During a visit to Lakeland, Fla., in May, San Francisco pastor Michael Brodeur blogged some thoughts for his church members back home who were antsy for revival.
“I believe this is just the beginning of a fresh wave of the Holy Spirit in our midst,” said Brodeur, senior pastor of Promised Land Fellowship. “I encourage you to put on your wet suits, grab your surfboards and paddle out into the coming move of God. This could be the ride of your life.”
Now, after 67 days of nightly meetings, his church and staff are in the midst of something not unlike the Lakeland Outpouring, though Brodeur calls what’s happening in San Francisco “a different animal.”
“Our meetings have been very different from Lakeland in style and form,” he told Charisma. “The character of our outpouring is been much more just soaking in the presence of God and seeking His face.”
At least 2,000 people have been drawn to what has been dubbed the Golden Gate Outpouring, which began June 20 and was expected to last only 10 days. Without the benefit of mass media exposure on GOD TV, tens of thousands aren’t flocking to San Francisco. But that doesn’t bother Brodeur, who has ministered in the Bay Area for the last 30 years—15 of them as a Vineyard pastor.
“We cry out to God and worship and pray for the sick every night, but it’s not Lakeland or anything, where 10,000 people show up,” he said. “The San Francisco Bay Area has less Christians per capita than most missions fields—under 3 percent. The cry for revival is something that is really burning inside of us”
Brodeur, raised by hippies and saved while hitchhiking cross-country in the 1970s, said there have been a number of supernatural occurrences as a result of the meetings, from dramatic healings to deliverances from demonic spirits.
More than individual transformation, Brodeur believes the meetings are affecting change in the San Francisco region. He said demons visited several of his leaders shortly after the meetings began this summer. In one instance, his assistant pastor woke up one night with insane, suicidal thoughts, went downstairs at 5 in the morning, sat at the kitchen table, opened his Bible, and shuddered when he saw a dark being seated across from him.
According to Brodeur, the demon told his assistant pastor: “‘I am the prince over San Francisco. Why have you chosen to make war with me?’”
The same week another friend was apparently offered “the desires of his heart” by a demon if he’d just choose to stay away from the revival. Another woman reportedly woke up feeling choked and gagged in her bed until her husband prayed for her.
During those first few weeks of meetings, Brodeur urged “revivalists” from the across the region to visit. “There is a powerful wave of the Holy Spirit crashing upon the nations,” he wrote in June, “with epicenters in Lakeland, Fla., and in other key regions. We believe that the San Francisco Bay Area is next on God's calendar.”
Before the Golden Gate Outpouring began, Brodeur had decided to visit Lakeland on the tail end of a ministry trip to Asia. He said he was healed of being “dog tired” in ministry and “wiped out spiritually,” and he said revivalist Todd Bentley’s restless passion for the power and presence of God quickly rubbed off on him.
“The way Todd was going after God was just so impactful in my spirit,” he recalled. “Here was a guy who just wasn’t going to let go. Somebody was breaking through. Somebody was not willing to play church anymore. Somebody was going for God.”
But Brodeur said at the outset of the Golden Gate Outpouring, a guest speaker told his church not to look to Bentley or Lakeland for direction, but to look to the Lord, who had something unique and authentic for San Francisco. “We’re kind of off the beaten path, but some see the strategic value of San Francisco,” Brodeur said. “We’ve had many seasons where we’ve fasted and prayed for revival, but we’ve never seen a significant move of God.
“We believe it’s time,” he continued. “We believe God wants to change that. We believe San Francisco has a redemptive gift as a ‘people movement incubator.’
“So many movements that have swept the nation began in San Francisco, and most of those have been harmful. But the anointing to affect the nation in the way that San Francisco has is something that the enemy didn’t create. It’s something that God created.”
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