Street evangelism and prayer for healing on the streets, followed by a kids outreach later afternoon and early evening… Having been given the luxury of a couple of days to ‘settle in’ , today begins the real purpose of being here! Actually, even for me, who’s used to the temperature/altitude/humidity, it’s been invaluable to have this time.
I arrived Wednesday morning, to a disconcertingly ‘cool’ temperature (about 25°C, at 0730 am!!), to, as usual, the wonderful, smiling face of great, great friend Wilmar Gomez – there can’t be anyone better to meet you after a 20+ hour journey. Such a lovely brother: 17 years of great friendship now. It’s my 68th time in Colombia, my 57th in Cali, so I’m pretty ‘au fait’ with the city/climate, etc., but by 3.30 pm. the temperature (according to many clock/temperature/advertising boards/bridges around the city) had risen to 37°C. To say the air conditioning in the car came into its own would be an understatement, and it is in the apartment, too! My journey was very good, though without the offer of upgrades this time (boo-hoo!) but God was kind to me – the only empty seat on the plane (Airbus 330, so big) was next to me…the flight was overnight, leaving London at 2210 (10.10 pm), arriving Bogota at about 0400 am (5 hour time change, so 11 hours of so flight), and I slept for 7 hours, which is the first miracle of the trip!! I never sleep on planes, unless given the privilege of an upgrade, when you can lie down!
Andreas and Kristin Max arrived about 8.30 pm (2030) Wednesday evening, so about 9.30 in the apartment: pretty much jet-lagged, though having done what I’d always advise people, and not sleep too much on the second half of the flight, with the aim of being ‘tired but not too tired’ on arrival so you can get straight on to local bed time! Jet-lag has finally left Andreas – he’s so used to working very early mornings, and bed early at night, back home in Sweden, that it messed up his clock considerably!
Today begins the real joy: getting stuck in with ministry. Street evangelism/door to door evangelism/prayer is in Los Lagos, Agua Blanca: one of the more ‘risky'(!!) barrios of Agua Blanca, and, of course, in the open air – 30°C++! Door to door evangelism in a dangerous barrio should have the adrenaline pumping! Wilson and Luz Monroy, the pastors whose church is organising it (Oasis de Restauracion – probably needs little translation!), are great friends, and lovely people: impossible to refuse a day in the sun working with his church!! Then, with Wilmar’s church, in the afternoon, with the kids. Wilmar’s church – El Abrigo – has a huge ministry to children in different parts of the city, and to say it’s a church I love would be another gross understatement.
Tomorrow, we’re at a church whose Pastor I’ve known for years, but, as far as I know, never been to the church. It’s called ‘Filadelfia’ (probably doesn’t need translation!!), and the pastor is an incredible lady, Fanny, who is about 4 feet 6 inches tall, an apostle, and well into her 80’s. I’ve had the joy of praying for Fanny on a number of occasions, and God has graciously healed her, so it will be a delight to be in the church of a mid-80s visionary. Bring on more of them, Lord! Including me… and then another 40 years beyond that….