The Men’s Rescue Mission in Syracuse NY is going through the Divine Experiment for the second time. This mission is focused on ministering to broken, homeless men or men addicted to substances. It includes a number of recovery programs as well as a men’s homeless shelter. They had 70 men go through in November and the Lord responded in such powerful ways. This time 100 men are going through together. Their testimonies of how the Lord is impacting the lives of these men is amazing!
From Jim Livi, one of the Directors of the Mission:
Much deeper and genuine worship that the men are having during the DE. Worship was full and intimate. Nearly all of the men sang loudly, many of them lifting their hands and closing their eyes. More freedom in expressing themselves through gestures and lifting of hands. Worship could extend beyond the time of 3 songs being used. Wonderful to see God step in and allow the men to worship in a much richer way.
Saturday night during our worship time we worshipped God in such spontaneity it was beautiful being led by men at the mission singing worship songs in accapella! Then each man wrote down the desires of his heart on a blank paper to be freed of health problems, delivered of….. to see the face of God, etc.It was beautiful to hear the compassion of prayers being prayed. One man rededicated his heart to Jesus! Then, the presence of the Holy Spirit fell on several of us and we ended up on the floor and He filled us with peace and joy! This was a great answer to men as they have been seeking God!
On Monday night the Holy Spirit moved again. During our prayer time the Holy Spirit gave me a strategy…. have the men line up in our shelter hallways, hand in hand and pray for God to meet with our homeless men and break down strongholds. We did this on the two floors of the shelter. At one point we were on our knees praying in the hallway with a staff member joining us. We prayed and claimed the shelter for God.
All the men were right with it… no questions about it being bizarre. So we did it as the Deputy Sheriff was watching us and other homeless men!
The atmosphere in the shelter changed tremendously…. His peace overcoming the noise and distractions. The staff want the men to do this again!
After coming back to the chapel that night we worshipped God more and then three of the men went into an exhorting preaching mode to their peers, thanking them and saying how proud they are for doing this together.
Testimonies from the men:
Says that he’s always associated lifting his hands with surrendering to the police. Now he sees it as a way to surrender to God! -Mike M.
Though he is homeless, he does not feel homeless. He knows he has a home in Christ because of the chapel and the activities there. Even when he was incarcerated, he knew the Lord was with him. Day after day he would say, “Lord let me make it through another day.” Proclaimed that God is a good God! He is not wanting to use drugs or alcohol. Today he went back to old neighborhood to get a haircut and to see his mom and say “Hi” He told her he was going back to attend the DE.
Was out looking for job and found a wallet outside PA building downtown. Looked inside and the id and everything was in it. There was a sheriff nearby and he gave it to the sheriff. -David
Noticed that he been straying since his release from prison. Recognizes that his injury is going to be a learning tool. He was feeling pity and felt he should attend the DE. He knows he needs to get on the path to God. Now he is feeling different and wants to have gratitude all the time. He is grateful. -Chris
Rededicated his life to the Lord. And Chris who is in a wheelchair rededicated his life to the Lord. You can see the joy and happiness on Shane’s face since he rededicated his life to the Lord. -Ron
Today as he was driving, he began to covet over the nice cars people drive. As looked at a specific car in a parking lot, the devil began to tell him he could have what he wants if he would follow him. Skip yelled at the top of his lungs, “You’re a liar! The devil is a liar!” He felt awesome after that and the coveting left him! -Skip
Gave Praise to God – he had a physical and does not have TB. Taking cough medicine for cough but thanks Jesus for health and for healing his body. -Chuckie
God told him he is very special and that He hasn’t given up on him. Leroy says that he has hope and knows that God has hope for him as well. Leroy says he knows he is very important to God and to his family as well. God told him he didn’t deserve to be living the lifestyle he just came from. He also asked Christ into his life this evening. -Leroy
The first time he came to DE he felt a sense of peace the rest of the night after he left the chapel. He knows Jesus was calling him to attend this evening as well. All he could think of was the good feeling he had when he left and it stayed with him for a couple days too. Normally, when he leaves chapel he just has Satan putting the worldly things back into his head. However, he feels that ever since he attended DE, God took away all those negative thoughts. The life he was leading before has been taken away, by God and he feels great about it. He’s looking forward to attending more of the meetings. -Eddie
Bumped into a person whom he smoked crack with in the past and he was able to say “No.” to him and walk away. This was the first time he was able to say “No.” In the past he would just avoid and make excuses. He now knows he has control. That satan does not have control over him. Praise God! -Charles
Attended DE meeting last night and could not wait to return today and share. He has a “heart condition and can not stand on his knee” – he is “standing today” giving testimony! “Is being healed of both in His Name, the Name of Jesus!”
David says that he bluffed his way through the Salvation Army program. He never really tried to get better, he just went through the motions and he ended up relapsing and feeling bad about it. Now he’s really trying and he feels great!! The Divine experiment has taught him a lot. David’s been praying out loud, reading the Bible, and worshipping with singing and even lifting his hands. -David
Sandy asked everyone if there was any disappointment with the Divine Experiment. There was a unanimous “No.” Sandy said that the only disappointment he’s heard from anyone is that the Divine Experiment is over.
Gordon says that he feels rooted now. He isn’t ashamed to share his faith and God’s word. He says that he talks to people and then they tell him how the things he said were so encouraging to them.
Mike shared how the Lord has been showing him through DE that it’s about living right, not just praying right.Says he’s learning to be still, to be humble and to count on God in all circumstances. God changed Malcolm and now he is beginning to feel again and is able to love who he is today. He has stopped listening to people and is now listening to God. Says the greatest thing he has done is praying. Even when he slipped up and failed – God showed him the way out and showed him that he is not that person; allowing him to see himself as … disgusting, dirty, liar, a thief, full of pride. God allowed him to see these things so that change can take place in him. -Malcolm
Says that God spoke to him and told him to be there at the DE. He does not want to miss another DE. He missed a night of the DE and it was like a “night in hell.” He could not sleep; he was pacing up and down the dorm room. He wants “see it through” and complete the DE. -LaMeen
Through the DE he has gotten on the right path. He had gotten away from God and the DE is a new worship experience for him and he knows he has to stay on course to keep himself from trouble. His hope is for God to give him the strength, knowledge and understanding to deal with the different spirits, etc. Feels he is being attacked spiritual at the mission – things being said about him by men he thought were his friends (he recognizes satan’s scheme to tear him down!) – Charles
Been saved a long time yet placed God aside and took his own will. Seeking God has transformed his thinking and given him the foundation that anything is possible. God is working on him to get his daughter back. And working to help him to be humble and not complain, to be still and stay in the places that he needs to be. Also has allowed him to have a beautiful relationship with his daughter and other family members.
He has no money and no place to live yet he loves God. Depending on God more and less on his own understanding. Not doing the things he used to do, not talking the way he used to talk. Not complaining – says, “Thank you” to the Lord. -Malcolm
God spoke to him — The Lord has been working in his heart and he is battling an addiction of wanting attention from people and wanting to be seen. He has been wanting to be seen as someone worthy to be praised. Says it has been awesome to focus on humbling oneself and being genuine not just it sounding good. -Ryan (Cedarville U. student)
The experience has opened her eyes to how unthankful she is. Seeing the men and how passionate they are about worshiping God. To see people who are seeking God for the desire to change their lives causes her to recognize how numb and apathetic she is. Being raised in a Christian home with other Christians — She is looking forward to letting others know and to share with them. -Lauren (Cedarville U. student)
Miraculous things are happening for him this week. He is working for a law firm and got there because it was a “mistake.” He gave the leader at work a card with his name and a verse. And gave a thank you card with a Bible verse on it to the manager for the opportunity to work there. Both these men are not saved and Timothy had been given the chance to give the gospel to each of them personally and the manager has kept the card sitting on his desk. -Timothy
Thanks God for blessing him and restoring him back to Himself. Through the DE he is able to be a beacon for others at the mission. The Lord has been using him over the past week to reach others and bring them to Christ. He went back to his home church and two men who he has been ministering to walked in. One saw the Holy Ghost during worship. God just continues to use Charles to prepare others who are lost and to bring them to Christ. Thanks God for keeping him upright. Praying for strength to keep being a beacon and to walk upright before the men he is helping and leading. -Charles
Brand new in spiritual experiences. Two weeks ago Tony had a stroke while in the chapel. By the grace of God, he is able to be present for the DE. Difficult and strange for him to say “Thank you” but he must say it – “Amen!” Also gives thanks to the men who helped him the night he had a stroke. Tony had been wrestling with God and his situation has worked for good. He is still an infant and not sure how to pray, but he is praying. Shares with others and is doing what he feels he should be doing. -Tony
Thanks the Lord for His leading in his life and helping him to make contacts in the community. Attended a men’s prayer breakfast at a local church. Mike had the opportunity to share the Word with them and to share with them as they began seeking and reaching out to the community themselves. He can see that the body of Christ is at work. -Mike B.