Last night, Brian & I went to an area of Agua Blanca, the most poverty stricken, and dangerous quarter of the city, that I went to last year, with Glyn. I don’t always hear right the names of places we’re going to, or perhaps mis-hear them is better, often to do with the accent! A couple of nights ago, we’d had a wonderful night, fantastic blessing from God, and, as we left, I asked – again! – ‘what area is this?’. Then, I was told it was Antonio Nariño. It was in that barrio two years ago that me and my little team had done a meeting (literally) out on the street, outside the house, which was the church: the lady pastor had told me, when there was no-one there as the meeting began, ‘They’ll come when they hear English voices’ (they had a large P.A. system on the streets for that purpose) – and boy, they came: loads of them. When we’d finally prayed for the last person, and were just 3-400 yards up the road in the car, we actually witnessed a ‘street disagreement’ (slight understatement there!) and watched, dumbstruck, as we saw two men shot dead on the pavement.
Last night, once we were in the church that I recognised, suddenly was aware we were in Los Lagos – the Lakes (nice, eh? – er….slightly worse than it sounds! – a VERY dangerous area indeed)…. but the Pastor, Wilson Monroy, is an absolute gem, and it’s a wonderful church. God blessed us there last November: last night, God ratcheted up the gears by about 100 fold in terms of blessing…
Terrific worship, even though it was mostly songs I didn’t know (I know a fair few in Spanish now), and Brian knew one, in English… it really doesn’t matter what the lingo is when the Presence of the Lord is in the place: the atmosphere lifts you to a new dimension. Last night was like that.
Brian spoke very well again after a lovely introduction for both us, by Wilmar, who’d driven us there. I feel utterly humbled by some of the things people say – embarrassed, even – but it is such a blessing to know that, after 51 visits, many pastors still feel the way they do about me and my love for this city. I’d got an outline sermon in my head, and my usual pile of scraps of paper and well-worn post-it notes, and right early on was nowhere in what was in my head or on my bits of paper, speaking something totally different…. Twenty minutes into the worship there must have been 50 there: 10 minutes later, at least double, and perhaps treble that number.
There was a Kevin Costner film, some years ago, which sums up the meeting last night, and the one on the street two years ago – and all the other meetings this week. ‘Field of Dreams’: a phrase in that film stayed with me, even though I can’t stand baseball (just corrupted cricket, that’s what it is: and it’s more exhilarating watching the grass growing than the game!). ‘If you build, then he’ll come’ – Costner built a baseball stadium on his farmland for a legend named Shoeless Joe Jackson to come to.
God really had me on a roll last night, and I know that HE built the platform for just about everyone in the meeting to respond to. The meeting began at 7 pm: we left at somewhere between 11.30 and 11.45 pm, totally exhausted and drained, but unimaginably exhilarated….
Brian & Johan (translator) prayed together, and Wilmar and I did the same. It sounds so much less than the reality on paper, or on a screen, after the event, but it was astonishing. For Wilmar and me, probably 95% of the people were immediately healed or miracled…. and the other 5% with noticeable improvement. For me, it included three blind people – two blind in one eye, one totally blind in one, with 30% sight in the other (and he drives huge articulated/18 wheel trucks for a living!!). Both the one blind eye people saw within moments – I can only remember the name of one, a young lady named Leidy (pronounced Lady!) – and the smile and look of astonishment on her face would have made the whole evening worthwhile if nothing else had happened. A similar story with the other one…. the truck driver – his 30% was up to about 75% before he moved away from us, and the totally blind eye, which had been almost completely closed and obscured by his eyelids, was open, and he’d begun to see ‘trees walking’ (that’s my interpretation of his saying ‘shadows moving’)…..
A lovely young guy – 30’s – had a similar problem to Pastor William’s dad, yesterday: compressed vertebrae, from a fall at work some years ago, causing extreme back pain, but even more extreme left leg and knee pain, due to trapped nerves. All his pain went, his back straightened. I askde him what he COULDN’T have done 5 minutes earlier: bend to touch his toes and squat? He did both – no pain. Totally healed. I was running out of tissues/kleenex by now!
A lovely girl, who’d come forward with her dad, had been born with her left leg turned outwards 30 degrees. We watched as it began to straighten, then Wilmar did the ‘leg-lengthening’ routine as her back realigned and her feet equalised. Healed. Another boy, Daniel I think, had one leg considerably longer than the other, obviously giving him walking/running problems, and expensive shoe problems for desperately poor parents. He was healed.
Two ladies with the pain of damaged ovaries – and cysts (I’ll obviously never know THAT pain!) were both healed. A couple came forward with their daughter for a variety of issues: mum and daughter were both healed, and dad, bless him, struggled to tell us that he’d got erectile dysfunction issues (and man, did he look like David Walliams!!)…. he felt God doing things down below, and we laughed as I hugged him and said ‘go home and have some fun!’….
What else did God heal last night…? Gastritis, asthma, 2 hernias, and oh so much more: I really ought to write each one down as they go away, because the enemy (I’m sure) has targeted our memories to forget much of what God does, even moments after it has happened. Brian’s story was pretty much the same from last night, with a vast percentage healed, and others in progress. Wilson and his wife were over the moon. So were we, and totally knackered with it….
The lovely little girl in the picture, Sarah, was born with massive problems, similar to Jose Luis 2 years ago: no fontanelles, or sutures. She was given an hour to live. She’s now 3 years old, and last night, God did some lovely things for her, as she’d not been able to walk, and she did, albeit holding on to a chair as she did so… she is so,so beautiful! And God’s going to continue to do the miracles in her, I know…
This morning, early start to a Social Security Hospital: a lady with severe blood circulation problems causing massive issues with burst varicose veins in her leg and foot, in intense pain. She felt ‘heat’ as the pain (at least partially) instantly subsided. The hospital manager is in Wilmar’s church, so we’ll catch up on stories at the weekend when Brian preaches there, and the following week when I do….
Now, tonight, right up north in the city… and the expectation and conviction that God is going to do it again….