It is easy for me to understand why God insisted that Israel do some writing. Whenever God does a particular miracle, He wants it to be remembered, and for a good reason....that successive generations would know of His works, and that we might stir ourselves to believe Him for the miraculous again and again when faced with times of trial and despair.
My experiences into the realm of signs and wonders began almost immediately after THAT DAY long ago when He filled me with His Holy Spirit. Up until that time, I had been an ordinary church-goer with not the slightest idea that being a Christian could possibly be fun, exciting, and so miraculously filled with adventure. I had often thought that it was my misfortune to have been born when I was, for had I lived 2,000 years ago, I might have been an eye-witness to the miracles of Jesus... perhaps even getting to talk to Him. But here I was...caught in the "limbo" between His time on earth and His promised return. There was little to do but occupy a pew and give an offering to perpetuate "religion" until it that day arrived.
During my childhood, I had been exposed to church...but there was something lacking. and for a long time I could not figure out what it was. How wonderful to hear the stories... that ordinary people had visions and dreams, and were led mysteriously to places where God did miracles through them. But they were only stories of events long ago. No one I knew was doing that today...and because we did not see them happening, then surely our thinking must be correct...that all the miracles ceased when the Apostles died out. I would accept this explanation for many years.
Yet God does not send us away empty when we have hunger in our hearts. He will expose us to Truth, for truth alone can set us free. One day I was to discover where the church was located...in the lives of people who were not just hearing it preached, sung, and quoted...but in the lives of people actually living it on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and every other day...including Sundays. Curiously, however, those "kind of people" I had been taught to avoid.
In our little town there was but one shoe cobbler. Every now and then, I was required to drop off a pair of shoes in that small shop...but it was something that I was apprehensive to do, since that old man and his wife were called "religious fanatics"...people who talked about Jesus outside of the church house. So I was one frightened young girl when I took my father's shoes for repair. On the walls of that shop were little cards which quoted scriptures... but in some mysterious way I felt fearful of the strange love coming from both of them towards me. They had not spoken to me except in regard to the shoes, but it was all I could do to stay there but for a moment...then I would quickly run breathlessly out the door.
What was this feeling in the pit of my stomach? Why was I both frightened and drawn to them at the same time? Years later, that childhood event would flash before me again.
As usual it was hot, and we were still on Sumatra island. I had been invited to attend a youth meeting at a large church on a Saturday. I expected there would be no more than 20-30 kids there...but how surprised I was to see about 1,000! Their enthusiastic praises and singing left me breathless. Here were young people actually crying with tears at the awesome presence of God! After our Lake Toba incident, word got out quickly among the college-aged young people and they came to me, "Sister Adams! We know you have no permit to speak, but we can take you to the mountainous regions and other places where you can talk to us. And we have home meetings as well". And so they took us out of the city where we all gathered at a retreat. Night and day there were continual meetings as the power of God fell in that place.
After that event, they wanted me to travel up the coast to another place and speak to a gathering of young people on a beach. We would go in vans and pick up other young people along the way. And so, Melanie and I went with them. As we entered one town, I waited in the van as they approached a group of young men standing in the street watching us. They were smoking cigarettes and had long, stringy hair...apparently kids with no knowledge of the Lord. One in particular caught my eye...he was a hunchback. But they soon were following us to the beach in another car.
While I was sitting under a tree waiting for a Chinese brother to deliver his message, suddenly the hunchbacked man approached my interpreter and muttered some words to her as he looked at me. She turned and said, "this man is wanting to know why he feels such guilt in his heart ever since he saw you sitting in the van in the village. That shocked me. I had not talked to him at all, nor said anything. It had to be the Spirit of God convicting him. "Tell him that God is wanting him to repent and be saved." I replied. She translated my words to him, and suddenly he began to weep openly. Then I took a small New Testament in his language and placed it in his hands and left the young people to minister to him further.
God had already done His sovereign work without any help from me.
I chuckled inside. The "shoeshop" had never closed....it was still open for business.
Mary E. Adams