o.O because it was still there.
I went out on a Treasure Hunt this past Thursday the 9th with a group of 5 from our School of Ministry to the Capital City Mall, in Camp Hill. IT ROCKED!
What is a Treasure Hunt you ask?
Well, simply put - the hunt is seeking who God has on His heart to bless through us. He gives us clues to who it is, and we go find them.
How does it work?
Before we went, our group met together and prayed....jotted down some "clues" on our treasure maps. The map is just a list on a piece of paper. Clues are grouped in categories of location, name, appearance, prayer needs, and misc....
Okay, that's not much of a description. It sounds like they are just writing down random words on a piece of paper and then looking for things to fulfill those words. It's also possible the organizer of this event gave them "clues" . . . you know, he has "clues" sarcastiquoted and I don't know if he's being sarcastic or using quotes as decoration or what.
So, just to base this event in a reality most people can agree upon, Capital City Mall in Camp Hill, PA (that's what I found, anyway) has hundreds of thousand of people working and living within 15 miles. It gets some serious traffic, and that's not during the holiday shopping insanity. In other words, this mall was packed.
We encountered 4 people on our lists in about 50 minutes...I will highlight one on this post.
One of us had 'silver columns & rainbow' on the list as the description of a location...another had the name Thomas, and three of us had the word depression as a prayer need...
Okay, so we have a busy mall made busier by holiday shopping and you're looking for Thomas. Thomas is the 11th most popular name in the United States, with over 2,000,000 people sharing that name. In other words, it would have been bizarre if they had not run into anyone named Thomas.
Major Depression affects approximate 6.7% of all Americans 18 and over, approximately 14,800,000 people. That's just major depression, mind you. Many people describe "feeling a bit run down" as depression. If not running into Thomas would have been bizarre, not running into a person who would describe themselves as depressed would have been impossible.
In other words, this person is incredibly impressed that having the name "Thomas" and the problem "depression" that, in a very busy mall, they actually managed to find a Thomas and a depressed person. However, looking at how common both Thomas and depression are, it's not surprising at all.
As we walked along, we passed the entrance to Macy's within the mall, and noticed to big stainless steel columns at the entrance. Just inside the store there was a display of Christmas stockings. The stockings at the end of the display were all rainbow prints. To top it off, above the display there was a BIG sign - the word 'believe'...we thought, this has got to be the spot. So we hung out there for a few moments keeping our eyes opened for other clues.....(like a red hat, blue jacket, or platform shoes).
I saw a family (mom, dad, and two little sons) sitting at one of the columns. I wondered if one of the boy's names might be Thomas. I approached and asked "by any chance, is either one of your son's names Thomas?" They said no. But then, the mother said "his middle name is Thomas"...pointing the the younger son who was coughing. "Well, that's good enough for me", I said. And I waved at the other people in my group to join me.
I explained to the family that we are on a treasure hunt...telling them that we met 1/2 hour before coming to the mall to pray about who it is that God would want us to meet and share His Love with, bless and pray with....and that they were "holding" some of the clues (a location surrounded by silver columns & rainbows, and the name Thomas)....
So, let me get this straight, you were on the way to the mall and you're surprised that one of your "clues" was the description of a prominent display in a store in the mall? I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. It's lovely.
So, we just offer to pray with them, specifically for Zachary Thomas and his cold....they had no problem receiving the prayers.
When we got done praying over Z.T. I felt there was something more. The Lord reminded me that three of us had the word 'depression'. So, taking a chance, I asked our group if they felt there was something more, and they agreed.
I explained to the family that we had another 'clue' on our list. This clue was a prayer need. I took a chance and mentioned the word depression.....
With that, the mother's countenance changed dramatically and she began to cry...she explained to us that their 13 year old son had just been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and that it was so extreme they were talking about institutionalizing him....*yay God*...
We explained to her that The Lord set up this divine appointment. We had the opportunity to pray hope, joy, and faith into this family and into the mother. We were able to declare depression broken, bi-polar disorder canceled, and restoration of their family to begin....
They said they were believers and that they belonged to a church, but hadn't been there in over a month because of their oldest son. We certainly invited them to our church, but rejoiced with them over theirs....
Can I just say - we were all charged and blessed from that encounter....we had three other ones that night, but this one was 'way cool' :)
Okay, first of all, depression is not the same thing as bipolar disorder, so now you're really reaching, but you "declared depression broken, bipolar disorder cancelled"? How? I am literally shaking with rage at this point. These poor people are having to deal with a seriously ill child, a child that may require institutionalization. And this fucking fuck "declares the disease cancelled" and walks off feeling all "cool" about it? Hey, fuckhead! Yeah, you. While you were going home feeling all way cool, those people went back to their lives, lives that still included a seriously ill child. You . . . you . . . you know what? Now I am at a loss for words.