We recently returned from a weekend of ministry in Cokato, Minnesota. We were invited there by some brothers in Christ who Had received powerful baptisms in the Holy Ghost while at some of the New Years "Gathering's" in Charlotte at JPM.
The meetings were marked with deep conviction of sin, both among professing Christians and also among the lost. Also, there were large numbers of believers who received powerful baptisms in the Holy Spirit.
Here are some testimonies that were sent to me via e-mail Cokato, as the result of our meetings there.
"Hi Joel and Pat! We sure do miss the two of you! You have been in our thoughts so often since you were here...
Things are going well here. The hunger for more knowledge of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit continues....Since your time here with us, many have been searching The Word for more answers and for affirmation of what the Spirit is revealing to them. To put it plainly, there continues to be an excitement and desire for deeper relationships with Jesus/Holy Spirit, there are many questions -especially in the area of "Life in the Spirit" (how to live out the new things we are learning day to day). In a nutshell, people are ready to be weened from milk - and want "table food" - they want the big stuff to chew on! As long as I'm on a roll here with the "Food" metaphor, I'll say this also - We are still digesting much of what you "served" us from the banquet of God's Word during your teachings here - breaking it down and figuring out how to use it to build up our bodies, and The Body of Christ, ultimately.
Joel and Pat, I pray that you are encouraged to know that the week you were here was a very significant time for many in this community, including our family. Of course you know our son, Brett(9), was the first of our children to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Later that same evening, our daughter Anna(10) and son Sam(7) felt the very same "pounding heart" during your teaching, and were so moved that they went forward on their own during the alter call! This was NOT by our prompting at all. In fact, part of me almost wanted to hold them back as they walked toward the front to bow their little knees...as I was afraid others would think we were "forcing" this on them (Augh, Fear of Man is an ugly thing!) Truth is, I didn't even know the kids were really LISTENING to all that was being taught. Obviously, they were - and they were RECEIVING IT! How silly I was to think that they were "too young" to understand. Did not Jesus Himself say that we need to turn and become like children in order to enter the kingdom!? (Matt.18) The faith of children stirred my spirit that night. Praise God! As he received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, our little Sammy began to weep. I swooped in to see what was the matter. I asked him if he was scared...he said no. Nervous, maybe? He said no. I asked him again if he was worried he wasn't doing it right (praying in the Spirit)...nope. Finally, I asked why he was crying? All he could do was shrug his shoulders and continue to weep. Yet there was complete PEACE on his face. I stepped back, and watched my little boy raise his hands to the heavens and humble himself before His Father. We got home LATE that night, and as we were hurrying trying to get all five kids in bed, Sam stopped and asked "Should we all go in the Living Room and try out our 'new voices'?" How could we deny a request like that!? So, at nearly midnight that night, we huddled together and for the first time, prayed in the Spirit as a family. These are things I have tucked away in my heart, to ponder on in the years to come. The next day, our son Brett said to me "Mom, I really like going to the Teachings. I didn't think I would at first, but I really like them!" I looked at him, smiled and thought "What kind of kid says things like that?" I guess the kind who are newly baptized in the Spirit. Our daughter, Anna, also said to me that day "Mom, I'm glad I went up front during Joel's teaching - because the next night when Morgan (her cousin) wanted to go up front but was scared, I knew what to do, so I went with her." Since the Teachings, we have had many conversations discussing what happened when we received the Holy Spirit. We talk about the changes that have taken place, and about the things we are still working on....Life in the Spirit, as we know it. We have had great triumphs, and some difficult wipe-outs. Yet, we continue to run the race set before us! We are SO VERY grateful for your service to the Body, Joel and Pat! We love you both - fiercely. We bless you - in Jesus' name! With much love from Minnesota, Ryan and Nicolle - Anna, Brett, Sam, Rachel and Norah Erickson"
"Many came forward for salvation or repentance of backsliding (70-80 souls)
Many received the baptism of the Holy Spirit (80-100 souls)
Many healed (10-12 souls)
Entire families were touched by God. Many RUSHED forward to cry to God for mercy in response to the Word of God.
The population of Cokato is about 2600. The magnitude of what the God did from Thursday through Tuesday is staggering.
We are planning a series of follow-up events next weekend with more teaching and evangelism. Joel will be returning to equip us."
It looks like I will be returning to Cokato around mid June to continue with what the Holy Spirit started there. We are expecting the entire population to be swept into the Kingdom of God!
Hallelujah to the King - JESUS!