Monday, May 07, 2007

Guatemala Trips #24 & #25 - March 2007

I returned from my 24th and 25th trips to Guatemala this week. During these two trips we spent time in Guatemala and El Salvador. So far we have seen the Lord bring up 5 churches with a sixth one on the horizon in Guatemala. In addition, He has brought up a church plant in El Salvador. God is moving so fast... we're just trying to keep up. So much has happened, but I wanted to share two highlights.


One highlight was our meeting with the mayor of Villa Nueva (part of Guatemala City) which is a community of 1.5 million people known for its gangs, crime and social problems. Pastor Jorge, pastor Jeff from Virginia and I attended the meeting. The mayor is very popular and has worked extremely hard and progressively to successfully implement many improvements in Villa Nueva. What was so amazing though, was how the Lord had already been at work. You see, the mayor of Villa Nueva had become a Christian 10 months earlier. He is so excited about God! He leads two Bible studies per week among his leadership and staff. He speaks of God's love and salvation message both privately and publicly to all he meets. He even has Christian music playing constantly on his office computer.

For an hour and a half we got to know each other as brothers in Christ. We prayed together, we shared God stories and we spoke of the plans we have to build a Christian hospital in his jurisdiction. He informed us that the federal government had just announced plans to build a hospital for Villa Nueva, so the mayor asked us if we would build four medical clinics that would act as "feeders" for the hospital. We agreed. He then provided an architect to design everything for us at no cost and will give us the land for each construction site. At the end of our meeting the mayor invited us to join him the next morning for a breakfast he was hosting for 200 pastors. He is trying to encourage all the churches to work together for the benefit of the Villa Nueva people.


The second highlight occurred during and after the mayor's breakfast meeting. As the meeting was in full swing I began to look around the room asking the Lord to show me where He was working. As I did this He brought my attention to a woman sitting on the other side of the room. She was a tall woman probably in her late forties. "I want you to help her." I leaned over to pastor Jorge who was sitting next to me and asked him to speak with her to see what was going on. "I am feeling the same thing," he said. "And, I know her."

After the meeting, Jorge approached the woman and found out she had been leading her church by default. Her name is Judith. Their pastor had left and the leadership of the church had fallen onto her. She was doing all she could to fill the role, but she was tired. We prayed with her and encouraged her. There were two women with her and one was having painful, continual headaches and asked me to pray for her. At that moment pastor Jeff from Virginia called me over to pray for another man. I joined pastor Jeff for a few minutes before returning to the woman. As I was walking the twenty feet back towards the woman I could feel my faith welling up inside me. Somehow I knew with certainty that the Lord was going to heal this woman. As I placed my hands on either side of her head upon her temples I began to pray. The woman raised her hands "worship style" about head high and all of a sudden God moved. I felt what I can only describe as a powerful shot of electricity run through both of my arms and into the woman. At that very moment her outstretched arms trembled profusely and she fell straight back onto the floor. Pastor Jorge caught her as she fell. I have been involved in healing and I have been involved in people being slain in the Spirit, but I have never experienced the power of God like I felt that day. Afterwards I told Jorge and Jeff that God did this for a purpose and hopefully we'd find out what God was up to.

Several days later I found out that the woman who lay on the floor had gone back to her church on Sunday and testified what God had done. She testified that the Lord had not only healed her headaches, but had healed her long term back pain too. Praise God!

All of this happened six weeks ago in January on the 24th trip. As I was preparing for trip 25 last week, the Lord impressed upon me to set up a meeting with the woman named Judith who was carrying the leadership responsibility at her church. We met with her last Saturday. A group from Gatesville, Texas had come with me along with pastor Jorge. It was then that we found out just what had happened with Judith. She had come to the prayer breakfast very weary and ready to quit the ministry. She felt like she couldn't go on anymore. There was too much pressure at the church and at home. God knew that and had used us six weeks earlier to encourage her at just the right time. You see, Judith has a call on her life to preach the Good News. She even graduated from seminary a few years earlier, but her church won't consider her as a pastor because she is a woman and because her husband is not a "Believer" yet (Judith is under immense attack from the enemy at church and at home so we encourage you to pray for her and for the salvation of her husband). The group from Gatesville ministered wonderfully to Judith, having gone through themselves in the past some of what Judith was presently experiencing at home. As we prayed for Judith and her husband, the Lord showed us that Judith would be cutting a new trail in Guatemala... that as she preaches, battles will be raging to her right and to her left. We encouraged her that in the midst of these battles she must continue to preach because there are many girls who will be inspired by Judith to fulfill God's call upon their own lives to preach the Good News. Amen!

One final note... the woman who was healed so powerfully in the Holy Spirit is now receiving dreams from God, too. She's seeing things in dreams that either have come to pass or have been determined to be real. This is all new for her. Please pray for her as she learns to live and minister with these things of the Holy Spirit that until recently she didn't know or believe even existed today.

In Christ,