June 24, 2016 by Dayo Benson
The parking lot outside the church is packed, as though it’s Sunday morning. It’s eleven a.m. on a Tuesday. Inside, the main hall is jam packed with scores of people. I peep over at the youth hall. That too is filled—with young people. I enter the main hall. People are scattered all over the hall, some sitting, some kneeling, some standing, a few on the floor. People are in clusters of four or five, praying together. There are people moving around, praying with people.
A lady approaches me as I stand just inside the doorway, watching: Hi, how can we help you?
Dayo Benson: What’s going on in here?
Lady: We’re praying with people who want to become Christians.
Dayo Benson: There are so many people in here.
Lady: Yes. Are you here seeking prayer?
She gives me an assessing look
Lady: A good number of the people seeking prayer are practitioners who desire to leave the occult.
Dayo Benson: Wow!
Lady: Are you by any chance a practitioner?
Dayo Benson: No, no. I’m here to interview Pastor Dan.
Dayo Benson: Could you show me to his office?
Lady: He’s in here.
She points towards a tall, dark-haired man in a black t-shirt and faded jeans. He’s praying with two men. One has tattoos covering both arms and his neck. The other has dreadlocks down to his waist and piercings pretty much everywhere.
I sit down a little distance away waiting for them to finish. Around me, the sound of prayer and praise fills the air. I try not to stare as people break down in tears every couple of seconds, and others lift their hands in joy. A few minutes later, Dan leaves the two men praying together and looks like he’s about to move on to a group of women. I jump to my feet.
Dayo Benson: Pastor Dan.
He looks my way and shoots me a grin: Hi. You want to be prayed with?
Dayo Benson: No, I’d like to talk to you for a few minutes.
Dan’s easy grin is still in place: That’s fine. You know my name, but I don’t know yours…
Dayo Benson: I’m Dayo. I can’t believe how many people are in here on a Tuesday morning.
Dan: Yeah. This has been happening for the past year. It’s pretty amazing. Are you a Christian?
Dayo Benson: I am. I’ve heard about the revival going on here so I’ve come to witness it for myself.
Dan smiles: Since all that happened last year with Luke, and with God moving to defend us, our nation has seen an amazing revival. Thousands of people have become Christians. Scores of practitioners are exiting the occult. They’re all contacting our church wanting to speak to Crystal or someone on her team, wanting help and advice.
Dayo Benson: That’s incredible. Do you allow them to speak to Crystal?
Dan: Of course not. We try to direct them to a church in their local area, but many still come here daily seeking help, deliverance from the occult, or just wanting to know more about God. We’ve had people come here from all over the country.
Dayo Benson: So, do you just pray with them?
Dan: We hold exit counseling, three sessions a day: morning, afternoon, and evening. We also hold prayer meetings, warfare sessions, and intercession. There are Bible study classes. Some of these people are completely ignorant of the teachings of the Bible, some have never even heard of the Ten Commandments, or any of the things that we as Christians consider to be common knowledge. Most practitioners are familiar with the Bible but interpret it almost backwards. It takes a lot to change the way they interpret it.
Dan waves to a group of men who enter the hall just then: Some people come in every day for a few hours. We just keep our doors open for whoever wants help.
Dayo Benson: How on earth are you able to attend to them all?
Dan: Our full time ministry team are on hand nine to five, and we have volunteers who come in the evening.
Dayo Benson: I’m absolutely fascinated.
Dan grins: Let me show you what’s going on in the back office.
I follow him out of the hall and down a corridor. He stops at a door and peers in through a window. I peer in too. There are about a dozen people on phones, like a call center.
Dan: They’re answering all the phone calls we’re getting, and praying with people over the phone. We have an anonymous counseling line for practitioners who want to leave the occult but are afraid.
He steps away and looks through the window of another door. I look in too. There are two women and a man tapping away at computers.
Dayo Benson: What are they doing?
Dan: Responding to emails. We’re getting a lot of emails from practitioners and other people who want more information about God. I’ve also been recording video tutorials, Bible teaching and podcasts so that people don’t have to come here. They can get help without leaving the comfort of their own home.
Dayo Benson: That’s awesome.
Dan: It is. It’s great to see what God is doing. I feel so honored to be a part of it.
The door at the end of the hallway opens and a man pops his head around the door. He looks at Dan: Dan! We need you.
I take a step back: You’re obviously very busy here, so I’ll release you. It’s been a pleasure talking to you and I’d like to say that you are such an inspiration. Keep up the good work.
Dan holds out a hand: Thanks. Nice to meet you.
I shake it: You too.
I was going to interview Trixie next, but I think I’ll delay it until after Legacy is out. Less than 3 days to go now…
Category Crystal Series | Tags: Character Interviews, christian books, christian fiction, christian fiction books, Christian romance, Crystal Series, Dayo Benson, Dayo Benson Books, Edgy Christian Fiction