"Not long ago our church hosted a ministry team for a week and two of the team members stayed in our home. Encounter Revival Ministries is a team of 25 college age young people led by Ardy and Jean Parlin. The team sings very well and they also present dramas, testimonies and other specialized ministries for various age groups. Brother Ardy Parlin preaches at each service, clearly explaining what the Bible teaches on numerous significant subjects.
We have not hosted people very often so we were a little nervous about having two team members with us for an entire week. I also found myself wondering how I would be able to have the energy needed for a full week of work and a full week of 1 ½ hour evening programs. I soon discovered that my concerns were not very big issues at all. My wife and I enjoyed the team members almost like they were our own children. The fellowship was sweet, the music of the team was uplifting, the dramas were thought-provoking and the messages were convicting. We looked forward with eagerness to each time the team was ministering.
I was especially touched by the focus on forgiveness that was presented one night. All week the Spirit of God reminded me of my need to forgive others. The story of the Unforgiving Servant found in Matthew 18 was especially important as I thought about my responses to other people. On Friday night I sought out Brother Ardy and he graciously prayed with me, asking God to help me to forgive others in the same way I have been forgiven for Christ’s sake.
One of the areas where I struggle a great deal with forgiveness is at my job. Often other workers do thoughtless things that make my assignments more difficult. It is very easy to become bitter and resentful. God showed me, through the Encounter Ministry, that I need to forgive those people. About two weeks after the team had departed, one of my supervisors approached me. He said, “I’ve been watching you for the last while and something is different about you.” I was greatly encouraged that someone else could see that there was a change taking place in my life. We visited for over 30 minutes, and I was able to tell my supervisor that the change is all about God’s work in my life. It’s not because of my own efforts but because of His work in me.
God gets all the credit for using the Encounter Ministry to touch my heart. I thank Him often, and I pray that others will have a similar change of heart."
~Attendee of an Encounter Meeting