In the summer of 2014, Bevelyn, Edmee and Jessica embarked on their first ministry trip to Washington DC. Here’s what happenned:
An Assignment to Praise
Our experience in Washington DC is evidence of the Lord’s faithfulness, mercy and boundless love towards us. All glory and honor be to God who made our first ministry trip and journey to Washington a success. He was with us all the way, through thick and thin.
The decision to worship and praise Jesus in public was initially born in Central Park. We’d go out every Saturday. The day it all began, we were walking down Central Park, and started to sing the song “This little light of mine, am gonna let it shine!” But then, we changed the lyrics to, ‘this big light of mine, am gonna let it shine.’ As we were singing, God’s spirit enveloped the area and overwhelmed us. Some people joined us in singing, and the joy of the Lord radiated. This was when we realized that the Lord was giving us a new direction: to praise Him in front of the White House. We felt we had to take this ministry to other places. Little did we know that God was just getting started with us.
This new idea of going on the road was so exciting!!! While we had barely got to know each other, we knew Father God was doing something special in our lives. Jessica even envisioned us being televised while praising God in DC. We could not wait to go!!!
Before coming to Washington DC, we had lots of logistical decisions to make. While we were used to meeting on a weekly basis on Central Park, we now had to go beyond our usual comfort zones to do something different. We were now taking days off from work and taking into account the financial costs involved. At that time, we had no idea that the Lord was preparing us for the Logistics of a full-blown ministry; in fact, we didn’t know that what we were doing would metamorphose into a ministry; all we knew was that going to Washington DC was God’s next step for us.
So we prepared, but things didn’t go as easy as planned. We had initially made some reservation plans that became abortive, and at the ninth hour, we had to settle for a night at Motel 6. We booked our bus tickets, got ready to move, and just when we thought the hurdle was over, we missed our bus! Frankly, we almost gave up at one point, but Bevelyn was convinced that we had to press on. Thankfully, we did and boy did it pay off!!! We finally arrived in Washington DC at about 2am.
Staying at Motel 6 was a trip in and of itself. Not sure if the hotel was located in a clubbing area, but the environment felt like it. As we settled the best we could and were trying to get some sleep, Edmee, reminiscing, over the events of the previous day, mentioned that God would be paying for the trip. Her exact words were; “the Lord is gonna pay for this trip!” Looking back now, it is pretty clear that that seemingly innocent proclamation was prophetic of what was to come. Father God did not waste any time making this prophecy come to pass. On our way to DC, some dear friends had sent us a message saying “You’re all set!” They had arranged and paid for us to stay at Marriot hotel on our second night in DC. While still recovering from our eventful night at the Motel 6, we got a phone call from the friends who were supposed to host us. They asked that we send them the Motel 6 bill so they could send us the money back!!!
The Lord was just getting started paying for this trip. As we were on our way to the Marriot hotel (we’d decided to check in early so we could have the whole day to minister at the White House), we met a businessman from Nigeria. Jessica and Bevelyn were sitting at a restaurant while Edmee was getting her food from another place. On her way to join them, a man was standing on the sidewalk in a suit. He asked what she was doing for a living. Edmee said she was a minister. “A minister!!! A minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?” were his exact words. “Yes indeed!” she responded with a smile on her face. She found out he was a businessman from Nigeria who was staying in the same hotel they were staying. She then introduced him to the ladies. We shared that we were in DC to praise God in front of the White House. He was impressed that three young women would take their weekend to do such a thing. He shared that he wished he could stay with us for lunch but had to go. He then did the unexpected by dropping a $100 bill on our table. “I can’t stay but I want to encourage you. This is to cover for your lunch!” We were in awe! He then invited us to have breakfast the next day.
The White House
At the time we visited Washington DC, there were ongoing protests. Some new developments had occurred with the Palestinian conflict, and one could feel the tension in the air. Having settled down, it was time for the real deal. We got geared up for the task of the day and went to our target venue. The White House.
We got on a cab and started to chat with our driver. We found out his name was Ishmael and took the opportunity to tell him what it meant: “God hears.” Bevelyn who was a babe in Christ at the time proceeded to inquire about the tension between Ishmael and Isaac and the impact it still has today. Edmee proceeded to explain not knowing that protests were irrupting in front of the White House as a result of that age-old conflict. The irony we later thought…
There was a variety of agitated crowds, who were yelling and clamoring. There was a whole lot of activities but we didn’t let it dissuade or discourage us. We came together, prayed, pulled our voices up and started to sing: “This big light of mine, am gonna let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine…” As we sang on, Jessica’s prophesy came to pass, TV cameras turned towards us, and bam, we were being recorded! It was a great experience! Mind you; it was never about the fame. Publicity was not the aim, neither was it even a motivating factor. Instead, we were compelled to do God’s will, and the thought and manifestation of that were fascinating to us!
Right before our worshiping the Lord in front of the White House, we wanted to engage with a few people who were protesting. There was an apparent anger in the air, a lot of people were angry with the situation, but thankfully, it was a peaceful protest. Edmee talked to a particular man who was really aggrieved over Israel. She asked him if he knew of something he could do that would help solve things. He responded that he and his people had tried everything. She then asked if he ever considered blessing Israel. She told him that a Man, long ago, had commanded His followers to love and bless their enemies. It sounded insane to the man she was talking with, and he concluded that it was impossible. She agreed and told him that it takes Jesus to do it. With God’s grace, it is more than possible.
As it was getting late that day, we decided to connect with the friends who’d covered our night stay at the Marriott hotel. They invited us to have dinner with them at a Greek restaurant. We had a great time, great conversation with our friends coupled with a fabulous meal. And there again, those friends covered for the food!!! Father God was still making His word come to pass.
As mentioned earlier, Bevelyn at the time was a babe in Christ. We all had personal challenges, but she was, at that time, still addicted to smoking weed. As we went back to our hotel room, she seized the moment. She ran the water, locked the bathroom door and lit up a joint as she was taking a bath. When Edmee and Jessica figured what she was doing, they knew they had to do something about it, so rather than judge, or chastise her, or tag her as hypocritical. They waited for her to come out the bathroom, took her hands, prayed with and for her and asked God to remove the addiction out of her life. They also asked Holy Spirit to baptize her.
For Bevelyn, the incident was overwhelming; she never forgot about how merciful the Lord was to her at that very moment, and how He administered to her need. After that prayer, she felt the high leave her. This was the starting point of her getting freed from this addiction. Thank you Jesus!!!
The Check Please!
Now, back to how God provided our needs in DC. The Lord showed off again on our third day there. We had breakfast with our Nigerian friend as planned. We had another wonderful time out, a free meal, quality conversations. In the end, he blessed us with another $200! We left there in awe of God. We now had leftover money and decided to put it towards our next trip.
We found out that God’s provision did not stop in DC. A few days after we had returned to New York, Edmee received an email from Megabus apologizing for the delay with our bus. The second bus we boarded after we missed the first one that we’d initially booked was late. Edmee thought this was nice of them to at least send an email to apologize. As she scrolled down, she realized that they were refunding their tickets!!! Another unexpected $73 blessing!!!
On our way back from DC, we were discussing the Word and ended up having a Bible study on the bus. There, we analyzed the fact that God is not responsible for the hurts, pain and bad things that happen to people in this world. His word has made it clear that He only thinks thoughts of good towards us. Edmee also pointed out that many Christians fail to exercise the power of God inherent in them to take authority and command circumstances to their favor. We considered the story of Job and how God refused to permit satan to take his life and concluded on the need not to blame God for the bad things of life.
Three days after our trip to DC, the police showed up at Bevelyn’s apartment!!! That morning, she was in the shower getting ready for work. She was serving probation at that time and had failed to report. She got dressed and followed them to their car. While in the car she called Edmee. “I’m in the back of a police car. They came to my apartment this morning!!!” Bevelyn said she would call back as she only had a few seconds. When she and Edmee got on the phone again, she explained why the police had come that morning. Edmee was thrilled to hear that Bevelyn had shared her testimony with the police officers and shared the marvelous things the Lord had done in DC. Sharing her testimony granted her so much favor with the police officers that ’till this day they regard her as a changed and blessed woman of God.
We’re so thankful to God for preparing Bevelyn for such a time as this. She would not have had the resolve to let God turn what the enemy meant for evil into something good by sharing her testimony if she had not known that there is an enemy out there who wants to still, kill and destroy. She had believed that God was the one responsible for the evil in her life; that He was the one wanting to get her arrested right after she had spent the weekend praising Him in public and ministering on His behalf.
So many other lessons were learned on that trip which would be the first of many. We learned that our Father never places an order without covering the bill and then some. Just like that: all our expenses, cost of the trip, and meals were paid for! We learned that giving up is not an option. When we’ve done all we can do, we need to stand. We also learned that the Lord will work with anyone who is available despite the personal struggles we may have. Wonder if our Father knew in advance that Bevelyn would be smoking weed right after spending the day praising Him in public… Last but not least, we saw first hand that His word does not return void. We were televised as Jessica envisioned it and our trip was PAID FOR!!!
Matthew 4:44 reads But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… and Luke 6:28 reads Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which spitefully use you.
When discussing with a protestor in front of the White House, the need to love one’s enemy became so real. What else could the protestors do? They had tried everything according to them. What laws could have been erected to change this Middle East conflict? One once said: “you can’t legislate love.” However, in the Kingdom of God, Jesus did! Jesus demanded of us to love our enemies and bless them. He would not ask us to do something we could not do. The problem is, we cannot do it. It takes God and His grace to love those who don’t love us. It takes being born again and becoming brand new creations in Christ Jesus. It takes Jesus being Lord of our lives. It takes renewed minds through the Word of God and the Spirit of God. It takes His love in us, His desire to love within us and our willingness to let His will become ours.