The following post is copied from my journal dated 2/19/09 when I accompanied pastor Mark Cowpersmith to Guadalajara, Mexico. A few months prior, while in the home of Mark and Shelly (his wife), I asked them why we don’t see the miracles of the New Testament today.
Chris, you need to get outside of the United States. In first-world countries, we tend to believe in emotional healing and relationship healing, but not dramatic physical healings like you read about in the Bible–we’re too sophisticated for that. In first-world countries, we believe in science and medicine. Faith is different in third-world countries; they believe in the unseen. Shelly and I have seen AMAZING healings outside of the United States.
Chris, you should consider going to Ethiopia with the church in April.
This conversation began my journey from curiosity to experience. I ended up going to Guadalajara with Mark for almost a week before I went with a handful of people to Ethiopia. Mark invited me to Guadalajara to learn the gift of prophecy.
Chris, I guarantee that during the trip you will be manifesting the gift of prophecy. I will teach you everything.
Incidentally, Mark Cowpersmith has an amazing prophetic gift. His anecdotes are beyond numerous, and all of them compelling. Many of them are stories of God feeding him whole paragraphs of personal information about total strangers. The end result is that these strangers burst into tears (male or female) realizing that God loves them, has a plan for them, and is communicating to them through Mark.
How could I possibly refuse Mark’s offer? The only problem is that I had earned an all-expense-paid trip to the luxurious Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas during the exact time Mark was going to Guadalajara. Believe it or not, I would have cancelled the trip to the Bahamas except I had already told my mother that I would take her with me (the trip was for me and a guest). So I prayed.
To say I was disappointed is an understatement. The chance to be mentored by Mark in the gift of prophecy was like a dream. Here is the fascinating kicker: During my company’s three decade history, they have never cancelled a company trip. Just a couple of weeks prior to the trip, they cancelled it! Everyone who had earned the trip was disappointed…except me! The amazing thing is that the company sent all of those who earned the trip a check for $5,000 as a consolation. It reminds me of Ephesians 3:20…
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…
The following is from one of the entries in my Guadalajara journal:
Yesterday, we got into a van and made a several-hour trip from Guadalajara to Guanajuato. Mark trained me the entire time on the gift of prophecy…almost as if I were the only person in the van. I was struck with how valuable all of this was.
We arrived at Alcance Leon Church where Mark prophesied for five hours. I watched grown men and women break down in tears as God gave Mark personal information about their past and future. During the evening, he brought me and two of his friends to the platform to exercise the gift of prophecy. I was definitely nervous, but I was excited too. Mark repeatedly teaches that you MUST risk.
Stepping out in faith, I spoke some words that I thought were for a young woman in the crowd. Mark asked her if the words were accurate. The woman said “No” and I was embarrassed.
That night I went to bed disappointed. I was happy with the fact that I had stepped-out in faith…I had taken a big risk, but it didn’t go the way I had hoped. During the night, at 4am (technically this morning), I was rewarded with a prophetic dream. The dream was unusually VIVID just like Mark told me it would be if it was from God. I awoke without any grogginess (at 4am!) and immediately wrote it down. Here is that dream…
I am at college and I’m standing on a track/field. A black coach wearing a cap (who looks a lot like Tony Dungee), came over and asked me why I was struggling with my grades so much. In the dream, I knew I was flunking out of school. The coach asks another concerned question and I answer.
Coach (looking me in the eyes):
I won’t let you quit.
I start to cry. I am frustrated with how he is able to make me cry by showing his love and concern, but simultaneously I know that this man will be a dear friend for the rest of my life BECAUSE OF THE SINCERE LOVE HE’S SHOWN. I feel his love and it is comforting.
He says it again.
I won’t let you quit.
With tears in my eyes, I awoke and wrote everything down.
My initial thought about the dream was that it showed me that I MUST love and believe in the team I coach at work even when they don’t believe in themselves. I would find out later that the dream had a much greater application.
That morning we went back to Alcance Leon Church for a leadership meeting with the leaders from the church. Mark had me share my dream. After having the dream translated, Mark asked if any of the leaders in the room felt like quitting. Four leaders raised their hand…INCLUDING THE PASTOR!
Mark brought them up to the platform and prophesied over them. These men wept, which is interesting given the fact that in Mexican culture men don’t show weakness…especially crying (let alone in a leadership meeting). We then prayed healing over these men, restoring their peace, and strengthening their ministry.
On this trip I have come to a realization that God answered my prayer for MORE OF HIM by bringing Mark into my life and causing all of this to happen.
God you are so good to put the prophetic message in my sleep so I couldn’t mess it up!