Once upon a time at summer camp, a friend shared some of her most precious Divine encounters with me. Her personal stories made me feel jealous and simultaneously suspect that she might be off her rocker. I had always been an inquisitive person and her stories left me wanting more. A few nights later, safely home and nestled in our bunk bed, my older sister, Caryn, and I speculated what it might be like to have an encounter with God.
Nearly a decade after our time at summer camp, my sister and I were sitting on a faded red couch when everything changed. Our hunger for the Lord was insatiable. In desperation, we held a few of our friends hostage until they agreed to pray for us. If there was more of God, we wanted it. For over a year we had prayed for an encounter and that night the Father met us. Seven years later, with that red couch encounter indelibly seared into our memory, it is no surprise that our spiritual hunger has not abated. That wonderful night made a profound impact on our lives and we have found that it is a joy to live life with the Father. He makes every day worthwhile and is the reason why my sister and I share the same well-developed laugh lines. Sometimes the Father’s promises seem too good to be humanly possible.
One way that the Father’s Spirit speaks is through dreams. In fact, my sister and I both moved to different states as a result of dreams. The Holy Spirit also speaks through visions.
One night a dear friend of ours saw the word “Bhutan” while praying. A few weeks later she found out that it was a nation and felt an invitation to go. Within a year, my sister and I joined a small team of people to put on a church planting training for Bhutanese students right at the border of Bhutan. During this trip, we saw many miracles, but the best part was sharing stories with the students about the Holy Spirit. Equipped with the knowledge of who they are and who their Father is, these young students went out into a nearby village to share the Father’s love.
When they returned, we were all stunned to hear their reports. Tumors disappeared, idols were thrown out, and many gave their lives to Jesus. The student’s childlike faith is a picture of what the Kingdom of God looks like in action. It is called the Good News for a reason! Life with the Father is an exciting and wild adventure. India was the first of many trips. Since that initial trip, Caryn has traveled to over 20 different countries as a humanitarian photographer. Being in campus ministry, however, has primarily kept me stateside the past five years. Things changed this year and I was able to travel alongside my sister on multiple overseas trips. Going abroad with Caryn is a dream realized. I love watching her in her element and we both enjoy spending time with whomever we have the pleasure of meeting. On these trips, the Holy Spirit never ceases to amaze me. Whether overseas or at home, I have learned that the Holy Spirit is always the same. God loves to show up in the day-to-day moments of life and He loves to meet you wherever you are.
Life with the Holy Spirit is more adventurous than being Indiana Jones himself. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Ever since summer camp, this is a promise that my sister and I continuously pursue. One moment with the Father is worth everything.
~ Courtney Werner