I lived in a home with IHOP staff members and saw how the owner of the home was brainwashed. I was manipulated, used and spiritually abused by this individual. But I now understand the pressure that she was under with being a staff member. She was also a family friend. Eventually, the individual would contact my family back home and she would twist the truth to condemn me for the purpose of covering up her own brokenness. I had connections to her home church in another state and her IHOP-affiliated home group in Kansas City. Yet, when things between us broke down, I did not go to family or friends and put her down or say anything to hurt their relationships. She, on the other hand, contacted my family and friends with intention to harm. My family members were aspiring to rise in ministry as well and wanted to keep the connections with this individual so they also came against me. I have never fully recovered nor has my relationships with family been fully restored. This staff member tried to tell me that I had everything right except that I needed to spend more time in the prayer room. She tried to get me to pay for extra home expenses because I had a full-time job and the residents who were staff members didn't work and they were fulfilling a special call. I felt they should be grateful to have a renter who paid the rent on time for a year and was low maintenance. But things came up and she asked me to be the one to foot the bill for the extra home expenses incurred by other staff members also renting in the home. I often took care of the guests because she was too busy meeting her obligations in the prayer room to help people who needed it. Yet she was doing IHOP a favor and housing their guests and new staff members. I also shared my food with her because she never brought home groceries except for a small amount of food from an IHOP food pantry. The fresh food always went bad in a couple of days it seemed like. She had told me that she had suffered from bulimia in the past. After a year of this, I was exhausted because I had my own health issues to deal with and a full-time job, in addition to helping guests and new staff members who didn't have cars or were seeking jobs. I realize now that I felt obligated because she told me her woes and struggles, I saw that she was broken, she was a special family friend and it was hard finding people who would pay the high price of her rental room for long. Eventually, she would call a meeting and tell us all we could move upstairs or move out because she was taking over the basement for her living space. All she wanted to do was be alone at home praying after she came home from a day of praying in the prayer room. She didn't care about the renters or guests. We were just resources because she was in survival mode. I was very hurt that she treated me this way after a year. She coldly said I could just move upstairs or move out. I was told that my hurt and reactions were because I was co-dependent. I had lived alone for many years before IHOP so I didn't see myself that way. Seeing the stories shared here has helped me to understand this individual and family friend much better. It was strange because she always wanted to be alone, had told me that this would be a quiet house to allow for an atmosphere of prayer and yet for me it was like living in a hotel and I was the one to take care of the details because I didn't shut myself away like she did. I was very hurt that she treated me this way at the end of a one year relationship. I was disappointed that the relationships that had developed were being interrupted in this way and things were ending this way. When she realized I was upset, she turned everyone against me, kicked me out of the house while I was out of town while my stuff was still in her house. It was because she had found a new renter, who was also an assistant in a ministry there, who would rent half her home and that individual had changed her mind and said no one else could temporarily stay in the home. She found another place for me to stay. It was with a staff member with a very important position. When I came back into town, they put me on their floor to sleep with no mattress or cushions. I wasn't allowed to sleep on the couch like other special visitors that I saw had the privilege of doing. Another strange thing that happened was that someone at the prayer room had a visit from the angel Gabriel who said they must come out and be separate. So my friend considered selling her house and she told me another IHOP worship leader considered getting rid of the few pieces of furniture that they had. I was able to assure her that wasn't what the scripture was talking about. Material things are not evil. That is gnostic.

- Volunteer2000-2001