They were all together in one place … Christians the world over understand that this is how the Christian Church was birthed on Pentecost approximately 2000 years ago, when the Holy Spirit dramatically showed up and changed everything.
This is also the scene at the end of March, 2012, during the Amazing Love Healing Ministry’s recent mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Bishop Holguin of the Iglesia Episcopal Domincana (Dominican Episcopal Church) invited the clergy for the entire country to a three-day healing retreat on top of the Mount of Transfiguration, which was led by Pastor Sharon Lewis and a team of nine prayer ministers including Astrid Lucas who translated all the teachings.
The retreat consisted of two bishops, one canon, 41 priests and a handful of deacons and seminarians representing 78 churches across the country. Healing prayer, being a very sacred and private time, is usually not something a person would choose to do in front of their colleagues, let alone their bosses. We didn’t know what to expect as a team. We didn’t know if anyone would open up and share in small groups, let alone the large group gatherings. This retreat was scheduled to be the highlight of the ALHM mission trip to the Dominican. God had a plan for this wonderful group of clergy that surprised us all.
In the beginning it was very difficult to read the faces of the Dominican clergy after anointed worship led by Neil Keith, a touching devotion led by Daniel Lemley, a powerful teaching by Father Jim Hedman, a large group prayer session and the first small group breakout. We couldn’t tell what God had done. So, no one knew what to expect when Pastor Sharon asked if anyone would like to share what Jesus had done. The team was shocked to see many participants stand up and share their stories of deep wounds they had received in the past and how Jesus came, healed, and set them free. The level of transparency and humility that flowed from these priests confessing things they had hidden their whole lives increased the awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence to a fervent pitch and broke loose any resistance that they may have been holding on to. The rest of the conference was full revival with prophetic worship, many healings, and other manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
Prior to this revival, the team was privileged to serve with the Holy Spirit in a mini-conference for the deacons and aspirants who wouldn’t be able to attend the longer retreat due to work or other conflicts. This conference turned out to be a foreshadowing of the larger conference as the Holy Spirit worked very powerfully in a very short period of time (10am – 3pm) to bring many healings. The team also attended both the English and Spanish services at the Episcopal Cathedral and got the opportunity to pray with the beautiful people of Santo Domingo after the service.
After the main retreat the team had some time to do some shopping in Santo Domingo before heading to San Pedro de Marcoris to stay at the Kellogg Center and lead a single night conference in the church associated with the center. Pastor Sharon did a teaching on the bent over woman from Luke 13 which was acted out by Debra Reed. When an invitation for prayer was made there was a huge response with people being set free from physical ailments as well as depression, ungodly grief and a lot other spiritual and emotional bondage.
The final day Pastor Sharon and Father Jim returned to Florida to attend the funeral services for Mary Ellen Smith, the wife of Dabney Smith, the Bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida. The rest of the team continued on to Boca Chica where they took up residence in a retirement home across the street from Iglesia Episcopal San José, the church where the last conference would be held. The worship was again led by Neil with Daniel on the drums and a local parishioner playing along on the keyboards. The teaching entitled “Hope for the Heart” was also done by Neil. It was decided that after Neil taught he would leave it open for anyone on the team to share a testimony as the Spirit led them. Nathan Houlihan, the 16 year old member of the team, and Pastor Robin Morical responded with very powerful testimonies/mini teachings of their own healings and how God has worked to restore them. This was followed by a very powerful time of prayer which dealt with many family issues and depression along with a variety of other deep hurts.
Amazing Love Healing Ministry would like to offer a special “thank you” to all the team including Maryanne Moran for her anointed teaching during the pastor’s conference, her discernment, leadership and prayer during this mission. Also, to Greg Wiedeman for sharing his testimony on the trip, prayer, and for writing this article. ALHM would also like to thank Bishop Holguin of the Iglesia Episcopal Domincana for the wonderful hospitality and generosity he has extended to us as well as a warm “thank you” to Bob and Ellen Snow for being such gracious hosts to us, going above and beyond to make us feel at home in a foreign land. There also is a great reward in heaven to everyone else who contributed to this mighty work of God. It couldn’t have been accomplished without all the prayer support as well as the financial contributions made by so many.
Healing is perceiving that Jesus Christ has come completely into your life past, present, and