For over twenty five years now they have been the staple of my personal walk with God; extraordinary opportunities to journey to the heart of God. I’m referring to my personal retreats— extended days of isolation from the world.
Detached from my usual milieu and daily must-dos, my spirit soul and body soar to the glorious heights of God’s own very presence, where I experience multiple metamorphic discoveries.
And in the last couple of years, the Lord has allowed me to invite others—specifically, His consecrated ones—to make these journeys with me.
My retreats always include extended days of fasting and complete isolation from the rest of the world. And all I do during these times is to sit at the feet of my Lord without any distractions; completely focused on knowing Him and gaining a clearer understanding of His will for my life.
Even when others join in, there are no preplanned and structured contents or formats. I have no idea what’s going to happen. I don’t even know what any of my retreats is going to look like. And this is part of what makes them so exciting! Exciting because the Holy Spirit has complete unrestricted control. And so, anything is possible!
Each session is unique and completely led by the Holy Spirit, while I focus on fostering an atmosphere where my fellow travelers can give Him undivided and undistracted attention; and where each person can share their own supplies from the Spirit.
My most recent retreat took place this November. I was accompanied by Sommer Kinchen, Rodney Ekinia II, and Marcey Schaffer from our US Missions Center. We drove westwards for two days: from Pumpkin Center LA, to Eureka NV where we met up with our hosting home church—several families that provided prayer and logistical support for the retreat—and stayed for twenty one days fasting, praying and listening to God.
During this time I had several ‘Eureka Moments’. The Lord took me to places in Him that I’d never been before, and showed me great and unsearchable things I did not know. He broke the chains of certain fears that had bound me most of my life. He freed me from bondage to my own preparations, and released me to serve in the newness of the Spirit. He showed me mysteries and gave me insights that will enable me be more effective in helping others. And He opened my eyes to His greatest treasure, and to the true meaning of love.
Similarly, the life of each one of my fellow travelers and participants in the just concluded retreat was tremendously transformed in more ways than I can recount here.
Teri, from one of the hosting families, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1990. And according to the Doctor, she probably had it at least a few years before that diagnosis. She was supernaturally healed during the retreat. She wrote this to me a few days after the retreat:
“Thank you for coming out. I look forward to seeing you again! Thank you for praying over me. I feel wonderful and am even sleeping better. I was only able to get an hours sleep all night before you came and prayed over me. I praise God for our new friendship and for the blessing of the healing from constant pain all over my body. GOD Bless you Wildfire! Talk to you again soon! ??”
Marcey Schaffer, one of my fellow travelers from our US mission Center wrote this to me:
“Hey Pastor, I just wanted to check on you and see how far you have made it. Also, to brag on my GOD!!!! The Lord has given me ssssoooo much peace and I feel like I’m still in the elevation of the mountains because it feels like I am just floating on air. I talked to a friend of mine and he says that trip was what you needed because you even sound different☺. This is absolutely amazing for me, I spoke life into my own situation and at that very moment God manifested the peace that He knew I needed and didn’t have the sense, courage or maybe the audacity to do so as He expected me to. I have lived and I have learned. And again, I say I thank God for your boldness and imparting Into me all of the information that He desired me to have. Be sure to let me know when you are home safe with your family.”
These are just two of the many transformational experiences that took place at my last retreat.
Journeys to the heart of God; that’s exactly what these retreats are. Here I experience the personal guidance of the Holy Spirit into places in God reserved for only spiritual adventurers. I’m told and shown things that deepen my love for God; that strengthen my focus on Him, and my commitment to Him.
I pray that my beloved Heavenly Father will give me more opportunities to make these metamorphic journeys to His loving heart. May He also open the doors for as many of His consecrated ones as possible to do the same, whether as part of my own journeys, or independent of me. And together, may we receive of Him and may He shine through us to bring many sons to glory.