We were enjoying a day trip in Lancaster county when suddenly we saw it. In the sky was an atmospheric phenomenon interesting enough to cause us to pull our car over to the side of the road. As we snapped pictures, we watched it morph into the shape of an angel.
Taking a break from our ongoing court saga, we were showing our visiting friend from Austria the beauty of Amish country in harvest season when the “angel-like” cloud formation appeared.
Looking closely, there were rainbow colors inside the angel-like figure. It was strikingly beautiful. Yes, it was certainly a cloud high up in the stratosphere containing ice crystals that were reflecting the July sun. However, for it to take this shape, transform before our eyes into an angelic form, and then vaporize into irregular wisps minutes later was intriguing to us.
Coincidentally, a few weeks later, we were invited to share at the Lancaster County Full Gospel Business Mens meeting. We were privileged to present the gospel to the twenty-five kids who were attending along with their families. About half of the kids were Amish. Twenty children and teenagers responded to the invitation to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
We are not comfortable bringing young people to a decision for Christ and then dismissing them. The new birth is not merely a decision, but is an encounter with the Life-Giving Spirit of Jesus! When He enters into a person, He brings to life their spiritual senses of sight, hearing, touch, etc. As is our custom, we laid hands on the kids and asked the Holy Spirit to invade their lives in a powerful way.
Many of the kids went “out in the Spirit”. Some, notably three young Amish girls, were in His manifest presence for over an hour. When the children and teens “came to”, we listened as they gave accounts of experiences such as:
“I saw this very bright light coming toward me. As it got closer, it was Jesus sitting on His throne. He was very bright and there were angels all around Him” (7 year old Amish girl who was on the floor for an hour)
“I saw myself falling into hell, but Jesus caught me and brought me up to heaven” (9 year old)
“I saw Jesus and He was brighter than the sun” (10 year old boy of Kenyan descent)
“I saw people in cages, crying out for God” (15 year old boy)
“I literally saw Jesus coming into my heart. I thought I had Him in my heart before, but now He has come into me in a life-changing way!” (Teenage Amish girl)
“Jesus was so bright that I could only see His hands” (8 year old Amish girl)
“I saw people touching sick people and they were getting well” (6 year old Amish girl)
The presence of the Lord was very heavy and sweet around these children as they were encountering God. One of the women helping us during ministry time wept softly as she prayed over the kids, touched by the nearness of Jesus.
Here we were in the cornfields of America, not in the bush of Africa with Iris ministries as we had originally envisioned. It didn’t matter to the Holy Spirit whether these were African village children, American inner city kids, or Amish young people, He wants to touch them all. Sometimes things don’t work out as we plan, but it helps to remember what Wesley said – “The world is my parish”. It’s important, whatever our circumstances, that we bloom where we are planted at the time.
We introduced our session at this meeting by stating that we are always only one generation away from the extinction of revival. The torch must be passed to successive generations. Youth must be presented not with a decision card but with a life-changing encounter with the Living God.
Already, statistics scream that we are losing the battle. It is being said that only 4% of those born after 1984 are Bible-believing Christians. This current younger generation represents a huge mission field and it is right outside our church doors here in America. We cannot be content to speak longingly of revivals of the past, we must have Jesus move on this generation TODAY!
Angel-like cloud phenomenons aside, our hope is that the Holy Spirit’s visitation at this meeting was a token of a coming move of God in the area. That is our prayer.
Lord Jesus, we ask You to come, powerfully sending Your Spirit not just to Lancaster county or the bush of Africa but across this entire planet. Sweep millions into Your kingdom and awaken and purify Your bride, in Jesus’ name!
Dan and Debbie Murrill
“In the last days”, God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. I will show wonders in the heavens above…”
Acts 2:17, 19