“IHOPU teaches a lot about ministry: how to love people, how to speak, and how to minister to people. There’s active prayer (24/7) and ministry opportunities.”

Ministry Training that Ignited Her Heart: An IHOPU Testimony

by Adam Wittenberg
10/12/18 IHOPU

Although she grew up in a thriving church and ministry in Toronto, Canada, Zoe B. decided to continue her studies at International House of Prayer University (IHOPU) once the Lord put a special desire in her for His Word and the land of Israel.“My older sisters came to IHOPU, and I heard their testimonies,” says Zoe, a student in the Forerunner School of Ministry. “I knew it would help feed my ministry calling and teach me about the Word, and I wanted to learn more.”

Zoe had been feeling a call to ministry, including preaching, evangelism, and short-term missions, and her first year at IHOPU helped her “discover more in the Word so [she has] knowledge of what to tell people and receive confidence in public speaking,” an area she wants to develop further.

The school is “really going to help me in my future, teaching me more about the Word and to make sure I’m actively living out the truths written in the Bible,” she says. “IHOPU also teaches a lot about ministry: how to love people, how to speak, and how to minister to people. There’s active prayer (night and day, 24/7) and ministry opportunities.”

Hunger (and Fear) in Evangelism
She came to IHOPU with a desire to do evangelism—something she had found difficult previously, with little fruit from her efforts. When the school invited students to go on spring ministries trips to ten different cities across the US, Zoe asked God to put her on a team with a lot of opportunities to do evangelism. And her prayer was heard!

On their trip to Virginia Beach, Zoe and her team ministered in churches and at prayer meetings, served pastors and leaders, and evangelized to share the faith.

“I’d been evangelizing a couple of times in my life,” she says. “I was always super nervous, shut down, or it would end really badly. I used to be nervous and scared. Sometimes I would hear the voice of the accuser telling me what people would tell me. It held me back from evangelism.”

Still, Zoe “felt the Lord calling [her] to this really important thing in Christianity,” so she acted in faith and stepped out on the trip. One thing she learned was that being Spirit-led and taking time to listen really opened the door for the gospel to go forth.

Partnering with the Holy Spirit
“I noticed that I didn’t have to have a script to tell people,” she says. “I learned it’s like a conversation—finding out first about them and listening to them gave me the opportunity to share what I believe.”

Her heart for Israel and partnership with the Lord to pray for healing also bore fruit. “I wear a Star of David necklace, and a lot of people asked about it,” she says. “There were many testimonies where we prayed for people and they felt the Holy Spirit, felt warmth and tingling on their body. We saw a healing of a man with knuckle pain, who wasn’t able to move it without pain (before prayer). It’s really amazing to see how the Lord was faithful to heal.”

This experience along with her training at IHOPU have caused Zoe to really “fall in love with evangelism.” Now she goes out routinely with fellow students to share the good news, a far cry from the fear she felt previously.

Growing in Confidence
“On the ministry trip I really felt Jesus pulling me out farther than I’d been able to go,” she says. “Evangelism became an overflow of my heart, wanting to tell people about a Man more amazing than any other, someone who changed my life. It was amazing to see people’s eyes light up, to see people begin to sit up straighter and become interested in what we had to say.”

“The ministry trips helped us to actively minister, preach the gospel, sing, and teach,” she adds. “Doing what we’ve been taught to do is such an amazing teaching opportunity—learning about something is only as good as you can act it out.”

In her studies at IHOPU, Zoe says she’s grown the most through learning about the father heart of God, her adoption as His child, and receiving freedom in her heart. This, plus the breakthrough in evangelism, has caused her to “really grow in confidence in my faith,” she says. “I don’t have to hide how I actually feel and how Jesus has really changed me life.”

A Caring, Learning Community
Zoe also really enjoys the staff at the school, who have become “like friends.”

“They don’t place a chasm between us,” she says. “They’re actively involved in our lives; they love to get to know us and welcome us to ask questions. The friendship group leaders and staff know us in a personal way and help us grow.”

When asked who should come to IHOPU, Zoe responds, “Everyone. Honestly, it’s for any person who wants to know more about Jesus, about prayer, who wants to learn what the Bible says. Basically, anyone who’s hungry; or if a person isn’t hungry but wants to be hungry for Jesus, prayer, and righteousness.”

“The community here is amazing,” she adds. “I’ve never found a place with so many people around me who genuinely love Jesus and want to pursue Him and have a life of ministry. I’ve found so many close friends who are very dear to my heart. I’ve found people similar to me.”

What do you desire in terms of Christian education?

IHOPU offers training in ministry, music, and media with learning grounded in God’s Word and an environment of 24/7 prayer and mission. To learn more, including about IHOPU’s spring programs (January–May), visitihopu.org.

Adam Wittenberg


    A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. He also serves in the NightWatch (overnight prayer hours) and is active in evangelism. He, and his wife Stephany, have a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.

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