It was a Thursday afternoon in 1991, the evening before ministering my first four day event.
There was great expectancy for these meetings. I was in small rural village, just outside of Plettenberg Bay in the Tistsikamma forests in South Africa.
I stayed with one of the local loggers in their home. Shortly after arriving, I excused myself and went to my room. I wanted to pray, to be alone in preparation for that evening’s Opening Meeting.
I was twenty four years old at the time. I crossed my legs as I sat on the bed, arms slightly raised and began speaking to God.
I had experienced The Holy Spirit for the first time as a real reality, just a few days before in a meeting of a dear friend, Charlotte Cronk, who was ministering in our area at the time.
As I sat on the bed, silently talking to Him, suddenly the entire room became electrified. It was as though every single particle of air was loaded with Power.
Then The LORD stood before me! He was radiant with a Glory that completely overwhelmed me.
I sat there for what seemed to be hours on end, silent, unable to speak or move, just drinking in His Presence and being awestruck by His Person.
Although no words was exchanged, I was aware that His Spirit was communicating, downloading and imparting into mine.
Then a sudden knock on the door. The pastor was there to collect me for the evening meeting. As I left the house, I could see Him leaving with me.
When we left in the car, He was more real to me than the pastor driving the car. Arriving at the meeting I saw him entering the place before me.
I do not know what I said that night, except that I know I spoke on The Blood of Jesus, upon finishing a woman nervously raised her hand, “May I say something?”
Giving her a nod, she continued, “While you were ministering The Word, I was healed from a severe condition in my body!”
Then two more raised their hands, “Me too”, “So was I”.
I left the meeting in astonishment. The following day I could not wait to get into the forest to be alone with my new Friend.
I spent the entire day with Him, He came to close to me that I could sense exactly where he was standing in relation to me.
His Power and Glory was so beautiful, so strong and so wonderful to be in. I was completely drawn into Him and experienced what true Union with the Spirit was.
The word of the healings spread quickly throughout the area and that night I was met by a crowd of people who were all in need of healing.
A local farmer had made his truck available to go around to collect people in need of healing in the area.
Up to that time I had very little experience praying for the sick and was now faced with a large group of people in need to minister to.
I said, “LORD what do I do? I don’t know how to pray for these people!”
He said, “Just do what you have been doing all day long in the forest, just be in My Presence and talk to Me.”
After speaking for about fifteen minutes on the reality of The Holy Spirit, I went to the first one in the line. I gently laid my hands on her head, sensed The LORD by my side and said, “Precious, precious Holy Spirit …”
Before I could finish my sentence, the person was on the ground. So it went from person to person and everyone I touched ended up on the ground.
Now it is notable that you should understand that no one was expecting anyone to fall. There was no knowledge of the ‘catchers’ that were needed, so they went down on with only a bare cold concrete floor to meet them!
Twenty minutes down the line the first one woke up. She was astonished that she felt comfortable laying on the hard floor. She had been suffering with arthritis in her spine and had not been able to lie down comfortably on a bed for twenty years.
Miracle after miracle was reported as people got up from the floor.
Soon after those meetings we would see even greater and more beautiful things that The LORD would do in meetings and for those we would minister to in person and in hospitals, upon their request.
What I treasure however, more than all the miracles and the wonders we have seen in our own lives, is His Presence and that He came to meet me!
That changed the entire course and experience of my life in Him!
I could follow HIM!
I did not need any Bible School to teach me about Him. He was Alive in me, guiding me, teaching me, directing me and manifesting Himself, revealing Truth and demonstrating Himself in ways that no Bible School or man could ever teach me to know or to experience.
Do you know that it is possible for you to have the same experience with Him?
That He wants you to KNOW HIM?
That He wants to be a Living reality and Wonder in your life?
It’s not about the miracles, the signs, the wonders — It’s about His Presence, and all of these things come as a result of Him being present.
~ Johann van der Hoven
Johann van der Hoven has been in service of The LORD since 1991 and has hosted numerous mass revival meetings. The Holy Spirit is announcing a NEW SOUND from Heaven beginning in 2020 — The Sound of His Glory being poured out!