For those who know our story, June 2017 marks the 30th anniversary since I received the visions and our family’s subsequent move to the Carolinas after the fall of Jim Bakker. Rick and I have lived through some unbelievable moments of PTL’s troubled history. When we started the Timeline eighteen years ago, we never thought the PTL story would continue on for these many years.
The residents, ministries and former PTL partners who live in and around Heritage USA have endured many uncertainties and disappointments, some becoming openly frustrated over the slow process of restoring the grounds. For years, there has been confusion and spiritual warfare causing discouragement among those who moved here only to find out that living here isn’t as wonderful as they first thought.
The book of Hebrews talks about not letting bitterness get a stronghold in our lives; “Try to stay out of all quarrels and seek to live a clean and holy life, for one who is not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that not one of you will fail to find God’s best blessings. Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you, for as it springs up it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives.” Hebrews 12:14-15
Who will believe the Gospel if we live our lives in front of unbelievers in anger and bitterness, telling them that God is a God of love while we insist that the ministry we are personally involved in is the best? Sometimes we even go against each other trying to make it seem like we are part of “the only ministry or church” that belongs here.
There must be a turning point in order for the Lord to pour out His Spirit on this land once again. It will not happen if the many ministries stay to themselves, never reaching out to one another. If the Body of Christ does not unite on these hallowed grounds where millions came in peace to worship the Lord, we can wander around for the next 25 years without realizing a real move of God. Moreover, we are living in such critical times that, for the “Cause of Christ,” we should display some form of solidarity to the onlookers, many who keep up with the happenings at Heritage from around the world. This is not impossible for the Lord to do. What is impossible for Him is to force us to change.
It was on the Day of Pentecost when the disciples were in “ONE ACCORD” that power fell from Heaven inside the Upper Room. Isn’t that what we as Christians would love to see happen at Heritage – a move of God so powerful that it would resound around the world, a move of God even more far-reaching than the Day of Pentecost produced? It can happen! We all can pray that the leadership on the grounds makes an effort to come together to seek the Lord’s will and pray for one another.
Through the years, God’s timing has proved perfect, and His faithfulness has been evident if only we can understand that God is a restorer. He has been faithful to watch over His promises concerning Heritage USA. The mighty words from Isaiah 54:17: “No weapon formed against thee shall prosper” that were placed in the foundations of some of the buildings on the grounds are as true today as they were in years past. Some of those buildings were scheduled for demolition. Yet, against all odds, they are still standing, waiting to be restored and used for the Glory of God. More importantly, the people who have been hurt and displaced over the PTL scandal also need restoration.
The Lord did not give Rick or I all the answers in 1987, but it is clear that He has not released us from the call on our lives to keep believing for a full-circle restoration. The Timeline reveals many of the good and some of the bad changes on the grounds, and it often leaves people wondering if there will ever be closure to this seemingly endless drama. There are times when absolutely no progress is being made toward a restoration of any kind. Then there are times when something wonderfully miraculous happens so suddenly that our faith is renewed to keep trusting God. As the Lord gives us strength, we will continue doing our best to bring updates about the happenings and people surrounding the ever-changing Heritage USA story.
We pray that God’s grace and love abound in your lives!