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Theophostic Prayer Ministry Budapest

Theophostic Prayer Ministry Budapest
Report by Bobbie Maybee

At the request of a group wives of couples ministering in Central Europe a team of 5 set out from Sanibel Island, Florida for Budapest Hungary on November 8, 2005.  In the Spring of 2004 a smaller team of three Sanibel women was invited to minister to this same group, and as a result, the group wanted more – specifically Theophostic Training.  They'd had a taste of inner healing and wanted more.

 A group of 24, 19 missionaries and locals plus our team of 5, assembled in Budapest at a small Hotel on the Danube.  The group consisted of women from the original group from 2003, some of their ministry partners and mentorees (natives of 7 countries – Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, UK, and Serbia) and two husbands.  The missionary wives themselves were from the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.  One of the husbands was from the US and the other from Finland.  Some are supported by the Navigators, some are with Integra (a mission organization that evangelizes and helps Christians in this part of the world to start small businesses such as auto mechanic businesses), at least one couple could be described as "tent makers" as they were in that part of the world working at their trade and sharing the gospel much as Paul shared the gospel as he went from place to place making tents to pay his way. 

The training work started Thursday evening with introductory teaching on family systems and the generational nature of emotional woundedness.  We opened the teaching with a discussion of the difficulty of achieving intimacy in marriage, families, and other relationships as each member brings his or her woundedness to the relationship.  We used a simple Gestalt role play called "The Pillow Family" to illustrate the struggle we have to get close with our woundedness in the way.  A married couple from the team demonstrated this difficulty by holding pillows which presented the emotional wounds/lies. With these pillows hugged to themselves, they showed how hard it is to get close to another person!  They then pulled in another two people from the group, gave them pillows and showed how hard it is to get close in a family with all our "stuff" in the way!

The next morning we began viewing the Theophostic Basic Training DVDs.  The group watched and listened with a rapt intensity I don't often see in the US.  They were clearly interested in both their own needs for healing and gaining skills for helping those they minister to.

In the beginning of a workshop I always do a "round robin" asking each person to share what they hoped to learn and conversely, what they would be disappointed not to learn.  That helps me know what they want and need and gives me an opportunity to let the participant know if their expectations are not likely to be met in that setting. Below is the list of their responses:

  • Another piece to the puzzle of what makes me do what I do/ think what I think/ feel what I feel
  • Discover truth of who God thinks I am
  • Courage to face what God reveals
  • How to help people who aren't ripe for ministry
  • How to help people "move on"

Our pattern was to begin with praise and worship.  We began that first morning with a brief sharing from Friesen, Wilder, et al The Life Model.  We taught about the existence of the "joy center," the difficulty one has in persevering if the suffering consistently out matches the joy, and the God designed life rhythm of alternating joy building and resting together.  We practiced that rhythm at the beginning of each session - worshipping and singing together then sitting in quiet rest together.  On the second evening we treated the participants to a "spa" evening with neck wraps warmed in the kitchen ovens, foot soaking and foot massage, and facials.  That was indeed "joy building!"

I am so very deeply struck at the sacrifices these folks who minister abroad make.  Once one has ministered abroad in another culture for any appreciable amount of time, one loses the sense of where home is!  They don't quite fit in the culture where they minister, and when they come back to their land of origin so much has changed – and they have changed so much that they don't fit "at home" either. 

After each video session we had a brief question and answer period then broke into practice groups.  By Saturday when the group had viewed the demonstration tape we broke the group into triads. These groups of three worked very well. There was someone to facilitate TP prayer, someone receiving, and someone intercessing.  There was time enough in some groups for each person experience all three roles.  The team was available to come to the assistance of any group that was stuck.  The attentiveness and earnestness of the participants was remarkable!   They watched the videos with rapt attention and came to each session eager for more.

Even though we cautioned the participants in the practice groups to avoid practice on deeply traumatizing experiences, with the history of rape and pillage of this area of the world deep wounds could be expected to surface.  And they did. The participants simply raised their hands for help, and a team member went to assist them.  Jesus showed up as only He can do!

We were delighted at the enthusiastic response and participation of the men during the training and practice periods.  They even stayed for the spa! We believe their presence at the seminar will bear much fruit.  They were very touched and learned much from the shepherding they received from the male member of our team. 

During the question and answer periods there was opportunity to do teaching on supplementary topics such as:

  • Types A and B trauma (The Life Model)
  • Soaking Prayer (Francis MacNutt and others)
  • Intercessory Prayer (from Dutch Sheets)
  • Staying in the Struggle until You Get the Blessing ( Developed from Tony Evans teaching on Genesis 32:26)
  • The Armor of God as a Life Style

**** All teaching that was not Theophostic was clearly stated "not Theophostic" as appropriate with teachers above credited****

Comments shared by the participants were:

  • This is great! With Jesus in the lead the pressure is off!
  • I called my friend at home today and I said to him, "Guess who I met today! (Jesus)"
  • Thanks so much for your service of love to come to Budapest and share your lives with us and pray with us. It was such a blessed weekend, not only because of what I learned, but because Jesus met me at some points of need to heal. I am experiencing freedom and wholeness at the points of pain where Jesus met me and gave me healing words.
  • I learned this ministry doesn't depend on what we do, but rather it is dependant on Jesus to meet the person in the pain. And that is so freeing!

For our debrief session after the seminar ended we listed what went well and what we would do differently.  Then we were asked by our pastor:

  • Was the Lord pleased?
  • Was the Lord glorified
  • Was this a good investment?  Why?

As we prayed and deliberated on the above, the Lord blessed us with the appearance of one of the women who originally invited us to Budapest.  We asked her to pray with us and then to answer those last 3 questions from her perspective.  She was quiet for a time then replied that – Yes, the Lord was indeed pleased and glorified as Jesus was given all the credit.  As for the investment – a solid yes.  She shared, "Not only did we benefit, but those we minister to in the field will benefit."

So Sunday afternoon 19 people left for 7 countries to share what they have learned.  A team of 5 weary but joyful Americans headed for home.  We thank the Lord for the opportunity to watch Him at work in the hearts of His people.  We thank the hundreds of people who prayed for us while we were overseas.  We thank Sanibel Community Church for sending us. We thank Theophostic Ministeries for their support with training and materials.

Bobbie Maybee, LCSW
His Place by the Sea, Sanibel Island, FL
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