For the whole of this trip, I’ve been thinking I leave a day after Simon & Nick: but they told me that their tickets had been wrongly booked and they were going home a day later than they planned, tomorrow. So, in my (now aging and clearly un-memorable) head, I was leaving tomorrow, too. Obvious, huh?
Today, the apartment owner came down and offered us more fresh lemonade (wonderful stuff!) that he makes, and some freshly made cake… and said about the lads going tomorrow, and me Thursday….No, says I, confidently, I leave tomorrow: let me check my ticket. Ah… Thursday 14th…
There’s something that happens in your head when you think you’re going home: it’s not that you don’t want to be here (I do, and I’m glad I have an extra day), but your psyche settles into a mind-frame of packing and leaving, arranging transport for everyone to the airport, then suddenly and – very surreal – you’re not going…. I’m re-geared in this tiny mind of mine now, and look forward to a knee-relaxing day tomorrow and much of Thursday (I fly at 10.10 pm)!
Tonight, supposedly my last night, I’d asked Wilmar to contact a lovely couple, Hernan & Aida Gonzalez, whom he didn’t know, when I first got here, as I knew tonight was ‘free’ and had no meetings on Pastor’s William wonderfully organised schedule, to see if we could go to their church in a very dangerous barrio, Simon Bolivar (apparently the highest %age of siccario killers live in this district). I’ve been there many times over the last few years, so it was a joy to go back to their church, simply named John 3:3.
The welcome was humbling. Victor, one of the tallest men I’ve ever met, bends down to about waist height to hug me, thanking God for my being back….the Pastor, Hernan, hugged me for ages, and thanked me many times for offering to go to his church, where 99.9% of visitors – certainly – and many Colombians, won’t go…
Imediately, he got a dear man, Gonzalo, whom I prayed for a year ago, to come to the front to testify to a miracle he’d recieved then – a totally ripped and wrecked cartilage in his right shoulder, which was healed immediately. Tonight was the first I knew of it…. then Hernan testified to the miraculous of his gorgeous little boy, also Hernan: he had, when I first met him, severe brain problems, as well as one leg considerably shorter than the other. Hernan testified to watching his son’s leg ‘grow’ – about 2-3 inches. He’s also totally cleared, I discovered from Aida, of all brain problems, and is perfectly healed – another miracle.
Nick spoke really well, I shared the stories from this morning of the healings in our apartment, then Si spoke brilliantly. I’d told him that there were dozens of not-yet-Christians there before he preached: in between preaching and making an appeal, I’d told the story of the miracles in Dario’s home, among siccarios.
The church was packed to the doors, with people standing right to the door, over 100 at least, when Si made the evangelistic appeal. At least 60 responded, and gave their lives to Jesus. Then we ‘tried’ to get people to place their own hands on their own sick/damaged/injured bits: a few testified from the front to instant healings, including a lady who’d not been able to move her arms above horizontal for years, and could raise them, and another who’d been released from hospital today with a terrible painful stomach disorder (how many westerners would go to church on the day of release from hospital still in pain, I wonder???) that the doctors said there was nothing could do about it… she was healed instantly.
Then… despite having tried to stem the tide with people praying for themselves, the tsunami began…. I’m so glad it did, because there were SO MANY miracles, it was unbelievable.
A lovely young lady, Marlene, came up to me: she said she’d ‘been looking for me all over Cali’ to bring a friend for healing, as 2 weeks ago, she was healed of total deafness in her right ear. Her friend was healed – she said – though only a scan or x-ray will prove it, as she had no ovaries – a tad difficult to see! She felt movement and heat in the area of her womb. My belief is that Marlene’s faith would made her friend well.. it blew me away to know that she’d searched high and low, and then come to such a risky area…