The next kickstart seminar to be held in New Zealand was held in Lower Hutt in April 2017. It was going to be a one day kickstart as opposed to a full weekend one. This would mean that there would be a lot of teaching to cram in to one day. It is also a long way from Hamilton to Lower Hutt so it would mean a lot of travelling too. We try to get along to all the kickstarts that we can because we know how powerful they are in teaching people the simple truth of the gospel, and how easy it actually is to go out on the streets and talk to strangers.
We left Hamilton at 9am on Friday morning and got to Lower Hutt at 6pm that night. We had arranged some accommodation close to the venue through bookabach.co.nz so we went there and got ready for bed. The owner of the house had a quick chat to us about the room and asked us what we were doing for the weekend. I explained a bit about what a kickstart is and gave them a card so they could find out more. She explained that they are also Christians and that they have a 3 year old daughter and a one year old son just like us! I also noticed in their bookshelf in our room that they had a lot of books by on-fire Christians so I pray that they will want to know more about praying for others and sharing the gospel effectively.
The next day we went down to the venue for the kickstart and talked a bit to JP & Dina before it was due to start at 9:30. At 9:30 there was only us there and the organisers so it looked a bit grim! In the next 30 minutes another 10 or so people showed up so we got started with that. After that another 10 more people turned up so there were around 20 people there who hadn’t been to a kickstart before. There was also around 6 people who had experience with taking people out on the streets so it was a good mix of people.
Normally during these kickstarts JP & Dina do the majority of the talking and, because my wife and I have heard it all before, we stayed near the back and entertained our kids. During the breaks we made sure we talked to as many people as we could to find out why they were there and how they were finding the teaching so far. It also helps people feel comfortable when we go out on the streets because they can go in a group with someone they have talked with.
The training was still going on at 12pm and our kids were getting hungry so we went out to get some lunch before the next break. We got some fish and chips and sat outside on a bench to eat it. As we were eating it I noticed an old lady struggling to get out of her car. She was having a hard time getting a walking frame out of her boot. I asked her if she was ok and she said she was fine. Then I asked what was wrong with her and she said that she had arthritis in her hips and the pain was constantly at a 9/10. Then I asked if I could pray for her and she agreed. She said that she was a Christian as well so she was open to spiritual things. I prayed for her a couple of times but there was no obvious change. I encouraged that if Jesus prayed for her then she would be healed completely, and that it might heal over time. We chatted a little bit more and then she had to get to her hairdressers appointment.
After that, we finished our lunch and went back to the venue for the kickstart. The training was still going on and it didn’t break for lunch until around 2pm. At that time people can break for lunch and then go out on the streets to find people to pray for. People are put in groups with those who have been out on the streets before and they learn from them how to pray for people. I was on of the group leaders and I had 3 ladies with me whom I had chatted to during the breaks.
We made a plan where I would pair up with one lady at a time and the other two would walk down the other side of the street then we would swap over. I went with one of the ladies and we saw an island lady gingerly walking along the footpath on crutches. We approached her and I asked her what she had done. She said that she had knee replacement surgery a few weeks earlier and this was her first time out of the house since then. She was just testing it out. I asked her if we could pray for her and she agreed. I got the lady with me to pray and command healing and then I asked the island lady to try it out. Her eyes lit up when she tried it out and she said it felt a lot freer. Then she said something that encouraged us immensely. She said that she is a believer also, and that God told her to go for a walk that day! As soon as she finished talking to us she said that she was going to tell her family what happened to her.
After that I took another lady around the same area but no-one wanted prayer. They were all either completely healthy, or didn’t want anything to do with us. I wasn’t put off by this. It just means they are not people of peace. Then we decided to change locations and went to the local playground where my wife and kids were. This was a great move because there were hundreds of people there! It didn’t take long to find people that needed prayer and one of the ladies and I approached someone who had a cane. I asked her why she needed it and she said that she had a sore lower back. She rated the pain about 7/10. I asked if we could pray for her and she agreed. Again, I asked the lady who had never prayed before to do the praying. After the prayer, I asked the lady with the sore back to try it out and the pain went from a 7/10 to 5/10. We prayed a few more times but nothing more happened. We shared the gospel with her and encouraged her that her back may loosen up over time then left it at that.
As you can see, it’s not always successful when we pray for people. Sometimes they get healed, sometimes they don’t. I’d love to say that everyone I pray for gets healed completely just like Jesus, but it quite simply is not the case. I’m working towards that though. The thing is though, if we never step out in obedience, we will never see anyone healed. Get out there! The harvest is plentiful.