Our Visit to York, Pennsylvania
Back in 2010, I began to learn how to minister on the streets. But, I had 2 kids aged 2 and 4 at the time. So I put a message out on facebook asking how to seek God with two kids. I received a private message from a now very dear friend, Zoe. Over the years, we have exchanged many emails and cultivated a friendship. She always guided me to listen to the Holy Spirit and encouraged me to listen, not giving me direct answers. This became very powerful in my walk, because I began to trust God rather than a person.
Well, a few weeks ago, God gave me the privilege to finally meet Zoe, her husband Darrel and their family, we also had the pleasure of meeting Edgar and Patty (another family), and their friends in York, Pennsylvania. These 2 families let God lead them into a very dynamic and spirit led ministry unlike anything I have ever witnessed. But this ministry came because 2 families completely surrendered their lives to the direction of God. Both families had 6 figure incomes, multiple homes, and cars. But when they began seeing in scripture where God desires for us to give it all and follow him, they obeyed. They left this all behind to do what God desired.
There are many avenues that God uses these families, but the one I got to experience first hand was at a restaurant called The wHoly Chicken. This restaurant was started through the obedience of Edgar and Patty and lies in downtown York. It is in a strip-mall in the middle of lots of housing with kids wandering around. They just wanted to love the people of York. They live day by day learning to be obedient to God and trusting him for everything they have. The restaurant gives more then they sell in a month and they live by financial blessings and miracles. And when I say they give food, I mean rotisserie chicken, steak, rice, and beans. Lots of delicious food. It isn’t about income, its about hearts.
Many kids from the neighborhoods come in and Edgar gives them a broom so they can help. These kids just need a place to belong and a purpose. Many of the kids tell others they “work” at the wHoly Chicken, just because it gives them value. The families love on these kids and welcome them. When we arrived we sat down at a table just to visit and say Hi to Edgar and see his place. He immediately introduced us to a gentleman that he had met out in the parking lot just an hour ago and asked him to come in and have a meal. Edgar fed him for free and he was just hanging out. Joe and I began to talk to him and this guy needed some encouragement and direction. Joe began sharing with him and praying with him. God just gave him the words to share. Then I went to the back of the kitchen and was talking to another friend of Edgar’s, when he came back and asked me to come out front and just talk to this gal for 5 minutes. I was a little confused, but said, Ok. I went out and this girl and her 2 year old were sitting at a table. I just sat down and asked about her. We spoke for a little bit and I began to see her struggle and her heart. I had an opportunity to talk with her and share Gods love and encourage her. I prayed with her and told her some things that just came to my heart. She ended up coming back a few days later to testify that what I had told her came to pass. It was just about loving her where she was. The restaurant was constant, God just brings people in. They don’t know why they are there, but they come in. They get love and prayer and the Gospel. And many times, an awesome meal!
They hold a meeting every Thursday outside on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant right next to a Little Cesears. They let anyone share what God has been showing them. It was an incredible time. Then on Sundays they hold a meeting in the restaurant. We were able to share out testimony that Sunday and it was just an amazing time. People raised their hands and asked questions, people came for prayer, and the Spirit truly touched our hearts on many different levels. These families, really live the gospel. They trust God for everything and were so giving. My son needed a bigger bike because his was too small. They brought out a new custom made bike for Zack. They had been given this bike a few years ago and it was never used. Zack was so excited, it was everything he could have wanted and no one knew it. We were humbled by several who gave to us, not out of their abundance, but out of their obedience and knowing God will supply back for them. The feeling in this place was something that cannot be explained on paper, but only through being there. I saw how they weren’t out to control the ministering that went on there. They truly trust the Holy Spirit. They refer to the restaurant as a ministering boot camp. If you believe and desire to love people, you will be given someone to talk to. They don’t try to tell you how to do it, because they know the spirit will guide you. The flow of God is awesome. It taught me a lot about trusting the spirit and about giving on a new level. It truly is about surrendering our lives for others. Our time, our talents, our resources to expand the kingdom of God. I promise, the more you surrender, the more of God you will get back. Its the most fulfilling and life altering decision you will ever make.
“More” of God
We, as Christians, sing about it. We meet and have prayer meetings for it. We worship hoping for it… “More” of God. Some kind of spiritual experience, a vision, warmth, goosebumps, etc. In the past, I desired this so much and it seemed like everyone was having these experiences. And I saw how I elevated people with these experiences as if they had reached something with God that I had not. Its almost as if I saw experiences as a sign that people had “arrived” at something. But over the last 2 years of doing what Christ said, to leave it all and follow him, I have experienced a depth in God that nothing can compare to. That no reasoning or person could ever take away from me. I have found that the “More” of God that we desire, isn’t in an “experience”, but in obedience. Its in surrendering our selves to Him. Trusting Him for absolutely everything. And I really cannot explain it to another, but the peace and rest, I have, the way I view life and people is so different than 2 years ago. I used to pray and want to “feel his presence”. But it just isn’t about “feelings”. I walk every day in His presence. Sometimes I feel as if people think, if they just pray harder, longer, or worship harder, “soak” longer, we can somehow get God to give us this “experience” we desire. When all along, God is just saying “Follow Me”! But doing this requires sacrifice, so we opt for the other. I honestly don’t share this to attack anyone and I understand the importance of prayer and worship. But there is a depth and understanding of God that he wants each of us to experience through Obedience. So for anyone who truly desires to know God, I encourage you to not look for an “encounter”, but to LISTEN, HEAR his voice and OBEY!GO! DO! Be about the Fathers business (please, don’t get this confused with joining another activity at a church or volunteering more…this is about Listening to God and Obeying what HE tells you).Take NO thought for your needs, but know that God will supply! Surrender yourself to Him (the more we surrender and stop trying to control our circumstances or how things happen, the greater revelation of God we walk into) and even when it seems hard and you feel you are sacrificing a lot, the reward is far greater!