This picture says a thousand words about the new generation…sad
Deanna Melton Cooper (a facebook share)
Photo Courtesy of Pinterest.com
By Natalie Nichols Gillespie/Charisma Magazine
Joshua Hanson thought he could find the meaning of life in heroin, Buddhism and Hare Krishna. When he finally found the truth, he knew he had to take it to his hippie friends.
For 30-year-old former peace activist Joshua Hanson, saving grace is finally as simple as the familiar children’s song “Jesus Loves Me.” Hanson founded Jesus Loves You Ministries, an evangelizing organization that goes into places hardly anyone else reaches–not to remote Africa or Asia but into the woods right here in the United States.
Hanson and the Jesus Loves You team follow today’s transients–the teens and young adults who make up 80 percent of the counterculture known as the Rainbow People.
Living much like the hippies and flower children of the 1960s, Rainbow kids sustain themselves with little or no money and possessions as they wander throughout the country. Disenfranchised from society and the church, they hitch rides and hold Rainbow gatherings in the woods, march in peace walks, follow rock ‘n’ roll bands, champion environmental causes, explore religions and seek to create a better world.
At the same time, they live a lifestyle of underlying hopelessness–often abusing their bodies with drugs, sex and too little food. Hanson wants to offer them the true hope found in Jesus Christ, not by bringing them out of the woods and into church but by taking Christ’s love straight to them.
Hanson, his 20-year-old wife, Shallyn, their infant son, Ari (which means “Lion of God”), and others travel the United States in RVs and painted buses and live wherever the Rainbow kids live. They operate a feeding program from their homes-on-wheels. They connect with young people through drum circles and campfire chats and, as Hanson puts it, “just by lovin’ on them.”
Hanson understands these teens and young adults better than most. For years, he was one of them. Although his mom believed in Jesus, Hanson resisted the Lord from the time he was a small child.
“I remember my mom telling me that from the time I was little, every Sunday I would kick and scream and fight because I didn’t want to go to church,” Hanson told Charisma. “I never really received Him.”
His running continued through his teens and into his 20s. His parents divorced when he was 7, and by the time Hanson reached high school in Kansas City, Kansas, he was into the drug scene. After high school, he enrolled at the University of Kansas for a couple of years but was still into drugs and partying.
In the middle of his college life, Hanson’s sister decided to go on a “Dead” tour, joining groups of fans who lived on the road by following the 1960s seminal psychedelic band The Grateful Dead. Hanson heard she was going, dropped out of school, quit his job as a United Parcel Service driver and hit the road with her.
“They were into partying, and I was really into partying, so I felt really at home there,” Hanson says.
After using drugs for so long, it was a short step for Hanson to dealing them. He was arrested once for possessing marijuana. Even on probation, he continued to party.
“I tried everything from ecstasy to acid to crack to heroin,” Hanson says. “I’d get drunk first, then try about anything anyone put in front of me.”
There was a time when Hanson even thought he had AIDS. “I had done everything that put you in a high-risk category,” Hanson admits. “I had shot up heroin, had lots of unprotected sex with lots of women; I even had a homosexual experience. For a long time, I was too scared to have myself tested and just kept messing around with people.”
Always searching, Hanson explored many religions during his wanderings–from Hare Krishna to Buddhism to Islam to Judaism. Nothing satisfied his deep desire to find true meaning in life.
“My aunt was a shaman [medicine woman] and would do these journeys to Peru, and I’d join her for ceremonies,” Hanson says. “We did iowaska, a drug that is similar to what peyote is to Native Americans. A whole group of us did that and then dyed ourselves blue. Once, we even took a bath in cow poop. It was crazy, man.”
Perhaps the lowest point came a short time later when another shaman predicted that Hanson would die if he continued to drink. “He really put a curse on me, and every time I drank after that I would see demons and have demonic experiences,” Hanson says.
Even with the demonic encounters Hanson found it hard to give up the alcohol and drugs and would go through periods of abstinence followed by more binges. Miraculously, he lived through it all, loosely keeping in touch with his parents back in Kansas City, who were worried sick about him. His father, who worked at a drug-rehabilitation center, finally “pulled some strings,” Hanson says, and had him involuntarily admitted.
“I tried to run out of there, but they tackled me and brought me back in,” Hanson says. “Miraculously, I haven’t drunk or done hard drugs since then.”
Around 1994, Hanson was released from rehab–clean but still searching. He discovered a group of Rainbow kids led by a Buddhist monk. The Rainbows were participating in a peace walk across the country that began on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and went from New York to California. He joined them.
“It finished in San Francisco, and I wanted to keep walking it out, Forrest Gump-style,” Hanson says, “so I started my own group called Uniting Spirits to go on peace pilgrimages. We were all about checking out all the religions and bringing spiritual, environmental, religious and social groups together.”
He completed a peace walk from the National Rainbow Gathering in Missouri to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1996.
“It was the first time the convention had been held there since the 1968 riots, and we hooked up with protesters doing this Festival of Life event,” Hanson explains. “We tried to organize simultaneous prayer, drum circles and tribal councils around all 50 state capitals.”
Hanson even attracted attention by helping carry a coffin across the country to deliver to the “drug czar” in Washington, D.C., to represent those who had died in the war on drugs and to push for legalizing pot. Hanson now realizes that all the time he was walking across the country, living the life of a nomad and believing he was working toward something, he was actually walking away from true fulfillment.
“I wanted to make a difference here on this planet, and I spent years and years trying to make stuff happen in my flesh,” Hanson says.
Then, as Uniting Spirits were traveling to a National Rainbow Gathering in Oregon, the group stopped in Kansas City, and Hanson’s life was changed.
“We ran into some Christians who were out feeding the homeless,” Hanson says. “We stopped to get something to eat and talk to them, and this lady named Hazel told us about how she had gotten saved in the Jesus Movement.
“Well, we all had head lice, and Hazel took us all back to her home and debugged us, washed all our clothes and helped us get clean. She really loved on us.”
That was the beginning of Hanson’s experience with true love and peace. His group continued on to the National Rainbow Gathering, but afterward, Hanson was drawn back to Kansas City. Ironically, the school bus transporting Hanson’s group crashed into the side of the training center of Metro Christian Fellowship in Kansas City, Missouri–Hazel’s church–and Hanson stuck around a while.
“The Lord actually laid me out on the ground kinda like in Paul’s Damascus Road experience, and the scales came off my eyes,” Hanson says of his conversion. “I had a revelation of the Lord that He was what I was looking for the whole time. I didn’t find it in activism; I didn’t find it in religion.
“I was really deceived, but I didn’t know I was deceived. The revelation was that I had been misleading other people. After that, I realized that it was Jesus and only Jesus.” From that moment on, Hanson felt as if God was calling him back to the woods, back to the marches and the Rainbow gatherings to share what Jesus had done for him.
Hanson was discipled and trained for a short time in Kansas City, then became part of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship in St. Louis in between his times on the road ministering.
In 2001, he founded the nonprofit Jesus Loves You Ministries to fulfill his vision of sharing the love of Jesus with nomadic kids looking for peace. Since then, Jesus Loves You Ministries has become a mobile community, growing from one little Toyota van to 25 to 30 people committed to driving around the country in six or seven buses and RVs. “We have a free kitchen, and we play music at the gatherings and just worship Jesus,” Hanson says. “We go out to the streets, hang out in coffee shops, and we play our drums.”
The group consists of singles, families with young children and mentors who aim to give wandering youth a glimpse of healthy love. “We spend months of the year in the woods, just to love on these kids and be their friends.”
Hanson met his wife, Shallyn, at a Morningstar conference in Jacksonville, Florida, and then at an event in Asheville, North Carolina. Shortly after graduating from high school, Shallyn felt called to go out on the road with Jesus Loves You.
“I didn’t say anything to her [about a relationship] for about eight months, and then I asked her parents’ permission to court her,” Hanson says.
Shallyn was 19 and had kept herself pure for the husband God had for her, Hanson says. With her parents’ blessing, the couple married in March 2002. Ari was born one year later.
“That God would give her to me is such an incredible gift,” Hanson says. “Going all the way through high school as a virgin is an awesome testimony and definitely the better way to go.”
Today, the Hansons and the Jesus Loves You team go wherever the Lord leads them. They go to Bike Week in Florida, Reggae on the River in California, the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee. They also visit large rock ‘n’ roll concerts and Rainbow events.
They have received a welcome (and a place to park their buses) from Southern Baptists to what Hanson lovingly labels “charismaniacs.” The average age of his team members is around 23, but there are families and a mentor couple in their 50s (see related article on page 66).
“It is so awesome watching people’s lives–right in front of our eyes–being transformed,” Hanson says. “When they come into a relationship with Jesus, it is like night and day. We see those who have given their lives to the Lord get radically transformed.”
Now, Hanson hopes to find some land for the ministry to call home base, where kids who have just found Jesus through Jesus Loves You can rest, train and grow in the Lord before heading again to the front lines. “Sometimes we need a season to grow and fall in love with Jesus,” Hanson says.
In the meantime, Hanson and his group keep attending and organizing events, witnessing to the teens, Vietnam veterans, grandparents and young children who make up the Rainbow family.
“They are all really searching and seeking; most of them are really spiritual people, really wanting to know the truth,” Hanson says. “And they are surviving on the waste of America, eating out of Dumpsters. They have backpacks and hitchhike and can get around on next to nothing.”
Hanson says the hardest part of ministry is watching those who find the truth return to the same addictions. “It is only by the grace of God that I was able to give up the drugs, sex and alcohol,” Hanson says. “Sometimes we do see people go back again and again. When they do, we just try to pour into them.”
As for Hanson, he is quick to say that Jesus Loves You is absolutely not about Joshua Hanson, but about Jesus Christ and about the team that has come together to honor Christ and take His name to some outlandish places.
“What we are seeing is the Lord breaking down the generation gap, raising up a nameless, faceless generation that is going to turn this world upside down,” Hanson says. “The brothers and sisters here all have different gifts. We’re like the ‘Dream Team’ doing guerrilla warfare. And I’ll tell you, taking a bath in the blood of Jesus is a whole lot better than a cow-poop bath.”
Pray the Precious Blood Of Jesus Christ “authority over all enemies“, because…. the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin! 1 John 1:5 — 2:1. And, through the blood of Jesus Christ which is powerful and precious, we can pray for the cleansing of all of our enemies.
Matthew 24:1 – 36
1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
By Jesus Maria
Marian Apparition: Rwanda Vandalism was rampant all over the country from 1980 to 1981. Almost all of the statues of the Virgin Mary that were at the entrance of villages were mutilated, destroyed, or stolen. This was a sad time when Mary was almost forgotten, and barely prayed to. Even several priests did not pray the Rosary any more, influenced by the propaganda of false theologians who would like to make us believe that this devotion is out of date. Catholics are humiliated; the clergy begins to give up.
It is in this time of discouragement that Mary chose to visit Rwanda. From 1981 to 1989, this country heard of the Virgin Mary as never before. Kibeho is located in the south of the country, the poorest area of Rwanda. The presence, in this place, of two dynamic priests made the population fervent.
Kibeho: The school of the Apparitions
At the start of the new school year in 1981, there were 120 students, divided into three classes. Three nuns are directing the school. The other teachers – one woman and five men – are lay people. They are all Rwandans. Two are Protestant, the others are Catholic. The majority of the students are Catholic, but there are also 17 Protestant and 2 Moslem students. Morals are far from being exemplary.
Kibeho: The first Apparition
Marian Apparition: Rwanda Alphonsine Mumreke, the first seer of Kibeho, is 17 years old, and is in her first year at the secondary school of Kibeho. She is very pious, and has always shown a great love for the Blessed Virgin. She also likes to attend Holy Mass. Here is how she relates the first Apparition: “It took place on Saturday, November 28, 1981, at 12:35 p.m. I was in the dining room of the school, serving my classmates. All of a sudden, I heard a voice calling me.”
Mary: “My daughter.”
Alphonsine: “Here I am.” “I went to the corridor, and saw a very beautiful woman. I knelt down, made the Sign of the Cross, and asked: ‘Who are you?’”
Mary: “Ndi Nyina Wa Jambo (in the local language, ‘I am the Mother of the Word’). In the religion, what do you prefer?”
Alphonsine: “I love God and His Mother, who gave us the Child who redeemed us.”
Mary: “If it is so, I have come to calm you, because I have heard your prayers. I would like your friends to have Faith, because they do not believe strongly enough.”
Alphonsine: “Mother of the Saviour, if it is really You who has come to tell us that here, in this school, we have little Faith, You do love us. I am really filled with joy that You appear to me.”
“The Virgin was not white as She is usually seen in holy pictures. I could not determine the color of Her skin, but She was of incomparable beauty. She was barefoot and had a seamless white dress, and also a white veil on Her head. Her hands were clasped together on Her breast, and Her fingers pointed to the sky. Later, I was told that I was in the dining room. My classmates told me that I was speaking in several languages: French, English, Kinyarwanda, etc. “When the Blessed Virgin was about to leave, I said three ‘Hail Marys’ and the prayer, ‘Come, Holy Spirit’. When She left, I saw Her rise to Heaven like Jesus.”
At the end of the Apparition, the seer remained motionless for a quarter of an hour, as if she was paralyzed, and all the efforts to get her out of ecstasy were in vain. Neither the teachers nor the nuns gave credence to what Alphonsine said. They rather spoke of illness instead of apparitions.
The phenomenon took place again the next day, on November 29. In December, the Apparitions took place almost every Saturday. Excited by their curiosity, the students and the teachers test the reality of the ecstasies. They burn Alphonsine with a match, or prick her with a pin, but the seer has no reactions.
Alphonsine suffered a lot during this period of subtle persecution. They mocked her: “Here comes the seer!” During the May 8, 1982 Apparition, Alphonsine complained to the Virgin Mary: “People say that we are crazy.” This day, her mother was present for the first time.
Many signs are given by Heaven to bring the students and the teachers to believe in the authenticity of the Apparitions.
The students who had rosaries brought them to have them blessed by the Blessed Virgin. They were all mixed up together, so it was impossible for Alphonsine to know their owners. Alphonsine took the rosaries and offered them to the Blessed Virgin. Some rosaries became too heavy, and the seer could not lift them and ask for the blessing. One then noticed that the heavy Rosary in question belonged to a student who did not believe in the authenticity of the Apparitions, and who criticized them.
There was also, in the dormitory, the Apparition of a star and of sparkling lights that all could see.
If the first Apparition took place in the dining room, during the day, the following Apparitions took place in the evening, in the dormitory, in the room of the seer. The Virgin Mary often told the seer about the date of Her next Apparition.
In Rwanda, news goes fast. People rush up to be present at the time of the Apparitions. Upon the request of the Bishop, the seer spoke about it to the Director of the school. The next meetings will take place outdoors, in the schoolyard. Some Apparitions will continue to take place in the dormitory – private Apparitions that concern only the seer and the students.
Mary will progressively make Herself known to the students, and win them over. She gives advice, encourages, makes remarks to bring them on the right path. She is really the Mother who, in Her motherly love, educates Her children. Our Lady really became the Queen of this school. She should be the Queen of all schools!
One knows that the present situation in schools worldwide is awful, because God has been chased out, because His law is no longer taught. It is even forbidden to pray to Him in schools! Every morning, when we go to Mass, our heart breaks when we see school buses arriving to school, loaded with children. Poor little ones, who are taught that God does not exist! Mary came to Kibeho in a school, to set the example to the whole world, and to show how students can be transformed when God’s law is taught in schools.
Because of the strong opposition that the first Apparitions had caused, some teachers and students had said: “We will believe in the coming in our school of Mary, the Mother of God, only if She appears to others besides Alphonsine.” The seer replied to them: “Pray yourselves to obtain this favor.”
Two other seers
On January 12, 1982, Our Lady grants the prayers of the students, and also appears to a young girl, Anathalie Mukamazimpaka, and will appear to her until December 3, 1983.
Marian Apparition: Rwanda Marian Apparition: Rwanda And on March 2, 1982, to the surprise of all, Our Lady appears to Marie Claire Mukangango. It is like a bomb in the school, for Marie Claire was one of those who had showed her unbelief the most. Her Christian life was nothing special, and was even far from being exemplary! She called Alphonsine “a fool”. And now, it is her turn to be seized by a mysterious power. The Virgin Mary chose her to spread Her message, and from now on, Marie Claire keeps saying:
“One must meditate on the Passion of Jesus, and on the deep sorrows of His Mother. One must recite the Rosary every day, and also the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, to obtain the favour of repentance.”
Marie Claire will have Apparitions until September 15, 1982.
The blessing of water
In January and February, 1982, diabolical phenomena take place in the dormitory. To cast away these unknown forces, the nuns use Lourdes’ water, which has a soothing effect, but soon there is no more water left. So Anathalie is asked to have some water blessed by the Virgin Mary during the Apparitions. This was on March 2, 1982. Thus started, at Kibeho, the habit of having water blessed by the Virgin Mary before the Apparition. There are now three seers at Kibeho, all from the college. The three of them are now recognized by the Church: Alphonsine, Anathalie, and Marie Claire.
Other Apparition sites
Marian Apparition: Rwanda The Apparitions of Mary, that followed the first one to Alphonsine, take place in the dormitory until January 16, 1982, and from that date, either in the schoolyard, for public Apparitions, or in the dormitory of the students, or in a place converted into a chapel. It is there that the students come to pray in the evening, and it will be the moment favored by the Blessed Virgin to visit one of the seers of the school. The students are present during the Apparition, and often the talks with the Virgin are about school life. These Apparitions are considered private, and the public is not allowed.
However, all can attend the Apparitions in the schoolyard. There is a conversation between the seer and the Apparition. All can hear and record the words of the seer, but they obviously cannot hear the words of the Virgin Mary. Very soon, the crowds become larger, especially in May, 1982, the month dedicated to Mary.
A podium and powerful speakers are installed to allow journalists and the members of the medical and theological commission to circulate freely, and above all, to allow the population to hear the dialogue of the seers. On August 15, 1982, there were 20,000 people.
Towards the end of an Apparition, the Blessed Virgin asks the seers to bless the crowd. The seers are in ecstasy; they do not see the crowd, but a garden of flowers, some fresh, and others faded. Our Lady asks the seers to water the flowers, and explains that the fresh flowers represent people whose hearts are turned to God, whereas the faded flowers represent those whose hearts are turned to earthly things, especially to money.
Marian Apparition: Rwanda There are also the mystical journeys. Alphonsine experienced this phenomenon on March 20 and 21, 1982. She informs the Sister directress and her classmates in advance: “I will look dead, but don’t be afraid; don’t bury me!” The journey lasts eighteen hours. Priests, nurses, religious, the medical assistant of the Red Cross, all can see Alphonsine plunged into a deep sleep, her body straight and very heavy. They cannot lift her nor separate her hands that are joined. During this journey, the Blessed Virgin shows her Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell.
Another impressive phenomenon that took place in Kibeho was the fasts and the silences requested by Jesus or Mary. This was also checked by the commission of inquiry. These fasts could last up to fourteen days, without harming the health of the seers.
She prays and sings
During one Apparition, Alphonsine is cured of a severe quinsy and of a loss of voice, and also of an eye disease. During the Apparition on October 2, she fell seven times, but even when she lays on the ground, she continues to pray and to sing. She asks for the grace to detest sin, the strength no…..
In 1968, the Immaculate Mother’s apparition appeared on the roof of the St. Mary’s Coptic Church in Zeitoun Egypt.
The Immaculate Mother’s many apparitions:
Kibeho (Rwanda), Betania (Venezuela),
Naju (Korea) & Zeitoun(Egypt)
where millions of all faiths stared
at the Apparition
of the Immaculate Mother!
Throughout the ages, the Immaculate Mother,
Our Lady, Mother of Our Lord and Savior
appeared in Fatima, Lourdes
and so many other places.
Where was everyone when she made her
many appearances at
Bayside New York from 1970-1994?
Today, all over the world, statues of the Immaculate Mother
are crying tears of blood. The Mother of Jesus Christ
continually reaches out -out to all people…We are her children!
Open your heart to the messages and be guided by her!