Going to the Atlanta Dream Center two weeks ago was an amazing experience for me! God taught me how to love, serve, and trust Him in ways I never have before. From feeding the unemployed to skating with underprivileged kids, from dancing in an assisted living home to blockading drug trade with a block party, from praying for the health of the homeless to praying for the freedom of prostitutes, I am bolder because I experienced God’s provision in tough circumstances. I am restored because I experienced an incredible atmosphere of prayer and worship. I am blessed by God to have made so many incredible friendships. And finally, I am freed to do the will and works of the Lord at home.
Throughout the trip God was teaching me that He is trustworthy. I knew that God’s Anointing was truly on me because on two occasions He verified it for me.
The first was at an assisted living home. It was the most exciting thing we did all week! We were dancing and laughing and building beautiful relationships with these older folks. I was worried when I first walked in the room that I wouldn’t know who to talk to, but a quiet voice told me to talk to a man with a long white beard named Wallace. When it was about time to leave, Wallace asked me what my name was once more so that he would remember it. When I replied, “Lydia,” he said, “I read about Lydia in the Bible this morning.” Right then, God reassured me that I had been listening to Him. Wallace has no children so I told him that he could tell people he has a daughter in South Carolina named Lydia.
The second occasion where God verified that I was following His will was during Princess Night. This was a special night because it was when we had the opportunity to minister to prostitutes. Throughout the night we had been in constant prayer while riding around and talking to girls. Before we got out to talk to any of the girls, the pastor’s son and founder of Princess Night (I don’t know his name) asked for one person to pray over her. Toward the end of the night, he asked someone to pray for the next girl, and I spoke up and felt God pressing me to pray for us to be Anointed. I thanked God that the Anointing breaks the yoke of bondage. When the group got out of the car, the girl began walking toward us. Within about 2 seconds she turned around to walk the other way. This was because about 30 feet from her was a pimp, and with a simple motion of his hand, she turned. I didn’t see, but several people said she turned to walk toward us again, but was too afraid to run. Everyone was heart-broken for her.
Later in the evening, the pastor’s son pulled the van over in a bad parking lot. He felt like God was telling him to wait for the girls to come to us. Within a few seconds, two girls walked up, and while most of us were praying for them, the girl I had prayed over earlier walked by. For just a moment, the two main leaders got to talk to her. She didn’t turn to look at them, but they were thrilled to say, “Hey we’re not trying to get you in trouble.” The founder later told the group that they had never seen her before, and that she was in the beginning stages or “training” as the pimps call it. It was truly a miracle that the leaders were able to talk to her at all. When we got back to our room, my friend Kendall said that she had noticed that the pastor’s son was wearing a bracelet with a verse on it: Isaiah 58:6. She looked it up and read aloud:
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?”
God had blessed me by giving me the words to fight for someone else in need. My prayers that the Anointing break the yoke were not my prayers at all, but the will of God. Jesus had a broken heart for the suffering girl. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be part of God’s army. The beautiful girl I saw that night will forever be in my heart. This experience, along with all of the Dream Center missions, have completely given me a fresh will to help people and to live life like God intended it!