I’d been weighing up where to go with a week of holiday that I’d booked off a couple of months ago. I’d gone through about 6 different options and none of them had felt quite right, until on Monday night I was chatting to a Maltese friend who invited me over. I knew God would have something lined up and it felt right. I booked tickets at midnight and left for Malta at 9am the next morning.
Malta is awesome. Covered with beaches, doused in glorious sunshine and filled with plenty of fascinating history both from a Christian perspective (the Apostle Paul got stranded here in AD60) and my own family’s (my great uncle was this guy.
Part of the reason I came was to stretch myself in sharing God’s love on the streets. On the Wednesday I went to Valletta determined to see His kingdom come and prepared to make a fool of myself. It wasn’t long before I walked past a group of 8 guys in their late teens who were just mingling and hanging about. I felt like I should go up and offer to pray for them, so I did.
“This might sound a little strange… but do any of you have any physical pain in your body?” I asked. I explained that Jesus loved them and that I felt that he’d heal them if they did. Amidst the surprised reaction of the group, one brave guy piped up that he had a swollen knee which hurt when he walked. I laid hands on him with the 8 guys standing all around me, prayed a simple prayer and asked how it was.
After that, the whole group were suddenly interested in what I had to say. I chatted for a bit and then prayed with all of them before moving on. While I shared some of the gospel message I wish I’d shared more, but at least I know for next time. They did at least grab business cards of the local church from my hands.
Almost immediately after that I walked past a lady limping heavily with a crutch. I stopped her and chatted a little with her about how Malta became a Catholic country because the Apostle Paul had been shipwrecked there, and had then healed lots of the islanders (read Acts 27-28). Jesus hadn’t changed, and I was there to do the same. Her daughter helped to translate but didn’t want to be on the video so unfortunately this video isn’t great.
She’d fallen down a flight of stairs a couple of days earlier and sprained her ankle. She said that the pain level was a 5/10 (with 10 being absolute agony) to begin with and then after I prayed once it had dropped down to a 2/10. I then prayed again and I asked her to walk a few metres with out the crutch and she said through her daughter that it wasn’t hurting. I left her with contact details for the church and watched her walk away without a limp.
I walked past an estate agents and felt like I should walk in and offer to pray for someone there. It didn’t go so well. One lady said she had a friend with back pain so I prayed for him standing in the doorway while one of the 3 staff members watched in disbelief. I told them God loved them and moved on. At least his name was glorified. I don’t care about mine.
Next I did a bit of tourist stuff – visiting (St Johns Co-Cathedral in Valletta) and as I emerged I saw a guy walking with a limp. I stopped him and prayed for him. He said that he felt the pain drop about 50-60% but the real issue was that it was so bandaged that he couldn’t move it. He was on his way to a physio, so I’m praying he’ll have got there and discovered that it was completely healed.
While looking for lunch, I saw a lady on a cigarette break and felt like she had back pain and heaviness all over her. I walked up and asked if she had back pain. She jumped in surprise and said yes, asking how I knew. I prayed for it at the pain level fell from a 5/10 to a 2/10. She then had to rush back to work so I didn’t get to pray for the rest.
Then I chilled out for the afternoon doing more touristy stuff around the harbour until joining my friend Claude to go and support a network of Churches from Malta in an outreach. En route I had asked someone if they had ear problems (slightly ironically perhaps) and was wrong, but nevermind. For whatever reason I didn’t personally see too much happen at the outreach, but we met some of the youth – and 3 guys I spoke to told me that 6 days ago they’d been heavily shooting heroin but had had a sudden encounter with God, become Christians, and not used it since!
On the way back as we were getting on the bus, Claude and I asked a couple of guys who were getting on the bus with us if they had any pain. They were a bit taken a back but both said that they had back aches. We offered to pray. One of them let us, and was instantly healed. He then spent the rest of the journey trying to convince his more sceptical friend to “have them do it to you”, and kept saying “I’m serious, I’m serious, It’s better”. It was quite funny, but it gave us an opportunity to talk to them more about who Jesus was and what he had done. During the conversation we told the more sceptical guy that we felt God had gifted him in maths and that he was pursuing a career which would use those skills – to which he said that Maths was his best subject and he had just begun to pursue work in IT.
We got off the bus with a girl who had been sat behind and overheard the whole conversation. She was curious and happy to talk to us. She mentioned that there was a particular area where she could use prayer and so we prayed for her, sharing pictures which God gave us. She was clearly touched, said that the pictures we shared were ‘exactly what she needed’ and gratefully took contact details of the Church as we parted ways.