We want to share with you a more in depth look at where this ministry came from and where God is taking it today. We do this to encourage those of you who sometimes feel that the vision God gave you long ago will never birth and your patience is growing short. Let our birthing be an encouragement to you.
God has been doing some amazing things in our life and ministry over the last 18 or 20 years and I want to share some of it with you. In March of 1998 God opened the door for us to go to Ireland in September 1998 and minister for two weeks, followed by another week of ministry in Austria. This vision was actually planted in our spirits over forty years ago. That tells you about the patience part. The birthing has been a long and sometime painful process, just like it was meant to be. This could be a very long story but I’I'll try to take the short route.
In the summer of 1960, as teenagers, Gloria and I were tremendously affected by a summer long revival that took place in our church. It was powerful and we could not wait to be there every day or night. It was a time of God totally moving in our lives and forming the things to come years later. During a Sunday night meeting towards the end of the crusade, most of the people were at the front of the church praying, the Spirit was moving strongly and some of the people were laying all around like firewood. (Hadn’t heard of anything like a catcher in those days) Gloria was on the floor, speaking and preaching in a heavenly language. I was walking all around the front of the church with my eyes totally closed, but still seeing what was taking place in the Spirit. I would step over or around anyone that was in my pathway, still with my eyes closed, never touching anyone.
One by one I went to all of the people that were in the front of the church, never opening my eyes for the rest of the evening. As I came up to them, I knew who they were and God would show their need to me as I saw them in the Spirit. The power of the Spirit was awesome, unexplainable. As I reached out to touch each one they would fall to the floor and their need would be met. Some had physical headings, some emotional, and many were set free. God was in charge. Every few minutes I would go back to Gloria, (I was 18, she was 17 and we had just started going together seriously at the beginning of that summer) kneel down and pray for her in the Spirit. This praying for people went on for about thirty minutes until there was almost no-one left standing in the front of the church.
I then (eyes still closed) walked up onto the platform of the church. The Pastor was leaning on the pulpit and I walked over to him, whispered in the Spirit in his ear and stepped up to the pulpit as he stepped back. I then begin to preach in the Spirit, in tongues. As this sermon started, everyone except Gloria got up and went back to their seats and listened to the message, understanding what was said. I could see those I was speaking to and how they were responding. This went on for about 45 minutes. When the message was over I opened my eyes, the Pastor and Evangelist came up to me and shared some of what had been taking place. They told Gloria and I that the whole time we had both been speaking in the same language. The VISION was birthed. God had planted the seed. I knew then in my spirit that this was for a future purpose, but had no idea of how that purpose would come about or when. Many other things happened but one year later Gloria and I were married. About one year after we were married, this same Evangelist asked us to travel with him as part of his ministry team. We struggled with that for awhile, you know, things- new baby, security and etc. We finally said yes Lord, but never felt a confirmation about it. It was like God just wanted us to be willing at that time.
A few years later in the late 60’s, God gave me a vision. It was very detailed and I was watching myself, as if on a movie screen. I was in a plane circling the earth and all I could see as I looked down was a sea of people, all of them with outstretched arms, wanting what I had. I was trying to give them the word of God but the faster I went the more people there were. I was throwing papers with God’s word on it out of the window of the plane. I could not get to them all in time and it frustrated me. This happened during special meetings we were having at the church we were going to in Portland at the time. God said during this vision that I was to take my Pastor, the Evangelist and my father along with me to the Troutdale airport the next day. He said that we would find a plane exactly like the one He had shown in the vision. We were to pray over it and claim it for His purpose.
This all sounded sort of crazy to me and I had no idea of what to expect as I told the others. The response was positive and so, away we went to the airport. When we got there only one person was around and he just told us to walk down the apron of the runway and see if we found what we were looking for, he didn’t even go with us. Sure enough, the very last plane on the apron, an exact duplicate of a six passenger plane from the vision, color, stripes and all. Not only that, it was brand new, for sale and open. We hopped in, shared some scripture, prayed for whatever God’s purpose was and left. We never saw the man that let us in again as we were leaving. I have no idea what God was doing, I just know it was a very powerful moment. It could have been in response to what God wanted to give to some ministry at that time. I also thought that it could be for our future. Many, many times over the years since then, God has reminded us that He would some day do much greater things with us than He did in the days of our youth. Remember people, He keeps the vision fresh. We are the ones that need to be patient until the BIRTHING takes place. By the way, in May of 1998 during a Sunday mourning church service, God spoke to my spirit and said, "Remember the vision of the plane? What were you doing in that vision?" (I was pouring out God’s word on paper, all around the world) He then said, "Am I not causing you to fulfill this vision now as you send out the prophetic words for My people that I give to you?" God is faithful!
In the pursuing years, God accelerated the process of birthing in our lives. He put us in an intimate position with Him, such as never before. Between May 5, 1995 and February of 1996, we had over 50 prophetic words given to us, mostly by strangers that did not know anything about us. Most of the words were about where God was taking us in ministry and confirmed many things He was telling us also. He then confirmed the birthing of this ministry to us. He woke me up early on Saturday Feb. 17, 1996 and began to pour into my spirit the purpose and structure of the ministry He was going to bring forth. He gave me the name for this ministry and the theme of; "Linking Hands Around the World to Pray for You". I said, "yes Lord, but I will only move forward with this when you confirm what you have just given me. I want to be absolutely sure of what You want." I prayed daily for His confirmation. A few days later on the 23rd, after a meeting we were at, a man that we didn’t know and who knew nothing about us, tapped me on the shoulder from behind. He had been sitting behind us and he said that God had spoke to him during the meeting and gave him something unusual to tell me. It made no sense to him but God had said that it would to me. He said, "The Lord has already given you the name for your ministry and I am to help you call it forth into existence now." That was real confirmation and enough for me. PrayerNet Ministries was established. The Prophetic ministry began to come forth.
During all of this we knew we would be going overseas, as I mentioned earlier, but still, no clue of how it would happen or where it would be. Just a couple of weeks after God spoke to me about the vision of the plane being fulfilled, He directed me to 2 Timothy 4: vs. 2 and 5; "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching." "But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." These verses seem to mean a lot more to us than they have in the past. He also reminded me the other day, and I also remind you, that as we go through our fiery furnace (we all have them) it is not just a time of purifying us and burning out the dross, but something else is taking place. God said that it is only as we are at the peak heat of the furnace that the gold becomes a liquid. It is then that it can be molded into anything the Maker wants. What is made from that precious liquid has more value than just the same weight of the gold itself. That is you and I. When melted, god can pour us into any mold He wants to, make us only what He wants and not what we want.
On the last Monday night in February of 1998, the process of vision + patience = birthing became very real to us. On the way home after our Monday night Praise and Power meeting, one of our Core Group Leaders had God speak to her in her car. He told her to "Go home and look up how many days a pregnancy takes." She did just that, it takes 280 days. God then told her, "Count up how many days it had been since we started the Monday night meetings." She did. It was 305 days. She said, "God, this doesn’t add up, they don’t go together." God said, "go back and count only the weeks that there were Monday meetings." She did so, taking out four Mondays we took off for holidays and it came out exactly to nine months to the very night. God then told her that it was a night of the BIRTHING of new and greater things in Elton & Gloria’s ministry. Praise God for patience! We had several other confirmations during that week also.
At the very next Monday night meeting, God really began to confirm things for our ministry. There was a lady attending that night that had never been there before. She came with her sister that attends when she can. She was here visiting from Ireland and her husband and her are the Pastors of a Pentecostal church outside of Dublin. I felt impressed to have her share a little about what was going on over there in the church. She was up front with us sharing and as she did so, the Lord began speaking to me, saying the strangest thing. He kept saying that Gloria and I would be going to Ireland that year and ministering prophetically and praying for the sick in this church and in the communities around it. He said to share what He had said now! When the lady from Ireland was finished, I said, I have to say something. Before I could say anything else, my wife stopped me and said, "Before you say anything I need to tell you that while Pauline was talking, God spoke to me and said we would be going to Ireland this year." Before I could respond, one of the people in the meeting said that God had spoken to her at the same time, the same thing. So I then shared what God had said to me about Ireland.
As the service ended, we were praying for the lady from Ireland. Gloria put her hand on the lady’s abdomen and asked god to birth new things in their ministry. Pauline immediately fell to the floor, slain in the Spirit, and as we knelt and continued to pray for her, she went into a literal birthing process in the Spirit. We all watched as her abdomen began to grow as if pregnant. The power of God was awesome; I had never seen anything like this before. After a time of labor in the Spirit, everything went back to normal. When Pauline got up from the floor, she said she felt like she had just given birth. She later told us that God had shown her that not only was it birthing new things in their ministry, but God said it was going to be the birthing of our international ministry. It was also shared that God had spoke to her in Ireland to come to Portland at that time for making a contact for the future and getting ministered to one on one.
Time and distance are nothing to God. VISION, over 40 years ago. PATIENCE, 40 years. BIRTHING, a very definite birthing of God’s plan and timing. Over the years we have criss crossed the continent and ministered overseas many times. God is so amazing, wonderful and faithful. We continue to look for times of refreshing wherever He leads us..
I hope this gives you some insight into this ministry. Be encouraged and stay true to the vision that God has given to you. What He plants He will grow, in His own time. Catch the vision, be patient, become liquid and let Him mold you and wait for the birthing process. It is never too late to be used in new ways by Him.
Elton & Gloria Williamson, PrayerNet Ministries