Grant Handley, the visionary of a recent weekend for spiritually-hungry believers in Jeffreys Bay, sent us this special report
September 12 saw a gathering of thirsty and hungry people in J-Bay from across the Eastern Cape.
“We had noticed that there was a hunger growing in people for more of God, to experience Him in a deeper way. An ‘encounter evening” was arranged where people could come as they are to come meet with their Father” said Grant Handley, who initiated the event
The weekend was organised by Bethel Supernatural School of Ministry alumni in the Eastern Cape.
The focus of the weekend was to prioritise the presence of God. “We found that if people can have an encounter with Him, their lives will be forever changed,” said Grant.
Before reporting on what happened during the encounter weekend he shared the following testimony about his personal journey with God and how encountering His presence changed everything: “I remember my high school years as a school boarder surrounded by religious activities – saying grace before and after every meal, singing hymns and praying in assembly, compulsory chapel on Sundays, Yet in all those hundreds of hours of religious activity I never once connected with and encountered God – it was as if it was just a mental activity, without it touching my spirit and emotions.
“And then one day my teacher spoke to me about God, and took me to a church where the Holy Spirit was moving. I began to experience something I couldn’t deny was very real – my spirit was awakened to another world where God was very real to me and almost tangible. I would spend hours on the floor, sometimes crying, sometimes laughing – but what He was doing was always good – drinking in the presence of God that I had lived without for my childhood.
“Through these life-changing experiences I began to realise that both believers and many unbelievers don’t know that this type of relationship with God is possible – knowing and walking in His presence.”
The ultimate fulfilment for Adam and Eve was walking daily in the presence of God. Moses said: “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” — Exodus 33:15. In other words, Moses was saying: “Your presence is what I want more than anything else — it is what changes everything.”
Describing the experience of attendees of the Jeffreys Bay weekend gathering, Grant said: “We found that when you make space for the Holy Spirit (and don’t tell Him what He can and can’t do) – that He begins to flow through you in a most beautiful way – just like His promise (in John 7: 38) that streams of living water (Holy Spirit) would flow through you. “
“When the Holy Spirit begins to work sovereignly in the gathering of people then His workings in people become immeasurable. The agenda is cast aside and time becomes unimportant. This is the time the Spirit moves – there is an encounter with God and salvation, healing and deliverance naturally follow. One watches in amazement as the God of creation takes over and meets with His children like He has been so longing to do,” said Grant
“It’s the most beautiful thing to behold, the moving of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives. It’s like you want to laugh and cry at the same time – because what He is doing is so good and life changing in people’s lives.
“What was difficult in the natural becomes easy in the Spirit – because the Kingdom of God is easy – loving people, forgiving people, sharing the Gospel, laughter, freedom, crying, preaching, dancing, hearing His voice, healing, prophetic, words of knowledge, deliverance – these all become very easy in the presence of God.”
Here are just a few testimonies from participants of the various workings of God over the weekend – both in meetings and during ministry on the streets:
- Upon entering the venue, before we even started, I became aware of His Presence. It felt like His tenderness. It was so disarming – I could not hold back the tears. During the meeting someone prayed for me and said that God would bring people around me to help with what I am involved in. This was such a simple yet profound word because it verbalised what was and still is in my heart.
- There was a word of knowledge [from one of the men] at the end of the meeting: “The person with a heavy mind and depressed must come to the front for prayer”
I said: “Ok God, I am depressed because I don’t understand why my wife left me?” But I decided maybe the call was not for me, because a few people stormed forward. So, I stayed seated.
Then he said: “The person has has a toothache — a lower right tooth.”
I had been to the dentist with chronic right lower tooth pain, because the wisdom tooth is pushing a back lower tooth, but they could not operate or do anything about it. Again, other people ran forward. So, I said: Come again, Father.” Then he said” A person with right ankle pain.”
I had a bike accident 15 years ago and broke my ankle and have gout in my ankle. “Pappa, this must be me,” and again someone else went forward.
Then he said: “Lower back pain.”
I have chronic lower back pain, because of a car accident 21 years ago, so I said “Lord I will go to the front!”
- I stood and just started bawling before God, I could not control my tears. Through someone, God said to me He is my resting place. I must rest in Him. I have done nothing wrong, He sees my pain and anger, but I must release and fall back into Him. He is my safe place; He is my resting place…. God’s Spirit definitely touched me.-
There are so many more testimonies! I think if I had to choose one, it would be the “treasure hunt”1 we did. It would be the lady in the coffee shop. We didn’t have any of the clues on her on our lists, but Vicky felt we should go and pray for her. We went in and started explaining what we were doing, and Vicky started giving her a word of knowledge about how she has been trying to do things by herself and the Lord was inviting her to surrender these hard things to Him. She started tearing up and saying that was spot on. Then Shalom and I both got a word for her about a protea. As we were ministering and praying for her, I could see her heart softening to the Father’s love. I was so encouraged by how deep God’s love is for people, and how hungry they are to be near to him
On our treasure hunt we met someone who opened up that she had planned on taking her life that very day! – She had even called her daughter that morning to tell her that she planned to do. She had a special encounter with God and got delivered from the spirit of suicide. A lady in the ministry team shared that the previous night she had a clear dream where God told her that we would minister to someone and this person would be delivered from taking her life.
Join next encounter night, outreach
There is an opportunity to be part of the next Jeffreys Bay encounter night on November 19, followed by an outreach on November 20. If you would like to find out more, please feel free to contact Grant on 078 215 6223
1 An outreach in which participants search for “treasure” (people), about whom the Holy Spirit has provided advance clues (e.g. names, locations, clothing descriptions) to those participating in the hunt.
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