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July 11

The People of Praise Responds to Recent Press

Over the past few weeks the People of Praise has received a great deal of attention in the press. Here, we aim to correct the record and provide clarity on a few important points.

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"The seed grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air sheltered in its branches." (Lk. 13:19)

March through the Valley #4: On the Road

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Peter Putzier:

I grew up here in Servant Branch and went to the University of Minnesota for a couple of years. Now I’m taking some time off and doing mission work--for the past year and a half, plus.

This story is about a hitchhiking trip. Around September, Peter Coleman, Rus Lyons and I were in Dale, Indiana. It has been a pretty long day of mission work, and we get to the end of the day, about 6 o’clock, and we’re still looking for a place to stay. So we sit down on a curb underneath the water tower. It’s getting dark, so we decide that we need to start knocking on doors and finding a place to stay. So we’re walking across the street and there’s this guy at the second house we walk by. It’s a small house with kind of a carport connected to the house. We see this guy in the back yard and he’s working on a deck or something, and so we figure, let’s go talk to this guy.

We walk up and say, “We’re Christian missionaries and we’d like to beg some food and shelter from you.” He’s in his 30s, a pretty burly guy, and he looks surprised, but he doesn’t miss a beat. He goes inside and talks to his wife and they come out and say, “I don’t know if we can put you up. We got some kids here and we’re kind of full, but if you want to stay we’ll cook you some dinner.”

And we say, “That would be great. We’d love that.”

So, while his wife—Julie, we’ll call her—is making dinner, we go out in the back, and it turns out this guy Matt is working on his deck in his back yard that’s he’s putting a hot tub on. So we feel like this is exactly what we want to do, after a day walking around talking to folks. Give us a hammer, you know, that’s great! It takes a little convincing before he actually believes that this is what we want to do. So we spend awhile working on the deck, and then we go inside for pancakes and cookies and bananas.

While we’re eating, Julie and Matt are conferencing, and when we’re done eating they say, “We were thinking about it and we’d like to offer you a place to stay.” And Julie says, “I just . . . we got kids and I want to make sure that you’re not psycho-killers. Do you have someone we can call, so we know that you are who you say you are?” So we give them Nick Holovaty’s number and Matt calls Nick and they decide we’re okay.

So after dinner we went out in the back and helped Matt. When we got there, he had holes in the ground. That’s all he had for this deck he was building, and we showed up and we got the whole thing framed out by about midnight that night. Then we went inside because we had wanted to talk to them both about the Holy Spirit, and also we wanted to pray for Julie because she told us she has heart arrhythmia. So we ended up meeting about midnight in the front room of their house and we prayed for Julie for this heart arrhythmia. And as we’re praying, she says, “I am getting lightheaded. I need to sit down.” So she sits down.

We kind of leave it at that. We don’t know if anything actually happened, and we explain to them about the Holy Spirit and tell them some stories, and Matt hasn’t been prayed with for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and Julie has. And Matt totally wants the Holy Spirit, so we all pray for him, and after that, Julie says, “You know my heart . . . it’s beating steady right now.” We say, “Well, praise God. That’s a healing, you know. The Lord healed your heart of the arrhythmia.”  And her heart is still better. We went back several months later and she doesn’t have problems with it. Glory to God. Thank you, Lord.

The next morning we get up and talk to Matt, and at Julie’s prompting he says, “You know, I got to tell you guys, the other day I asked the Lord three times for a blessing, and it was the first time I had ever asked God to send me a blessing. Things had been going really rough, and I prayed to the Lord three times, ‘Lord, send me a blessing, send me a blessing, send me a blessing.’ And at the end of the day you guys showed up. I had been trying to get my friends to help me with this deck, but it was like pulling teeth . . . and now we’re halfway done. . . so thank you, Lord.”

Nick Holovaty:

Thanks, Peter. By the way, the deck is now done . . . and I got to meet Matt. He said, “You know, I was the guy who called you, Nick. I just wasn’t the type of guy to have strangers over and stay in my house.” Then he told us a story about how he was driving late on Christmas Eve, and he saw a car spin out in front of him on the snow. He said, “You know, I’m not proud of it, but, before, I would have just passed by, but I stopped and helped her, and she was okay.” So he stayed and two other men stopped and pulled the car out of the ditch, and he helped this girl, and he said, “I’ve been changing since you guys showed up. Things are changing around here.” Praise God.

Responses

  1. bruce brand says:

    Wow

  2. Michael says:

    All I can say is each story gets better and better.

  3. Anne Brewer says:

    Great story! Inspiring! Yes Lord.

  4. Paul Kane says:

    The man in this story prayed for a blessing and the People of Praise showed up. Glory!

  5. Whit Au says:

    Hi:

    I was very impressed by Peter simply stating “We’re Christian missionaries and we’d like to beg some food and shelter from you.” It take tremendous boldness to do something like that and the Lord honored their boldness. What a great story!!

  6. Gerry Deakin says:

    Praise God! Stories like these, for us all, I think are like fertilizer on wintered grass in the spring. These stories just fire us up to do more to reach out more to speak the word for our Lord more! This is just great. Thank you so very much. More Lord!

  7. Fred Smith says:

    Nick&Brethren,That's a good line (Matt)-"Things are changing around here!" Thank you Lord -it's "from glory to glory" for Matt, Julie and all your new 'valley-friends'!It's exciting to believe weAll can follow your example -become 'marchers-for-change'in our towns & cities !There's going to be a long line of stories !To God the glory!

  8. Carmen Fraga says:

    Alleluia! How wonderful that you are bringing the Baptism of the Spirit to others! Our God is Awesome and your trust in Him is a great example to all of us! We continue to pray for your work! In Christ, Carmen

  9. Chris Ubanski says:

    Brothers,
    We in South Bend have been talking about "advancing" and this story sure looks like that to me!
    Praise God for your holy boldness and glory to God for his power of the Holy Spirit.
    Continue the good work, you insire me,
    Chris Urbanski

  10. Therese McNichol says:

    What a blessing to our Father that you were willing to help him answer Matt's prayer!

  11. Ray Gonzalez says:

    Why do we ever doubt??

    RJG

  12. Patty Whelpley says:

    It amazes me the grace that happens when you boldly put yourselves fully in God's hands to do His will. So inspiring. Thank you!

  13. Leon Cameron says:

    This is so cool. I love stories (witnesses) like this!
    Wish they would cover something like this on the "news".

  14. Ken Herceg says:

    Gentlemen,
    You are bold in the Lord. May the Holy Spirit give me that kind of boldness with the people around me here in St. Joseph County. The People of Praise is the solid base (to which the phone call can be made), may God move and empower me to reach out close to home as these folks are far away.

  15. Edna Malone says:

    It so amazing what wonders The Lord can bring about,when we step out in faith and do what the Lord is telling us to do. Keep on listening and doing. The Lord is faithful and won't let you down. God Bless

  16. paul putzier says:

    We have the same Holy Spirit poured out on the first Pentecost, and this wonderful story is a powerful encouragement to live in the power of the Holy Spirit in 2011! Thanks Peter.

  17. Sam Craiker says:

    This story is really amazing how Peter would just help people in need like Matt. It is amzing how he spread the POP around just by helping one person. You are brave to go out and help those people there.

  18. Bruce Wansart says:

    A worker is worth his wage.In this situation it openned the door wide for you guys.

    Gods love,is the most powerful thing in the universe,thus as you carried it into this family situation,physical,and spiritual healing.

    This as already,has been pointed out. It's a wonderful thing that your willing to share your time as missionnaries when away from school.

  19. Aunt Alicia says:

    Thanks for sharing your witness Peter. I enjoyed listening and would like to pass it on to some friends.

    God Bless you in your ministry.

    Love,
    Aunt Alicia

  20. Carol Phillips says:

    What an inspiring story. Thank you for letting your light shine and not hiding it under the bushel basket. You truly honor our God by your faith in Him.

  21. Dale Engles says:

    Thank you guys.

    Thank you God.

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