I’m sorry I haven’t posted for a couple of days, but there quite literally hasn’t been a more than a few minutes to get back to our apartment, change, go to the loo, and go off somewhere else. It’s accelerated as always as the trip progresses, thankfully only now is tiredness kicking in, even for the guys who only arrived on Monday. But it’s been so absolutely wonderful, intense, sometimes surreal, filled with miracles, healings, salvation, and – for us – a whole new dimension to being in Cali.
As this trip has passed with time, it’s just got better and better: when I write my newsletter (which I should do more often), I’m always conscious when I say things like ‘the trip to Cali was the best ever of (how many it’s been)’. This one is going to be no different. It’s reached a place that I never ever, in my wildest dreams, I would have thought it possible.
For so many reasons, from the fantastic organisation of the trip ahead of time by Pastors William Castaño and Wilmar Gomez, to the intensity and ever-increasing percentage of people healed instantly (last night it was pretty close to 100%. As people who read this blog and the guys who are with me can affirm, I reticent to say 100% as I’d always rather under-estimate than exaggerate….
BUT… the day started with Wilmar due to collect us at 10.45 am to go to Ana Beiba’s house, as, thank God, I’d managed by whatever means, to get the money together for her. If you read a few days ago, Simon has brought $850 for her: his card was locked by the issuer, but fortunately that unlocked in time. My card is cancelled: but as we were thinking we were leaving, Wilmar called to say the radiator on his new car was broken, and having to get it replaced….for him that’s a fortune, and of course it seemed to all of us like another enemy delay, and one involving money too. Bless him, Rob paid for Wilmar’s new radiator and we made it to Ana Beiba’s.
Wow! The transformation of the building project in the 4 days since Brian, Rob, & I were there, is amazing. Because time had been ‘stolen’ from us, we only had time for a quick look around, amazed by the transformation. We marvelled at the sudden appearance of the electrical appliances that a dear friend had paid for in memory of her late husband – what an amazing difference that has made to Ana: a much bigger cooker/stove, an over, 2 large freezers, 2 large washing machines, a huge double-door fridge freezer, and a microwave. Even an iron….
Unusually, as I wouldn’t normally do this in a district like hers, Alfonso Bonilla Aragon, I – and Simon – took cash, as she wants the builders done and dusted by the end of the coming week, and cash is easier for that to happen. Her reaction was way beyond any I’ve ever had the honour, privilege, and blessing, of having. I’d given her some money last week, and yesterday, I took another £3000, and Simon just over £1000…. another broken neck, further suffocating, and yet another broken nose(!), it was just such a
moving, emotional moment to be with Ana as she thanked God for the gift, cried, wailed, and fell to her knees. She just kept repeating ‘thank you, Heavenly Father’ over and over, hugging me, then hugging all the other guys. I was in tears, it was such a precious moment that she knew God – through his people – had fulfilled her dream…. at least this stage of it. Her loyal helper, Asalya, was crying too, holding millions of pesos in her hands…. I asked how many times before she’d held as much…. that would be about 5 years salary for her IF she received a salary.
It’s virtually impossible to describe the emotion, the Presence of God, the humbling nature of Ana’s gratitude: we stayed with her for about 20 minutes, during which time she hugged us all, broke all our necks and noses(!) and was still on her knees, worshipping and thanking God, when we had to leave.
Thank you, all who have contributed to allow me to have the privilege of blessing Ana. Here’s the YouTube link to the video of that precious time handing over the gift: http://youtu.be/t4mF-TrAiac
Back from Ana’s, we were straight out to meet up with one of my best mates here, and one of the best translators, Fernando Sanchez. From Fernando, we went on one of the most amazing road trips I’ve ever been on in this country! – to a church in a small town called La Cruz, which is right at the top of a mountain, up the most amazing road I think I’ve ever been on. As we had Johan, the translator with us, the pastor, Giovanni Cruz, came to pick us up, as we needed two cars. The road was one car width wide, with buses, motorbikes, and cars coming down as we went up, trucks, cars, and motorbikes parked at the side of the road.
Somehow we made it: to an amazing church, upstairs, open to the ‘elements’ completely on one side, and with a wonderful worship band rocking away as we arrived. You could feel the presence of God as you walked from the car up the stairs into the church. Everyone did their bit, as usual, Rob was great with his story, Nick shared a bit (very well) and sang, and Simon & I ‘split’ the preaching slot between us. The Heaven touched Earth again as miracle after miracle happened. One of the pastor’s daughters, 8 years old, with a gift of healing herself (proven) had never been able to breathe through her nose, as her septum was totally blocked. That meant that she slept, too, with her mouth open, and had problems with a constantly dry mouth, which produced additional problems with her throat. And she had a major ‘facial structural’ problem – not that it showed, yet, in that her jaw wasn’t growing forward as her face grew, but rather it was growing backwards. A huge chasm if she tried to put upper and lower teeth together. In moments, she was breathing through her nose, the blockage from birth instantly miraculously removed. I held her jaw gently and commanded it to come forward: both she and I felt it move, and in a few seconds, her jaw was lined up….. how does God DO this stuff? It blows me away.
A deaf older man had much of his hearing restored: many people with major sight issues were healed, proved by Nick getting them to read from my (very) small print Bible, perfectly. Glaucoma, cataracts, and myopia all went. A lady with displaced vertebrae was healed, and many others were completely set free from pain instantly. So many others that have now slipped from memeory, so I’ll paste Rob & Simon’s Facebook posts so you can see what happened for them, and their perspective…
Tonight went to some small church on the side of the mountain and prayed for the pastors wife and pain in her face and legs went, must have prayed about 10 seconds and was gob smacked it was so quick without any fuss. Then had a guy that had his right side smashed up in a motorbike prang, all his pain went and he got mobility back in his hand and wrists. Prayed for others with pain and gastritis and that all went. It was so great to see the looks of utter bewilderment as they realised the are better.