Extraordinary! NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope let’s us glimpse and enjoy extraordinary sights. But the sky isn’t the only place you find extraordinary examples of God’s creation! Let me tell you of an extraordinary little girl in our School of Holy Spirit.
You never know when you’ll meet one, those extraordinary people disguised in the ordinary.
But when you recognize one and I use the word “recognize” deliberately, because there are extraordinary people all around us. We simply don’t have the lens or the insight to see them. But I digressed, when you recognize one, you will never forget the encounter.
That happened to me this weekend. Wayne and I were speaking in the School of the Holy Spirit retreat in Virginia. Pastor Pete Hohmann prepares the kids for weeks, building a biblical foundation for children to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit. And many did. Both in his services and at the retreat. The outpouring of God’s love and Spirit was absolutely one of the most powerful I have ever experienced.
This extraordinary tiny framed girl sat across the table from me. She was about twelve years old, sandy blond hair and wore glasses. Two years ago a sponsor paid her way to a similar retreat. Afterward, she decided she wanted to sponsor someone for a retreat. She began to save her money toward that goal. This year she had enough money, so she invited her neighbor to attend the retreat. Her neighbor doesn’t go to her church and had no grid or experience to prepare her for what she was going to encounter, but she came.
In the very first service she was radically touched by the power of God. And again in the next and the next and the next. Here was a girl that had no idea that the presence of God could be felt, yet she experienced Him in a way that is beyond description. On the last day, as she lay on the floor in worship for well over an hour after the service was over, she began to speak in tongues that beautifully flowed from her lips.
The pizza had arrived, kids were getting ready to go home. But she was so immersed in His glory that she lingered, totally oblivious to everything that was going on around her. Several children gathered around her, some were curious, some were praying and others were still enjoying the presence of God. Two children that had never received the infilling of precious Holy Spirit also began to pray in their heavenly language.
This child that did not come from a church background fell in love with Jesus as she encountered His presence in a tangible way. But it happened because a little girl wanted to do more than just attend a retreat. She wanted to share it with a friend. That meant sacrifice. That meant working hard to earn extra money.
I was standing there when her dad arrived to pick the two girls up. While they waited for her friend, who was still totally immersed in God’s Glory, I discovered more about this little hero.
She had asked her dad to get some money out of her bank account, because she wanted to buy some worship music. It’s not like she passed a vendor table and saw it for sale. There wasn’t any. She just wanted to take some home with her.
Wow! She got it.
She really got it. She understood worship and experiencing God’s presence isn’t just for church.
Thank you, little lady! You are my hero. That’s right, heroes come in all age groups!
And while I’m at it, Pastor Pete is my hero too! Thank you, Pastor Pete, for investing in the lives of children and helping them experience the power of the Holy Spirit. You have helped them taste and see that the Lord really is good! And tasting makes you want more.