Hello from IHOP!

I made it!! After staying a night with cousins in Colorado and a night with Erica (who was originally going to do OTI with me) in Kansas, I arrived at IHOP yesterday around 11:30 am. Some of my roommates helped me move in, and three hours later I was all organised and already feeling quite at home.

My little corner. I also have a bit of closet space and two drawers in our wooden dressers. I have since bought a desk lamp ($5.99 at Target!) since our room has no ceiling lighting fixtures.

My apartment consists of four interns in a bedroom with our Assistant Core Leader in her own room right next to us. We have a nice big living room and a “functionally compact” kitchen. The five of us are part of a core group which consists of twelve girls between the ages of 20 and 22, plus a Core Leader and an Assistant Core Leader. The fourteen of us will be discussing what we’re learning together, serving together, and keeping each other accountable. And of course praying together. 🙂 Both of our leaders are in our age bracket as well, and both have done the internship before. I am so excited to get to know them more and I think they are going to be great leaders for our group.

My core group is so diverse! Most of us are from the States, but we also have girls from Germany, Canada, Scotland, and India. And there are several more internationals outside our group, too. We are already having fun cross-cultural experiences with them, and I love listening to their accents. One of my roommates is named Kaylan, so I’ve begun introducing myself as “Caitlyn with a T.” As it turns out, she did a DTS in Kona, Hawaii where she was with a friend of mine from my home church! It is such a small world here.

So far, my days have mostly consisted of orientation. I feel slightly on information overload, but hearing the various leaders talk about the heart behind various rules and procedures makes them much easier to assimilate. Some of the boundaries might be a struggle for me at first — for example I’m typing this in the cafe because internet isn’t allowed in the apartments, and the dress code is a tad stricter than what I normally hold myself to — but I am willing to willingly limit my freedom for the sake of others in these ways, and also for my own sake and Jesus’ sake. If this is what it takes to honour the leadership, my fellow interns, and ultimately God and my consecration before him, then that is what I’ll do. I knew this was going to be a pretty intense adventure in consecration and humility anyway. So hopefully I’ll be able to keep that attitude for the next six months.

With all of this orientation information, I’ve been thinking the past few days about how IHOP is putting into practice 1 Corinthians 14:40, which says that “all things should be done decently and in order.” (ESV) The “all things” Paul was talking about were the focus of the rest of the passage– namely, spiritual gifts such as prophecy, tongues, healing, etc, as well as things like singing in the spirit. IHOP is fully active in all of these, but they have established models that set boundaries so that the human propensity to act out of the flesh and end up hindering others from encountering God might be contained. Many of the boundaries are also rooted in 1 Corinthians 10:23– “‘Everything is permissible,’ but not everything is beneficial…” (NIV) There is soooo much freedom here, but that freedom is allowed to become a blessing to all because of the boundaries that have been prayerfully set.

Tonight will be my first official time in the prayer room… sorta. Tonight we’re going to the Encounter God Service at Forerunner Christian Fellowship, which is basically the side of IHOP that looks slightly more like a traditional church. It starts at 6:00 pm with an hour and a half of worship, and then an hour of teaching from Mike Bickle, and then prayer room until midnight, although tonight the interns will only stay until 10:00. Friday night is the time when the Global Prayer Room (the normal 24/7 prayer room here) gets cleaned, so the live webstream at ihop.org temporarily switches over to the FCF prayer room. The GPR is closed to the public during that time, although a worship team does keep going on stage in order to “keep the fire on the altar.” Then tomorrow will be my first official six hour session in the prayer room, 6:00 pm to midnight. I popped in for a few minutes today, and I am sooo excited to do it for real tomorrow night.

I’m meeting some people for dinner in the cafeteria in a little bit, so I am going to sign off for tonight. I’ll try to blog often —  I’m sure I’ll have LOTS to say — but no guarantees with how the schedule will go.

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