Last year, Sebastian Hoogers and me went to a brother in the north of Germany. He was acquainted with some house churches in his area, and wanted to see if we could bring some much needed encouragement and direction. We spoke for one and a half day to a total of 10 people. Only one of them, Pieter, was leader of a church with the traditional setting (building, pulpit and pews). From all those house church guys, only Pieter called us back to help his congregation.
So in January I went again, but this time with a disciple from our Kingdom Family, Arjen Kroeze, who is also my brother-in-law. We went with my RV, and could minister there for a weekend. I wanted to bring in some vision for discipleship and multiplication, but their needs were much more basic than that. They needed to understand what the gospel is and how the Kingdom works, and some needed to be baptized in water, others needed deliverance. Some others needed to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, or to receive a spiritual gift, such as tongues. So Arjen and me had a very busy time ministering to them, and it was beautiful to see the power of the Spirit of God ministering to those brothers and sisters.
A remarkable story was the one of a young man, whom I will call Tobias. He was in different kinds of addictions, He couldn’t hold a job, and was hopping from house to house from different brothers who were trying to help him. Many were anticipating a powerful deliverance and a radical change, but that is not what God revealed.
After talking with him, we laid hands and prayed. God revealed at that moment a problem with a “spirit of addiction,” but I was not to say anything about it. There was definitely a spiritual problem, but it was there as a consequence of something deeper. So we explained to him about true repentance, and sent him home to pray about it. He had to write down every sin in his life that God would reveal him.
Next morning he came back, very surprised that the Spirit led him to write sins in different sizes, according to the importance of their root. The largest one was self-pity, and he was really in shock because he had never realized that this was a weakness in his life. Long story short, it was this self-pity due to a rough childhood what was causing the addictions and laziness. So we taught him how to break with it, and close those still open wounds in his heart.
Realistic side: we could not stay there to guide him through the process. I hope and pray he has been able to take all the steps he needs to take for total freedom. God can do miracles, but that is why we need constant active discipleship to help people out of their pits. Pieter promised to put to practice what we taught them, and then to call us again, so we have hope for this small community of believers. Pray for them if you can!