Back in February we went on an adventure on the streets of Edinburgh with the young adults group in our church. Treasure hunting. Not the sort of treasure hunting you might be thinking. There were no ‘pieces of eight’ or eye patches in sight. There were no hidden chocolates or jewels. What we found was of more value than any of those things.
Treasure hunting is an idea imported from Bethel Church, California. The basic idea is that you ask God to give you a bunch of clues in different categories (Physical Appearance, Names, Location, Prayer needs and Unusual) and then head out and follow the clues to find people God wants to bless that day. The list of clues is reffered to as the treasure map. Blessing someone could mean anything from chatting, encouraging or praying for them. Some amazing stories have been coming out of the church since they started this up regularly in their city, Redding. So we thought we would give it a go!
It was challenging to say the least and pushed us all out of our comfort zones but it was also amazing. We saw a number of people healed and had a chance to pray for a number of people. There is a lot I could write about it but here is just one story from that sunny Saturday in February.
We had the clues checked shirt and red hair. We spotted a young man matching the description who was on crutches and heading towards the main exit. One of our young adults spotted him and asked if we should approach him, we hesitated a moment then decided to go for it. We caught up with him just before he made it to the exit. He was with two women in purple top‘s clues also on our treasure map, but hadn’t noticed until we got closer. We struck up a conversation with them, and asked him his name, which was Brandon. His name was not on our list but we asked him to have a look at the names on our list. It turned out that the names were all his friends! and we soon got onto the topic of the crutches. Turned out he couldn’t put any weight on one of his legs, he had pulled a ligament in his leg. I had tendon on my list and I am reliably informed they are very similar! We told him we had seen some people healed just a moment ago and asked if we could pray for him. He seemed cool with that, what had he to lose! So we both prayed for him, just a short prayer asking God to heal his leg. We then asked him if he noticed any difference. He didn’t seem sure but after testing it a bit he thought it might be a little looser. We asked him if we could pray one more time and he seemed OK with that. So we did the same again, just asked God to continue healing his leg. We asked him how his leg felt now. He tested it out a bit but didn’t say anything. Looking back it seems a bit ridiculous but I asked him if he still needed his crutches! We suggested he tried walking on it so he did a bit. He told us he thought it felt a bit better. So he handed me his crutches and we watched in amazement as he walked down to the exit and back, a good 20 ft or so, on the leg that he hadn’t been able to put any weight on 5 minutes ago. The two women he was with watched on in amazement. They couldn’t quite believe what was happening. He walked back up to us with a smile on his face. He told us he wasn’t sure what to say. We told him that was OK, God just wanted to show him he loved him and that we hoped he had a great day and left it at that.
It wasn’t until afterward that we twigged a clue we had missed. On my list was the clue Fish and bubbles, which I was pretty sure was just nonsense when I wrote it down. Turns out that we prayed for Brandon just next to the fish pedicure stand in the shopping centre. Cool!
As well as this amazing treasure we also saw a women’s painful ankle completely better, a girl encouraged for an exam the next week and even a young mans knee healed instantly by his non-Christian girlfriend. I think it really opened my eyes to the possibilities available if we are just willing to take some risks. There is treasure everywhere just waiting to be found.