The Holy Spirit at work in students’ lives
We invited 22 PAOC-affiliated Bible college students to share what the Holy Spirit is doing in their lives. As part of our centenary celebration, we have been sharing those testimonies with you over the course of two magazine issues and posting some of them over social media. Part 2 is reflected in the current issue and features students from Summit Pacific College in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Vanguard College in Edmonton, Alberta, Institut Biblique du Québec (IBQ) in Longueuil, Quebec, and Aboriginal Bible Academy in Napanee, Ont. Some details regarding each student will be omitted for online privacy.
Here are two of those stories.
Caleb Bloch, 21
At the beginning of January 2019, I started as the next generation pastor at Richmond Pentecostal Church in Richmond, B.C. Because I’m balancing being a full-time student at Summit Pacific College and working 20 hours a week for the church, I was a little concerned that with the busyness and responsibility I wouldn’t be able to handle both. I was worried I wouldn’t be the pastor I need to be.
On my first Sunday, we had a guest speaker named Liliana Fewell, who came to speak about prayer. Her ministry is very focused on healing and Spirit movement, so at the end of the service she began to pray for healing for members of the congregation. I saw things I had never seen before. People were being slain in the Spirit and falling. I saw legs grow in front of my eyes and back pain relieved. It was surreal. Since it was new to me, I wasn’t sure how to respond or even what I thought of it. That feeling must have been written all over my face because Liliana pointed right at me and asked, “You’ve never seen this before, have you?” I replied “No,” and she went on to tell me that God has a big future for my life, and that one day my ministry will look a lot like what I was seeing. She asked me if I believed that, and when I replied yes, I was slain in the Spirit.
I spent a few minutes on the ground just experiencing the Spirit. I felt empowered, strengthened, affirmed and confident. I felt so at peace and believed that I was in the right place, and that God was going to use me for amazing things. When I finally opened my eyes again and looked beside me, my fiancée had also been slain in the Spirit and was on the ground beside me.
Since then I’ve experienced a new level of confidence and empowerment in my ministry. When tough decisions have come my way, I’ve been confident, knowing the Spirit is with me and will guide me. The experience has completely changed my outlook on my ministry, and now I want to push to see other people experience the empowerment and confidence that I did.
I am 24 years old and French. I have been living in Quebec and studying at IBQ for three years now. During my two years of discipleship, I started to see the Spirit acting through me and showing me God’s heart, even as my human abilities reached their limits.
A year ago, during a missionary trip in Northern Quebec, I was asked to lead a church worship night. The idea completely paralyzed me! During the minutes before it started, I was filled with panic. All I could do in that moment was cry out to God, telling Him how incapable I was and asking Him to reveal Himself in my weaknesses. That evening changed my understanding of the Spirit. Through Him, I saw God give me His love, His words, and His thoughts to lead worship. During this time, I felt God’s favour fall on His assembly and sensed the angels celebrating with us.
Since that day, God continues to work in me in a sharper way, which has helped me to grow in maturity. I am experiencing the reality of a living intimacy with His Spirit through all trials. During a time of fasting, He explained to me how He gave me His Spirit for working in partnership with Him. He also took the time to reveal that He would establish me in Canada to take care of broken lives and hearts needing restoration. The job seems immense to me, but I remember that I must walk only in the power of God’s Spirit. In both small and large challenges, when fear comes, I look back and rest in peace because I know all things are possible for me through His Spirit.
These and other testimonies appear in the April/May/June 2019 and July/August/September 2019 issues of testimony/Enrich, a quarterly publication of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. This content is provided as a free sample of testimony/Enrich. Subscribe for full access to the complete magazine or consider a single-copy purchase via firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not email credit card information. Photo © istockphoto.com