What a wonderful first day of ministry Sunday was. A day populated by two wonderful churches, lovely worship, and loads and loads of people healed. Even better, after Adrian had preached in the Sunday evening service, in Siloe – (and, I discovered from the Pastor, Samuel, the heart of the most dangerous barrio in this, one of the most dangerous quarters of the city), at least 30 – maybe more – people gave their lives to the Lord. Foreigners don’t go to churches like this – well, most foreigners! (but then I feel ‘Caleño’ – a native of Cali), and my sense was that people had come to the meeting partly because there WERE gringoes there. God’s love emptied out over them like the Victoria Falls, and lives were transformed. I do love God so, so much for loving people who many would think don’t deserve to be loved….including me.
In the morning, at Wilmar’s church, the worship as always there, was wonderful. All the guys spoke, just for a few minutes – for Davy, the first time I think he’s spoken publicly in any form of meeting), Adrian preached, I shared a bit at the end. Loads responded for healing – healing here includes – as everywhere, of course – physical, but you pray for a lot of people who want prayer for their families – kids in prison for drug offences, murder, you name it: for financial blessing from God, they’re about to be evicted….. praying for them, you get involved in their lives, which is one of the reasons I just CAN’T have a line of people at the front, pushing them over, saying ‘be healed’….. Sit with them, hold them, hug them….empathise, show compassion… God’s love is EMPTIED OUT over them….
Pain went, bodies were healed, sickness disappeared, peace and hope came… Wilmar’s mum, Maria, who is just so adorable, came to tell me about her grand daughter, Maria Jose,who I had the joy of praying with last year, and her mum, Wilmar’s sister, Oliva. Maria Jose had a serious, incurable brain condition (I think she is about 8 years old). Oliva – and the family – were desperate: Maria told me Sunday that Maria Jose is totally healed, and doing wonderfully well….. God…how do you do it? Thank you, thank you, thank you that you do….
I could list names and diseases, but you’ve read them before in past years – and, honestly, I think some people are bored with reading them… I’ll never get bored of praying for them though, and every time, every meeting, every person, amazes me….
In the afternoon, the first time I’ve been in a church meeting in Siloe (Sil – oh- ay): though I’ve been in houses with siccarios, drug dealers, prostitutes, murderers – and been under the same waterfall….. once upon a time – for the first 4-5 years I came here, the people I came to stay with then wouldn’t even want to drive along the road at the foot of the hill that Siloe is ‘built’ on – it’s one house built on another, from tin, bits of wood, anything in fact – as it was too dangerous, especially with a gringo in the car. So it became a ‘bucket list’ place for me to go into, especially to preach there! To just say that God was there would be to denigrate God: you could feel him, cut the presence of the Holy Spirit with a knife…. all the guys shared again, after a lovely time of worship. I just felt that Adrian was carrying something special that day, so though I’d have loved to have preached, I asked him to – and salvation came…. 30 or more, like I’ve said, out of about 80 (the place was packed – bunged, if you’re Irish!) – wall to wall. I shared a bit from Psalm 103, and then – the tsunami of people wanting prayer – probably all 80 – and the drenching of the waterfall of God’s love….
A lady, virtually blind and hardly able to walk, the end product of diabetes – saw perfectly, and walked. Osteoarthritis went from legs and knees especially!! THANK YOU, JESUS!! I’m more in faith than ever this trip, that my turn is coming…. especially as they’ve been so excruciating! All manner of pain – gastritis, heart pain, joint pain, kidney pain…. I prayed with Thanny, and his praying saw a number of instant healings and miracles…. he was obviously blitzed by it as he was quieter than usual!!! I’m so thrilled that, on day one, the guys saw what is commonplace here: my principle of ‘dropping them in it’ DOES work…. :). I could go on and on listing miracles and healings…..
Yesterday, though, the enemy struck again, and we woke to the sad news that Lee was going to have to return home, as his lovely wife, Katie (they are such dear, dear wonderful friends) had lost their ‘not-long-pregnant’ baby. It’s not the forum, nor is it my place, for their story to be told: please pray for Lee, Katie, and Mary, their utterly gorgeous 2 year old daughter – a miracle herself – as they go through this time of loss and grieving. Lee was only here 56 hours, but his impact was great: he flew home last night. I miss him, cos he’s truly one of my best mates: I’m sad that he’s had to go, but even more sad as to why he’s had to go. And he DID have to go….