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By Adam Van Dop

Its 9:58 pm on Saturday night, the church is quiet – although filled with 17 youth and 4 adults, a little contrary to the level of noise the previous night delivered. This quietness is not because of the amount of work we did today, but because of one woman who listened to the voice of God.

Her name is Mother Hasting.

Earlier tonight, after returning from our various thrift shops where we helped with some sorting, and from a recovery house where we did some landscaping, we rested before our BBQ in the park. We packed up our food, and headed for Jubilee Park, a well-known area for the homeless of Abbotsford.

We set up shop out of the back of my truck, and send those with sign declaring our purpose to the street: free hot dogs. People started coming. All sorts of people, a homeless guy pushing a shopping cart, another guy asking for four hot dogs to bring to his friends, another guy stopping on his way to the liquor store, another two guys who ditched their friends birthday to partake in the free meal, several families with young kids, and then – Mother Hasting.

Mother Hasting came and asked if she too could have a hot dog, we helped her out, and gave her one of our coolers to sit on. It is her advice that the next time we do this, we at least have some chairs set up. One of my leaders, Renee, spend a fair bit of time talking with her, getting to hear some of her story, and hearing some of the things that were on her heart.

The evening carried on, more people came and ate and left. The hot dogs eventually ran out. We started to clean up our mess, and make plans for returning back to the church.

Mother Hasting was still there. She – or should I say, God wasn’t finished with us yet.

Mother Hasting asked if we could make a circle, join hands, and pray. Renee and I stood on either side of her, supporting her disabled body. Renee prayed. I prayed.

I thought that would be all.

God wasn’t finished with us yet.

Mother Hasting then let go of our support, and started praying for us. She laid her hands on our shoulders and foreheads. She started to pray in tongues, under the power of the Holy Spirit.

She had warned me earlier about her shakes – “I’m not diseased or sick, I’m just filled with the Holy Spirit.” Our group stood in silence there as we listened and watched this woman pray over our lives. Eventually, this prayer ended.

I thought that would be all.

God wasn’t finished with us yet.

Mother Hasting then started to share, she told us about her life and how she answered God’s call for her to leave Hastings Street in Vancouver, and come to the Fraser Valley’s Bible belt, and see that the devil is chased from it.

She then went on to say that what we were doing was a good thing, feeding hungry people. But she then in not so many words challenged us to think about our motives as to why we were doing what we were doing, almost echoing the words of another homeless man from the night before.

I’m pretty sure the Lord was trying to communicate something to us …

That it is our sincere hearts he is so longing for.
That it is Jesus that we desire to model.
That it is Christ who we are serving.

One thing that Mother Hasting reiterated over and over – was that the only way we can truly serve the Lord is if we are in his word, knowing God’s thoughts and Jesus’ actions.

After much more prayer with Mother Hasting, we parted ways and as a STiLL team, we gathered to talk about the events that transpired. After this discussion, Renee suggested we take an hour to read our bibles, to reflect and digest all this ‘stuff’ we had just experienced.

That silence I first referred to was just that. It was everyone taking time to read, to pray, and to listen to the voice of God. This happened in the pews in the sanctuary, the couches in the fireside room, the floor in the foyer, and myself, I was sitting on top of a heat register because I was crazy cold.

And it was beautiful.

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