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Catholics experience ministry program through Summer Intensive

Father Andrew Strobl, Encounter KC chaplain, joins in song with the participants of the program’s Summer Intensive program held July 11-14 at St. Agnes Church in Roeland Park. LEAVEN PHOTO BY JILL RAGAR ESFELD

by Jill Ragar Esfeld

ROELAND PARK — The Encounter School of Ministry Kansas City team prayed for a full house at its Summer Intensive program held July 11-14 at St. Agnes Church here.

God answered those prayers.

Almost 200 participants poured into the parish center at St. Agnes for the event.

As they entered the hall to pick up name tags and information, many admitted, “I don’t know what I’m getting myself into.”

Encounter KC director Eric Wombwell and instructor Nick Redd were helping with registration and loved what they heard.

“That’s what we want,” said Wombwell. “Just blind, coming in; rock me, Holy Spirit!

“That’s what we’re looking for.”

The evening opened with a worship band playing spiritual songs with words projected on a screen above the stage.

Attendees joined in the songs, punctuating the lyrics with clapping hands and arms raised in worship.

The crowd was an eclectic mix of gender and ages. The unifying factor seemed to be a desire to encounter the Holy Spirit.

And that’s exactly what the program promised.

Instructors for the Summer Intensive had been through the Encounter School of Ministry’s two-year curriculum designed to teach, equip and activate participants in the full supernatural lifestyle of Jesus

Each quarter in the two-year program consists of eight sessions taught by different instructors.

Each session is followed by an activation — a spiritual exercise that moves content from theory into practice.

Throughout the program, participants are empowered to walk with God in intimacy and demonstrate his love and power to the world around them.

The Summer Intensive provided an overview of the content offered in the first four quarters of the two-year program. 

In other words, it was an intense four nights that gave participants a taste of what they can experience through the two-year program.

“We’re so excited to have you come honor Jesus in a new way over the next four nights,” said Wombwell to those attending the intensive. “We’ve experienced this transformation.

“And we believe that there’s going to be transformation for everyone in this room.”

Each evening began with a testimony from one of the leadership team instructors about their experience of a particular quarter within the two-year school.

The testimony was followed by a talk and then an activation.

“The activations are where we’re going to see Jesus show up,” explained Wombwell. “We’re going into a prayer posture.

“The expectation is that Jesus is going to encounter you, he’s going to speak into your life and then he’s going to do something.”

The topics for the Summer Intensive were: “Identity and Transformation,” “Hearing God and the Prophetic Gifts,” “Power and Physical Healing,” and “Inner Healing and Freedom.”

Each evening consisted of two sessions of talks and activations to help participants walk with God in intimacy.

“Our Lord wants this for all of us,” said Father Andrew Strobl, Encounter KC chaplain. “There is no one excluded from the kingdom of God.

“Everyone was made to experience the power of Our Lord.”

About the author

Jill Esfeld

Jill Ragar Esfeld received a degree in Writing from Missouri State University and started her profession as a magazine feature writer, but quickly transitioned to technical/instructional writing where she had a successful career spanning more than 20 years. She returned to feature writing when she began freelancing for The Leaven in 2004. Her articles have won several awards from the Catholic Press Association. Jill grew up in Christ the King parish in Kansas City, Missouri; and has been a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, Kansas, for 35 years.

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