Every now and then, we want to feature the story of someone who has been impacted by the ministry of PRMI’s teaching of the Dunamis Project.
The Dunamis Project is the central training of PRMI to help you cooperate with the Holy Spirit in whatever ministry you may have, in whatever part of the world you may live. Thousands of Christians around the world have experienced a dynamic change in their ministry as they have learned how to cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
Listen in as Russ Graff of Edmonton Canada shares his experience of Dunamis.
Chris: Hey, this is Chris Walker with PRMI, and every now and then, we like to hear stories of how people found their way to the Dunamis Project and what they encounter at the Dunamis Project, hopefully with the idea that you might be curious and want to come to a Dunamis Project as well.
With me is Russ Graff, who is from Edmonton, Canada. So, Russ, tell us a little bit about your story. What was it like before you came to Dunamis?
In the beginning…
Russ: Well, I should maybe go way back to the 1970s, when I was a young man in college, and that’s where I got serious about my faith.
There was a thing going on called the charismatic renewal, and that was where I got renewed in my faith. I didn’t get a very good explanation of what was going on, and a bunch of my friends kinda went crazy. They went to a commune . . .basically the whole nine yards, left school, threw away their education, threw away their opportunities for the future.
I thought “Oh, well, you know, this was really nice”. I got excited about Jesus, and this was really bad because the way I got excited about Him just blew up.
Chris: Oh my goodness. Okay, and so with that kind of restlessness and not quite a satisfaction of what was going on, somehow, an invitation to Dunamis found its way to you. How did that happen, and why did you want to go?
On the journey
Russ: Well, it was quite a few years later. I was in seminary, and I’d gone to a seminary that didn’t even believe the gifts existed anymore.
Then I came to Calvin, and well, they didn’t really teach a lot about that either.
But a fellow whose church had gone through renewal in Calgary, a man by the name of Henry Wildeboer came and visited us and did a one-day talk about what happened in his church when the Holy Spirit visited them.
That was the same thing I recognized what happened to me back in the ‘70s, except that he explained it different, and he … Well, you didn’t have to throw away your brain to believe in the Holy Spirit and His work in our lives and in our churches.
Chris: You can stay logical and rational and still believe in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Russ: Yeah, so that was a big A-ha for me. I found out that his teaching came from Dunamis, and that’s kinda how I started tracking with this.
Chris: Okay, and so you started going to Dunamis and experiencing the community that forms … Right now, we meet twice every year and go through a 3-year cycle. What was it that helped you come back to the point where now you want to serve and volunteer in a Dunamis community?
Russ: I think the thing that really keeps me coming back is this is where we experience what it says in Acts, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea to the ends of the earth.”
This is how we can get in touch with that power of God to do what He calls us to do here as His Church.
Chris: Now, when you were at Dunamis — this is an additional question that I’m gonna put you on the spot for – the teaching, how did you find the teaching at Dunamis? Or how would you describe the teaching that you encountered at Dunamis? How did that help convince you that this was logical, rational, and perfectly understandable?
Russ: Well, there’s these big books they got that they don’t follow very close but…
Chris: Manuals, we call it manuals.
Russ: Yeah, manuals. But the teachers embodied what they were teaching about, and I think that was, you know, it was real in their lives, and that’s what really did it for me, I think.
Chris: Okay. The teachers who embodied, and what we mean by “embody” is that they live it themselves.
Russ: Yeah, this wasn’t just something that they were talking about that was out there. It was something that was in here and that was operating in their lives, and it was making a difference in the Church.
Making a difference
Chris: Now, Russ, if you were to encounter someone who is thinking about coming to your local Dunamis Project, someone who is maybe on the fence as to whether or not they should come or not, what would you say to them to help encourage them to come to your Dunamis Project?
Russ: Well, I think I know that you want to make a difference for Jesus, and you can’t do that on your own. The Lord said, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing”.
You come to Dunamis and you get in touch with God’s Holy Spirit and how we can work together with Him to do the things that God calls us to do, and that’s why you should come because you need to experience that in a group of people where it is safe and where you can learn and not throw away your brain learning about this stuff.
Chris: And it stays very logical and very helpful.
Russ: Yes, it works. It’s right out of the Bible, and it’s just amazing.
Chris: I think what’s really important is that if you are thinking about coming to a Dunamis Project and you have found yourself kind of at the end of your spiritual strength tank, really, Dunamis is a place where you can discover what it means to minister in the “not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit.”
Chris: It is at Dunamis where you’ll have an encounter with Jesus, and it is in that encounter and the teaching that goes with it where you’ll understand what it means to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to find strength to actually do the ministry to which you’re called. So somewhere around this page, you’ll probably find a link to the list of current events, and I would encourage you to check out a Dunamis Project near you.
Russ: Yes, thank you.