I will never forget the look on their faces that day. It absolutely blew our minds.
Five Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry students and I had been invited to go “under-cover” into a New York City high school in the Bronx. We were asked to teach a class on “words of affirmation” to kids who had grown up in an environment where encouraging words would almost be considered a foreign language. We were told we could do anything except pray, use the name of Jesus or talk about Christianity.
We went in with a plan to teach them the importance of seeing the best in each other and how to use words to encourage others to be the best versions of themselves. However, we were immediately overwhelmed with God’s love for each of them and, without using any Christian terminology, began speaking God’s powerful and intimately personal words of encouragement and strength to every student. They were completely blown away by how well we seemed to know them and how much we genuinely cared. We watched their demeanor change from grumpy, disinterested and skeptical to excited and full of joy and hope all within the first thirty minutes! And that was just the beginning!
Next, we taught them how to encourage each other and to our surprise they jumped right in! Before we knew it, the bell was ringing and class was over. We began to say our goodbyes but the students didn’t want to stop! As they were hugging us and saying thank you they began to affirm each of us! My team and I were amazed what God had done without us ever once mentioning His name. But the best was yet to come.
After school several students came back to the classroom and spoke words of life and encouragement to their teacher, who has dedicated her life to being an “undercover agent” of God’s love to these kids. The tears were flowing! Then two brothers who had hated each other were so inspired by what had happened in class that they decided to sit down face to face and choose love and reconciliation. They called out the best in each other, saying, “I love you, bro. We could change this school if we stick together… We could even change the world!” It was like something straight out of a movie!
The following week the teacher sent me a video of a girl in the class down on one knee asking for forgiveness from a girl she had hated out of jealousy. She said the kids loved the exercise we did with them so much they were continuing it on their own with no sign of stopping! Unity, identity, forgiveness and reconciliation were poured into that New York City classroom that day and lives were forever changed! God’s love never fails!