Teens are hungry for God. They want to know what is true. They yearn to experience authentic encounters with the risen Lord. Many may have faith in their hearts, but are still trying to figure out what is real for themselves. They need proof. They want to know that there is a God still active and alive even today. They desire signs, wonders, miracles.
But really, don’t we all?
These high school teens in Lansing, Michigan were just walking into another school assembly. They filed into rows of chairs and continued on with their conversations from the halls. Little did they know that their faith, and for many of them, their lives—were about to be changed. God was about to show up in amazing ways. Their classmates sitting in front of, next to and behind them, were about to experience healing. For some, it would be more personal.
Encounter Ministries, under the guidance of Fr. Mathias Thelen and Patrick Reis, invited these students into a time of prayer, worship, and healing. They were led into moments where they could pray with and for one another, as well as given opportunities to stand up and receive God’s healing for themselves.
As those who had received healing for themselves were invited up to give witness, applause erupted. Looks of shock, bewilderment, and amazement canvased the entire gymnasium. Fellow classmates who had casts on their hands could now move their fingers with ease. Those who had chronic pain in their back and legs were jumping, climbing stairs and doing push-ups, pain-free! Those with limited mobility in their shoulders had a newfound range of motion. God knew His children needed healing but also that they needed to see for themselves His presence, mercy and love.
Thankfully, all of these events were caught on film by Urban Ministries Media in association with Holy Spirit Media as Maura Smith filmed REVIVE, a sequel to the eye-opening film FEARLESS.
While watching this event unfold, there may be skeptics questioning: could this really have happened? Were all these people truly healed? Aren’t miracles something that only happened in the early days of the Church?
I, too, experienced an Encounter. My sister’s wedding was last December. It was a beautiful and memorable day. Not only did I gain a new bonus-brother, but I also broke two of my fingers while on the dance floor! If you’ve ever had a broken bone, you know how big of a bummer it is. My fingers were bruised, swollen, and I couldn’t bend them without pain. The urgent care gave me a splint and wrapped them until I would be able to see a specialist, to determine if surgery would be necessary.
A week after the wedding, I was on the road with my friend who had invited me to go to Encounter in Toledo, Ohio. Saturday night of the weekend was the healing prayer service. As many of the team was calling out what they had prayerfully discerned people in the room were in need of healing, I remember feeling a bit of doubt and uncertainty about what was going on. It’s not that I was doubting God…but I had never seen an actual healing take place in “real life”. I had read plenty of stories about miracles and healings, but I guess in that moment, my faith was lacking.
“There is someone in the room with a right-hand injury,” a man spoke into the microphone. I looked down at my right hand, and my two wrapped & splinted fingers that had just been in burning, excruciating pain the night before. I remained seated. “Uhh, hello, stand up!” my friend lovingly urged me.
Doubt again crept to the forefront of my mind. This miracle isn’t for you! It’s meant for someone else! Someone with a serious injury! What if you stand up and don’t get healed? Then what does that say about God?!
But I stood. I stood in all my doubt, uncertainty and lack of faith. After the prayer, Fr. Mathias spoke into the microphone in faith, and said he wanted to see what the Lord had done. He asked everyone who stood to try to do something they couldn’t do before. Again, the voice of my friend snapped me back into reality, “Take off your splint!”
The bruises were gone. The swelling had gone down significantly. I could bend my fingers without any pain. I high-fived my friend. Again, pain-free! I could pick up a pen and write notes in my journal. I had been healed! The Lord had picked me, among others, to pour out his compassion and love on, even despite my lack of faith. I imagine God looking down on me from His throne, smiling, shaking his head and saying: “Oh ye of little faith….watch this.”
We all desire signs, wonders, miracles—proof that God is active in our midst. That Encounter truly did increase my faith, as I know it did the same for those students and teachers in Lansing. I’d like to think though, that even if I didn’t receive a healing so evident, that my faith would have still increased. God is active and alive. He sees us as we are and meets us where we are. He is always at work- healing, restoring, delivering, providing. May we all try to be more acutely aware of the opportunities we are given daily to experience and encounter our risen Lord.
“A cutting edge documentary that demonstrates the role of supernatural signs, wonders and healings breaking into high schools to confirm the Gospel of Jesus and pave the way for authentic discipleship.”
Don’t miss your chance to see these healings, miracles, signs, and wonders for yourself! The Digital Pre-Release of REVIVE was made available on October 15, 2019, with the Full DVD and rental release coming January 2, 2020. Visit the REVIVE website to stay up to date on all the information!