From rebellious teenager to Salvation Army officer, Danielle Strickland describes her life now as an amazing journey with Jesus.
From an interview by Chip Kendall, Soul Survivor conference UK, Facebook.com/godtv:
Major Danielle Strickland, along with her husband Stephen, lead a Salvo church in Edmonton, Canada, including outreach programs and providing houses for women who have been sexually exploited.
I found Jesus, actually he found me, in jail. I grew up in The Salvation Army and believed that God was mean-spirited and that he was out to kill all my fun. I thought that being a Christian was about being proper and so I became the opposite—rebellious. I started running away, using drugs, became estranged from my family and hit the streets when I was 13.
When I was about 17 years old I ended up in jail for a longer time with more for serious charges. A Salvation Army lady came to visit me there. I remember her coming in and me thinking, ‘Here comes the lecture’. I was hard-hearted, but she just wrapped her arms around me and said, ‘I love you’.
I didn’t hug back and when she was done I remember shouting out after her, ‘You know you didn’t even bring me a cigarette’.
After I was alone in the cell Jesus showed up. I don’t really know how to explain it. I felt him hug me and he said he loved me. It was like someone turned on a light inside of me.
I remember coming to as though I was dreaming and I thinking, ‘Nuts I’m in jail’. I just literally came to my senses, but I didn’t give my life to Jesus then because I still thought that I had to clean up first. I was mistaken because you can’t clean up your life without Jesus.
A couple of months later I finally surrendered my life to Jesus and then began this amazing adventure that’s been so much fun and is still continuing today. I’m so glad he found me.
Please tell the story about raising someone from the dead?
I was at a conference called ‘Women on the front lines’, in Canada, hosted by Xtreme Prophetic’s, Patricia King. In the last session of the conference, a woman came rushing up to me and told me there was a dead woman in the bathroom. We rang 911 and another friend and I went back with her to the wash room and there was the woman on the floor.
She was blue, wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. We began to pray together, while one of them administered CPR—but that wasn’t working.
Somehow in the midst of this, I felt like the Lord was speaking to me about how he wants to breathe his spirit on people again. I believe there’s a prophetic word over that, but I just began to pray and to prophesy, ‘Breath!’
The woman sat up and took three of the deepest breaths I’ve ever heard. All the blue just left her body and she was alive! We were astounded.
The medical crew came in then and took her. She does have a tiny bit a memory loss just from that time, but she’s well. We praised God and were just like ‘ahhhhhh!’
Maybe what we actually believe is true! God raises the dead today. It is worth asking a God who has resurrection power to come in that situation, right? And he showed up.
What I always say to people who don’t know where to start, whether it’s advocacy or miracles and signs and wonders, sharing their faith or anything, is you do what’s in front of you.
When God said to Moses, ‘I’m going to free Israel and I’m calling you to do it’, Moses asked ‘How was it going to happen?’ And God replied saying, ‘What’s in your hand?’ Moses looked at his hand and he was holding his shepherd’s staff. God goes, ‘How about that? Let’s start with that.’
I think that staff, which is the most ordinary common desert shepherd sort of thing, became a tool for incredible signs and wonders.
There they are, stuck at the Red Sea. How are we going to get across? Oh I know I’ll use what’s in my hand and he puts the staff in the water and, boom, the sign and wonder for ages happens—the Red Sea is parted and they walk across.
I think for me it starts with what’s in front of you. You might have a friend who has a headache; pray for it to go. You might have a friend who is sick, pray for them.
It’s very rare to come across dead people. In our culture some people say it’s a lack of faith or something, because in other cultures a lot more dead people are raised by the church, but I think there’s simply more opportunity as in other cultures dead people are around more. In our culture, when you die you are quickly whisked away and usually you don’t see them again.
My journey in trying to raise the dead started with the guy who willed his body to our church after he died because we were part of a small group study where we were studying about why we weren’t seeing God’s kingdom come on the earth. We were asking, ‘Why don’t we raise dead people?’ and then we realised we never saw dead people.
This man died of a degenerate heart disease. He made his body available to us for four days and we prayed and we laid our hands on him and asked God to bring him back, which he didn’t do.
He didn’t come back, but it helped us realise that we’re not in charge of this stuff. It isn’t for our benefit, but we’re willing to give it a go and bring on ridicule if it might possibly happen.
I think it can start with you noticing what is literally in front of you—who’s in need? In that story I shared, we didn’t ask for it, we just came across a situation, did what we thought we should and I think that’s the way the kingdom comes—as you go.
Jesus says, preach this, heal the sick, cast out demons, cleanse the lepers—as you go just do what’s in front of you.