By Pearlie Phillips
Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and l will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for l am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matt. 11:28-30
These words of Jesus brought much joy and peace to my spirit. The words demonstrate His truthfulness, His power, His freedom, His peace, and His rest in my life and in the lives of the ones I ministered to on the different missions He has given me throughout my life. The Holy Spirit has done a deep work in me. His love has revolutionized my life.
If I glory, I glory in the Lord for what he has done for us. The Lord has brought us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9) and He has a purpose and a plan for each of us – a plan which is good and not evil (Jeremiah 29:11).
Part of God’s plan for my life included time spent overseas, ministering in prayer and testimony in some wonderful parts of the world. During these times I learned that depending on and hearing the voice of the Lord and leaning on the Holy Spirit's guidance was as crucial as breathing. I learned just how real Christ could be!
I served in Jerusalem for 16 years. My friend and prayer partner always set aside time to pray on the eve of Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath). This time was especially important because around 1-2 PM, the shops all closed and the buses stopped running. Families came together for a special time of remembrance.
One day, as I stood at the bus stop, heading toward her home, I literally heard in my spirit the voice of the Holy Spirit, saying, “Pearlie, do not take this bus.” I tried to argue with Him, but through past experience, I had learned to obey. I said, “Okay, Lord.” I obeyed and took the next bus.
When I arrived, my friend’s husband called and said, “Have you heard? A bus has just blown up.” He told us to turn on the tele and we saw several bodies lying in the street. What a sight! The bus that I should have taken was the one that had blown up. My friend and I were in awe. We fell on our faces and thanked and praised the Lord and the Holy Spirit for saving my life.
I am alive today because of the Holy Spirit’s voice. I shall never forget that day! I am reminded of Psalm 31:1: In thee, o Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed; deliver me in thy righteousness. Lamentations 3:23 says, “Great is thy faithfulness.”
Later I was asked to share this testimony in some of the churches, and several people came to the Lord. All glory and praise to the Lord! I shared it with a Jewish friend, and he said that it sounded like when God opened the Red Sea for the Israelites. I shared it with my home church through a periodic newsletter, and they all gave glory to the Lord. We rejoiced in the Lord together.
Glasgow, Scotland, is an incredibly unique city, with a lot of history and art. It is also one of the rainiest places in the UK, with very little sunshine. It felt to me like a very somber city, and spiritually I sensed that people were walking in darkness. I knew the Lord had called me there. And I knew the Lord was directing me toward people who needed to hear the Good News. Psalm 36:9 states, “For with thee is the fountain of life; in thy light shall we see light.” His word brought me light and hope in my spirit. I knew He could do it for others. Hallelujah!
One day I met a believer who was involved with Glasgow City Mission, a ministry to street prostitutes in the red-light district. If anything would cause one to share the Gospel, it was this part of town. I could sense the heart of God for the girls, and tears filled my eyes. This new friend asked if I would like to come with her one night. I felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit and said okay. Little did I know what I would encounter.
That night I joined my friend and prior to the meeting she shared my testimony with the leaders. They heard how I accepted the Lord in my life and of my miraculous deliverance from a sinful life. They heard how Jesus gave me rest and peace. They said, “We know the Lord sent her here.” They asked if I would be willing to share my testimony at the meeting that night.
After I shared, some of the girls came up and asked what they needed to do to be saved. They said that they, too, needed deliverance from a sinful life. They wanted peace and rest. I told them they needed to repent and ask Christ for forgiveness and ask Him to come into their hearts. They did these things. Then the leaders and I showed them some scriptures about salvation and encouraged them to find a fellowship of believers.
Later, one of the girls pulled me aside and said, “I have kids, and this is the only way I can pay rent. I need someone to help me say ‘No!’ Would you please come outside with me?
I thought of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 9. For though I be free from all men, yet I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain more….to the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I am made all things to all men, that I might save some (verses 9, 22). I said yes with tears in my eyes. The leaders and I prayed, and they said, “We will keep a close watch over you.”
The police patrol the area every hour, so I felt safe. As I stepped outside with her, a car pulled up and the driver said, “Oh, I got two tonight – get in.”
I spoke out and said, “She is no longer available. She has a new man in her life, and his name is Jesus – He has set her free!”
Just then the police drove by and asked if we were okay. Together we said yes, and the girl, with great joy said, “I have accepted Jesus in my life.” The police said that was all they needed to hear. All glory and honor to the Lord! I was reminded of John 8:36: If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. I remembered the day Christ set me free, and I am still free! Hallelujah! And He certainly was real in this situation.
After this, the mission asked me to come back every night to share my testimony. Other girls came and listened. Some gave their hearts to the Lord. We celebrated every night. Luke 15:10 says, …I tell you, the angels of God rejoice over one sinner who repents…there is joy in the presence of God’s messenger over even one sinner.
WHEREVER HE LEADS
I praise the Lord and the Holy Spirit for being real to me and real through me in that dark place, and in the lives of the ones to whom I ministered. John 10:10 says, I am come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly.
Whenever I would visit my friend in London, I’d take a train to Glasgow to reconnect with the mission and my friends there. Since I’ve been living in the US, I have not been able to return. My heart yearns to see them all again, and I pray that the Lord would provide a time to do so.
1 Peter 3:15 says, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready to always give an answer to every man that asks you a reason for the hope that is in you. We all need Christ and the Holy Spirit to be Real in our lives, in our churches, and in our communities. With Him living in us, we can share the peace and rest, freedom and power that only He can bring.