(By: Mary E. Adams)
we finally left Fairbanks, Alaska for Washington State, I wondered what
adventure lay ahead for us, for the scriptures had said that signs and
wonders would follow them that believe....they could not possibly stay
behind as long as we would allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide.
God was doing a work in many, many lives during those days. I was not
the only one. As I said before, the Jesus movement was a phenomena.
I saw young people out on the streets witnessing with everyone that came by.
Christian coffee houses were springing up everywhere, and though they were
mostly attended by young people, there were many my age also becoming
affected by it.
Before leaving Anchorage, we visited a Baptist church with some friends. While in the adult Sunday School class, the teacher took the entire hour to tell how a "horrible" thing was going on---this "Jesus Movement" was "surely of the devil." I said nothing, but learned that they had just recently dismissed the pastor for speaking in tongues! Later, I will tell you a funny incident that came out of this.
We left Alaska and drove to Medical Lake, Washington...a small town located about fifteen miles from Spokane. It was a beautiful place, with many lakes and tall pine trees. An Air Force base was nearby. There were good schools. Bob got a job with the police department, and he loved it. We rented a large house for awhile, but eventually purchased our own home. It was beautiful! Four bedrooms, hardwood floors, two fireplaces on 3 acres of land! Every woman's dream house. We were set for retirement...(or so we thought).
Looking around, we found a very small Baptist church to begin attending...about sixty members. I was certain that I would be the only member of that church to be filled with the Holy Spirit, but I found a 17-year-old girl who had been baptized in the Spirit with the Jesus movement. She and I would get together and pray...especially for her family members who were not saved. Then we would also pray for our church.
After several months, the pastor approached me. "I understand you speak in tongues" he asked me. "I want you to know that I do not allow that in my church," he continued. I explained to him that he need not worry...I would not be openly speaking in tongues in his services, for I knew they did not believe in it. Praying in tongues was another matter...
He seemed surprised that I did not argue about it. But then one day he called me into his office and asked this question, "What do you think about the laying on of hands for sick people?" I was surprised that he would ask me that, but I told him that I had read of it in the Bible. "Well, I laid hands on a sick lady and she got well!" he said. "Wonderful!" I answered him...but was puzzled why he had asked me.
Then again, several weeks later, he called me into his office again. The question was asked of me, "How do you think the laying on of hands works to receive the Spirit?" I could not figure out why he would ask me....like I might be some kind of expert or something. Actually, I had never "laid hands" on anyone.
But I answered him, "Well, I don't know for sure. However, it says in the Bible that they did that, and I supposed that the people who had hands laid on them went and laid their hands on others, then those others laid their hands on more, and it has just come down from person to person for 2,000 years."
looked at me. "Well, I had hands laid on me when I was ordained a
pastor," he said proudly. "Well, I would want to be sure
those were from those same hands" I replied. He looked stunned.
We had been attending regularly, and since they had no piano player, I stepped in. All in all, we did like the little church. The pastor was good and preached very good sermons. In the meanwhile, I found a couple who were doing ministry among runaway teens. The husband had been a TV wrestler at one time, but had gotten saved.
He and his wife had an old farmhouse in which they housed a lot of these kids and ministered to them with a lot of love...and the Holy Spirit. They were taking them out to various churches to testify. I loved their ministry and soon found opportunity to talk to them more....for he was full of good testimonies and I was so hungry for fellowship and to learning more about spiritual things. He shared with me a lot about "walking in the Spirit."
As I made more friends in the little Baptist church, I happened to share a little book, "Like a Mighty Wind," which was the story of revival in Indonesia. A small Presbyterian church had had a similar experience like that on the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts...complete with tongues of fire and a rushing wind. It was so awesome an experience, these people went back into their homes and threw away all the items which had been associated with witchcraft and other things ungodly.
When they did this, they became powerful witnesses throughout the island of Timor, and mighty signs followed with great revival. I never would have thought how this book would become the very reason for revival in our little church. Unbeknown to me, it began to pass from hand to hand, like some secret, forbidden object.
One Sunday evening when we arrived for church services, I noticed that most of the church was there...early. And they were standing around in a very solemn mood. I wondered...who had died? No one said much, but they did point me to the altar rail at the front of the church when I asked what was going on. I saw a lot of things piled up, and as I went to see what was there, I was shocked.
There were beer cans, whiskey bottles, Playboy magazines, jewelry, cigarettes...so much that it extended from one side of the church to the other, piled high. What was this? I asked. "Well, we read that book 'Like a Mighty Wind' and became convicted, and decided we wanted what they had!" they explained. I was stunned. Who told them to do this? These people were our Sunday School teachers, our deacons....I could not believe what I was seeing.
As I stood looking at all the objects, I noticed a watch...a particular watch. I knew who owned it, for it was encrusted with gold nuggets. It belonged to a young preacher's son who had also been in Alaska. He explained to me why the watch was in the pile. "I was outside in my backyard around midnight. I was so disturbed in my spirit...I looked up at the stars and began to call out to God. Soon I was overwhelmed by His presence, and began to weep" he said. "This went on for about an hour...and I was shouting with great joy before it was over with. Then I went back into the house and sat down. Suddenly, I saw my watch. I knew how I loved that watch! How I often held it, just to attract eyes to see it. I could not wear it any more...and so I have brought it here" he explained. I knew it was very valuable.
Then the pastor walked in. Seeing all the people standing around, he was as stunned as I was. "What is all of this?" he asked. They pointed him to the altar. "WHO BROUGHT THIS BEER IN THIS CHURCH! AND THIS WHISKEY! AND THESE CIGARETTES! WHAT IS THIS?" He was so astounded. Then they began to explain to him what had happened. "We went home and cleaned house, Pastor, because we want power with God." These were his teachers, his elders and deacons!
Believe me, that was one of the most astounding moments I have ever witnessed. We did not know what to do...we were stunned! Were we dreaming it??
The next Saturday, we took gasoline and burned all the objects. And after this, the people announced that they wanted to go two by two in the surrounding areas to witness for Christ. They were set on fire! The same people who rarely came except on Sunday mornings, much less to suddenly want to come each night of the week! And so it happened...those people met for prayer, then left two by two into the surrounding area.
When they returned, there was great joy as they recounted the souls saved, the miracles...the joy was so infectious! Even the young people had become just as enthusiastic. Our little church began to see the sanctuary filled up, sometimes we could not seat all the people. Strangers came to see what was going on. The town drunk got saved. The 17-year-old girl that prayed with me...her family got saved! It was absolutely AWESOME! It was the beginnings of the greatest move of God I had ever known in my lifetime.
We went from house to house...praising God and fellowshipping with one another. Testimonies abounded. I had never seen anything like it...but it reminded me of what happened on the day of Pentecost when 120 people were filled with the Holy Spirit and went into the streets proclaiming the wonderful works of God.
One Saturday morning, I received a telephone call from one of our deacons. "Sister Adams, could you come over for coffee. My brother is here from Anchorage, and I am trying to tell him what has happened." And so I did.
His brother was very sober, and very uncomfortable with our joy. He kept going outside to smoke cigarettes. We sat at the table, trying to explain it all to him. Little did I realize that this man was the husband of that woman I told you about earlier...the one who taught the Sunday School class in that Baptist church and had spoken of the Jesus movement as "of the devil." How uncomfortable he became!
But he got to witness for himself something rather unusual. His brother's young teenage boy in that home had not gotten caught up in all that was going on. And we had wondered why. We went into his bedroom and there we saw a jade Buddha on the shelf. An idol! No wonder he could not get free! "He will never give that up...he got it in Thailand and is very attached to it" the father said. But after we explained the spiritual bondage such things have on people, that boy went outside and smashed it to pieces with a hammer. Soon afterwards, he surrendered his life to Christ and the ministry!
Needless to say, we were no longer that "tiny Baptist church" on the corner of main street. The entire eastern half of Washington State was aware that a strange thing had happened in Medical Lake.
But that was not all that took place. God had a special treat for our hungry pastor. He and his wife had best friends who lived some 30 miles away. At times, they would come attend our church...but the wife was in a wheelchair, horribly crippled. One Wednesday night as we had a prayer meeting, the back door opened. Everyone turned to see who came in. It was that woman...who walked in unassisted!!!
Not of us there had ever witnessed a true miracle...but that night they saw it for themselves. She came and stood in front of all the people and explained. "Two old preachers came through our town the other day and announced that they would be praying for the sick in a mobile home. I was encouraged to go, even though I was not even sure I believed in divine healing" she explained. But I did.
And after they spent some time just reading scriptures, they asked if anyone wanted prayer, and they rolled me and my wheelchair forward. One man got on one side, another opposite. Then they took a bottle of oil and anointed my head and began to pray. Suddenly, I felt heat...then my bones began to pop...and I stood up, completely whole! A true miracle of God!
This was unbelievable...yet we were witnessing for ourselves! God had confirmed everything that had happened, with signs and wonders.
There was such love in that place! Such joy and rejoicing! It was as if we were really in a dream...but one which was certainly no nightmare! We could not get enough of God....He was on our lips constantly. There was no doubt about it....we had had a heavenly visitation.
To read a number of other writings Sister Mary has written,
please click here:
writings of Mary Adams
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