IHOPU faculty’s Shelley Hundley shares her healing testimony
Shelley Hundley is vice-president of curriculum and teaching for International House of Prayer University and director of the Forerunner School of Ministry. Shelley serves in various programs of IHOPU, such as the Apostolic Prayer and Preaching program, as well as providing pastoral care for students and teachers. She also helps give leadership to the International House of Prayer’s prophetic department. Read on, as Shelley shares a powerful testimony about her walk with the Lord and His faithful leadership and willingness to heal.
I came to know the Lord during my sophomore year in college and quickly met Allen and Rachel Hood and joined their discipleship group. We traveled around America to different churches, visiting Pensacola and Toronto, because there were revivals going on, and also spent time in Kansas City.
I later moved to Kansas City to attend Grace Training Center, the Bible school which was part of Mike Bickle’s church in the eighties and nineties. At first I didn’t have a car or a place to live, and I cleaned movie theatre bathrooms to pay my way through classes. Grace Training School was small then, but the teachers were phenomenal. I loved my two years there.
The prayer room began in 1999, followed shortly by the Forerunner School of Prayer, our Bible school. It was around that time that I became sick.
I thought I had the flu, but it went on for days. I went to a hospital and they ran some tests. When I woke up, my close friends and leaders were in the hospital room. They told me I had Crohn’s disease. I didn’t even know what that meant. Crohn’s disease causes internal hemorrhaging all the way from the esophagus to the stomach and intestines. There is a lot of bleeding and inflammation. I almost lost my vision at one point, and had excruciating pain that would make it very hard to walk. I used to crawl from my bed to the bathroom.
As a child, I went through some pretty horrendous physical and sexual abuse, and Crohn’s disease mimicked that abuse. Crohn’s disease hits hard, and then pulls back into remission, much like the cycles of abuse that I received. I was in the hospital every month. I had never been sick like that before in my life.
I would be covered in bruises from the IVs, looking like I had taken a beating. I remember coming home, taking a shower, and seeing the bruises and battle scars. The physical feeling was like being beaten, and I would weep before God.
It was the very same valley that I went through as a kid, but this time I had a family fighting for me. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. I was not one to ask for help, but I had friends that would never leave me in the hospital by myself. There wasn’t a time when I didn’t have intercessors or musicians in my room, interceding and praying. Nurses and medical staff came to the Lord because of them.
I was sick with Crohn’s for three years, and during that time, Mike Bickle and Allen Hood gave me assignments. Mike said, “This will be your seminary training.” Mike came to the hospital once, slammed a three-volume theology set on the hospital tray, and said, “OK, Allen will give you the assignments.” I had to do a church history assignment, an assignment on a book of the Bible, and a theology assignment. Allen and Mike kept me going.
I remember being very sick at one point, and Allen came over to my house and asked, “Do you have your assignment done?” I said, “No! I can’t read, I can hardly talk to tell you this right now, and I’m crawling around my house because I can’t walk. I can’t even go to the house of prayer. No, I did not get my assignment done.” The assignment that I was supposed to have done was a written, paraphrased version of the Song of Songs. I had only done the first chapter. Allen said, “It’s time for you to memorize all eight chapters. I’m going to talk to your roommates. They will record it for you on some tapes, and you will memorize all eight chapters.” He said this stone-faced, and then he walked out. I didn’t know until years later, but he went out to his car and wept, because it was one of the hardest things that he had to do, to push me through those years.
Another aspect of the disease was that it kept me from speaking. I had a very limited amount of time per day that I was able to talk. If I chose to accuse the Lord in my heart and turn from Him, I would be cutting off the one person that I could really fellowship with.
At first I kept asking God why He wouldn’t heal me if He loved me. It was like I wanted Him to prove to me that He loved me. Then I realized that He doesn’t have to prove His goodness and kindness and love towards me. He proved it on the cross. Even if He had never spoken another word to me, He would be righteous and kind in all His ways. I began to have the revelation that He would heal me because it’s in His nature.
Sometimes it was so hard to ask Him to heal me. Sometimes I would go through a whole day without asking Him. I would lie there at night and say, “Ah, I didn’t ask Him to heal me today. I can’t stop asking Him. To stop asking Him is to make a judgment about Him; it is to assume that my Father is not good and doesn’t want to heal.”
Eventually, I began to play out the drama in my mind as I was sitting in my bed, saying, “You didn’t heal me today. It must have been very difficult for You to hold back that part of who You are. I thought You couldn’t handle it one more day, but I know that you are doing something in me every day. What if tomorrow I’m healed, and today is the last day to love You in the darkness?” I felt like the clock was ticking and I would be healed soon.
By the time He healed me, in my heart it was as though I was already healed. It was bizarre, but it felt like He had already kissed my heart with His justice.
I was healed in an everyday, mundane prayer meeting. I raised my hand and stood up for prayer. People came around me to pray. They didn’t say anything profound. There was no prophetic download. They just prayed for me and sang in the Spirit, and within five minutes I knew it was my day. I felt “electricity” throughout my body, and I fell to the ground. No one else in the room seemed to be getting touched. Misty was singing on the worship team, and she looked over at me in surprise at the timing of the Lord.
I got up, and Kirk Bennett walked over to me, grinning. I think he already knew. He asked, “How do you feel?” I had not had a painless day like that one in three years.
I went to see my doctor, who had been an atheist, and she said, “There is a God! He does miracles! You do not have Crohn’s disease.” I told her, “His name is Jesus.” My brother, who was also an agnostic doctor at the time, looked at all the medical charts and later came to the Lord. They removed the diagnosis completely.
My experience with Crohn’s disease fuels my teaching; because, at the end of it all, when I was healed, the Lord had put life messages in me.
When I was healed, the Lord gave me the passage, “Comfort, comfort my people.” I came up with a plan to teach about God as the Judge in order to understand suffering and His heart through it.
A year or so after that, the school became the Forerunner School of Ministry and Allen Hood became president. More recently, the music academy and the media institute were added, and we became IHOPU. Our school exists to train and call forth forerunner messengers. We want to send out ones who will prepare the Church and the earth for His return.