Saturday, October 24th
In the morning, our team split up to teach three different workshops: 1) Healing in the Arts (taught by Theresa), 2) Arts in the Marketplace (taught by Cydney), and 3) Power of Music (taught by me).
In my workshop, I shared about WHAT the Bible says about the power of music, WHY we should use it, and HOW we can activate it during our outreach and in daily life. Music really is a weapon of spiritual warfare. When we tap into the fullness of what music brings, we are accessing incredible power, and the result of that is great impact and influence. When combined with the Holy Spirit, music can release Healing and Transformation in physical bodies, hearts, culture, societies and nations. Ultimately, music can change the world.
In the words of Bono, “Music can change the world because it can change people.”
I shared with the class a story I heard from Theresa. In the Philippines, they have a national anthem songwriting competition every 100 years. If your song gets chosen, the country will be singing your song for the next 100 years as the nation’s official anthem. Theresa had gone to a church in the Philippines and taught them about the power of music and the creative arts to transform culture. As a result, this church decided to write a song and submit it to the national anthem competition. And they won! What an incredible testimony of the Body of Christ influencing their culture through creative arts! For the next 100 years, the Philippines nations will be singing a song created by this Christian church. Imagine the impact of that for the Kingdom of God!
In a similar situation, our team had found out, before coming to Switzerland, that the United Nations would be celebrating their 70th anniversary this weekend. By faith, Theresa asked me to write a song for the United Nations, believing for open doors to share it at the UN. So I did. I wrote a song for the UN, called “We Will Stand In Unity.” I shared this song with the class, and the response was great. It just proves that music really is a bridge; it overcomes language barriers and has the power to bring people together.
At the end of class, we had some time so I shared my song “Beauty Arise” with them. “Beauty Arise” was inspired by my own journey of self-discovery and learning to love myself. It started with this question: “Do I think I am beautiful?” When I realized I couldn’t answer that question positively, I knew I needed an encounter with the heart of God. The process I went through became this song.
That’s why I have faith that this song will touch many people—because that’s the power of testimony. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t struggle with identity at one point of their lives—it’s one of the most fundamental questions we will ever ask ourselves: “Who am I, and why am I here?” The answer to that question will only ever find solace and conclusion in the heart of God. He says we are uniquely beautiful, and He has an amazing purpose for our lives.
One of the ladies in my class came to me afterwards and said that she wants to use “Beauty Arise” for a ministry that she is part of. This ministry helps Muslim women discover their self-worth and beauty. I had shared about how my song had inspired an Iranian businessman to give his life to the Lord, and he had translated it into Persian. Now, this lady wanted me to send her the Persian translation (available here) so she can share it with the Muslim women in her ministry.
I was amazed at the open doors that the Lord was providing. It’s not about my songs gaining exposure, but it’s the fact that God will use the things we create to transform lives and bring them into a relationship with Him. That is what gives me great joy.
After lunch, we brought everyone to the lakeside to apply what we had just learned to the “marketplace,” in a creative community outreach. We split into multiple groups using different creative arts to bless people, e.g. painting, balloons, photography, prophetic arts and singing. I led the prophetic singing group. After some prayer and encouragement, we got into pairs and dispersed across the park to pray and sing over people.
I paired up with a young man named Vincent (pronounced in the French way, which is much cooler), who was also one of our translators during the conference. We both experienced a lot of breakthrough in boldness. He said that this was the first time he had ever talked about his faith to someone else outside of church, let alone singing prophetically over a complete stranger. I was so proud of him.
We talked to three different groups of people in the park. The first man was an African-Swiss man. After I sang a short prophetic song over him, I felt like telling him that he was a good father. This opened up the conversation, and he started telling us about how his son had died a year ago while visiting New York City, and to this day he is still in silent grief. He said he is a man of faith. We prayed for him again, and even though he still seemed sad, I believe it was an open door for the love and comfort and God to enter his heart. The seeds we sow today will bear fruit for tomorrow.
The second man was an older Swiss Italian man. We prayed and sang over him. He said he didn’t believe in God, but he was very impressed by our singing (I sang in English, so he couldn’t understand what I was saying either). Vincent prayed for him in French, and he seemed encouraged. And lastly, we prayed for two teenager boys sitting on a bench. Vincent sang prophetically over one of them, and I sang over the other one. They seemed surprised and encouraged by our words.
On our walk back to the parish, Vincent shared with me his life story and how he came to the Lord. God had brought him out of depression and into hope and community in the Body of Christ. I felt so privileged to be serving with this young man. That afternoon, he had experienced a huge breakthrough, and I got to be part of it.
One of the main points in Theresa’s creative seminar is that creative arts can heal people of physical pain and sickness, and that includes through singing. For the first time in my life, I was asked to sing over someone who had physical pain in her body, specifically, a headache (and in front of the whole church). I laid my hands on the lady and started singing over her, “I release freedom. I release peace and healing…” When I finished, the lady opened her eyes and said, “I don’t feel any more pain!” I was half shocked, half not. On one hand, I had never witnessed anything like this before—singing can really heal people! On the other hand, while I was praying for her, I felt the Holy Spirit flow into her body and I knew that she was being healed.
It was a huge revelation for me. For the first time in my life, I experienced firsthand that singing really could release physical healing over people, and not just emotional healing. Music can touch the body, as much as the soul and spirit.
During her message, Theresa also played my song “Reformers” and asked me to share about the inspiration behind it.
“Reformers” was a song I wrote last October (2014) and was inspired by Theresa’s message on a Friday night service at Twin View. It was my first time hearing her preach, not to mention my first time hearing anyone talk about Kingdom Creativity and the Kingdom Renaissance movement. I remember, the first thing she said when she got on stage was, “You are reformers,” pointing her finger at each of us. Then she said, “Bill Johnson once said, ‘What if songwriters started writing songs of what they want the world to look like in 15-20 years? Then maybe we will get there.’” I was struck by her words. Immediately, my spirit resonated with what she was saying. It has always been the artists who have influenced culture the most. Through creativity, we prophesy and bring forth the future of our world. Our words, lyrics, music, art, dance, photography, designs, and paintings are releasing the vision we carry to every person who receives them. In short, creativity it the quickest and most effective way to influence culture and shift history, because as artists we are essentially affecting the way people see the world through the way we see the world—through our art.
That night I sold all of my CD’s. I had only brought 20 copies (English version), and there weren’t enough for all the people who wanted to buy it. That’s a good problem to have :). I was very encouraged by their response. It confirmed in my heart some of the prophetic words that have been spoken over my life, and it encouraged me that my music not only appeals to Americans and Chinese people but also to Europeans!
My Website: http://www.melodyhwangmusic.com/#home-suddenly
Sunday, October 25th
After morning service and lunch, we had the opportunity to meet with the leadership team at Pastor Pierre’s church and prophesy over them. It was my first time releasing a prophetic word over a whole church.
Every church has their unique calling and DNA. I felt like God’s word for Paroisse réformée de Corsier-Corseaux was Reformation & Family. They carry the Kingdom of God so well because they value family so well (nearly all of Pastor Pierre’s children are involved in full-time ministry), and as a result they will bring reformation to the culture around them and to Europe. This is what God is doing all around the world, with Homecoming and Awakening Europe. Revival is near, and the Body of Christ is preparing for one of the greatest awakenings in history.
After releasing our corporate words for the church, we split into small groups and started prophesying over individuals. I exercised 受感說話, prophesying in a quick flow, without stopping. It was great practice, because I had to tap into the heart of God for each person and trust that the Holy Spirit was speaking through me. There was no time to think and reason, since I was only one person prophesying for three people at a time.
Thank God for opportunities to be stretched! Each time we push beyond our limits, we expand our capacity to receive and release even more.