Pray for this man to return to his Christian roots!
10 July 2017
Two years ago when Awakening Europe began, I knew that I had to go eventually. Europe is my mission field, after all, and Awakening Europe is all about seeking God for Revival. But that year, 2015, I had a very specific word from the Lord, instructing me to stay home in Milan and curtail my usual travels. The only travel that I was instructed to do that year was for Operation Capitals of Europe. Last year, although I did more traveling, the Lord didn’t call me to go to Awakening Europe. So I was thrilled when He told me to go this year to Prague for Awakening Europe.
My friend and cell group leader, Stacy (Anastasia), expressed interest in going, too. So we got a hotel room together. Stacy is learning English, but is Russian with excellent fluency in Italian, and works as a translator. Awakening Europe is always in English (probably because it is connected with God.tv, who provided livestream of the event). And they always present in the language of their host country, which in this case was Czech because of being in Prague. So the program was English translated into Czech or sometimes Czech translated into English. Stacy had decided to go because they were offering live translation via the internet in Russian and also in German.
The first morning as we were about to leave the hotel, I had forgotten something and dashed back up to our room. The elevator was broken, and in the stairwell I met a man who also had the wristband for Awakening Europe. We exchanged greetings. A few minutes later as Stacy and I were leaving the hotel, my new friend, Nigel, called us over and offered us a ride to the arena (saving us forty minutes of travel time across town). We accepted. He was in a nine-seater van, being driven by his friend, Otto. Between them Nigel and Otto had five young people with them, so they had exactly two seats for Stacy and me.
The event was held at a basketball arena called the Tipsport Arena. Awakening Europe made use of the arena’s jumbotron so that no matter where you sat, you had a good view of what was going on. Those needing translation were directed to sit in one particular area where the Wi-Fi router was located. So we were surrounded by German- and Russian-speakers. But then the Wi-Fi failed during the first session. A nice young Russian named Misha jumped in and began translating for everyone sitting in our immediate area. Word spread, and soon we were surrounded by Russians who had moved in close to hear Misha’s translation. Stacy was so pleased that she made sure to introduce herself to Misha and to seek him out in subsequent sessions. Misha introduced his sister, Lena, to us. So even if we couldn’t find Misha, we would sit near Lena, knowing that Misha would show up sooner or later. Through Stacy, Misha, and Lena, I got to know other Russians, including Oksana, who lives in Israel.
That day we were sent out on the streets to share Jesus in the bustling center of Prague. Stacy admitted to me that she’s not comfortable sharing Jesus on the street with strangers. I agree. Being introverted by nature (though extroverted by calling), I make friends easily with God’s people, but find myself often tongue-tied with random strangers. Still, we made a few brave attempts, though nothing spectacular. I managed to give away a ticket to that evening’s meeting at the arena, which featured Todd White giving his amazing testimony. Did he come? I don’t know, but I did pray that an angel would go with the ticket and make sure that the person who got it would hear and receive the Gospel. So one way or another, God has reached that young man.
Meanwhile, Stacy had the worst thing happen to her that could happen on outreach. She felt led to go speak with an older woman who looked Russian. So she approached the woman and said, “Do you speak Russian?” The woman growled, “Russian!” and spit on the ground. Stacy felt so sure of the urging of the Holy Spirit to speak with this woman that she brought in a translator to help. Through the translator she apologized for what her country had done to the Czech Republic. The woman told the translator to tell Stacy: “Just go away and leave me alone!” Now do you think that was Stacy wrong about the leading of the Holy Spirit? I don’t think so. I believe that God wanted both of us (and also our young translator) to see what was the worst that could happen if we take the chance and talk to someone who is hostile. Stacy was kind and respectful to the woman at all times. And when the woman told Stacy to go away, she did exactly that, blessing the woman as she walked away.
On the tram ride back to the arena, worship spontaneously broke out, and it was joyous. I’ve never experienced anything like that on public transportation anywhere in my life. It was wonderful! It was like a flash mob on the tram, but it was completely unplanned.
That evening when Todd White spoke, easily a hundred people gave their lives to Jesus. And after the evening session we saw Nigel (what are the chances in a crowd estimated at 7000 people flooding a dark parking lot?), and again we were able to catch a ride with him and Otto.
The next day Stacy and I went out with Oksana because she had told Stacy about miraculous healings that occurred with their group. We didn’t go far from the arena because one person we needed to pray for was with us at Awakening, and couldn’t walk far. So we found a bench near the arena and prayed for her. She was Petka, a Czech lady that was crippled because she had one leg about an inch and a half shorter than the other. Petka told us of being in constant pain, whether sitting or standing, and she walked with crutches. So Oksana prayed for her—indeed we all did. Then Oksana said, “Now get up and walk.” She did, without crutches and with much less pain. But the legs were still not quite the same length. So Oksana had her sit on the bench again, lifted her feet, and we saw that instead of an inch and a half difference, there was only about an inch difference. So with Petka’s feet in her hands, Oksana prayed again. And before our eyes, the leg lengthened. It took about a minute. Petka described a feeling of warmth in that leg. Again, Oksana told her to walk. Petka walked without even the hint of a limp and no pain at all. In fact, she now complained because of the lift she had in her right shoe. So she took out the lift and walked as if there had never been any issue at all. We rejoiced madly.
The bench we had used was near a sort of permanent fairgrounds next to the arena. So then we turned our attention to the people who came by the bench. We told them about Petka’s miracle and offered to pray for them, too. But sadly, we had no takers. One elderly woman was so angry at God that she was actually offended by our offer to pray for her, Petka’s miracle notwithstanding. I don’t know if she could tell that most of us were Russians, but that might also have played a part in her vehement rejection of prayer. There is a lot of anti-Russian sentiment in these former Iron Curtain countries, but I’ve never seen it played out more dramatically than in the Czech Republic. So we weren’t able to pray for or with anyone else that afternoon, but we were still riding high on Petka’s miracle nevertheless.
Stacy and I got a hotdog for supper and went back to the arena for the evening session. The arena was packed solid, so we found Misha and the Russian contingent way up in the highest balcony. We were actually higher than the jumbotron. The speaker for the evening was Reinhard Bonnke. I had seen videos of some of his evangelistic crusades, healing miracles, etc., so I was very excited to see him. He has been battling cancer, but is not willing to let go of the ministry. So he has named Daniel Kolenda as his ministry successor. Still, because of all this, Bonnke has cut his appearance schedule way back, so this was a rare privilege, indeed, to hear him speak.
But before Reinhard Bonnke came out to speak we had a lovely worship session. Then the presenters (Ben Fitzgerald, Todd White, and Daniel Kolenda) came on stage and a chant broke out spontaneously across the whole arena all at once: “Europe will be saved! Europe will be saved! Europe will be saved!” It grew louder and louder: “Europe Will Be Saved!!! Europe Will Be Saved!!! Europe Will Be Saved!!!” Until everyone was shouting as loud as they could: “EUROPE WILL BE SAVED!!! EUROPE WILL BE SAVED!!! EUROPE WILL BE SAVED!!!” The presenters and the worship leaders all prostrated themselves on the stage as the crowd thundered on and on and on, everyone shouting with growing conviction: “EUROPE WILL BE SAVED!!! EUROPE WILL BE SAVED!!! EUROPE WILL BE SAVED!!!”
When the shout finally died down, Fitzgerald gave some announcements and then tried to get the chant started again before introducing Reinhard Bonnke. His effort fizzled, having not been Holy Spirit motivated like the spontaneous chant had been. Still he was eventually rewarded for his efforts with a little bit of chanting again, though nothing like before.
When Bonnke came on stage to speak, he started by saying, “I am not here to tell you a story.” Instead, he gave a clear presentation of the Gospel message, and at least a thousand people responded. In fact, it was so many people, and they just kept coming and coming, so that they had to get people to leave the arena floor area in order find a place for all the new converts.
The next day was Sunday, the final day of Awakening Europe. Stacy had a flight back to Milan that afternoon, but wanted to go look around the city that morning. She asked me what I was going to do. I said, “There is going to be worship and preaching in Czech by local people. It’s their city, so it seems right. But I would rather spend the morning with you, looking around the city.”
So that’s what we did. Our first stop was the Dancing House. I had only ever seen the Dancing House from the other side of the river, so I wanted to see what it looks like up close. We went inside and found out that there is a coffee shop in the top (appropriate for a house that looks somewhat like an Italian moka-style coffee pot). We had cappuccinos and prayed, blessing the city from above.
The Dancing House looks like an Italian Moka coffeepot.
God’s Secret Weapon
Stacy and I came across a Marilyn Manson poster, advertising a concert in November at the Tipsport Arena—the same arena where Awakening Europe had been meeting. The poster was particularly repulsive. In the past, MM had always worn geisha-type makeup: white and smooth to accentuate a certain androgyny. But in this poster his makeup was white, but all caked and crumbling, with uneven slashes of black and red going down his forehead, around the eyes, and around his mouth. His eyes were at half-mast and he looked drugged and zombielike. He was posed with his hand, long fingernails resting on his cheek, as if he was in the process of clawing the flesh from his face. Immediately we began to pray, prompted by the Holy Spirit. And as we were praying each of us remembered that MM had come from a Christian family. So we prayed for him to return to his Christian roots.
Then we wandered the streets, finding street markets in various places, including an artisanal market, with lots of beautiful handmade clothing and jewelry. Neither of us had any room in our luggage for purchases, having flown low-cost carriers that allowed hand luggage only. One stall was selling homemade essential oils. The Holy Spirit prompted me to buy the smallest bottle I could of Lavender oil, which was about 100 milliliters. Stacy’s eyes widened. She said, “You’ll never be allowed to take that onto the plane!” I smiled and said, “This oil is staying right here in Prague.” And I told her of the inspiration I had just gotten from the Holy Spirit: to go back to the Tipsport Arena and anoint the whole place with oil so that the good spirit left there from Awakening Europe would stay and not be replaced by something from Marilyn Manson or anything else. She loved the idea.
When I was in Tallinn, performing prophecy as a “Trained Circus Poodle,” one prophecy that I gave for a girl there turned out to be for myself as well (though I didn’t realize it until about a week later). The prophecy more or less went like this:
God has chosen you to make you His Secret Weapon. You are a Secret Weapon because the forces of the defeated enemy won’t believe that you could possibly be a threat to his kingdom. Thus, you will fly under the radar of the defeated enemy’s forces, and they will never see you coming.
You will do real damage to the defeated enemy’s kingdom and set back his plans in many places. Do not fear, though He leads you into some scary places. God will be with you all the way, leading you, showing you where to go and teaching you how to pray.
As the Lord began to lead me in making solo attacks on the defeated enemy’s kingdom in various places, I began to understand that this prophecy had been for me, too. So this plan to go anoint the Tipsport Arena was another in a growing list of assaults on the defeated enemy’s various European headquarters.
In continuing our wandering, Stacy and I found ourselves in the Jewish Quarter. Both of us have a love for Israel and the Jewish people, so we immediately felt both comforted and encouraged by the happy God-incidence of finding ourselves there. And even more God-incidentally, we happened upon an Italian tour group. Stacy was thrilled to find people touring the Jewish Quarter in Italian. We mixed ourselves into the group and listened to the tour already in progress.
But soon it was time for Stacy to head to the airport. We said our goodbyes and she went into the subway to head for the airport. I took the tram back to our hotel to rest and wait for the evening session, when I would anoint the Tipsport Arena.
However, things didn’t work out at all like I had thought. I took a short nap, but when I woke up I had a severe cramp in my gut and could hardly stand upright. The cramp turned into diarrhea, which went on and on and on. Finally it was time to go to the arena, and I thought I was well enough to go. But I got only about halfway to the elevator when another wave of cramping hit me, doubling me over. So I stayed in the hotel and slept instead of going to the final session.
The next morning I felt drained, but otherwise much better. My flight was at noon, so I had the morning to go anoint the arena. I prayed for wisdom and an open door. I got both. Wisdom had me look at my return ticket again, and that was a good thing because my flight was at 10:30, not noon as I had thought. So I checked out of the hotel at about eight, and took the tram to the arena, praying all the way.
When I got there, the Holy Spirit directed me to go around the left side to start. So I walked as far around the left side as I could. Starting from there, I squirted oil in front of every door, using the squirt applicator the oil-maker had given me, and praying the whole way. I quickly found out that I was never going to have enough oil to go all the way around the arena that way, so I squirted some oil into my hand and anointed each door and ticket window by hand. On the far right side of the arena, around by the back, I found the VIP entrance where the performers all enter—and the door was standing open, just as I had prayed. When I had finished all the other doors, I came back to the VIP entrance. Just inside there was a man at the desk. So I turned my back to him, squirted a good amount of oil into my hand, and poured out the rest onto the ground right in front of the entrance. Then I threw the bottle away and rubbed the oil onto both hands equally. I entered the door and leaning both hands on the desk, I asked the man: “Is this the Tipsport Arena?” He said yes. I thanked him and left, leaving behind those two oily handprints.
I took the subway across town to get to the airport, and flew back to Milan feeling pleased that I had been used again as God’s Secret Weapon. Mission accomplished! God is good!
 2015 is also the summer that I broke my arm—right after Awakening Europe (see Summer in a Cast). I know that it was right after Awakening Europe because the two friends staying with me when I broke my arm had come here straight from Awakening Europe.
 Well, socially the worst, anyway. She wasn’t kidnapped and beheaded, of course–that would definitely be the worst.