By Joan Vetter
The thought just wouldn’t go away.
When I saw that Andrew Wommack’s Ministry was coming to Phoenix, Arizona, for three days for their Gospel Truth Crusade, excitement began to rise up in my spirit to attend.
However, there were many logical reasons why maybe this wasn’t a great idea. It would be a two-day drive, and my husband, Ted, was having a surgery just two and a half weeks before this. Plus, he had spent six days in the hospital with a heart problem just the year before. However, he told me that he could “see” or “picture” us at the conference. He was visualizing in faith, which boosted my faith. It was in the beginning of January, though, so we wondered what the weather would be like. Also, covid was spreading rapidly at that time.
But my Mom came to mind, who had always loved adventure, which kept her healthy and her mind sharp right up to 103 years old! She had often encouraged us to be sure to see the Grand Canyon one day. Yes, we could combine our trip with an excursion to the Grand Canyon!
So this door to adventure was standing open, waiting for a “yes.” We knew there were preparations to make, beyond just securing hotel reservations and packing. We recognized how important faith was before we even started. Scripture states, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). So after determining that we were following the Lord’s leading, we knew it was to be a faith journey all the way; and each negative or fearful thought needed to be met with faith to counter it.
When we hear that God has plans to prosper us–plans for good–our spirits need to agree with that and not allow a picture of anything that would negate that in our minds. Thus, once we made the decision to go, every negative thought was to be defeated. Our part was to continually agree for the Lord’s blessings. (“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
We felt a sense of “mission” before we left. We were to pray for the country and to bless the people along the way. The first night at our hotel, I was able to share the Lord’s love with a woman working there. When I asked if she could use some prayer, she was so thankful. She lived on the Navaho reservation and had a broken water pipe at home. She also was experiencing some conflict with her son. Then, a waitress I talked with shared a need for prayer, as well, regarding her children. With both of these ladies, I thought of what Jesus said in John 4:4–that He needed to go through Samaria. Even as it was a divine appointment for Him to speak to the woman at the well in Samaria, I felt we were directed to meet both of the women that we did. As we continued to drive through New Mexico, I found myself praying for all of the Navaho people.
The Andrew Wommack conference was wonderful–we basked in the teaching of the Word; and the hotel was beautiful.
Andrew taught on truth, and the Holy Spirit was present to bring understanding and hope for many personal situations. An explanation, so simple, has remained a constant since we’ve come home. He said that three different people will have an opinion as to the length of the stage, but then someone will measure it. That becomes the only truth! With the Word of God, we don’t need people’s opinions. We will “know” the truth and the truth will set us free (John 8:32).
Andrew teaches the truth of Galatians 5:6 – that faith works by love. He says, “Love is the driving force behind our faith. Many of us try harder to believe when we should be seeking a greater revelation of God’s love for us. Then faith would just naturally work.” The atmosphere in the meetings is such a powerful demonstration of both love and faith. An hour before and after each session, prayer counselors pray with those who desire prayer. (To explore his ministry, see http://www.awmi.net.)
I bought a T-shirt with the words WARRIOR NOT WORRIER on it. Yet, I have to confess that the subtle fear of contracting the virus was still trying to crowd out my confidence. As we traveled home again through New Mexico, they were strict about masks; and there were constant signs along the road about obtaining the vaccine. On top of that, Ted seemed to be developing a cough. Then, when we stopped for lunch, we were told that four waitresses had left work feeling sick that morning. However, we felt confident in God’s protection, so we stayed. When our waiter came to our table, he had on a mask with the words, “PROTECTED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS.” Amen! Thank you, LORD!
When we arrived at that evening’s hotel, suddenly Ted began to run a fever. Faith rose up in us both like David going after Goliath, and we refused to be intimidated by fear of sickness. I laid my hand on his forehead and rebuked the fever in the name of Jesus. When Jesus prayed for Peter’s mother-in-law, her fever left immediately (Luke 4:38-39). That was what rose up in our hearts and, within minutes, his fever was gone. I had on my WARRIOR NOT WORRIER shirt, so that was a constant reminder to trust God. The amazing thing was that I was able to go to bed and fall right to sleep. The next thing I knew was that he was waking me up, saying, “Get ready–we need to get on the road!” He was already up and showered.
I savor the memories of our trip–the faith-boosting conference, the Grand Canyon, which we finally saw, other beautiful natural scenes, and the people we encountered. They’re now embedded in our hearts as the rewards of tackling a trip that looked intimidating. But we made it through to the other side. That reminds me of Jesus’ disciples–when He told them to get into their boat and to cross over to the other side–(Matthew 14:22). He knew there would be a storm, but He wanted them to go in faith.
I have an even greater appreciation for Jesus since the trip. He was with us all the way and always will be–He’s the Rock of Ages…
“…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:20
“No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2:2
Photo by J. Vetter, at the Grand Canyon