The weekend of 29th June to 1st July 2012, saw the birth of a dynamic new ministry captioned: Ministry of Healing and Prayer (MOHAP) which seeks to minister to the terminally ill and chronically sick people; whether churched or un-churched. Held at the De Vere venues, Denham Grove, Uxbridge, approximately 200 enthusiastic people attended the launch of this inaugural Ministry of Healing (MOHAP) weekend Retreat.
The Holy Spirit put the vision for MOHAP within the heart of Janet Hamilton. Janet shared her vision for MOHAP in December 2011 with Dr Emmanuel Osei (SEC Ministerial Director and Prayer Ministries Director) who embraced the vision and positively endorsed it.
The Annual Prayer Coordinators’ Weekend Retreat was amalgamated to include the launch of MOHAP. The programme comprised of praise, worship, prayer and anointing, devotionals, inspirational testimonies, lively discussion and health presentations.
Although check in was scheduled for Friday at 4:00pm, some eager individuals had been expectantly waiting in the hotel lounge as early as 2:00pm. There was a sense of excitement and anticipation as delegates were registered and emerged from their rooms to explore the venue. The beautiful lush green surroundings and idyllic picturesque scenery in Denham was just a delight to behold.
The majority of attendees were Prayer Ministry Coordinators (approximately 150) who were attending as part of their annual retreat. However with the launch of MOHAP, they were joined by several other individuals with various illnesses making the focus of the weekend one where the emphasis was on ministering to the terminally ill and those burdened with chronic diseases. The aim was two-fold: Firstly, to teach Prayer co-ordinators how to pray and minister effectively to those with serious, life-threatening or incurable conditions; secondly, to minister to the sick who were in attendance.
Friday evening was both uplifting and inspiring. After lifting our voices in a session of motivating praise and worship, led by Fen and Joy Braithwaite, Maureen McPherson shared her inspiring testimony of her battle with cancer. Dr Andrews Ewoo, our guest speaker eloquently and candidly challenged us in his sermon to have faith in God. By pointing out the awesome power of God our faith was strengthened. We were encouraged to affirm that if God was able to work wonders in times gone by then He could do the same today.
Sabbath provided a feast of heart-warming testimonies where accounts of personal journeys were shared. We heard the challenges and traumas, the battles and victories, the mountaintop and valley experiences all concluding that whatever we go, through God is still sovereign and will continue to reveal His love and care for His children.
Karen Jordan-Nicholls delivered an engaging presentation on emotional healing and explored the impact of unresolved negative emotions, the barriers to healing and how to move forward breaking strongholds in this area to receive healing.
A panel and audience discussion facilitated by Janet Hamilton; enabled an in-depth look at issues of sickness amongst believers, healing, faith and acceptance of God’s will. This yielded lively participation from panel and audience and brought insight, wisdom and clarity to some of the difficult questions that we often grapple with and sometimes avoid.
The afternoon provided more opportunities for praise and testimonies and presentations on health. Anne Demercado, Chaplain and cancer survivor shared the efficacy of the CREATION Health programme and how following its principles can be life enhancing. Her positive personal story was a testament to the powerful impact of lifestyle change as indicated in CREATION Health. Equally, Dr Chidi’s presentation titled: Blessed or Stressed was an insightful revelation about the negative impact of stress, unforgiveness and bitterness and how it affects, physiological, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing. The presentation ended with a look at the healing that Jesus offers us in place of our brokenness.
Sunday continued with more health presentations to equip the delegates on how to look after their health. Leading the segment on lifestyle diseases Dr Chidi Ngwaba (medical lifestyle doctor) provided a thought-provoking presentation on how to prevent illness such as diabetes, fibroids, autoimmune disorders such as lupus and multiple sclerosis. The engrossed audience took notes, asked questions and reported that they would return home with valued information to implement.
The weekend culminated in a one to one ministry for individuals requesting anointing, pastoral counselling and prayer. A number of dynamic Conference and local pastors arrived on Sunday morning to join with Pastors Ewoo and Osei to assist in this personal ministry which was delivered to attendees individually in syndicate rooms adjoining the main hall. The members were ministered to by Pastors Cecil Perry, Terry Messenger, Patrick Johnson, Mohan Abbadasari, Jonathan and Mary Barrett, Humphrey and Ava Walters as well as Dr Chidi Ngwaba and Elder Carol Douglas. Simultaneously, in the main hall an inspiring and moving prayer, praise and testimony service was held led by Mrs Laura Osei to maintain the momentum for those not requesting an anointing or those waiting to be anointed, prayed with or requiring pastoral counselling. A corporate prayer session concluded this segment of the weekend and sealed the decisions made by the delegates to commit their lives and circumstances to Jesus the master healer.
As the hotel was solely booked by Adventists, a request was made for sacred music to be played in the restaurant over the weekend in place of the regular secular music to which restaurant staff agreed. The staff expressed their interest and pleasure with the sacred music and they could be seen at times waving their arms rhythmically in the air, particularly to one of their favourites with the lyrics “Lord I give you my heart, I give you my soul’. As a result of their positive response a recording of the music was promised to the restaurant team. They expressed delight that some of their favourite Christian songs were going to be given to them for their continued listening pleasure and the enjoyment of other diners long after the departure of the Adventists.
Throughout the weekend the powerful ministry and uplifting devotions from Dr Ewoo was avidly discussed by many of the members. The depth and content of each message enriched the retreat and enhanced the focus of the weekend.
Three non Adventists who attended the retreat remarked on how blessed they were to be there as they enthusiastically participated in the testimony session. Having shared their needs with the group they were prayed for both corporately as well as privately and subsequently stated that they were going back to their local congregations and communities to share the vision. They were already planning to attend the next MOHAP event.
Several of our members signed up to gain more information in regards to the development of this ministry and to introduce MOHAP chapters in their local congregation. Others felt that this ministry was timely and long overdue and expressed interest in becoming more involved and receiving appropriate training to equip them accordingly.
Pastor Ewoo was so impressed with the concept of MOHAP that he promised to introduce its implementation into the Ghana Union Conference.
It is envisaged that MOHAP will include an annual weekend retreat and quarterly day retreats. Additionally it is hoped that local MOHAP chapters will be formed within local churches and small groups to cater for the needs of the sick on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. MOHAP will continue to be shaped and formed over the coming months under the leadership of Dr Osei and Janet Hamilton.
Please continue to pray for this ministry that God’s favour will rest upon it and in so doing many lives will be positively impacted both now and for eternity.
Dr Emmanuel Osei (SEC Ministerial and Prayer Ministries Director), Janet Hamilton (MOHAP Founder), Sharon Platt-McDonald (BUC Director for Health, Disability Awareness and Women Ministries)