My roommate Tony and I enjoyed laughing in the midst of our financial struggles. I remember walking to Hy-Vee Grocery Store one morning and seeing a dead pheasant lying next to the road.
“Hey, we might be able to make a stew out of that bird,” said Tony.
“Actually, I’m trying to make up my mind whether I’m that desperate yet.”
Humor helps during bad times, but we were also serious prayer warriors, who believed God could use us to advance His kingdom. Each morning, we waited on the Lord to discover how He wanted us to pray.
Once, we felt He wanted us to pray for Northern Ireland and its violent unrest at the time. We began praying in tongues, waiting on the Holy Spirit to show us a clear direction on how to intercede for the war-torn area. I then had a vision in which I saw bodies of young people piled in heaps on the streets of Belfast, thousands of them. All had their lives snuffed out by the continued violence between the Catholics and Protestants.
The vision so disturbed me I could do nothing but weep. Tony and I eventually prayed as best we could to stop this vision from happening in Ireland, but we had no peace about it. I also felt there was an important prophetic word for Northern Ireland within my spirit, waiting to be given.
I went to my bedroom afterward and prayed, asking the Lord to give the prophecy to some well-known preacher. Who would listen to me? As soon as I prayed the words, I knew it was a bad idea so I repented quickly.
“Lord, show me how to speak the prophecy to Northern Ireland,” I prayed. With those words, peace settled over me.
The Lord impressed me to visit a Catholic church near the campus two days later. I walked in the door and asked if anybody knew someone in Northern Ireland. They all laughed, but one lady suggested I should talk with a secretary in the basement.
I went to the secretary. She did not know anyone in Ireland, but she knew the name of the Catholic Charismatic leader in Des Moines.
“Maybe that person knows someone in Ireland,” she said.
The next day, I phoned the Catholic Charismatic leader.
“I don’t know anyone in Ireland,” she said, “but my husband knows the head of the Catholic Charismatic movement in England.”
Her husband came on the line and gave me the phone number.
I phoned the number in England early the next morning because of the six-hour time difference. The leader’s wife answered and told me her husband was attending a meeting in London. I explained to her the reason for my phone call.
“Funny,” she said, “but I’m looking at the exact person you need. His picture is on the cover of a book.”
She gave me the information.
I sat down at the kitchen table and wrote the prophetic word for Northern Ireland, and then mailed it to the leader in Belfast.
This whole experience was by faith and after dropping the letter into the mailbox, all of my faith dried up. Every doubt in the world hit me. Who did I think I was anyway? A nobody. A failure. I didn’t even belong to a church. No pastor would ever vouch for me. The Irish leader would take one look at my name, my handwritten scrawl, and laugh. But even in the midst of these doubts, I knew enough to run to the throne of grace, asking for grace and mercy to help me through this trial of faith.
Two weeks later, the phone rang on a Sunday afternoon.
“Hello,” I answered.
“Larry, I’m Cecil Kerr from Belfast, Ireland. I’m calling to thank you for the prophetic word you sent me. Our prayer group had been waiting for just such a word. We are already praying it into fruition. So, from all of us, we thank you for your obedience to the Holy Spirit.”
We talked for a few minutes and then said our goodbyes. I fell on my knees and wept, realizing how big God is and, by comparison, how little I am. To think God would use me, to pray for such a far off place, which was going through such desperate life and death struggles, opened my eyes to the greatness of our God. Nothing is impossible for Him.
If there had been a contest for the two most insignificant Christians in America at the time, Tony and I had a chance of winning. My truck had been repossessed. Tony’s car needed a tire. We had no money and AT&T disconnected our phone the very next morning.
God never seems to be bothered by such trivial things as our insignificance in the world.
(Excerpt from The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2014, Amazon eBook)
The above took place in 1995. The peace treaty between the IRA and Great Britain was finally signed on Good Friday, 1998, and continues today.