Saturday, July 14, 2007

Operation Bucharest -- Conference Kickoff


This is a brief bit of technical information: I thought I would tell you that I am somewhat limited with all of the video clips. They have to be less than 100 megabytes to fit on Godtube so that is the reason that they are usually less than a minute. Also the internet connection speed here is a little slower and it takes a loooooonnnnnnnggggggg time to get them uploaded. I am going to work a little harder to figure out exactly how many minutes of video that I can upload for you. I am telling you or warning you that you will want to have a room by yourself for all of the videos from today. They are incredibly powerful!!!!!!! The reason the video image is shaking in some of them was because it is extremely difficult to video and cry at the same time.

Everyone is moving very slowly today. There has been very little rest for the weary. I would guess that those who have been on prayer walks the previous two days have probably walked at least 10 miles or more.

It is easy to see some of the spiritual warfare that Sister Rodenbush mentioned in Dothan during May when she came to prepare us for the trip. Since yesterday not only is Sister Rodenbush still sick but there are additional folks who have made it for sick call. Brother Rodenbush is also sick as is Brother Patterson. I am unsure of the extent of Brother Rodenbush’s illness but Brother Patterson has gotten a good case of the flu. Fever, chills, and the other things that goes with the flu. In addition to this, Sister Bailey slipped and fell and peeled the skin off of one of her toes which she showed me. She also told me that she had a large bruise on her hip which thankfully she did not offer to show me. I took her word for it!

I discovered Brother Patterson’s ailments at 6:30 AM when Brother Charlie Joyner (Charlie and Brother Patterson are rooming together) knocked on my door and told me that he and Brother Jay were going to walk down to the FARMACIE and purchase some Tylenol and other flu remedies for Brother Patterson. It was then that I found out that Brother Patterson had been sick for most of the night.

He slept through breakfast and arrived at the morning service when Brother Steve Willoughby, missionary to Singapore, taught/preached about Spiritual Midwifery to us. Brother Patterson did not go with us on the Prayer Walk/Street Service combination today (which I thought was a great idea for him to stay in).

Prior to the pre-conference service, fire practice was once again held for the choir. Before they started, I felt a need to address our gang because I felt that the enemy is doing his very best to disrupt our efforts with sickness and other matters. We need the prayers of those who are reading this blog to continue in a strong way.

After choir practice, Brother Willoughby began his session on Spiritual Midwifery which was an excellent time of instruction about working with those praying in the altar. I was unable to take notes in this session because I was too busy trying to manage a digital camera and camcorder. However, we are going to see if we can get to the notes.

There was a strong spirit of liberty, faith, and worship that attended this session. At the end Brother Mike Patterson led us in prayer along with Brother George Craft who is a missionary although I am unsure of his field. As Brother Craft prayed, he directed us to move all throughout the building and lay hands on walls, doorways, chairs, platform, and the entire sanctuary. It was pretty incredible, as you will note on the video clips!!!

After all of the prayer, we ran to our rooms and grabbed passports, Metro tickets, bottled water, and snack things so we could hit the streets. Today instead of just prayer walking and passing out flyers we were going to conduct some street services. We also took an electronic keyboard and snare drum with us. At the first stop in front of the Metro entry it did not take long to generate some excitement. While we were setting up, there were four boys about 12 to 16 and they begin giving Justin Ward a hard time. I could not tell what they were saying but the tone of their voice and body language let me know that it could not be good. The ringleader was loud and sarcastic and would stand off about 10 feet away from our group and point, shout, and wave to all of the people who were in transit from the Metro. As one of the guys (I think either Michael Joyner or Jeremy McCoy) was setting up the snare drum, the ringleader came over and started banging his hand on the drum. I noticed that whoever that was setting up the drum was taken aback by this and Justin Ward walked over and said something sharply to the ringleader and he retreated back to his band. In the video clip, the ringleader is the little guy in the red shirt.

As they begin singing a crowd of about 30 or 35 stopped walking to hear what they were singing (Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes, Yes, Lord, Amen!) and Brother John Cureton and I got busy passing out flyers while we had a concentrated crowd. The most frustrating thing of all is the language barrier.

The boys who were making loud comments were caught off guard by how well the group could sing and it put a stifling effect on them. I will say that as soon as these fellows came up and started hard-timing us, I launched into the prayer mode that Sister Rodenbush had taught us in Dothan during May. She stressed to us that our prayers should not be directed at the enemy but toward the power of God. So I begin to pray for the power of the Spirit and the anointing to get on the choir. I mixed some worship in with how majestic and awesome that God is and I believe that this had some effect on the boys. I haven’t mentioned this to anyone else in the group but I have a feeling that I wasn’t the only one praying for these rascals. As we moved from this Metro entry to another bus stop, I asked Daniel Patterson what the deal was with these boys and he told me that they were gypsies.

As we moved further down the street you could sense the turn in the neighborhood toward those who fit into the category of the “have nots.” A lot of poverty surrounded us but again another crowd gathered up when they started singing. We passed out flyers in huge doses while the singing was going on.

The choir would sing at two more spots before we got on the Metro and then we would have to walk another mile or so back to the conference center. Some very interesting things happened while we were passing out flyers.

You are all well aware of my affection for books. I found a fantastic bookstore on the way to another singing point. The owner of the shop even tried to talk to me but I could not understand him and he could not understand me either. His car is his "shop." It also appears to me that he has been doing what I have been doing. . . . Reading books late at night and eating entire bags of BBQ Potato Chips and drinking Dr. Pepper.

First when someone would want to talk to us we would have to run down a translator. One lady that they found begin to talk about how that she was a Christian of another denomination and that she lived in a Middle Eastern country right in the very heart of Islam. She related that she had to be undercover with it when she was in her country but that when she traveled abroad she always tried to find a place to worship in. She told Justin Ward that she was intending on being in attendance at the conference tonight. I pray that God will fill her with the Holy Ghost.

Another lady met Teresa and began to explain to her in very limited English that her daughter was in the process of becoming a surgeon. She had already been to school for six years and was apparently about to begin her surgical residency. Teresa encouraged her to come to the conference also.

After we finished the street services we descended into the Metro tunnel. While we were punching our cards to go through, I saw a small kid dart under the turnstile and then begin digging in the trash. He had a bag that he pulled out of the garbage and blew air into it and began sniffing the bag after he filled it with air. He was apparently was sniffing something in an attempt to get high. He also had a cigarette butt over his ear that he had found somewhere and was waiting to smoke it a little later.

As he started doing this two other boys materialized around him who would turn out to be his brothers. All three of these boys ranged in age from probably 6 to 10. Justin Ward began talking to them in Romanian and we discovered that they were street kids that were gypsies. They had no parents and they only periodically would go and see their grandmother. Every thing that they get to eat and wear apparently comes from begging and stealing. Justin Ward offered to get them something to eat if they would come to the conference. However, after he bought them something at the sandwich shop they took off and haven’t been seen since. I again realized how blessed that we are to live in America!

Lunch today resembled the chicken “sandwich” that we got on the flight from Frankfurt to Bucharest. Hard bread and funny looking and tasting chicken! However, we labored through it and discovered that we were in a rush to get to church. I had a good excuse as I was blogging and the connection was terrible today so that is why yesterday’s post is short on pictures.

We were all in place pretty much by 5:45 PM. The ushers, book table attendants, musicians, and all were ready to roll. Earlier today during Brother Willoughby’s session, I noticed a booth going up in the back that had two or three booths and each booth was equipped with a mic and transmitter. The reason that this is in place is for the translators to sit in. The translators wear headphones and they all understand English. As the service carries on they translate it into different languages for those who are wearing the headsets in the congregation. Tonight there were three different translations going on. One lady was translating Russian, another Serbian, and another Slovakian (I think) and Brother Mike Patterson translated the Romanian. He did an incredible job! He and Brother Willoughby worked very well together! (The picture you see is Jeremy passing out the headphones to the people who need a different translator than Romanian.)

During the pre-service, Sister Benton from Nacogdoches, Texas, told of the church where she attends deciding to purchase Romanian Bibles both adult (probably 150 or so) and children’s Bibles (probably 35 or so) and giving them away free to the Romanians who were attending the conference. She talked of her personally undertaking the burden and planning and purchasing the Bibles to give out at the crusade. It was a very moving and powerful testimony on her part.

After Sister Benton spoke, Brother John Cureton did very well giving a testimony that required for him to work through a translator, Justin Ward. He told us tonight after the service that it was very difficult to keep your train of thought while working through the translator. As you will see, he did very well.

Then service took off and our praise team from Dothan started out with Bless That Wonderful Name (Part 2); Somebody Touched Me; and I’ve Got the Holy Ghost.

Brother Roger Buckland is the area missions supervisor and he ran the service with Brother Mike Patterson translating into Romanian.

A Serbian youth choir sang and it was very powerful!

This was followed by the Dothan choir singing prior to the preaching. They did an awesome job! It was very difficult to keep my emotions in check for much of the night.

Then Brother Willoughby preached a fantastic message about faith and miracles. Tonight I did not operate with my pen and notebook but I do remember his text coming from Mark 2. Very, very powerful!!! He also used some props with Jay Lewis, John Cureton, Michael Joyner, and Jeremy McCoy carrying him up to the roof top for his healing.

After the faith-building preaching, Brother Willoughby then opened the altars for those who needed healing. One American was healed and then a Romanian lady was healed and that broke the dam when she gave the testimony through Brother Mike. Brother Willoughby asked the ministers and the Dothan team to come to the altar steps and face the group in the altar. I am guessing that there were probably 50 or more in the altars. I shall never forget as long as I live the looks in those folks’ eyes as we stood over them awaiting Brother Willoughby to direct us to pray for them.

We stretched our arms and hands out over them and prayed. I know that all of the Dothan folks were crying and praying at the same time. Then Brother Willoughby told us to go down into the altar area and lay hands on these folks and pray for them. This again was a very, very powerful moment.

Finally, Nathan Harrelson and Jay Lewis were directed to count the people who were there tonight and they counted around 215 people.

All of your comments are greatly encouraging and have helped motivate me to write even when I have been very tired. . . . . Thanks a bunch. . . .

9 comments:

Erick Blakey said...

PRAISE THE LORD!!! Sounds like great things are happening!!! I wish I was there to experience it all firsthand...I'm doing a little dance in my flight dispatch office right now after reading the wonderful news and watching the videos! We serve an awesome God! You all are still in my prayers! Love you all!

Sincerely,

Erick Blakey

Anonymous said...

Philip,

Thanks for the update and the experience by proxy. It is a marvelous thing that you guys are experiencing. We are praying for you that God will anoint Romania with revival that sweeps from East to West.

Liked the pic of said book store owner, looks like he could pound some Dr Pepper and chips for sure. Were the books in English or were you trying to learn a prayer language via the books?

As for the snare boy incident, my money is on the Dothan crew with Jeremy and others.

I prayed for you this morning. I am praying that revival will spill over from Dothan to Romanian and back across the pond.

God Bless you,
Mark

Daniel said...

Like you said the video clips are very powerful! We are all praying for yall. God Bless!!!!!!!

Renee Butler said...

It is Saturday at 11:00 A.M. As Brendi, Kayla, Rebekah and I watch the clips we are weeping and can fill the mighty power of the holyghost. I cannot find the words to express how we feel. We continue to pray for you guys that a mighty revival will be poured out in Romania. God is doing a work! Keep the faith!

Love and Prayers,
Renee, Brendi, Rebekah and Kayla

Anonymous said...

Wow! We have been keeping up with the posts. They are awesome. We have been praying for the power and anointing in the name of Jesus to cover you guys, and also for the work to be accomplished. Thanks for posting it's good to be able to take part if even at a distance. Tell everyone we said "Hi" and we love them.
Stephanie

David Goodwin said...

Hey Bro,

Just wanted to let you know that we have been praying and fasting for you guys. Me, Shannon, Jeron, and mom take turns leading prayer during our devotion each night, and each night we have prayed for God to bless you all physically and spiritually. We are praying that today is a blessed day for the beginning of the Conference. I appreciate the updates on the blog and Shannon reads it each night before she goes to bed, they have been really humorous and stirring. Know that we love you guys and we support you in what you are doing. Our prayers are with you and we pray for your safe protection.

David Goodwin

Anonymous said...

Bro Phillip Harrelson,

It is very encouraging to us who are here in the states to hear from you and I want to say thank you for doing this because I know you have to be very tired. When I saw the video of the lady receiving her healing I had to cry tears of joy and am still full of tears thinking about it. You all could not have been in a better place at this time. May the Lord bless you and all those that are with you. Prayers are going up for the sick and we espescially remember Brother Patterson. Tell Mike, Jill, & Daniel hello for me. I told Kay hello before you guys left.

Love

Sister Mullen

P.S. I had my mom over here today reading the blog and watching the videos. We have spent half a day doing this because my computer takes so loooooonnnnnnggggg to download. Mom said How do you feel about flying now?

Terry said...

Awsome! I envy each of you and am very proud of all of you. I would have loved to have had my brother Timmy in the healing service. We are back in the hospital at Flowers. He is down to 149 lbs from his origional 260. They think he has an (another) intestinal blockage. They just put a tube in his stomach to try and decompress his intestines. I know God is not limited by distance, so please pray for him if ya'll get an opportunity.

You do not have to post this Brother Phillip because I do not want it to distract people from what the focus of this site is.

I have my laptop with me at the hospital so I shared the site and the video's with Amy and Kayla, Timmy's daughters. They know most of our young people so they seemed to be facinated with the pictures and video's. I could tell immediately, by the video, when the Romanian lady was healed. Again, it is awsome!,

God Bless!
Bro. Mullen

Anonymous said...

Hello Bro.Phillip and Gang, It seems as though you guys are having a wonderful time over there, with the exception of Bro. Patterson. But I pray in JESUS NAME that that flu virus will leave him and that no one else contacts it. The enemy has no power over the the chuch of the true living GOD. We are all in this thing together, we may not be there in the flesh but our hearts are right there with you all. The services are sooooo powerful. You can just feel the spirit of the Lord coming through the computer. Makes you wish that you could be there also. And the healing services, wowwwwww....... Ya'll just keep up the good work and bring that spirit home with you. Oh, and tell Sis.Vera to watch where she is going, HA!!! and tell the Dothan team hello which includes Bro.Mike, Sis.Gill,and Daniel. Looking forward to seeing you guys next week. And older Bro.Patterson, rise and be healed in the "NAME OF JESUS". And Bro.Phillip, Donnie would fit in with the traffic over there because he loves to go around blowing his car horn just for the fun of it.
Love you all And praying
For you.
Pat Redden