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"Lessons At Camp." By: Hannah McClure
Just a few days ago on July 12th, 2006 and many other parts of the week, when I was at camp, I witnessed many amazing things. I'll tell you about it.
I was at youth camp at Powertime Camp at Summerton, SC. It had been a amazing week so far. I could feel God working through the paster and the youth singers. Before I even tell you about what happened, I want to tell you something else first. There were some girls in my cabin who were talking about the Holy Spirit. They had no idea what it was. They were talking about some girls who were speaking in tongues, and they thought they were crazy. There were some other things going on, and just certain people were acting a certain way.
Well.. that about 2 days that I'd been going to camp, Paster Harvey told us that his message that week was going to be on the Holy Spirit. It was really weird because those girls had just been asking about what the Holy Spirit was. I felt that God was moving on that place. The day after he preached a little bit about it, one night on July 12th, 2006, he told us a story. It was like no story I'd ever heard.
When Paster John Harvey was a young preacher, he was preaching at a church that he led at a college. While he was preaching a lady said, "Lord, please fill Paster Harvey with the Holy Spirit." And at that second Paster Harvey felt a weird feeling. He wasn't filled with the Holy Spirit!
He felt a little scared because if he told someone about, him not being filled with the Holy Spirit.. people might not respect him and might throw him out of his ministry! But then again, he needed the Holy Spirit. Well, later on he talked to a friend who was also a minister. Paster John said to him," Man am I going to still be able to preach to these kids at this college? I'm not even saved! What should I do?" "Well." The other minister said. I guess you can go ahead and keep preaching your un- spirit filled sermons. So yeah go ahead!"
A few days after that, he was sitting in his office praying over and over for the Holy Spirit. He was reading as rapidly as he could,in his Bible, but still he felt like he didn't have the Holy Spirit. He said."God, why am I not being filled with the Holy Spirit? I'm trying over and over again, and I'm still not being able to have it." As he was sitting there in frustration, he suddenly felt like he wanted to go outside.
Maybe then God would give him the Holy Spirit. It was nighttime and as he stepped out he felt a breeze. He started praying again that God would fill him with the Holy Spirit. Again, he didn't feel anything. Then from the corner of his eye he saw a man walking in the woods that were by his house. "No, no God! Don't bring him over here! I'm trying to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and this man would only mess it up". At that same minute the guy looked over in his direction and started walking towards him. "No Lord! Make him turn back!" He cried. But the guy kept coming.
When he got to the paster he said, "Paster I want to give you something. I know you gave a lot to the camp you worked at and I know that your low on money. I want to give you the money you had to pay." So he reached into his pocket and pulled out a wallet. " No, please dont do that.", the paster said. He really didn't want the guys money. "No please don't." The paster said over and over again. Finally, he accepted the guys money. "Now if you ever need more money again, just give me a call." The man told the pastor. And the paster was thinking, Yeah, Yeah whatever. He was just wanting this guy to go away.
Well the guy walked into the woods and the young paster walked back into his office. "Lord, he said. Why am I not being filled? I've tryed over and over again. Please fill me." At that second, the paster heard a voice that said, "John, just like that guy wanted to give you some money and you refused to take it, so are you doing to me. I'm trying to offer you the gift of the Holy Spirit and your not wanting to take it. Ask me for this gift and I will give it to you."
After paster heard that voice, he thought about it for a moment and then he started praying, "Lord I want to accept this gift of the Holy Spirit. I know now that I can't just receive it. I need to ask for it."After he prayed that prayer he really didn't hear anything. He walked outside and started walking around the woods looking and listening. While he was walking he saw two men praying. He waited till they were done and recognized that one was another youth minister he knew. He walked up to him and asked, " Hey what were you doing?" The guy said, " I was praying for someone to be filled with the Holy Spirit." The days that followed after that, he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and it never went away.
That was the story the paster told us. He said that its now become famous and that people have even used the story in books. It was really amazing. Well, after that story he said a few more things about the Holy Spirit, and he told us that we were going to pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit. We were told to go to the middle of the aisle and to bow down on our knees.
I was a little scared because there were like 296 people. But I did it anyway. I bent down on my knees and before that he said, " Get out, Spirit of Fear. Get out Spirit of anger, Get out Spirit of lust, and so on. Then he told us to practice lifting our hands to God. While we had our hands raised, he told those who wanted the gift of the Holy Spirit, to say out loud: "Lord I'd like the gift of the Holy Spirit. Please baptize me in it. Fill me tonight." After I said that I really didn't feel anything. We all went back to our seats and the paster told us that we were going to sing.
The guy that started singing, started singing a song that went something like this:
"Holy Spirit, fill me up. Dear Jesus.. son of God. For I want more of you and less of me-ee. I want more of you and less of me-ee."
While he was singing, all of a sudden people in the front started crying. Then the people in the second row started crying. Then when it got to my row my eyes started tearing up while I was singing, and all of a sudden I was shaking and bawling. People everywhere in the auditorium were crying.
Even some of the guys were shedding a few tears. My friend Tiffany grabbed my hand and I wept for a long time. While all of this was going on, a breeze swept through the whole room I was sitting in. There were no fans anywhere. It just swept around the room. I believe it was the Holy Spirit. When I was crying I thought a amazing thought. Maybe the reason we were all crying was because the Holy Spirit was touching us, and he's so beautiful and holy that it made us cry. It was a very amazing thought.
After we got out of the service later on, I was standing outside and I felt very joyful, wise, and happy. Somehow I knew that I had a little bit of the Holy Spirit. But not all-the-way. Now I had the full gift of the Holy Spirit. I quietly left my church friends and sat beside a tree by the lake. It was a very special time. The wind was blowing through my hair and all of a sudden.... I felt like singing.
Normally I was shy about singing with people around me, but this time I wasn't. I sang a song, and then sang another. And before I knew it I felt something move within me. I walked around a little bit, then I started running. I could feel a renewed strength in me. I grabbed some money from the cabin and headed back to get some sour Skittles at the snack shack. When I got to my church group, they all looked at me and said, " Is something wrong Hannah?" You know what I said? "No nothing at all".
It was a life changing experience. Not only what the preacher said that night, but also something that happened to me when some missionaries named Martin and Joanna Chaaya preached a few days after. They were just getting done telling a story about a girl named Bonnie. The story was very touching and I had been crying.
Well, at the end of the service they asked if anyone would like to come to the altar to be prayed for that had a calling for missions work. Suddenly I had a pull in my heart. A strong pull.
Ever since I was five I've had the same pull in my heart whenever I was at camp and they asked that same question. Now was the time I would stand up and bravely walk to the altar. Normally I'd be scared, but this time God made me not so scared. I got up and scooted towards the back to come up.
When I got up, I felt something almost extreme like someone was touching me. I put my arms on the altar and all of a sudden I started crying. And crying hard. People surrounded me, and comforted me while I cryed. After awhile people started leaving and I still stood there. I decided to sit down and I just sat and sobbed. The night before, when I received the Holy Spirit, I could really feel Him with me. Right then I felt the same thing ..only stronger. All my life God has been calling me to missions and I've never answered that call. Whenever I've seen people hurting I've always cared, but never told those people about Jesus. That horrible feeling came through me. Then I heard a voice. It said, "Hannah I'm going to work many great things for you."
"You will evangelize and tell others about me. You will be a missionary and will teach others around the world about me." I heard God mention other things, but those are the words that really stuck in my head. After that, the missionary Martin came up to me. He asked me if I needed prayed for and I said, "Yes." I told him I felt scared because I've never told people about Christ and that I was shy. He told me that little by little God was going to work on my heart and he was going to help me to tell others about Him. Like Peter did in the Bible. Then he handed me a coin from Lebanon ,where he was a missionary, and he told me "Let this be reminder to you about whats happened ."
After that I wasn't the same. When I traveled home the Holy Spirit told me to speak to a guy at a gass station. I was really scared but this is what He told me to say. "Jesus loves you." Thats all.
But when I said it the guy was like, "Yeah."
When I got to my town, me and parents were at a Chinese restaraunt and God told me to write a note to the cashier. I asked Dad to borrow his pen and I went into the bathroom and wrote, "Jesus loves you," with a smiley face. After I got done I quickly placed it by the cash register. When we were getting ready to leave, she saw it. She looked at it and asked me if I gave it to her. When I said, "Yes." She smiled real big and looked puzzled, at it. That was all the Holy Spirit told me to say, was those few words.
I may have planted a seed in her life. Someone might come and water it. It made me feel good.
Well, that's the end of most of my stories at camp.Now you know what wonderous things the Holy Spirit can do, and what happened on July 12th, 2006. If you're called to missions, don't be like me, and ignore that calling from God, Answer that call. And if you don't have the full gift of the Holy Spirit, asd God to give it to you. Who knows what he might do?
Thank you for listening to my story.
Lots of Love, Hannah McClure
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Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing this wonderful (and tear-jerking!) story!