Christine: I got 2 hours of sleep the night before. And I don’t even remember most of worship or morning devotions. Stephanie prayed for me and they prayed that I would have a renewal of energy for the rest of the day and that’s exactly what happened. Lura also prayed with words from the Lord. So then we went to the market and passed out roses there. Me and Jurgen went to all of the vendors and passed out roses to most of them.
After awhile me and Dave were sitting near the entrance to the farmer’s market and passed out roses. We had a lot of fun sitting around, joking with each other and passing out roses. I loved passing out roses to people and saying, “I would like to give you a gift today?” And a lot of people said, “A gift or a donation?” And I said, “No. A Gift.”
Practiced for the worship set with Dave, Ammi, and Yara. When we got there it felt like everyone was kind of on edge. We all separated off to pray and prep for the night. The second we started worshiping I felt like all that tension went away. The whole night was very powerful. There were these 3 native guys who came in, two together, that I was praying for as the night went on. The 2 that came together looked very interested and I just kept praying for them.
And they ended up getting prayer last night. The third guy I had passed a rose to with Dave and the second he came up to us you could feel the spirit of heaviness over him. And when we gave him a rose he walked off really slowly as if he could barely move. He was a young guy too. He was somewhere between 18-23. Anyway, he came in and stayed for about 2/3s of the concert and was crying for part of it. He left, but I felt like seeds were planted in him because he was listening a lot. The rest of the night went very well and it touched all of us—even the people on the team.
Lura: I rested all day to get my energy up, so hopefully the Lord would allow me to dance. When we got there it was very cold and very windy. And especially in the area I was going to dance. But Joan went and found the maintenance man and asked him to lower the ten flap in that area, and really helped to warm the area up.
Before the concert began I just started praying God would bring who He wanted to bring. And in my mind’s eye I focused on all the people I had seen on the street and I asked Him to beckon them. One of them was the older man who came that didn’t speak very good English. I was happy to see him there.
Our table was directly across from a table with a lot of native people and two men in particular I focused on in prayer. And they really began receiving from the music, testimonies, and stories Sally was telling. Sally nodded at me and I realized she was going to do “Clay,” I really began to pray and ask the Lord for strength. And I remembered Sunny telling me earlier in the evening to just pace myself and I purposed to do that.
About halfway through I really felt my oxygen levels dropping and I just asked the Lord again for strength—and to breathe in my lungs and He gave me His breath. Went back and bundled up again like a little eskimo afterward. And I knew the other song, “Grace” was coming but I felt at that moment I would not be able to dance.
And so when Sally looked my way, I shook my head to say no. And Sally went into a longer story and then came back to “Grace.” And as it got closer to Sally actually singing the song, the Lord said to me, “You can do it.” And so, I prepared myself, and I was able to dance again. I give God all the glory for that. I am so grateful I got to do what I was called to do.
The rest of the night went really well and quite a few people came up for prayer, many of them native. It was good to see them take a rose and to be prayed for, and to make the resolve that they were going to have a difference in their life. I couldn’t hear any of the prayers because Dave and Yara were the primary ones praying for them, but I knew from watching the faces of those being prayed for that they were receiving what God had for them.
Some of them came and greeted me afterward and thanked me for being there, and said they enjoyed being there. The little man I recognized from the street came and we had a longer conversation—asking where I was from and the weather in Kenora and AZ. The one man I had been watching intently came and shook my hand and thanked me for being there, and said he was very blessed. It was good to see the joy in his face. And I really felt like God gave him something special that he could hold onto.
Jurgen: At one of our recent prayer times the Lord seemed to also focus us to pray for the town, for the Body of Christ, for the vulnerable and lost ones, the human trafficking. I was very encouraged in the Spirit that the Lord wants to encourage all the believers to come out of their caves and hiding, and don’t be afraid anymore to walk with the Lord, in the Lord, and through the Lord, and let His redemptive love shine in their daily lives.
Sunny: We stopped at a booth in the marketplace—Joan and I. She did most of the talking to the vendors and I did most of the giving out of the roses. While talking to this one couple, the man had just gotten a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. He and his wife are Christians.
So we held hands and prayed for them and encouraged them. Hugs all around. Going into the tent there was a man who was trying to give me $5 for the rose and I told him we don’t take any money, these are free. He said, “What if I put it in the rose and just walk away.” “Well,” I said, “then I would probably have to let it drop to the ground.”
And he was just surprised that we wouldn’t even take a donation for the roses, but he did take his rose. And I told him, “If you really feel like you need to give $5 maybe he should give it to a charity he is interested in.”
Yara, Joan, and I were together and we walked up to an Asian lady to give her a rose. She got so excited. She said, “My sister is here. Can we get a rose for her?” And then her sister walked up and we gave her a rose. And then the sister says, “Our mother is in the car. Can we give her a rose?” Then it came out that they were from the Philippines originally and Yara mentioned that her boss is Filipino. They got all excited and wanted pictures with everyone holding roses. Everybody out of both cars they came in, and everyone got roses and we took several group pictures.
Last night was a blessing for me because I got to speak to several local native people, some of whom I share language with. So that was exciting for me.
Ammi: Well as I started my day, I felt a sense of peace and change coming. I got to lead the team’s devotional for the day so I knew that the words God wanted me to speak were for whatever comes next for the team. We have been talking a lot about the city of Kenora being at a tipping scale—meaning, either leading to life or death. I felt it in my heart that God wanted us to know that he uses BOTH. It was through His death that He brought life.. He redeems all and redeemed the intention that the enemy had with death.
So, in the same way, I felt that this was the hope that we needed to see through for the people of Kenora. Their pain and suffering doesn’t have to be the end of their stories but a bridge to life, love, and well… GOD. Anyway, I got to be a part of a worship segment at the concert. To my surprise, not only did I play my guitar, but I sang with some of my team members. As we sang the song, “Raise a Hallelujah” by Bethel, I knew that God would do something special that night—and he did.
I saw Jesus in our worship, in Stephanie’s poem, in Dave’s testimony, in Sally’s music and stories, Lura’s dancing, and the rest of the team’s abiding love for the Lord. It was a true blessing and fulfillment to see people from Kenora engage in the night of worship and learn about their Creator, Savior, and God. It was a special treat to witness natives and non-natives to pick up a rose as a symbol of their decision to give their life to God either in a deeper way or for the first time. I was constantly in awe of the work that God allowed to in a sense be completed with yesterday’s night—although I know, his work is never complete.
As I watched the beautiful sunset across the lake, I was truly reminded of the redemptive ways God uses all our stories and interweaves them into something beautiful because we are called to live as one just as He is one—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Hope is real for the city of Kenora and I was so grateful to God for letting me play a small part in fostering it.
Stephanie: A word l got from worship on Thursday spoken on Friday… I saw a rocky, harden, barren field… lifeless. Nothing seemed to be growing… worthless to an untrained eye. But to a farmer or gardener it had potential rather than the way it looked.. ruined. I saw a tiny seed at the very edge of th field. It was trying to poke its way into the soil but it was too rocky and hard. Plop and a drop of water fell on it, then it was planted. It grew into a seedling, a young plant, leaves, a bud, blossomed a full flower.. a rose. There it stood while the storms of time, seasons, (change), wings of adversity came: hate, hopelessness, loss, pain, suffering, bitterness, despair, unforgiveness, and apathy…. heaviness…. all described of Korea. In all of this the rose continued to remain strong. At last the petals fell to the ground… trampled and crushed. It releases a sweet perfume in the air and pierced the ground beneath… soften it. Then I saw more seeds popping up her and, there until the field was covered with seedlings. They grew into buds and then into full flower.. the field was transformed with roses watered by the tears of almighty God. A field of color… variety of roses growing together….. proclaiming the glory, faithfulness, and mercy of God for all to see.