Sunday was one of those days that looked relatively ‘easy’ on paper, but turned out to be a long, hard day, in terms of getting to the meetings. In the morning, there were two services in Tulua, a city just over 2 hours north of Cali, and then, at 4 pm, another meeting in Sevilla, about 2 hours north of Tulua, but high up in the Andes on a mostly mud road, filled with pot-holes, pretty steep, and the min-bus that carried us, William Castaño and his family, and Johan & Laura, translators both of them and their young baby Loretta. I’ve never been to either of those two cities, so everything was new.
Of course, when you read on a schedule that a meeting is 9-11 am, that of course doesn’t include ministry time: it also meant a 6.30 am start from here, and ended up with a 10.45 pm return home. We arrived home totally exhausted, but, as usual here, elated, as the meetings had been so wonderful, with God doing some wonderfully powerful healings and miracles, and some that demonstrated his utter grace and mercy….
So, splitting into two teams for the morning, I actually got to preach for the first time in 10 days as the Pastor had put up posters and done flyers advertising the meeting, with me on them… so many people afflicted by serious stomach disorders in Tulua: there genuinely does seem to certain ‘territorial spirits’ over different towns and cities where sickness is concerned. Most were healed instantly, which is a lovely blessing for the sufferer, and there was – as always, of course! – osteoarthritis – mostly in the knees, and, according to the people prayed for, they were all healed, and once again I have to fight the feeling ‘When is it my turn, Lord?’! There were two serious spinal issues people presented, too: all pain went, and, without scans (yet) to prove it, it would seem they were healed.
The story from the other team was similar, with just about everyone receiving healing: there is a genuine desire from Colombians to receive their healing, which isn’t always the case in the western world.
Then the bumpy long haul to Sevilla: the minibus engine overheated about 2 kms from the city, which held us up, and made us late for the meeting. Chris spoke very well, and – no exaggeration – the whole congregation, over 200 we reckoned – came up for healing. The other guys reported – again – lots of stomach issues healed, and many of the ‘usual’ issues, like asthma, arthritis, and more….
I had the great privilege of praying for two young lads, one 6, the other 8, suffering fom chronic, degenerative eye conditions. The six year old was under the threat of a prognosis that he’d be blind in his left eye within months. Whilst his sight wasn’t fully restored on the spot, improvement occurred, and I felt that God told me to tell his mum it’d come day by day this week….
The 9 year old, Juan Jose, was simply delightful. His sight was totally blurred, both eyes, and deteriorating. I had him on my lap for a while, just talking/praying, and then asked him if he could read a poster on the opposite wall, and another above the platform of the church. He did, perfectly, and with totally clear vision…. I was in tears like his mum, just thanking God for his power and his grace.
Others came for prayer, again I could repeat stuff from almost every other blog, as there is so much sickness and disease here. Then a young lady, Marianna, clearly distressed, asked for prayer for healing of immense pain in her, her mum, and her sisters, as dad had walked out when she was 9 years old (she’s now 30), and it had destroyed their lives totally. To make matters worse, dad and his new wife are in the same church…. 🙁
Many kleenex tissues later, and after talking to her about forgiveness, her whole personality changed, then she went and got mum, and brought her for prayer, too. The same happened to her…. Yes, I know it’s only the beginning of ‘recovery’ from rejection, but if there’s no beginning, there’ll never be an end, and God moved in – and on – both of them mightily last night.
A wonderful time of prayer with a 26 year old young man, Antonio, with full-blown AIDS, too, with Danny Ortiz. Both of us could feel the power of God on hi, and see it in his face, that change was occurring on the inside, reflected in his smile. He was so happy afterwards, and, much as people might think I’m crazy, I wanted to give him a huge hug, which I did, as it’s probable that not too many people give him hugs, and he needs them as much, if not more, than anyone else….
Many more healings from all of the other guys, too…. and then the long, long 4 hour trip down the (fairly) treacherous mountain road, and home to try and sleep…. for me, sleep doesn’t come easy when God has done so much, I go over and over it all in my mind, thanking God for using a Cockney Plonker….