…even if it is only 12 degrees centigrade compared to the lovely warmth of Cali! It’s a bit of a culture shock though: feels far lower than 12C to me!
Back this morning, after what could have been an arduous trip, certainly a long one, but I was blessed with an upgrade, to Business Class, with no one near me in any other seat, and I slept like a log for about 8 hours, a rarity for me on a plane. Trouble is, I’ve been upgraded quite a few times now, and it’s all the more difficult to go back to sardine-class when the next long haul comes around.
I realised on the flight that I was much more tired than I thought after such an amazing 3 weeks. And to be honest, I’m still dazed trying to take stock of everything that happened on the trip. Of all the 51 trips I’ve made to Cali, the one in July and this past one were utterly stress-free, well organised, busy enough but not overly so, which is a good thing when you never know how long the prayer ministry time will go on for at the end of each meeting. Some lasted hours…. a blessing, but utterly draining.
I said in an earlier blog that I’ll try and summarise the trip in one blog: though I don’t know quite how to fit in, in one ‘readable’ length blog, all that happened.
The guys I took with me were all brilliant: Brian is lovely, and he went from thinking he had not much to say, only pray for people, to preaching in churches on his own (that is, without me!), and was blown away by what happened. Robert excites me as he’s moved from ‘not faith’ to ‘extreme faith’ in a very short period of time – about 2 1/2 years. It’s thrilling to see his authority.
Nick took to a return to Latin America for the first time in 13 years like he’d never been away, his Spanish flooded back, even more as the week went on. Simon preached so powerfully, and was so bold in some circumstances it was breathtaking!
And all them, as well as being wonderful spiritual men of God, were blinking good fun! What more can you ask for from a team, eh? The dates for the Easter trip have been booked, and I’ve paid a deposit for the same apartment: the owner, Alberto, is now a great friend, and goes the extra mile to bless us with an unending stream of fresh lemonade, freshly squeezed orange juice, cake, beer, coke (a cola – not the other sort!), and the apartment is in a perfect central location. I have a sneaking feeling I might be back there BEFORE Easter though, as there is so much to follow up, and 5 months seems a long way ahead. I’d love that the possibilities of taking a couple of teams from France might happen, and I think, doubtlessly, that I’ll be there mid-year again, like this year. So, perhaps 5-6 Colombia trips in 2014…
Seems weird putting the central heating on when the first thing you do when you get back to the apartment is put the ice-cold air conditioning on! And so, now 2 weeks at home, with a lovely meeting coming up in Belfast , at the Waterfront, on 22 November. On 27th, I’m due just a ‘check up’ echo cardiogram, and then on 30 November, a flying visit to speak at a church in Seaford, East Sussex, the town where I went to junior school, and have hardly been back there since! Saturday night and Sunday meetings there, and then, always a thrill, back to France on Thursday 5th December, for a long weekend in Rouen, at ‘Le Gospel’ church. My great mate, Mark Hendley, is coming with me on that one.
So, to try and mentally chill out, as well as physically take it easy: not an easy thing after the maelstrom of God’s power over the last 3 weeks. Fortunately, England start defending the Ashes in Brisbane next week, so I’m sure I can find something to pin me to my recliner! And then of course, there’ll be loads of live football….
Thank you all so much for praying for us while we were away: all home safely, and changed men as result….