The following update on "the first 8 months" comes from Healing Rooms Directors Andy Fraser and Tom Clark
A little more than a year ago, Steven and Helen Anderson carried out the training weekend from which Healing Rooms Orkney has arisen. We first opened the Healing Rooms in July last year for a trial period during which we would gain confidence and iron out the most obvious problems.
The very first person to come for prayer was not a Christian – a great prophetic sign for this ministry - that we are not just here for the believers, wonderful though that is.
With one opening every week, we were soon experiencing the peace of God and guests were showing evidence of being touched by God. The first experiences of healing were reported by guests.
In September, we went public and added the Thursday lunch-time session. There was excellent press coverage, especially of one guest who was wonderfully and instantly healed by God on 2 occasions.
Advertising has mainly been through posters in shop windows (thank you to Mark Nixon for helping with the design) as well as some adverts in the local papers. Guest numbers have varied from 8 or 10 a session right down to, occasionally, none. Many who have come for prayer have talked about experiencing great peace and team members have often received prayer and felt God’s healing at work in their soul and body. Several guests come a number of times.
There was a quiet patch when the number of guests was often low. In that season, God seemed to be asking us : How committed to this ministry are you ? Are you just here for the dramatic stories, or do you want to serve me, come what may ? This period has probably helped to weld the team together with a greater commitment than ever, as it has made us clarify that our commitment is first and foremost to God.
One of the challenges of this type of ministry is that it needs to be led, rather than just allowed to meander. Healing Rooms needs the Presence of God to operate. No presence – no healings. God’s Presence the greatest prize – doesn’t come by accident. The directors have tried to set in place the culture which allows God to come. There are several elements to this :
- an authority structure, because God is a God of order
- a strong emphasis on worshipping God and on having a clean enough heart to get to Him each time we meet
- a commitment to continual learning together and accepting one another’s different styles of worship and prayer
- a determination to forgive other team members whenever necessary
All this has been a challenge, especially since the team is drawn from several churches. Tom and I have tried hard to draw a clear line – to carry our responsibility to lead teams in the context of Healing Rooms without entering the area of pastoral responsibility which God has reserved for the church leaders of the team members.
Much of the culture of Healing Rooms is now in place, but there is still sometimes some confusion over the precise function of some of the roles. We continue to learn together. There are always dangers – spiritual pride is one, especially when God does something good. Discouragement is another, when the number of guests seems low or when nothing much seems to be happening when we pray. However, God’s Word says that these signs shall follow those who believe. They will lay their hands on sick people, and they will get well.
A new round of training for people interested in joining the team starts in just over a month.