers: grass-fed cattle” and I thought to myself, That place is legit, immediately associating the whole hipster, enviro, organic culture to it. Obviously. What else could it be. And I thought about turning around but…no. I wanted sushi. I was going for sushi.
So I passed it but then I thought, well…maybe. But no! I wanted sushi! I could have burgers whenever I wanted, but sushi…that’s something special.
Next thing I know, I’m going around the block, parking and walking to Randy’s Burgers. I guess something in me really wanted a grass-fed-cattle burger.
I order my burger, get it, and sit at one of 4-bar stools that provide the total sum of seating in this little corner restaurant. (sidenote: told you: legit.)
Now at this point I should mention that I was wearing an IHOP sweatshirt, which is a ministry that I am studying with in the States, the International House of Prayer.
A young couple with a baby sat down to my right. He then says to me, “I see you’re wearing an IHOP sweatshirt.” To which I reply, “yes!” and we begin to converse.
WELL, turns out they have been to IHOP and love the Lord Jesus. Their names? Danny and Sarah.
“why are you in town?” they ask.
“I’m going to an evening service tonight in Burlington.”
“oh, is it with the Bethel ministry team?”
“No…is Bethel doing something in town?”
(sidenote: Bethel is a really powerful ministry out of Redding California. I also follow their ministry. Young people on fire for Jesus = goodness. I’m sure if I was on Plan C for my life, it would involve me studying there. But I am on Plan A, but still…I follow their ministry keenly. And all of their music. And will…one day…roadtrip it to Redding.)
“Yes, Bethel has a ministry team here from their Supernatural School of Ministry and they are doing some services here. They will be at a church tomorrow in Stoney Creek.”
“Huh. I would really like to check that out. Hopefully I’ll hear back from my friend, I packed an overnight bag hoping to spend the night in the area, and if it works out, I’ll totally check them out tomorrow.”
“well…if this doesn’t weird you out, you can crash on our couch; we just live around the corner.”
Thus ensued a swapping of phone numbers and email addresses and a more or less guarantee that I would be contacting them later that night.
I drove away pretty shocked in my spirit at how the Lord orchestrates things. I shouldn’t be surprised by these things, but…I was. Seriously. New, immediate friends met in a burger joint? Bethel in the area? Finding out about that because of a random, seemingly coincidental turn-off from my sushi teasure hunt for a sudden, not even really founded, desire for a grass-fed-cattle burger?!!?
The evening service was great. That’s for another blog.
Sarah had sent me an email with directions to her place and she wrote, “Also we live with another couple, (Jared & Michelle) and when we were telling them about the asparagus farm and what you do, Michelle was so excited because she knew a few students who have been there & worked on the farm."
I arrive. I meet Jared and Michelle and it’s true; they know three of our summer alumni. what? Random. Remember…we are a pretty small ministry from the Sticks. and Southern Ontario has the largest population in Canada and I happen to meet people who know some of our alumni through new friends that I met in a burger joint?
Another couple was there visiting, and he looks over at me and says, “so what do you have to teach us? Because God has brought you here for some reason.”
Yes. These people are tracking with me. It is obviously clear to not only me, that the Lord has set this up.
We stayed up talking until 2am. Sharing, dialoguing, testifying. Praying. Their hearts were pure and love for Jesus evident. I had opportunity to share about some of the miracles we’ve experienced in our ministry, some of the healings, my own testimony and journey of growing in the Holy Spirit. That really intrigued them and I believe the Lord had that on the agenda for the evening. Closing in prayer, Jared said, “Lord, we just thank you for what we consider to be a miracle…bringing Katrina here this evening.”
what? How in control is our God?
The next morning, we say our farewell’s (only temporary. I’m sure I’ll be seeing them again) and I headed out to the church where the Bethel team was to be ministering.
Small church. 100 – 150 in attendance. Good teaching. And then, they brought the ministry team up. 5 young people, I’d say 20 – 25 in age, but growing in the Lord, being led by the Spirit and with a strong conviction that the giftings of the the Spirit are still in operation today. (a-men.)
The five of them had basically spent the service listening to the Lord, listening to what He was saying about the church, listening for words of knowledge to give to the congregation.
They got up, gave their prophetic words over the congregation and then began to share words of knowledge (information given by the Spirit that they would otherwise not have known) which often have to do with healings that the Lord is looking to perform. So they listed off several physical ailments that they believed the Lord wanted to heal that morning and invited those to whom they referred to come up for prayer. I was sitting there thinking, I don’t really have any ailments. I guess I won’t be going up for prayer for anything.
But then the last girl of the five gave two words of knowledge, one to do with healing and then… then she gave another one. It was different than the rest. She said, “If there is anyone here who … or knows someone who…then come up for prayer. The Lord wants to heal that.”
At this point, I must apologize because I’m not actually going to tell you what she said. It is personal and private and isn’t actually mine to tell, because that word wasn’t for me, but was for someone very dear to me. I was just there to receive that word on her behalf and receive prayer for it.
And this is my elaborate story of how the Father of Every Good and Perfect Gift had totally and completely set me up this weekend. So completely. So obviously. In so many ways. And I spent much of my drive home on Sunday utterly filled with joy and laughing and crying to this song as I rejoiced in my personal, loving Father who delights in me and in whom I delight.
p.s. on my way into Hamilton, I tuned into a podcast that I had neglected since last summer. Downloading the most recent sermon, my joy was added to greatly when, in hindsight, I reflected on the sermon entitled, “Expecting the Unexpected” that I had listened to.
I hope this testimony brings encouragement to somebody today.
Post accompanied by song, "This is What You Do" by Bethel Live. (sidebar and in-text link.)