Blessed are the poor in Manchester NH!

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Blessed are the poor: ‘Funky Christmas Wishes’ granted for those in need

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Carol Robidoux December 13, 2017

Members of the New Covenant Riders Christian motorcycle group huddle in prayer with a woman who just finished coming through the Funky Christmas Wishes event at First Baptist Church. Photo/Carol Robidouximage

MANCHESTER, NH – Four years ago Henry Demers thought it would be a good idea to organize a Thanksgiving outreach for the city’s homeless. But God had a better idea, says Demers, and redirected him toward something much bigger, resulting in one of the city’s largest annual charitable day’s of giving.

This year’s event – renamed Funky Christmas Wishes in honor of longtime advocate for the homeless Joe Funk, who passed away in July – was the fourth such event. It provided essentials, food and gifts to 300 people in need, just for showing up Dec. 9 at 1st Baptist Church on Union Street. Attendees also got a free lunch, a $5 gift card of their choosing to Dunkins or Subway, and the offer of intercessory prayer.

All items – from brand new sweatshirts, blankets, socks and underwear, to hand-knit winter accessories, toys for kids and festive holiday hats for everyone – were donated by more than 70 local church communities and organizations.

Once inside the church, each person was given a ticket and was partnered with a volunteer “personal shopper” who stayed with them as they made their way around the tables inside the sanctuary, where they could choose one of each item they wanted or needed and stuff it into a bag. But first, attendees were invited upstairs for a church service until their number was called, for a time of prayer and singing.

Demers, founder and president of Harmony Home and lead organizer for the event, has a heart for the city’s homeless. His non-profit ministry is a place where the homeless can stop by during the day to have a meal, take a shower, wash their laundry, or pick up some clean used clothing and seek help from Demers and his staff with whatever they’re struggling with – including addiction.

Brad, left, a first-timer at the annual event, received many items through Funky Christmas Wishes, including a $5 gift card and a warm winter coat for his daughter, Aldiana, 4. Photo/Carol Robidoux

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“I used to work at the city’s Mental Health Center,” says Demers, who acknowledges that the services provided through Harmony Home are similar to those the city’s Homeless Service Center on Central Street used to offer. It was closed for good in 2015 due to lack of funding.

“That’s why I quit my job and started Harmony Home. At the time they closed the day center, I knew winter was coming and I knew how important those services were to the homeless,” he says. “It’s been possible through my faith in God – I had faith that it would come together. It was something that was stirring in me anyway, but when they closed the day center, I knew what I had to do.”

Demers says almost every day in the 18-months he’s been in operation, someone comes to Harmony Home seeking a way to end their addiction. He’s been able to help anyone with a valid ID and a Social Security number to get treatment, usually through a California-based recovery center.

It’s no mistake that Harmony Home, a residence located on the grounds of Hope Tabernacle Church on Cedar Street, is just around the corner from the old day center.

Scott Levesque, left, and Scott Spiewak, right, made themselves available at the exit for anyone in need of prayer.

Photo/Carol Robidoux

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“I’m in one of the most dangerous places in the city – we’re surrounded by drug dealers and prostitutes, there have been homicides and other crime,” Demers says. “I love being where the needs are. Harmony Home is gated, and people tell me once they come through the gates, they feel safe.”

Demers’ own story is inspiring. He was orphaned as a teenager, losing both his parents to cancer within a year of one another by the time he was 18. He was the youngest of five kids, so he still had family support and his parents left them financially secure, but he gives God all the credit for guiding his path.

“I was a partying teenager, but after losing both my parents so young, it sobered me up and changed me spiritually. I wanted to be able to look back one day at a life I could be proud of, and that’s been my mission ever since,” Demers says.

The name Harmony Home is based on a biblical verse, Romans 12:16, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”

Willie Johnson, pastor of the New Beginnings Church of God in Christ on Elm Street, has been involved with faith-based Christmas outreaches around the city for 16 years. He says it’s simply what he’s called to do as a Christian.

Partners in Christ: Henry Demers, left, of Harmony Home, and Pastor Willie Johnson, right, of New Beginnings Church of God in Christ. Photo/Carol Robidoux

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“We’re doing what the Lord says to do,” says Johnson. “To see all these people getting served, it makes me feel good. Jesus said there’s always going to be poor and needy among us. The only way we can help is by doing what he calls us to do – if someone’s hungry, feed them; it

they’re thirsty, give them something to drink; if they’re in the hospital, visit them.”

While it doesn’t necessarily absolve a city from having resources in place, Johnson says outreach to the needy should be on everyone’s agenda.

“You have to want this. You have to want to be nice and good. That’s for each of us personally to decide. Christ died on the cross for our sins so that we can be a blessing to one another,” Johnson says.

1st Baptist Church on Union Street was a blessing to the city’s poor and a shelter from Saturday’s storm. Photo/Carol Robidoux

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Near the exit Scott Levesque, of Imperishable Love Ministries, and Scott Spiewak who belongs to House of Prayer in Concord, gently asked people if they could pray with them before they left.

“It’s important to meet the needs of people where they are, but the most important thing is that they get to meet Jesus,” says Levesque. “There have been tons of healings and tons of miracles here.”

Many people accepted the offer of prayer, citing family members with cancer, or personal ailments. Volunteers from several area ministries, including a group of women from New Covenant Riders, part of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, quietly bowed their heads

and laid hands on people.

“I think this is a beautiful thing. I’d love to see it happen routinely in the city, not just at Christmastime,” Spiewak says.

“Not only is this a blessing for the community, but for the body of Christ to come together and work in unity, that’s a beautiful thing to see. People are laying down their lives for the Lord,” Levesque says.

More than 300 people received items at Funky Christmas Wishes on Dec. 9 at Faith Baptist Church. Photo/Carol Robidoux

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Phil Haney of Merrimack volunteered his time as a personal shopper, and accompanied four people through the line.

“This is my second year. My wife knows Henry, and I got involved through her. It was a very humbling experience. For me, it’s a sort of resetting, just to feel blessed to help others in some small but positive way for Christ, and to reinforce how really blessed we are,” Haney says. “It reminds me not to take anything for granted.”

Henry Demers holds the whiteboard listing all the churches and organizations who pitched in to make Funky Christmas Wishes a reality. Photo/Carol Robidoux

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He relayed an experience that confirmed to him that he was in the right place at the right time. “I had gone out earlier this week and the Lord’s been putting on my heart that the cold weather

is coming and that there are so many people who don’t have what they need. I had picked up a coat and it was in my car. About 10 minutes after I got here, I got to talking with an older gentleman, I’d say in his ’70s, who looked like he’d had a rough life. He said he wished he had a warm coat. They didn’t have any adult-size coats here, but I remembered the coat in my car. I gave it to him,” Haney says. “I feel like it was orchestrated.”

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Knee Instantly Healed in Boston – Happy Man!

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Knee Healed then Man Skips without Cane!

Jose was limping really bad with his cane as he approached us so we flagged him down Sunday on the streets of Boston. We gave him a sandwich and a drink and then prayed for his knee. He said it was an eight out of ten. Two quick prayers in Jesus name and it went to zero, but he didn’t get excited until he started walking without a limp. Then he said “wait until my friends see me now! …I got no pain, for real!!! …thank you Jesus”

It was a delayed reaction but he was very happy to be healed and then began spinning his cane around as he skipped down the sidewalk.

We generally see several knees healed every weekend, but this guy was so happy I had to get his testimony on video!

For more healing testimonies of Jesus from around the world, or prayer requests, go to www.documentedhealings.com

POWER & LOVE ENCOUNTER – Springfield MA

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Healed and baptized in the Holy Spirit!

At Todd White’s conference (Power & Love in Springfield MA) Laury and I volunteered to take out believers and show them how simple it is to pray for the sick and see Jesus heal.

When Marie came up to us to be trained, she was in a lot of pain and not feeling well, and she had no smiles to share with us due to her discomfort. She was the total opposite of what you see now in the video!

The second woman Jeanne, who wanted to come out with us, said she didn’t want to lay hands on people to pray because it was too uncomfortable for her to do.

Well, after speaking with both for a few minutes, we decided this was the perfect time to kill two birds with one stone and activate Jeanne and show her how easy it is to lay hands and see healing and to get Marie healed.

Jeanne began commanding healing to Marie’s body and for the pain leave in Jesus’ name. Marie’s back pain was a bit stubborn at first, but we had Jeanne keep praying and after a few minutes the back pain began to go until it was completely healed. One by one, each part of her body got healed by Jesus. By the time we went outside, her back, neck, knees, and headache were all healed and she was smiling real big!

We then hit the streets to share the Love of God and saw multiple people instantly healed, along with others who were greatly encouraged who were previously far from Jesus. In this city that many would call spiritually dark, we saw the light of Jesus piercing the darkness and bringing light everywhere we walked as Christians flooded the streets filled with power and love.

We had a fantastic afternoon of healing testimonies, and just to cap off the night, Marie was so hungry for the baptism of the Holy Spirit that we all layed hands on her and she got filled and began speaking in tongues. She was dancing and praising the Lord, filled delivered, and set free with a new outlook on what means to walk with Jesus every day! Yay God – #LivestyleChristianity

Miracles on Methadone Mile Boston MA

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Miracles in Boston MA

We hit the streets every week, ministering to the homeless, praying for the sick, and blessing the poor and we see people touched by Jesus and healed every week. Not only are they healed, but seeds of hope are planted, and watered, as God gives increase as His goodness leads them to repentance. MANY hearts are turned back to the Father as they begin to see hope that they will indeed find their way out of the bonds of addiction and poverty.

Check out this interview with me, our friend Garth, and Brandt Gillespie formerly with the Christian Broadcast Network and now head of Media Productions at Lion of Judah church. See how it all started and where the Lord has lead our efforts these past three years!

May you be encouraged to step out in faith, be the light of the world, and see miracles, signs, and wonders in your everyday life!

Healed after Three Years In a Wheelchair!

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Never Give Up, …..Remain in Faith!

This testimony is very similar to many we have also encountered where more than one person on our team has prayed for someone over time, who is sick, and the healing took place in stages. Like this testimony, if you need healing, remain in faith and focus on the improvements, giving thanks and not focusing on what hasn’t happened YET!

We know so many people who experience complete healing but continue to place their faith in their sickness believing it will remain or come back, rather than faith in God’s plan to heal them completely and to keep them well. We all have to rise above this temptation that wants to rely on our past circumstances rather than the Word of God. His Word is true!

Here is a perfect example of someone who remained hopeful and in faith until he saw his complete healing!

Miracles on Methadone Mile

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Miracles in the Boston Homeless Community!

Check out this Boston based newscast/interview that our friend Brandt Gillespie filmed, who is Audio/Video Director at Congregación León de Judá in Boston MA.

He is a media mogul with a YouTube channel called PRAYtv, doing wonderful exploits for the Kingdom of heaven and wanted to capture exactly what we were doing each week when we minister to the homeless in Boston and see miracles every week.

May this broadcast inspire many to step out in faith and watch Holy Spirit reveal the nature of Jesus, and God’s Love!

GOD IS NOT SO FAR AWAY…..

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DEVELOPING FAITH TO MOVE MOUNTAINS!

Many people we meet have said they prayed for years and saw nothing happen and shared that they are either frustrated, discouraged, angry, bitter towards God, or have just given up on God.
 
The truth is, God is trying to teach us how to walk in greater faith each day, by trusting in Him and exercising faith. The problem is that so many of us never learned what it means to develop real faith and walk in the Spirit by faith.
 
Many people we meet say to us something like “if God would answer my prayer or show me a miracle, then I could trust Him and I’d believe”, but this never works and is in fact just the opposite exercising faith and learning how to walk in power by the Holy Spirit. That stance is simply the natural man trying to make sense of the supernatural man, which is like trying to measure the weight of your car, by conjuring thoughts about peace – the two don’t add up. 
 
Faith is a constant position of our heart and says “God, I believe in you and your promises, and I will trust in you and exercise faith despite my trials and circumstances.” This is the very position that propelled Paul to overcome trial after trial revealing God’s Glory and demonstrating miracles, signs, and wonders everywhere he walked.
 
Just look at the faith Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego carried as they were about to meet their death in the fire seven times hotter than ever before. They trusted in God and even without the indwelling of Holy Spirit that we have in the new covenant, they overcame the flames through faith in God. Even when faced with death by fire, they would not bow to the circumstances (or to a King posing as a false God), and neither should we.
 
Like them, as we begin to recognize what it means to walk by faith, trust in God, give thanks in all things, AND understand our authority to manifest God’s nature Glory through miracles here on earth, we begin to see what it means to walk by the spirit of Christ within us and see our prayers become powerful through Christ.
 
Too many of us who call ourselves Christian, spent years begging God to answer our prayers, feeling like our prayers fell on deaf ears with no results. That was me for many years but now I understand what it means to trust and believe, and expect miracles by the authority God has placed in me through His spirit within.
 
I’m no longer begging a God who seemed so far away, but now I’m co-laboring with Him who lives in me, like a son who knows and believes in what Jesus said and did on this earth, saying we will do even greater.  This is not a feeling, but it is a revelation by the Spirit within, achieved by exercising faith.
 
When I began to understand He is not far away somewhere in the distant universe, but that He is actually living in me, eager to enjoy me, eager to fellowship and develop my faith, so I might demonstrate His will on earth as it is in heaven, then I began to see mountains move in my own life. I believe this is when my prayers began to align with His desires as Holy Spirit was counseling me and teaching me from within who I am in Christ, and not separated as some distant God I once perceived, who I never heard my prayers.
 
For all this to happen, I had to first believe that He loved me, and lived inside of me which in itself takes faith! This was the beginning of me changing the way I was thinking (the real meaning of repentance in the Word). I realized I had to change how (and what) I was believing (the truth will set you free) and how I was praying that simply didn’t work for years, because I did not understand what it meant to be in truth and be in relationship with my Lord.
 
I learned God is not a genie in a bottle ready to fulfill every wish we have, but He is a loving Father who desires we would learn to love Him, grow in truth, and grow into the likeness of His Son (Him), that we might Glorify Him and spread the Good News so more could come to love Him and be adopted into His family.
 
We were each created in His image for the purpose of reflecting His love. When we begin to understand these basic perspectives, we can start walking in a greater revelation of Christ in us, learn how to walk by the Spirit within, see our prayers in line with His desires, and then we begin to see those mountains in life moving through the Power in His name.
 
Many came to Jesus asking for a miracle to prove His claims but Jesus said “only believe” and told us if we would simply believe in Him, (believe first), then we would see our own miracles. First believe, then see, ….that’s the kingdom principle called faith.