For a couple of weeks in June, a group of students from the Night School of Transformation went on a short term-mission trip to Athens, Greece. The purpose of this trip was to partner with Antioch Ministries in engaging the current refugee crisis. Physical, emotional and spiritual needs remained the focus as students went out daily to seek out, engage and work with many people who fled their homes in the search for safety and peace. None of the students could have anticipated how much God had prepared the way for their arrival and the supernatural events that took place. Many physical and emotional healings took place, including people joyfully giving their lives to Jesus!
What follows in one of these powerful testimonies, written by Lori Obregon. We hope you feel encouraged as you read her story about Sara, a refugee from Syria.
I was at the bakery around the corner from our hotel just spending time with my three youngest kids while the rest of our team was on outreach. They were frazzled from all the travel and jet lag. I sensed from the Spirit it was good to allow them to rest. There at the bakery, I met Sara, a 26 year old woman from Syria. She was not wearing a hijab and I may never have met her had the Spirit not spoken to me “She’s not from here,” which prompted me to ask her where she was from. When she answered in clear English, my heart did a leap and knew this was a divine appointment. We chatted briefly and exchanged contact information so that we could get together and talk more another time.
I met up with Sara a few days later and learned more about her story and her life. She shared that her father was killed in a bombing in Syria a few years ago. And then 2 1/2 years ago, when she was 6 months pregnant, she lost her husband who was also killed in a bombing. I could see the pain in her eyes as she shared about her life. When her baby girl was four months old they left Syria along with Sara’s mother and came to Greece. She spent only one night in a refugee camp and then determined this was not the place for her baby. Right away she got a job and found a better place to live. She was surviving and taking care of her daughter and mother but still felt so alone.
The next day after our meet up, I had a vision during our team time. I saw a cloud and rain pouring down and I saw myself with my arm around Sara and her arm around me under this rain. I knew it was the presence of God over our friendship. Then I saw Jesus and Sara was at His feet weeping. I knew she was pouring all her pain and sorrow at the feet of Jesus. And then Jesus took her by the hand and had her stand up and her countenance changed. He placed a golden crown on her head and she looked so joyful! I shared the vision with Leigh and Kelly and both agreed that I should share the vision with her.
It worked out to get together with her the next evening, and Kelly asked if she could join me to be there backing me up in prayer since I felt led to have a very intentional one on one conversation with Sara. We had dinner while Kelly got to hear Sara share about her life. I shared my vision with Sara. What happened next astounded me! She said, “I know this. I know this thing you shared with me. I had a dream in Syria and Jesus came to me in my dream and put a crown on my head. Just like what you saw, that was my dream.” She said she felt something and felt that Jesus was with her when she had the dream. Kelly and I were blown away! I interpreted the dream for her in the context of the message of the gospel. I told her “God wants to restore you to a place of honor as His daughter. He is the King and He wants to lift you up above the sin and shame and make you His princess.”
Kelly asked if we could put our hands on her shoulder and pray that she would have that same feeling she had when she first had the dream. She agreed. After we prayed we asked if she felt anything. She said “Yes! I feel something good in my heart. I feel something on my head.” We asked what she felt and she said she had heat all over the top of her head. I told her “That’s Jesus. God’s presence is here and maybe it’s that crown that He is placing on your head.”
In Arabic she told Kelly, “When I had this dream, I felt that I would give Jesus anything He wanted from me.” At that point Kelly asked, “Would you like to give Him your life? Would you like to invite Him into your heart?” Sara said, “Yes! I want. I want Jesus!” Kelly led her in a prayer of repentance and salvation and we then asked if we could pray for her to be filled with the Holy Spirit. After we prayed, she said she felt heat all over her body. She was so excited!
Sara and I had a follow up discipleship meeting on our last night in Greece, and she shared that the morning after she gave her life to Jesus, He came to her in a dream again and she saw His whole face shining and He said, “Sara, come with me, you are with me now. I want you. I love you.” She was so giddy in her affection for Jesus and as we talked about Him and about John 10, she and I both felt the tingly hot presence of God tangibly all over our arms and heads.
Wow! I am humbled and in awe by what I experienced in Greece! I am marked forever and ruined for the ordinary.
At first the mission trip seemed challenging to me. Here I was in another country with five kids in tow. How would I have a chance to engage in deep conversations with women with the language barrier while wrangling little ones? I felt limited but I just decided, I would look to Jesus and offer my little loaves and fishes. What I had to offer didn’t seem like much but I believed He would multiply it beyond what I could imagine. He blew me away!
Sara is forever changed by His love and so am I!
Photo by: Noah Farinas Photography