2012 Nepal – John-Michael Becker

How the Spirit’s Rain Fell

 

From January 25th to February 2nd I led a team of 10 leaders from my church on a mission trip to Nepal. There we led different revival services, spoke at churches and seminaries, and met with different church leaders. It was a powerful time! But there was one story that stands out from the trip, and it is the story of the rain of the Holy Spirit falling upon the people of Hetauda.

Going into this mission trip my two main desires were that I would be able to preach relying on the Spirit during the trip (with very little preparation) and that we would see God touch people around the room during a time of ministry without us having to lay hands. The premise of the second desire is that I know when I eventually do ministry to the orphans of North Korea, I cannot personally lay hands on and minister to every single child in the nation. Even large ministry teams will not be able to do that. But I believe that when we are able to gather the children in large groups we will see God’s Spirit move around the room and touch the children Himself. So many of their scars require years and decades of human counseling/ministry to be healed from, but with the Spirit’s touch the healing can be instantaneous. And so as I prepared for the Nepal trip I desired for God to give me a taste of what this would look like.

A special aspect about this trip is that it was the first mission trip for Sky and I to go on as a married couple. In fact, it was Sky’s very first mission trip. And we both sensed God had special plans for her and for us during this trip. Sky is very sensitive to the Holy Spirit and over the years has seen and felt more and more. A couple years earlier she had a dream where she saw her own angel with her, and although her angel had huge eyes she was blind. But then just a couple weeks before we left for Nepal, while praying for the trip, Sky saw a vision of her angel again and this time her angel could see. And so I knew in my heart that God planned to begin revealing key things to her, and I felt the Nepal trip would be extra special for this.

Also leading up to the trip different team members and friends prayed for me and shared different words/visions with me. And one word that stood out was from my friend Myung Hwa who said, “Let it rain, JM. Let it rain.” Those words had been strong on her heart towards me and all I could think about was the revival rain of the Holy Spirit. I had never spoken on the rain of the Holy Spirit before. I had spoken about His fire and His anointing, but never the rain. So I kept this word in the back of my mind as we prepared for the trip.

Our first few days of ministry in Nepal were in the capital, Kathmandu. And while God’s presence was clearly with us while we ministered and people were touched, the whole team felt there was a lot more God desired to do.

On our fourth day of the trip we took a seven hour van ride through the Himalayas to get to a smaller city, Hetauda. Along the way we stopped at a lookout point and had some time of praise and thanks together. The Spirit of God was stirring as we worshipped and one of the brothers on the team felt the Scripture, Isaiah 43:18-21 on his heart, particularly in verse 19 where it says, “I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” While this was strong on his heart, Sky then shared with the group that she saw in the spirit springs of living water coming up from the mountain tops. She said the looked like fountains on each of the mountains. Water and the Holy Spirit were something God was clearly pointing out to us as we were headed to Hetauda.

At Hetauda our schedule had only one all day revival planned for us. And while I did not have a sermon prepared, God had set Zechariah 10:1 on my heart. It reads, “Ask for the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who makes the storm clouds. He gives showers of rain to men, and plants of the field to everyone.” I told the team in the morning to expect and contend for the rain of the Holy Spirit to fall upon His people. The whole team had great expectation for the day ahead of us.

And sure enough, as the revival began God’s presence came into the room very strongly during worship. Team members glanced at one another in anticipation of God’s outpouring. But, to our surprise, once worship ended our schedule did not go as planned. The native pastor who was supposed to give orientation to the 175 people present and then introduce us ended up giving a long sermon of his own. Despite this I felt peace in my heart. And while the native pastor spoke in Nepali, I was told that his word was about expecting greater moves of the Holy Spirit. His word was actually prophetic about what God was going to do in the afternoon.

I did not know going into this revival that none of the churches and people present were charismatic. Our main pastor, who we lovingly call Uncle BP, believes in the power of the Holy Spirit and regularly sees healings and demonstrations of God’s presence. But while the pastors present were partnered with him, their backgrounds were much more conservative. I feel the unexpected message by the native pastor about anticipating greater moves of the Spirit was crucial for opening the peoples’ hearts.

After a team member shared her testimony we broke for lunch. I was scheduled to speak after lunch but had to take half of the team back to our hotel to move everything to another hotel. We did this while everyone was still eating and we didn’t get back until just a few minutes before I had to go up to speak. I remember while we were moving everything thinking to myself, “Is God’s Spirit really going to fall in just an hour or so?” At that time I could barely feel His presence. I knew He was with us by faith, but there was little tangible evidence at the moment.

Despite not feeling Him there (what we had felt during morning worship was long gone), I spoke strongly about Zechariah 10:1. I did my best to be led by the Spirit and somehow spoke with authority about the rain of the Spirit for about thirty minutes. Looking back I can see how the people were truly new to the Holy Spirit. When I asked them, “Do you want the rain of the Holy Spirit?” they looked back at me very curiously, as if they were interested but didn’t fully understand. I had to ask them a couple times before they began responding, “Yes! Yes!”

I knew in my spirit that the key for His rain to come was worship, so I invited back up the praise team, which consisted of a 16 year old guitarist and a 20 year old keyboardist. They were surprised to be asked to lead again, so it took them some time to get adjusted and choose a Nepali song. Eventually everyone was worshipping again, but I could feel nothing of the presence of God that was there earlier in the morning.

We worshipped for a while and gradually God’s presence increased. The people gathered were so genuine, so sweet in their praises to God. I could see why God desired to bless them with an outpouring of His presence. I was anxious though, because I couldn’t feel God’s presence at all. Thankfully while I am not that sensitive to God’s presence, Sky is very sensitive. While the Nepali people were worshipping I went up to her and asked what she was seeing. She said, “While you were speaking I saw two angels, one on either side, and they both had trumpets. I feel they are there to proclaim an entrance. I also see a dark cloud on the horizon.” As the people worshipped I shared this with Uncle BP and encouraged him to have the people continue to worship the Lord, which he did.

At one point during the worship the presence of God began to get thick. Different people began to shake around the room and a few people yelled out as everyone sang to God. I thought I should start to do something, but I felt God saying that it wasn’t time yet and to wait. And as I waited, that presence began to thin out. I was worried I had missed it. I encouraged the people through Uncle BP to continue to worship God and ask for the rain. Time was passing and I was beginning to feel desperate. I got on my knees and put my head to the ground to cry out to God. But just as I did this God told me, “Stop that and get up. You don’t have to beg me for my presence.” I realized I was striving for God and not coming to Him with the identity as a son covered in His grace. And I realized I was instilling this same striving in the people by urging them to continue to cry out for the rain as we worshipped. The songs they were singing were very solemn and reverent, but felt more like work rather than flowing worship.

I went up to Sky and asked her what she was seeing and she said, “White clouds are over the church building now. I feel they won’t open unless we come to God through joy and praise.” My spirit immediately agreed with what she said. God wanted us to receive His Spirit with joy, not with striving. I told the worship leaders to lead more up tempo praise songs and the atmosphere began to shift. But despite the shift, I still couldn’t feel God’s presence. As we sang I approached Sky again but she said she was only seeing the same thing as before: clouds over the church building.

I was near the end of my rope. I felt a slight whisper in me about posturing the people to receive, so after they finished singing (worship had gone at least 45 minutes) I had everyone lift their hands to heaven and open their mouths to receive the rain. With childlike faith and obedience, everyone in the room obeyed. I was desperate for God’s presence to show up, but still could feel nothing. And now, because the keyboardist had his arms raised, all I could hear was commotion outside the building of a woman disciplining her children. It was distracting, so I went over to the keyboardist to have him play. But as I rubbed and then shook his back, he didn’t respond at all. His eyes were closed, mouth open, and arms stretched out towards heaven. He seemed in another world. I thought, “Is God touching him?” but wasn’t sure. By then my team members were all lowering their arms because they were aching. Uncle BP was looking at me for what to do.

Then I heard another slight whisper, “Declare it out.” I couldn’t tell if it was the Spirit or just me, but I decided it would be my last shot. I took the microphone and spoke out in a weak voice, “Let it rain, Lord.” Uncle BP translated it into Nepali. And I said it again, “Let it rain, Lord” with Uncle BP echoing. A third time. And a fourth time. And on the fourth time the keyboardist suddenly doubled over with his eyes closed and let out a loud shout. And suddenly the place erupted. God’s presence was all over the place and people were yelling and shaking. I cried out, “Let it rain, Lord!” “Let it rain, Lord!!” “Let it rain!!!” People were shaking, yelling, crying, or simply transfixed upon God. I began to get excited and yell out things like, “Your joy! Your love! Your peace! Your fire!” as Uncle BP translated. No one was looking at me though, they were all still looking to heaven with their arms up and getting touched.

Soon I instructed the team to go around and pray for people. I noticed different men trying to stop what God was doing. Some people had fallen or were shaking under the Spirit’s power and these men were trying to pick them up or stop them from shaking. I later discovered that these men were the pastors. But as God’s Spirit kept moving so strongly without them being able to stop it, these pastors eventually went to the back corner to just watch.

Little children were weeping and crying out to God as they were touched by His love. Women were overwhelmed by the Spirit’s presence. Men were fixed in the position of their arms lifted up and their mouths opened, receiving and receiving. It was a powerful time! The worship leaders were overwhelmed with God’s presence and were singing with all they had. In fact, they didn’t want the time to end and asked me if they could keep singing even after a long time of ministry.

After we finally closed the ministry time I asked Uncle BP to invite people up to give brief testimonies about what they experienced. People shared about feeling the tangible rain of the Holy Spirit falling on them. They shared of feeling God’s presence for the first time in their life and hearing His voice for the first time. Some of them shared about committing their life to God and His ministry. The testimonies were so beautiful! And the testimonies won over all the pastors. While they had been skeptical during the ministry time, they were then able to see the fruit of the ministry time and they went from concerned to overjoyed. Praise God!!!

After closing the revival we had some time of taking pictures together and meeting the different leaders. There was an elderly woman who needed help to barely move around the room and a couple of the team members wanted to pray for her. She first asked them to pray for her hands because they were in a lot of pain and discomfort. They prayed for her hands and the pain went away, much to her surprise. She then asked them to pray for her bad knees and they prayed for her. She thanked them after their prayer, but didn’t move. Uncle BP then approached her and told her in Nepali, “You have to believe in faith. You have to run.” The elderly woman shook her head no and he responded, “I’m going to count to three and you have to run… three, two, one!” And she RAN!!! I have never seen an elderly woman, likely a grandmother, run like that. She ran to one end of the building and she ran back. All our mouths dropped open and we began praising God. Wow!!!

Through this experience God demonstrated to me the power of relying on His Holy Spirit and the power of waiting on Him. It wasn’t easy, but the results were beautiful. Thank You Lord for the rain!!!

Isaiah 45:8 – You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the Lord, have created it.

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