In a surprise appearance at a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Toronto Blessing, Andrew Brunson spoke openly about the prophetic words and encouragement that sustained him while he was imprisoned in Turkey. And Brunson desperately needed it.
"When Andrew was being transported from the detention center to prison, it was such a dark time, and he really felt this whirlwind around him, this very demonic, dark thing, and he felt like he was being handed over like Job," Brunson's wife, Norine, says. "Satan was trying to destroy him. He was trying to cut him off from the body, from fellowship, from truth, from a lot of things. ... And he was cut off from the presence of the Lord most of the time. At the same time, he was cut off, and he felt isolated, but at the same time, around him, he had the body of Christ worldwide ... actually there, protecting him, even though he felt completely alone."
The Brunsons have known John and Carol Arnott for a decade now, and the couple went through training under Randy Clark in 2009, when they received activation for words of knowledge.
"I said, 'Lord, give me a word of knowledge. I need to be activated in this,'" Brunson recalls. "And into my mind comes, 'Prepare for harvest.' And I said, 'No, no, no, God. I need a word of knowledge for healing!' And again, it comes into my mind, 'Prepare for harvest.'"
Brunson says it was surprising, because they thought they would be sowing into Turkey for years before they saw results. So the couple began to press in for harvest. Within a month of the word, the couple went to Toronto for the first time.
"What the Lord was doing was connecting us to a powerhouse," Brunson says.
"After that time, everything we did: church planting, training programs, working with Syrian refugees, house of prayer—it was all laying a foundation for the great move of God that is coming in Turkey."
In 2016, the Brunsons were arrested. Officials released Norine after a few weeks, but they held her husband until last year.
"As the time went on, I began to see that my imprisonment was part of the assignment in preparing for the harvest," Brunson says.
As Brunson's trial rose to prominence, so did the gospel. People worldwide, even in persecuted countries, began to pray for the missionary. They were drawn to the message Brunson refused to renounce, even behind bars.
A Chinese house church printed up 1 million brochures with his face on them.
"If I'd gone to China for years, I never would have reached that many people," Brunson shares. "Then so many started to pray for Turkey. One of the scary things is, I began to think, 'Lord, maybe I'm more use to you here in prison for the harvest than I am outside, so You might keep me here for a long time.'
"My imprisonment was part of our assignment to prepare for harvest," Brunson says.
"I think this result of this is there's a string of tsunami waves that have been breaking and are going to break over Turkey to bring the kingdom, to bring harvest all over the place."
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