THE WELL

A place of invitation to encounter Jesus

The Well is a place to encounter and experience God’s love in the deepest places, to receive truth that transforms and healing grace. In God’s presence, Holy Spirit brings new life to our broken spirits, souls, and bodies. The Well springs up several times a year at various locations in the city. To receive updates on The Well, Like the Roots&Branches Facebook page.

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Each experience at The Well is centered on

  • Worship—Music, meditation, and communion
  • Prayer—Listening and healing prayer ministry
  • Presence—Space for reflection, revelation, and soaking in his presence

Thanks to these communities who have hosted The Well:

  • Witheos, witheos.com
  • College Hill Presbyterian Church, www.chpc.org
  • Vineyard Central, www.vineyardcentral.com
  • River of Life, www.riveroflifecincy.org
  • Faith Church, www.faithchurch.net
  • Mariemont Church, www.mariemontchurch.org
  • Northstar Church, www.golovelive.com
  • Vineyard Church Northwest, www.vcnw.org
  • Hyde Park Community UMC, hydeparkchurch.org
  • Hose House Missional Community, Hamilton
  • BLOC Ministries, blochead.org
  • Saint Mary’s Baptist Church

“If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water…Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”—John 4:10-14, MSG

STORIES FROM THE WELL

I went for my annual physical the last week of July and like always the doctor asked me if there was anything I had concerns about as she was finishing up. I told her I had had pain in my lower right groin area and a lump for over three months. I told her I thought I might have a hernia. So back on the examining table I went and she was checking me for a hernia when I told her it was higher on the wall than where she was checking. She could feel the lump (slightly larger than a golf ball) and see it. I was told this was atypical and she didn’t know what it was so I was to get a CT-scan. I had the first CT-scan on Friday August 7th. Monday evening the doctor called me and told me she was going to send me back for a second CT-scan as they had focused on the front lower right of my abdomen and the mass went all the way back and was coming out of the right kidney. They were going to focus on the kidney area as they couldn’t determine if it was a solid mass (tumor) or liquid filled (cyst).

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Tuesday I was pretty tired when I got home. My wife was going out to a once a month worship service called “The Well” that meets in various churches; but being tired, I stayed home. She got about a mile from the house when God spoke to her and said, “They not only have worship at these, but also prayer for healing —— bring your husband.” She called me and explained this, and asked if I wanted to come. I told her I would quickly change as I was still in my work clothes. After she had hung up she said to the Lord, “You are going to heal him tonight aren’t you!” It wasn’t a question.

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The service started with three powerful testimonies from people who had seen God’s hand touch them; then worship started. After about three songs, those who wanted or needed prayer were told to go to one of the prayer teams for prayer. I went to a team of three men (you don’t go to ladies with your male problems!) and waited my turn. I didn’t tell them of the CT-scan, just that I was diagnosed with an abdominal mass that was unidentified and wanted prayer for healing. They asked if they could lay hands on me and I agreed.

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After the second man prayed, he asked if I felt anything. I told him nothing but warm hands on my belly. They said let’s keep praying. June said they looked very intense as they prayed. The third man was praying when I suddenly had goose bumps from the top of my head to my feet, and the man praying started to laugh. He asked, “Can you feel that? I can feel something moving around in there.” I said, other than the goose bumps, no. They continued to pray and I suddenly realized I had no pain for the first time in over three months. I told them the pain was gone, and I started to cry. We hugged and I went back to my seat wiping my eyes. I leaned over and told June the pain was gone. As the service closed the leader said to any that had received healing, “keep your healing”. I didn’t know what he meant at that time. When I got home I found the lump was gone also.

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Friday morning I had to be at the hospital at 6:45 am for the second CT-scan. As we pulled into the parking lot my wife asked me if I was still pain free. I said I had had some as I retired the night before. She got mad. Not at me, but at the Devil (heaven help him) and started to pray over me, coming against fear and doubt and anxiety that had crept silently in since Tuesday. I was to go back to the doctor the following Tuesday to get the results of the second scan, but she called me on Friday evening. She said it was only a small cyst and not a problem. There was nothing else left to do and I didn’t have to come back in to see her. I thanked her for calling.

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We wondered what she thought about her notes from the physical exam and the CT-scan showing a larger than golf-ball-sized mass in the front of my abdomen that went all the way back to and was attached to the kidney.  Cysts like this are not rare, especially in males over 50. They usually go undetected and cause no problems. Not like what I was experiencing. They are usually found with a CT-scan when they are looking for something else. I am to check back with her in three months. At that time, I’ll tell her about the “second opinion” I got from the Great Physician. I say all this to say, PRAISE THE LORD. He is a wonderful loving God.

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I just want to thank you for your Roots & Branches ministry, specifically what you do at The Well. I’ve experienced the LORD heal me personally and watched Him work in the lives of my dear friend and my dad.  You are a conduit of blessing to the Cincinnati community.  Thank you for being obedient to what He has called you to do!

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When I came to the one in January, I had been having debilitating migraines for several weeks.  They were the kind that were only manageable if you could lay down in a dark room with no noise, which seemed next to impossible caring for a two-year old and homeschooling a six-year old.  It was unlike any pain I had ever experienced.

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I came the Well unsure of what to expect simply because I had never been. Jen’s testimony blew me out of the water.  I found myself praising God with each and every word uttered from her tongue. When it came time for worship, my headaches actually intensified a bit.  It was discouraging for me a bit because worship is the way I best connect with God and being a worship pastor’s wife in a church other than my own where I was “unknown” (other than my friend sitting next to me), I couldn’t wait to just feel a little more free to worship with every fiber of my being.  I found myself having to sit instead and allow the words to wash over me while I navigated the headache pain.  It was still joyful, but it was a battle to wade through the pain and not allow it to distract me.  That was the ebb and flow of each song until the song with the words “I believe You’re my healer” started.  During that song, I felt heat and a tingling sensation over different parts of my head.  The pain was temporarily gone during that feeling/sensation – enough to allow me to stand and engage in worship the way I was longing to.  It was powerful and nothing I had experienced before.  My friend was also encountering the LORD big time next to me during worship and I felt the reverberations of the Holy Spirit as she engaged with Him as well.  It was a sweet, sweet time.

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I ended up going to get prayer toward the very end of the service.  The team prayed for all the blood vessels, and different parts of my head/brain/etc., to return to normal. It was such a beautiful prayer.  So much so that I won’t have the words to speak to it.  Especially the part where they spoke and commanded healing/restoration over my head.  They had such a calming presence as I unloaded.  There is a lot going on in our family these days and it felt like salve over a lot of wounds to be with these women as they eagerly and tenderly spoke prayers over every morsel of everything I shared.  That night before bed I had one last headache (almost felt like one last attempt of the enemy to take me down again) and since then I have been pain free.  Praise God.

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In March I was able to bring my dad to The Well.  My dad is 67 and has been Catholic his whole life.   Outside of church, I am not sure where he is with the LORD. He did have an encounter with God at a “Christ Renews His Parish” weekend at a Lutheran Church over 10 years ago.  Since then, I wonder and hope and pray for more and more encounters with the LORD despite what appears to be a disinterest in who God is altogether.

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Back in December my dad visited West Chester Hospital four times with symptoms of a heart attack.  After a myriad of tests, all physical issues were ruled out.  What set in were panic attacks.  Extreme panic attacks.  One episode was so severe it ended with an eight night stay in Linder Center of Hope.  My strong, independent, intelligent dad was faced with his own brokenness.  There was no trigger, no precursor, no history of anything of this kind. During his stay at Linder, he fought through paranoia and hallucinations and extreme anxiety.  He was lucid one moment and fighting paranoia the next.  The back and forth and up and down sometimes hourly was a lot to handle.

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The inpatient stay was followed by two weeks of partial hospitalization.  Four weeks and three diagnoses later, combined with a lot of appointments with social workers, psychiatrists, primary care physicians, therapists and more, the ups and downs continued.  The weekend before the March Well, he hit the lowest of lows with thoughts/tinkerings/attempts at suicide.  We all hit our point of despair. Even I, who have been walking with Jesus for nearly 20 years, had a moment of spiraling, wondering how he could get to this point.  I had contended and beckoned and begged and pleaded for the LORD to lift him out of this.  I had hurled my fists into the cement basement floor summoning the wind of the Holy Spirit in and over my dad’s mind and spirit.  It’s the kindness of God that leads us to repentance…I’ve been begging for the kindness of God to wash over my dad and for him to hit the point of surrender.

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My dad was unsure of what The Well would entail.  I just wanted him to come, even if he was nervous, to allow the worship to wash over him.  He did come and it was powerful.  He kept inching my chair closer and closer to his, wanting to talk.  Since his three diagnoses, it has been and continues to be a slow, arduous, methodical process to have conversation with my dad.  You have to be intentional with your words to not fluster him, as his comprehension is impeded by his mental condition and/or medications.  It’s been a new reality for me, and one that is met by great heartache and sadness as my dad and I love to catch up, to engage, to have lengthy conversations where we cover a lot of ground. I felt the palpable love of my heavenly Father through my earthly dad that evening…something that had been lost for months until then.

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Something began to break in him that night…and because of that, I experienced glimmers of hope through my dad’s affection toward me as well as some of his words he was able to share.  He shared that he wanted an encounter with the healer more than he wanted healing. (Something that was shared and he remembered later that evening.  This was profound as he wasn’t accustomed to remembering time, days, dates or the day’s events at all in this.)  He felt unworthy of support…and I was able to share that we are ALL unworthy…it’s through Christ that we are made worthy.  I explained prophetic vs. healing prayer…what it meant to be born again and more.  While all of those words were too much for him to wrap his head around, I know the Holy Spirit was in and through all of them.

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It’s because you welcomed Him in from the onset.  You have a set up where you welcome Jesus to minister however He wants to.  We hit every road block since my dad’s panic attack that led him first to Linder.  We had bad hours that led to bad days that led to bad weeks that finished with bad weekends. We were losing hope.  That night, the Kingdom of heaven intersected earth, and something just began to break.  This is huge and paramount and will be a stone in the Jordan I look back on and will declare that the LORD moved on behalf of ME and my DAD because of the ministry of The Well.  My dad has had significantly more GOOD hours and days since then.  Significantly.  My mom has finally been able to leave him at home for a few hours at a time because he is doing better. He has started to decrease some of the daily doses of his different meds. This is huge.  Huge.  I have no words.