Soak & Go | Confessions of a Navy Wife
I married Captain Kevin Hutcheson, US Navy, on January 14, 2003. For our honeymoon, we attended the Pastors and Leaders Conference at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship (TACF) although we are not pastors. Two months later, I was diagnosed with severe rheumatoid arthritis and was crippled in every joint in my body.
In September 2003, I attended Catch the Fire Ministries’ Soaking Prayer School. While in Soaking School, Jesus appeared to me. He spoke in detail about the events of the past several years of my life with compassion and love telling me that over time I had listened to the voice of the enemy. As I had listened to Satan, he had distorted the truth, and I had become sick.
Then Jesus said to me: “Paula, I have made you whole”. Instantly I was healed of a crippling disease for which there is no known cure. All pain left my body and total movement was restored to my joints. Jesus had made me whole, but it was the experience of being able to talk to Jesus, face to face, that touched me the most for there is fullness of joy in His presence.
Attending the Soaking School helped save my life. God willing, I plan to spend my life soaking people who will stay still long enough for me to say: “Come Holy Spirit.” I never know from day to day where we will be or if I will be separated from Kevin. This is part of being a military wife. I learned that my life is literally not my own. It is the price that military families pay for our freedom. Still I had a desire to take what I had learned and experienced in Soaking School and give it to others. Then the Holy Spirit said to me: “Why don’t you soak on the go?”
MY FIRST ASSIGNMENT
I completed the Soaking School on a Friday and received an invitation to an Episcopalian home group on Monday. I had no idea what I was doing nor anything about Episcopalians. I only knew that every time I said: “Come, Holy Spirit” in Soaking School that He came. So I went. When I said: “Come, Holy Spirit,” He came!
There were so many people lying on the floor receiving a touch from God that they covered the entire living room, dining room, kitchen and hall floors, and I had trouble walking over them. I was so nervous until I heard the Holy Spirit say: “Could you move over and allow me the use of your body?”
As He spoke through me, I watched Him touch people and change lives right before my eyes. He directed everything, even to the smallest details such as where to place my hands upon someone and what to say. He spoke through me and used me as an instrument for His purpose to set the captives free.
I learned first hand how powerful and life changing soaking is, and that anyone can do this.
As few months later, The Gate in Chevy Chase, Maryland asked me to teach on soaking. It was during this time that I experienced ‘the other side of the cross’ with a group of dedicated soakers. Sometimes in the beginning when people start to soak, it seems to be all about them and their need for inner healing. It was true of this group, too, but at a certain point, the group began to heal. The turning point came when we began soaking and seeking the will of God.
What happened was next was huge! God would come down and give each one of us a piece of the puzzle of His heart. Afterwards we would come together and share about our experiences during the soaking times. When we put them together, they gave us a better understanding of the Father and what was important to Him. Some saw remarkable visions, some heard music, some received words, but they all fit together. I do not believe that we have even begun to tap into the power that is available to us through soaking in the presence of God.
One time the Lord led us to pray for the church across the street, particularly for its pastor and for the church and pastor who allowed us to use space in their facility for our soaking sessions. After intense time of prayer, we nearly fainted when both the Baptist and Episcopalian pastors walked in!
We encircled them and invited them to lie down so that we could soak them. They weren’t sure what we were talking about, but the sense of the presence of God was so strong that they agreed. They could not deny that God was among us because the Holy Spirit began to refresh and heal them.
MINISTERING AS A HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM
January through March 2004 while Kevin was working at the state department, we were sent to Vienna, Austria. While we were there, Vienna Christian Center invited us to teach soaking. We spent much time with the Filipino Fellowship there, upwards of two four-hour sessions per week for eight weeks. They were so hungry for what the Lord had for them.
Their pastor had seen John and Carol Arnott on the ‘Spread the Fire’ television show and had been praying for someone who could teach his fellowship to soak. He believed God had answered his prayers by sending us there. At the first meeting, the two of us soaked over 80 people. Several hundred people attended during our time there. All of them have testimonies of what the Lord did while they were soaking in His presence. We experienced book of Acts during our time together.
We learned a great lesson in Vienna. At the end of our time there, they honored us by putting their hands toward us and praying for God’s blessing upon us. The feeling of love from the Father that we experienced as they did this was overwhelming. It was as though the Lord Himself came through them into us, the purest love I have ever felt.
During our assignment in Vienna, Pastor Zhoro and Mariana Penshev of New Life Fellowship in Sophia, Bulgaria invited us to come. As Kevin began to teach about soaking, an anointing of joy struck the interpreter. She couldn’t stop laughing and was only able to interpret about one in every ten sentences. Since Kevin had only been speaking for five minutes when this happened, the Holy Spirit told him to stop and that He would take it from there. The presence of God came down like a tornado! Once again, He proved to us that all you need to do is be willing to show up and He will do the rest.
THE BIRTH OF A SOAKING CAMP FOR YOUTH
One day while I was soaking at home, the Lord took me to Isaiah 54, my prophetic chapter. As I read verses 1-3, they jumped off the page.
“Sing, O barren one, you who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who did not travail with child! For the (spiritual) children of the desolate one will be more than the children of the married wife says the Lord...And all your (spiritual) children shall be disciples (taught by the Lord and obedient to His will), and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of your children.”
Then the Lord led me to John 6:45 where it says: “It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they shall be taught of God [have Him in person as their Teacher]. Everyone who has listened to and learned from the Father comes to me.”
This is what soaking is all about, I thought.
Then Lord said that He wanted something new for his children, a ‘new’ program where they would experience His presence and have Him as their teacher.
Over the next months, I began to write as the Holy Spirit led me. What He gave me is a soaking program for youth called: “Surf Camp: Son Bathing in the Presence of God.” To the very best of my ability, I have sought to hear the Lord’s voice, to be led by His Holy Spirit and to be obedient to His will for His program. Once completed, I asked the Lord if I was going to be a helper to the Holy Spirit.
He said: “No, the Holy Spirit does not need any help. You are an ‘usher.’ You will usher them into My presence and help them find their seat at the feet of Jesus.”
In June 2004 on a farm in Virginia, we held our first Surf Camp for youth. The testimonies of the youth, counselors and leaders who attended speak much more than my words can. (Read these in the Fresh Fire Testimony Section.)
SOAKING FOR COMPANIONSHIP
In June 2004, Kevin went back into the real Navy in his current job as Battle Group Operations Officer of the USS John F. Kennedy Carrier Strike Group. He left Mayport, Florida in June for a six month deployment and headed straight to Iraq.
On the way, the JFK stopped at the Mediterranean Island of Malta for four days. I flew to Malta where Kevin and I had the opportunity to teach ‘soaking’ with Patrick and Maria O’Cock who were graduates of the soaking school. Their fellowship is known as Joel’s Place.
I returned home from Malta to an empty house on a Navy Base where I knew no one. Kevin would be gone until Christmas. We had been married two years and now we would be separated for six months.
Soaking led to the greatest time of intimacy with the Holy Spirit that I have ever known.
I knew that the Lord would not take Kevin away without giving me something greater, if I would just have the faith to believe. It is hard to explain if you have not experienced it, but I have little recollection of Kevin being gone. I would simply soak and ask the Lord to unite me with Kevin in the spirit and we would be together.
At any time I could ask the Holy Spirit what Kevin was doing and he would tell me. If I needed to talk to him, I would ask the Holy Spirit to have him call and within a short time, the phone would ring. In dreams, we were together as though he had never left. The Lord is so faithful. By relying on the Holy Spirit to take care of me, I grew beyond anything that I could have on my own.
In December, the JFK pulled into Barcelona, Spain where I met him. While we were there, a young sailor was hit by a car as he walked into the street. He was in critical condition with a broken collarbone, broken ribs and his lungs were filled with blood and he was unconscious.
Kevin and I decided to go to the hospital and soak him. We simply put our hands on him and said: “Come, Holy Spirit.” We could feel the presence of the Lord go out from us and fill the room as we prayed and go into the sailor. We stayed for an hour, soaking him continuously. The doctor came in and said they did not have much hope, but we did because we had felt the power of God go into him. Praise God! Within days, the medical authorities released him and called it a miracle.
The most important thing that has happened to me through soaking people is how God has changed me. God has given me eyes to see what He sees in people. I have developed His compassion for people. Now I have abundant hope knowing that all things are possible for those that love God and live according to His will and purpose.
The past two years of soaking ministry have been greater and more wonderful than I could have imagined.
I have been around the world giving away what I received in Toronto. Learning about soaking has deeply touched my life and helped equip me for my destiny. Who would have thought that the Lord would bless us all so directly through soaking in this powerful way? I have been so blessed with His presence every time I utter: “Come Holy Spirit!” So I suppose I will see you on the floor.