Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Streams in the Desert

This weekend was our Streams in the Desert conference. I am undone, and as I prepare to attempt to put into words what the Lord has done, a sense of awe and amazement swells in my heart. Read these words of Isaiah: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water” (Isaiah 35:5-7a). This weekend, I saw God restore vision to those who had lost heart. I witnessed people hear and respond once again to the call of God upon their lives. The most reserved and traditional of men could not physically contain their bodies in response to the new life awakening inside of them. And those whose tongues have been restrained for far too long released the songs and prayers and cries that were swelling inside of them, longing to be released. Tears of gladness and thanksgiving spring from my heart when I consider the unfailing love, the far-reaching mercy, and the indescribable beauty of my God. Even after 6 months of prayer and preparation, I was astounded at the extent to which God not only answered our prayers, but went so far beyond as to show me that there is nothing too great for Him. I am stirred to live a life of faith—to go from glory to glory—to believe God for more and more until my life is spent in obedience, until the world-wide revival has been released, and until Yeshua is returning to claim His Bride.

This was a momentous and special time for the Heidel family particularly. The entire family of 3 generations were all together, in one place, seeking the heart of the Lord. Mr. and Mrs. Heidel, their 9 children, and their 23 grandchildren all made it to the conference. The Lord continued what He began in Pölzig, this time for the family as a whole. It was a time of restoration, honoring, releasing destiny and unveiling some of the hidden treasures of inheritance. Many people shared how they were impacted by witnessing God move in this family over the weekend. Already the Heidel family is touching this nation through even the testimony of their journey. People shared how they were inspired in faith for their own families and for this nation.

This is a video created out of intercession for Germany. Its very existence is testimony to God releasing His anointing and creativity to break through doubts and fears. As we decide to not hold back, but release the treasure inside of us, we are calling forth the hidden seed in this land. This is both a cry of intercession for this land and also a picture of what was taking place this very weekend as God brought forth the “Streams in the Desert.”


video

We feel so strongly that God wants to touch the children and that they have a central role to play in the destiny of this nation. Our theme for the children’s ministry this weekend was “Exploring God: Discovering the Treasures of God’s Character.” Our desire was to help spark a passion for God in the children and to release them into their identities in Christ. We taught on four characters of God: love, holy, faithful, and good; and encouraged the children to spend time in God’s presence and let Him become their best friend. On Sunday morning, we had a very special time of prayer over some of the children who wanted to receive more of the Holy Spirit. It was evident that their hearts were soft and were being touched. It was such a joy and privilege to serve and bless this generation of revivalists. We want to deeply thank you for your prayers for this conference and for our time in Germany. We know that those who have interceded and supported us from afar share with us the blessing and breakthrough of this time. We are now in a time of debriefing and processing what the Lord has done and spoken over the last 5 ½ weeks. This coming weekend we will travel to Prague for the final leg of our trip together. Please continue to lift us up in prayer. We want to press on and grasp ALL of what God has.
With deepest thanks,
Hannah for the GBI Germany team

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Explosion

We have just returned from our weekend in Dresden, and are in full swing of preparations for the conference this weekend. Going out and encountering new people and places in Germany has given us fresh fuel and passion leading into what God wants to do this weekend, as He releases “Streams in the Desert.”

We arrived in Dresden Friday just before lunch, and after checking in at the Kangaroo-Stop hostel, we went to meet Charlotte who had prepared a great lunch for our team. Charlotte is a precious woman in Dresden who is giving her life to hearing and obeying the Holy Spirit and gathering in the treasure of souls from off the streets and out of the bars. At her apartment, she shared with us her testimony of how the Lord brought her out of darkness and the journey she has been on through her seven years in the faith. On Friday evening, we joined Charlotte and her team for their Friday night gathering. Every Friday, these hungry hearts meet together to seek the Lord and then go out on the streets to share the Gospel and bring in the lost. We met in their new room that only a year ago was a popular bar and place of darkness, but is now a place of worship and of calling people out of darkness, into the light. As we worshipped, we felt clear direction from the Lord that we were not to go out on the streets this night, but were to stay in this place of worship to encourage and refresh this team. It turned out to be a night of dedication—dedicating this room for its new purpose and dedicating our hearts afresh to worship, prayer, and reaching the lost. It was a great surprise and joy that Arnie Klein was visiting from Israel and we were able to share this time together with him as well.

Saturday was a really special day. Our team enjoyed a later breakfast after some Shabbat rest and then we went out together to walk through the beautiful city of Dresden. This weekend was the Stadtfest, a city celebration that reminded me of the State Fair. There were food and games everywhere, hang-gliders over the River Elbe, and a procession of 18th century costumed people through the castle grounds. We were joined by Norman and Joel’s brother Jeremias and his family, and we all had a great time enjoying the fun and the sun.





On Saturday evening, we had the opportunity to lead the “Explosion” meeting at the church. This is a monthly gathering for whoever would like to come from the different churches and worship and meet with God. As is often the testimony with our faithful God, though we began by really having to press in and push past what felt a resistant atmosphere, God came with His sweet presence and exploded His love and intercession in our hearts. We have been asking and believing for a release of creativity in the believers, especially in worship and intercession, and God has begun this in our own team. We showed a slideshow that Marissa created as intercession for the people of Germany to break forth. The spirit of intercession fell in the room and many people were on their faces crying out for this nation. This was so beautiful to see and to know that God does not only want to use us to bring breakthrough for the people here, but also to see them released in intercession for their nation so that an even greater harvest can be released.



Sunday morning we visited an international church. Thaddaeus, and Rachel helped lead worship, and Marissa and Hannah did the children’s ministry. After the service, many people came to thank our team and share that they had been greatly blessed through the service. Sunday afternoon we had a barbeque back at the Kangaroo-Stop. We were joined by more of the Heidel clan—Jeremias and his family and their sister Beate and her family (Livia’s family!). It was such a great time. Cousins playing, brothers and sisters catching up, and friendships forming. We love family and it has been such a joy to be able to connect with the Heidels throughout this trip.


As we listened to the blasts from the Stadtfest fireworks, we felt the agreement of heaven that truly this is a time for light and new colors to explode in this people.

Many Blessings,

Hannah for the GBI Germany team

You may click on this link to see more photos of our time in Dresden:

http://s286.photobucket.com/albums/ll108/hannahbriscoe/Dresden/?albumview=slideshow


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Maranatha!

It is so easy in our doing to lose sight of our motivation—our calling—our vocation. Throughout the world, God has created men and women with a myriad of differing gifts and talents, and not all are meant to perform the same function; on the contrary, our diversity is what makes us beautiful and serviceable as the Body of Christ: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (I Corinthians 12:12-13). God’s heart is not for division—neither is it for all to be the exact same. If you look up into the sky on a brilliant, cloudy day, it isn’t simply the clouds that take your breath away, but the host of shades, shadows, textures, and colors. What makes a family so special is the common likeness intermingled with the individual personalities and characteristics. Our Creator God made no two snowflakes the same; no two people the same and no culture the same. So often, we give way to the secret villain of arrogance that creeps in so cunningly. In our desire to fashion our lives after Christ, we begin to think that our measure of revelation must be the fullness, and we find no room in our theology for different expressions. Yet this is not the heart of our Messiah. We have a picture of God’s heart because we know whom He will draw to Himself: Revelation 7:9-10 tells us, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” To help hasten the soon coming of our Lord, we must seek unity with our brothers and sisters; for Jesus is coming back to one Church, for one Bride. We must also allow diversity amongst our family in the Lord, for God is worthy of a complete, beautiful, and radiant Bride; and He is worthy to have every feature of His Creation to be turned back to His praise. Let us not rob God of the glory due His name by attempting to mold His Bride into our own image. Let us rather seek to see every nation, tongue, and tribe be transformed into His likeness and bring to the Body of Christ the beauty and gifts that God has placed within them. “If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them in the body just as He pleased” (I Cor. 12:17-18). Let us love one another, “For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” (I Cor. 3:3). It is so important that we come together as the Bride of Christ, and with all of our differing gifts and callings, lend our voices in unison to agree with the Spirit and cry out, “Come, Lord Jesus!” This is our motivation—our calling—our vocation: to devote our lives to preparing the way for the Lord’s return.
We were so blessed this past week to serve and participate in the gathering of the Maranatha family. Many years ago, God placed a vision in the heart of Father Peter Hocken to see the Bride of Christ come together as one family to raise one voice with the cry, “Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!” Father Peter is a Catholic priest who walks in the anointing of the Holy Spirit and desires to see reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles, between Catholics and Protestants, and between all the Body of Christ. My face was filled with tears our first night as I worshipped alongside Catholics, Lutherans, Free Church members, Moravian Brethren, and others. Not only were there different denominations represented, but also different nationalities and cultures—Polish, Hungarian, German, British, Czech, Latvian, Slovakian, Austrian, Israeli, American. This is only those nationalities that were able to come, but the Maranatha family includes members from all over the world. Once a year, they come together for a time of mutual blessing and refreshing. And it was so beautiful to discover that they truly are a family and are bound together in love. As a team, we felt greatly privileged to serve them during this time. We assisted with all of the cooking and dishes for their meals and we participated in times of worship and teaching. We also feel that their choice to come to Herrnhut this year was timely and significant. As we prepare for our “Streams in the Desert” conference in a few weeks, we are reminded of the different streams that God is bringing together. We want to call the Body of Christ in Germany to come together in such a way. Not only was Herrnhut a place of worship and prayer, but it began as a place of refuge for people fleeing persecution arising from religious division. Dissension arose, however, and there was much fighting within this new community until, in a prayer meeting one night, the Holy Spirit came and poured out love in the people’s hearts for each other. There grew such a unity and bond of love within the community and it became a mission’s sending center, some even selling themselves into slavery to take the Gospel to the uttermost ends of the earth and fulfill the Great Commission. We believe that the next great wave of revival will be ushered in through the humbled and hungry hearts of believers in Jesus who are surrendered to a life of love. Join with us as we cry out for the return of Yeshua to this earth—Maranatha!

Hannah for the GBI Germany team



Click on this link to see more photos of our time with the Maranatha family:
http://s286.photobucket.com/albums/ll108/hannahbriscoe/Maranatha/?albumview=slideshow

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Marienberg

Road Trip! On Friday we were once again on the move. Loaded into 2 vans and cars, our team and all of the guests who had been with us through the week hit the road for a great 3 hour drive to Marienberg. Upon arrival, we were each dropped off at our various host homes for a brief respite before our big Shabbat meal. Meeting back up at the church, we set to work preparing the meal for around 70 people. There was so much joy in the room as we all greeted and began to get to know each other. As we lighted the candles and invited the Holy Spirit, we were reminded of the light of Yeshua inside of us—and in this time of fellowship, I believe the many flames in the room began to grow as they came together.
On Saturday we traveled to Terezin with 30 people from the church. Terezin was used as a prison primarily for political prisoners. During the Holocaust, the town was turned into a Jewish ghetto, with many Jewish people put into the prison fortress and subjected to conditions and treatment far worse than their fellow prisoners. Terezin represents the darkness that comes through lies and deception as it was used for propaganda and made to look like a nice place to live, when in reality it was a place in which thousands died and from which even more were sent to their death. It was a very moving time for this church to come and experience. At the end of the war, a train went through their very village in route to Terezin, and though the cries of the suffering inside could be heard, the train was not hindered. After our tour, we had a time of prayer and exhortation for the group, encouraging them not to come under the cloud of heaviness. It proved to be something that they needed to hear, and they were very encouraged to learn how to turn this experience into intercession without coming under a heavy spirit.

Saturday night we had a gathering of everyone who wanted to come. It was a beautiful time of worship, and powerful time of prophecy. One young lady, who had been struggling in her relationship with the Lord for two years, was deeply encouraged and it is truly a new day for her! We had a powerful time of intercession over her life, and she was amazed at the prophetic words which God was confirming over her life that night. One young guy was delivered and reconciled with his father, praise Jesus. A precious family was encouraged and strengthened through the prophetic word. There are many other testimonies from this weekend. A testimony that will change the course of the church, though, is the reconciliation that happened between the generations. One of the youth group members repented to the older generation for excluding them from their lives. Something we've felt since our first German prayer meeting at the beginning of the year was the turning of the fathers' hearts to the children, and the children’s to the fathers. Such a gift from the Lord to see this in action!
At the church service on Sunday, Norman, Isaac, Rachel and Elias led us in a wonderful time of encountering the Lord in worship. As we met with the Lord in unity, our time flowed into the sharing of the Word. Norm ministered through the Word and prophetically. It was a powerful time of sharing and there was much encouragement given and received. As well, the Lord had given Norm several specific words for individuals in the congregation – truly a time of exhortation, encouragement and edification! Following the service, we were able to pray for the many that came forward. There were deliverances, healings and reconciliations! God is so good! So much happened there with repentance between the generations and even within individual families.

Afterwards we shared a meal together, and we ministered over many throughout the meal time. We know God did more than we could even see, and He is stirring something big for this church. After our meal, almost everyone went together to a beautiful lookout point and a walk through the forest, then we all enjoyed ice cream together before the rain came in and ushered everyone back home for some rest. That evening, our team and many of the young people in the church were invited to share a meal in the home of the family who had received ministry on Saturday night. This was literally a next day fulfillment of the picture spoken out the night before. Not only did God speak His word, but He is already at work fulfilling it! Monday, on our way back to Herrnhut, we traveled to Seiffen and shared a meal with the Heidel tribe. It was a great time of fellowship and connection.
We are now back in Herrnhut serving the Maranatha team this week. Please be praying for a greater release of prophetic vision and direction. He has faithfully and beautifully been confirming words he has spoken to us. We feel that we are standing on the edge of something magnificent.

Love to everyone,

Rachel, Tabitha, Lynn, and Hannah for the team
P.S. Here is an album with many pictures of our weekend in Marienberg. Enjoy!
http://s286.photobucket.com/albums/ll108/hannahbriscoe/Marienberg/?albumview=slideshow

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Revival Village


On Tuesday, July 28, 2009, I was witness to and participant in an appointed time from God. A deeply significant day in which we connected with God’s divine purpose and heart for a nation, a region, a village, and our own lives. This day began at 7 am when our team walked together with Pastor Frank and Heribert and Andrea Binder into the forest to the spot where, in 1722 Christian David felled the first tree to begin building a place of safety for the religious refugees who would become the community of Herrnhut. In Cyprus, the Lord spoke to Norm Frederick about the pouring out of wine and oil as we ourselves are being poured out. We brought with us from Cyprus a local bottle of wine and a bottle of oil from our own olives on our land. In this spot in the forest so many years ago, Christian David performed an act of faith in obedience to God for a purpose deeper than he himself could know. And so we also took a step into a destiny wider than ourselves and deeper than our hopes. As we stood with our hands open and Norm poured out the wine and oil into our hands to flow onto the ground, we cried out for His oil of healing and anointing and His wine of new life and His precious blood to go deep into the soil, bringing healing to this land and a restoration of its purpose and destiny. Heribert shared with us from the story in Luke 10 of the Good Samaritan who, though he was a stranger, poured out wine and oil on the wounds of the man and brought him to a place of security and healing. Though we are strangers in this land (those of us who are not German) we want to pour out our lives and see God’s healing in this nation.




After a time of prayer, we walked back through the forest and got in our vans to take a day trip to the village of Pölzig. This is the village where 7 of the 9 Heidel children were born and where their father pastored for 35 years. There have been many, many seeds planted in this soil, and yet the harvest has been delayed. The Lord spoke many years ago that this was a “revival village,” and through the years of disappointment and lost zeal it became a place of pain. BUT, God’s words are true and His calling irrevocable. A few months ago, the Lord gave dreams to Norman, Ruben, and Joel Heidel, each about Pölzig and about what God still desires to do there. Deeply stirred, but unsure of what exactly they were to do, they planned to take a trip with our team just to be there and pray and see what God would say. A few days before our excursion, Norman heard from two of his sisters that they had heard we were going and wanted to come too. One of these sisters had also received a dream about this village where she had lived and ministered with her family for so many years. We all met up in Pölzig Tuesday morning without any real agenda other than to be led by the Spirit.

We first went to the place where the castle once stood. We learned that this village was born when in the twelfth century this castle was given as a gift to a count who had gone to Jerusalem to fight in the crusades. As we stood in this spot, we were awakened to the amazing goodness of God to bring things full circle. Long ago someone went to Jerusalem on a quest to bring salvation, but instead bringing destruction and devastation. Yet God will have the victory and has now sent out multiple missionaries from this same village to go to Israel in humility, love, and service. To show the people how they can receive their own Messiah and His salvation and new life. We stood on the castle grounds and prayed out blessings over Israel. We also learned that there is a connection between Pölzig and Herrnhut—two places that would seem to have no connection. We learned that Count Zinzendorf and the count at Pölzig were friends, and Zinzendorf used to make visits to Pölzig and have revival meetings with the count. The revelation Zinzendorf had regarding the Jewish Messiah and regarding the outpouring of the Holy Spirit overflowed in this friendship, and there has been a long history in this little village of seeds of revival and prayers for Israel. In those days, they were rejected by the church and the villagers and so had to hold the revival meetings in the castle with mostly people from outside the village participating; however, we know that there is still a revival to come that we believe will be birthed from within the village itself.

But it was not only for intercession for things yet unseen that God brought us to Pölzig; He had prepared a time of breakthrough in the here and now, in a very tangible way, for the members of the Heidel family who were present. The night before, the Lord put it in our hearts to cry out for 2,000 salvations in a day. And though we did not preach the Gospel and lead thousands in prayers of repentance that day, I believe that the prayers of repentance and forgiveness, and the healing that was received were such that unlocked the door in the heavenlies, and that truly 2000 souls will come to revival as a result of these events, not only of this day, but also of the years of sewing and watering and the centuries of faithful people doing the same. I want to share the testimonies of the two Heidel sisters who were with us—Marit and Claudia.

Claudia invested many years seeking revival in this place and she shared with me the reasons why she needed to go back to Pölzig and what the Lord was speaking to her for this place: “God is so full of love and mercy for the people there and is longing for them so much. He has called us to bless the people there and to release them into God’s purposes. God wants to receive His honor also in Pölzig. Isaiah 42:9 says, “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” God wanted to open our/my ears there. And He gave me a new promise there: Isaiah 48:6b-7, “I have made you hear new things from this time, even hidden things, and you did not know them. They are created now and not from the beginning; and before this day you have not heard them.” In Pölzig, God closed a part of my life story. Now I’m not walking in old paths anymore. He creates new things from now on, hallelujah!”
Marit is the 2nd oldest of the family and spent many years leading worship in the church in Pölzig. She also shared what the Lord did in this day: “I just can say, ‘thanks to Jesus,’ for He brought back what I thought would be all lost. All these years of my childhood and even all the time through my youth, I served Jesus in my home village— Pölzig. I invested as much as I could and expected a revival to break out; I expected God would do much much more than I could see at this time. After years I just gave up at this place. But on Tuesday God restored my hope. Nothing was in vain!! The hidden seed in Pölzig (and there is a lot of seed) will have fruit. And I am so glad Jesus knows every single hurt inside and does not stop until His work is finished. When we prayed in our old church, Jesus came to every single one of our family and comforted, healed and restored in a powerful way. He is God of restoration. Now I am once again in great expectation of what’s going to come. Thanks to God and thanks to everyone who was a part of it.”
For those of us standing along the Heidel family at this time, it was truly a great privilege to be witness to this time of healing and breakthrough. We could literally see years of pain and disappointment being wiped from their faces and replaced by fresh joy and faith. We are honored to stand alongside such a family of God and we agree with the Spirit that their time is not over, but this is a day of new beginnings and greater hope.
I am sure that everyone reading this blog has experienced some level of hurt and disappointment in their lives, and I want you to know that it is not too late. God placed seeds of destiny and purpose in each of our lives, and if we will turn to Him and allow Him to do a deep work in our lives, He will see to it that these seeds break forth from the ground.
Have a blessed day in the love of the Father,
Hannah for the GBI Germany team