The Internet here has been very intermittent. Apologies for the long post, but what with near exhaustion, and the lack of reliable wifi it’s been difficult. I can never remember names, of people or places so apologies for that too. Thanks for your prayers – they mean a huge amount.
It’s Monday morning here in Cali. The last 72 hrs have been non stop. Paul Goodman and I left London on Friday night, arriving at 4am local time. A quick flight later we were in Cali, met by Chris Spark, who had been here since the previous Saturday, and the wonderful Wilmar Gomez, Pastor, and all round “man who can”.
There was little time to catch breath, and we went “downtown” to try and sort some mobile phone issues. It’s not as simple as it might sound. Buying two Colombian sims and sorting out some mobile internet took around three hours, and involved visiting three different shops. I will never complain about queuing in the O2 shop again.
After lunch, We returned to the apartment where there was just time for an hours sleep, before we were collected for our first meeting.
The music was loud – probably due to the fact that the room was not much bigger than a living room at home, yet the amps were turned up enough to fill a church hall. That, coupled with lack of sleep left for a bit of a daze. Around 30 mins into the meeting, Chris and Paul G were collected to go to another meeting. This presented a bit of a problem, as Chris was due to preach. I spoke very briefly, before handing over to Paul B, then we got down to praying for people.
We had a translator each, and I know Paul saw some amazing healing in the process of becoming miracles. One lady, in a wheel chair, who had been shot, and told she would never move anything other than here eyes again, received movement to hands. We hope to go and pray for her again today.
I think that partly as I was so tired, and partly because the people that I prayed for asked for emotional issues, or family issues to be dealt with (often for family members who were elsewhere) it was next to impossible to confirm any immediate results. If I’m honest, I was a bit deflated, as I didn’t feel I had “hit the ground running in the same way as last visit.
Paul B and I were taken out for dinner after the meeting – bear in mind I had had approx 2 hrs sleep in the previous 48hrs, and got back to the apartment, and bed, around 11:30pm.
We were collected at 7am on Easter Saturday for what turned out to be a 17hr marathon. 11 of us, including plus two drivers, packed into a mini bus for a 3hr trip to another city Tulauoa). We stopped at a roadside “restaurant for breakfast. Scrambled eggs on bread. A significant improvement on the eggs we had on the plane.
There were two meetings at 10am, so we split into teams. Chris and I went to one meeting, the two Paul’s to the other.
Again worship was loud, but passionate (the drummer lead worship – video to follow) and I spoke on identity and what Jesus had paid for when he rose from the dead. It seemed to unlock something – Chris again saw lots of healing and breakthrough. But yet again there were lots of emotional issues to pray for.
The timings were tight – we needed to get lunch, and on to the next meeting so we prayed for groups rather than taking as much time as we would have liked with each person. Lots of people felt a peace depend on them – and they felt a lot more confident about the future. The last person I prayed for here was a 34 year old lady, who having had surgery for a brain tumour which had damaged the optic nerve, was blind. She reported feeling a heat in her head, during and after prayer. Whilst she’s didn’t see – it was clear that God was doing something amazing. It was a reminder that we don’t do this to see great stories to tell back home – we do it to model Jesus – because we have compassion for these people. When this lady receives her sight, (and I really believe she will) the chances of me hearing about it are almost nil.
Lunch was another “out of my comfort zone” moment. I ended up having a chicken soup, with potato, corn (still on the cob) and yucca. If I’m honest I wasn’t that impressed, and didn’t risk the
Yucca. This was followed by rices, chips and pork with a cherry sauce.
From here we went to. A drug rehab centre in a town around 20mins away. We had an hour only, so I spoke briefly about how God loves us the way we are, isn’t concerned with our past, and has plans for our future.
We then split into three groups to pray. There was only time to pray for about 3-4 people each. Unsurprisingly, there were identity issues and emotional trauma from the past. The first guy had been a drug addict for 40 years, and clean for 3, when he became a Christian. He was still tormented about the past. He also had a limp, which I hadn’t noticed before, and after praying for some others called him back to pray for that too. He hadn’t told us he was due for tests for a possible knee replacement on Tuesday. We prayed for a new knee instead.
I had to overcome my fear of feet next, as the next person had pain in her heels, had no arches, metal plates in various parts of her body following an accident, memory problems (although she had no trouble remembering a list of about 10 symptoms in great detail. We prayed for each one – and will have to wait for the breakthrough here.
Several photos and selfies later we we whisked away to the next two meetings where we split into familiar groups again.
Our meeting felt very different. There was an LED light show with green and red lights floating around the room. There was a dancer, dressed in gold, red, and orange. She had two gold flags, and a tambourine.
Chris spoke very well and then we got to praying for people. Chris reports that he found it very difficult to pray here – the music was very loud, there were people praying (into microphones around us) people were filming us on smartphones. Very surreal. I didn’t struggle as much, (with anything other than my hearing.) it was great to see people set free from pain, especially in bones. There seems to be lots of the same sort of issues in each church. Chris and I prayed for around 30 people each, and perhaps half of them had bone or joint pain, specifically mentioning the shoulder. There were also a number of polycystic ovaries. There were a number of people who left the meeting last night either pain free, or with a significant reduction in pain. Others said they felt peace. Still others reported a heat where they had previous pain. God is good.
We had to pray a general prayer at the end, as we had to go, pick up the rest of the team, and head back to Cali (3hrs again). It was at this point that we were informed that the entire meeting had been broadcast on the Internet, and there was a lady in Belgium (yes you read that correctly) who would like us to pray for her!!!
After picking up the eat of the team, we stopped for some snacks, and began the long trip back. We had a quick drink and debrief before bed.
Monday : supposed to be a free day, but already 3 meetings planned in the afternoon, including a visit to the drug rehab that I visited the last time I was here in the house previously owned by the Rodriguiez brothers.
This evening we plan to host a “party” with various friends, and their families. Can’t wait. All we need really is more reliable internet access. It’s been down all morning, so I’m posting this in its entirety as I don’t know when it will be down again.
Miss you all.