If I had to pick a church that I’d consider home while ‘away’, it’d be MAI church here in Cali. Maybe that’s in part because I’ve been going there for so many years, and so many of the people there I’d consider very dear friends. For our little team, it was a great place to finish the trip – we were there this morning, and the presence of God is so real there, the huge warmth of the welcome, the hospitality, the honouring both of visitors and each other… I could go on. Many in Northern Ireland know people from the church, not the least of them being Hein and Teija Hoere (though this time they’re away in Holland), and what they have established both in terms of church – the people, not the building – is an immense honour to them, and an incredible legacy.
The worship is always first class, and sets a wonderful platform for ministry to follow. Jeff discovered today that the presence of God messes up the best-laid plans! He’d prepared a short message, which even as he stood up went out of the window! – and he shared something else. Same for me! I’d got my message prepared, and then God – if he didn’t SAY no, made it clear it was to be something else, so I shared on the amazing promises in Isaiah 60.
The response for healing was rather overwhelming! I haven’t got Jeff & Ian’s stories yet, but for me, the first lady had – strange to say! – osteoarthritis in her right knee, and was waiting for surgery. She was in some considerable pain, walking and especially climbing stairs being a major problem. She was healed instantly, and walked back and forth across the church, and then went upstairs, with no pain at all.
Last week, a good friend of Wilmar’s, Breyner, came of his motorbike – a common occurrence here! – and badly fractured his left collarbone/clavicle, damaged his shoulder, and some pretty bad grazes down his left side. The doctors said he’d be with his arm in a ling for a month, then would begin a month of physiotherapy, and it would be some months before he could ride again. I prayed for the clavicle and shoulder, and asked him if he’d removed the sling at all in the days since his accident. No. So I suggested he give it a try. Asked him what he COULDN’T do with his arm – his reply was ‘straighten it – it’s been in the sling all the time – so I suggested he try to straighten it….which he did, dead straight, down by his side, no pain in the clavicle or shoulder, and all the pain in the grazes had gone, too. His face was worth the airfare! – absolute amazement, then a huge smile, called his mum to tell her to look – everyone was stunned! I think he’s thinking f getting back on his motorbike soon….
A lady with a blocked colon was healed: more arthritis: and a long list as Wilmar and I prayed for about 15 or so people. I know Jeff and Ian were having success the other end of the church because of the laughter and shouting!
It was a fantastic morning.
In the afternoon, a specially convened’ doctor’s appointment for me for countless – well at least 24! – injections into my knees and feet, in order to get me home tomorrow with somewhat less pain than the enemy’s been throwing at me this week! The last 3 days, my toes have been excruciating, all linked to the osteoarthritis and cellulitis, so Gustavo gave me a whole load of jabs in my feet. That’s a first for me! Normally doctors ”lie’ to you and say that ‘this won’t hurt a bit’: he didn’t. He said ‘Paul, this one’s going to be really painful!’. Well, it wasn’t – for which I thank God for my high pain threshold!!