I learned about IHOPKC through a troubled youth program that my family put me into that was closely connected with the theology and individuals at IHOP. The program I was in was a controlling militant, spiritually abusive and exploited me and the other residents through "service trips" and on the ministry property, which were forced labor scenarios. During my time there the ministry would take us to the ONETHING conference, to the prayer room and other IHOP trips where we received prayer and deliverance ministry from the staff of the program and individuals at IHOP. This ministry believed that they were to form themselves after the frame of the house of prayer, and years later were a part of starting a house of prayer in the area where they were located that exists to this day. After being in this program for over a year I was completely brainwashed and convinced that I was healed, and also that I had to completely rely on my family and the ministry to tell me what the next step of my journey was. For me that meant IHOP and I was convinced I was supposed to go there as well. So I went, with hope that finally whatever was wrong with me would be corrected. When I went to IHOP I dove in, I am a earnest person who is creative and passionate, the message I was being told fit the narrative I already understood from years under my parents and others teaching. Yet, it was the intensity, the fasting and the messages about our calling and the need to go far to be close to Jesus that began to push me to do all the acts outlined within the IHOP community of what will cause you to be closest in proximity to Jesus. I was so scared that I would lose my place and be far from him, and that I would not be found worthy at his return. This was only amplified as I was in the internship. I struggled to sit in the prayer room, it was painful for me and I was often filled with this deep sense of unease and anger, that the internship leadership determined was either the mental illness I possessed or I was demonized. I was already convinced that I was because of the program I had just left. As a solution the leadership decided I would go through a series of courses while in the internship, one of them being Pure heart, their deliverance program and then living waters. I began to go to these classes where I confessed my queerness and was told I had to return to my true gender and sexual orientation. In deliverance I went through physically and emotionally excruciating experiences that, at the time, I thought meant I was getting free but in hind sight, I was just being re-traumatized over and over again. I felt that no matter what I did it wasn't enough, and I wanted to love Jesus wholeheartedly and desperately, yet felt that would never be me because I was too dark, and had experienced too much evil or had too much evil in me. My time at IHOP influenced the trajectory of my life from that point, even though I was only in the internship, my time there convinced me to seek out and build communities like it. This only led me into other experiences of spiritual abuse, control, and re-traumatization for the years to come. Now, I have deconstructed my faith and am embracing my queerness, gender identity and who I REALLY am but I am still in recovery from the narrative I had been taught from a child that was only reinforced and expounded on by my time at IHOP. This story took me days to write, but I want others to see and understand the impact of what it is like to be in a high control group and how it impacts you for years to come.

- OTI Intern2008-2009