Spent a wonderful three hours today talking to my great friend, Hendrik Hoere: Hendrik was my first ever translator in Cali, Colombia, 17 years ago, he and Teija, his amazing wife, have lived there for about 30 years now. They planted a church about 20 years ago, and have mentored and equipped some fantastic young men and women, who are taking that church on into the future, as they themselves have moved into a much more ‘apostolic’ role planting elsewhere, notably in Bolivia, where they have a real call.
Once a year, when they visit Holland (Hendrik is Dutch, Teija is Finnish), they do the little ‘hop’ over to Northern Ireland to preach in a few places. I’m away from tomorrow, so all the time Hendrik is here: so it was great today to be able to grab what I thought was just going to be coffee with him, but to my delight turned into lunch as well. Hendrik’s church – well, it is technically Wilmar & Marlene’s church now! – is really my ‘home’ church in Cali, and Hendrik, Wilmar, and another pastor, William Castaño Baron, are great supporters and advocates for me. I’m thrilled that, because of my taking five people from Bangor to Colombia I guess – 6/7 years ago – that Hendrik is able to come here, preach, see people saved, healed, and also raise some much neeed finance for the ministry in Colombia.
We never run out of conversation, which is a sign of a good friendship! Sadly, he’ll still be in Holland when Alan, Barbara, & I, go to Cali in 3 weeks’ time, but we’ll hook up again later in the year in his home city! Talking with hi about being in Bolivia together, too: I’ll need God to heal these knees fully, and make me super-fit (!) as Bolivia is one of the highest above sea-level countries in the world (I think LaPaz is about 14,000 feet, so a liitle less than twice the height of Mexico City, where I’ll be in August….
Starting to pack now to head over to England tomorrow, looking forward to seeing family, being with City Church, Plymouth Saturday and Sunday, and in Paignton Sunday night, praying for Sandra, the lovely wife of my mate Hugh, who’s been a stroke victim and wheelchair-bound for 5 years or more. It’s also a chance to catch up with Chris Spark, who, of course, has been with me in Cali the last two Easters.
A lot of driving ahead, but it should all be good, and back home on Tuesday night! Then the recovery time for these objects halfway down my legs before the next much-longe for trip to Cali, on 18 July….