I have just finished my last overseas trip for this year whose start was tough and difficult. God had prepared me beforehand and having started on that level it could only go upwards which is what it did. The up turn began in a middle school Christian union meeting at 7.00am one morning. Only a small number attended and time was limited but I was able to pray for each one of them after my teaching. It continued the following day in all of the meetings. First in the Christian School I ministered in last year when it was a big school but sadly now only has seven primary age pupils. But every one of them and the two teachers responded for prayer. On then to an after school Christian club in a State primary school where thirty one attended and twenty three responded for salvation at the end. The leaders were excited and promised to follow everyone up who responded. Finally an evening family service in an AOG church, there the children showed the adults how to do it when every one of them responded for prayer and just a handful of adults. The pastor couldn’t stop talking about it at the pastor’s prayer meeting the next morning. Then came three days of children’s teaching in my host church which were quality if not quantity, the attendance was small but the hunger and openness to God is always high there, they just want to receive all that they can from God. That area ended with a family service in my host church where most age groups responded for prayer. I was busy and left blessed by the fruit from all the meetings.
Next were two short stops of three days in each place, the first Austin, Indiana. There God swung wide open a new door. A Christian school started up in August in the next town with fifty, nursery to elementary (primary) children. The Pastor’s wife in my host church teaches there and so made the opening. The school gave me a subject to teach on just one day with ten minutes in their chapel time to introduce my teaching and then first lesson with the junior ones to do the teaching. At the end of that day the principal asked me to do the same on the other two days that I was in the area. The children had what you could call an awesome attentiveness during all the teachings but especially on the last day when it was mainly salvation, not all are Christians in the school. I was not allowed to make any kind of appeal but that’s understandable on my first visit. The second day when I finished they opened it for the children to ask me questions about what I taught and the questions were spot on and searching, so I got longer. At the end of that they told me the next day I was not to worry about time at all (other days I had clock watched and kept just under the time given) but to take as much time as I wanted. I used an hour and a half and then some of the children prayed for me. There are several there who it is very clear that God has His hand on. A mother came in when she dropped off her children and said she had to come and tell me that her son as soon as he got into the car each day had told her everything I have taught and he told her that the teaching had really touched his heart. Many of the children asked publicly before we ended if I will come back again and everyone in the top two classes wrote a letter and drew pictures to give me, I was very touched by their comments too. So I guess I passed the test with them and to top it the principal wrote me a thank you card and put in an open invitation to go in anytime I am in the area.
On next to Denver where we had a children’s weekend, seventeen American and Latin Americans attended and we had a great time. I remember last year being a bit of a battle, but this time was a great victory. All but a couple responded every meeting and it was never the same two who didn’t respond. The family service was no different, a big crowd were out for prayer out and they were all ages. Those children certainly showed a good example to the rest of the church. A lot of the adults in this church are from very rough, poor backgrounds some with very poor education and they particularly like it when I am there because they say the teaching done on a level for children and with visuals they can understand and respond to. One set of parents called the children’s leader on the Saturday night and said, “my son tells us that he was very well behaved is that true”. Well the truth was that he was brilliant and was one of those who was out for prayer every session.
Lastly down to the south of the USA to Laredo, Texas, the last town before the river boarder between the States and Mexico. A missionary to Mexico and I stayed in a mission house in Laredo and went back and forth across the boarder for meetings in Mexico on four nights and one meeting in the Hispanic part of Laredo which though in the States I had to be translated into Spanish. The greeting words were have you brought your bullet proof vest with you, the town in Mexico where the meetings are, is notorious now for gun battles on the streets. It is the worst battle ground between the drug cartels and the Mexican Marines and the government has just sent in even more troops as they are losing the battle. So God came back in the first email I opened was the word, “God says the swords are drawn”. All five meetings were family meetings as Mexico is just like other poor countries if there is a meeting everyone comes. God gave me a bonus blessing for all the meetings in the form of my youngest ever interpreter. She is the ten year old daughter of the Mexican pastor who had arranged all the meetings and she had never interpreted before, It was casually mentioned in passing in a conversation that I wasn’t a part of that this girl might perhaps be able to have a go. I jumped in and jumped at the chance to let her have the chance. She was brilliant and the only thing they needed to correct her on was that she didn’t keep the microphone close enough to her mouth. In ministry she was very confident and bold and not thrown when she didn’t catch all I said. But outside of that she was just a normal girl of her age and showed no pride or arrogance. They filled me in with more details half way through the visit that God had set aside the girl to be my interpreter as the organising pastor had rung around everyone who could translate and no one would do it, they weren’t sure if I would accept her so my jumping in confirmed it to them. All the meetings were fairly small in number but a mixture of all ages and every time the majority responded for prayer and God gave me words for children everywhere too. The churches marvelled at how still and attentive every child sat during the teaching that was the spirit of God resting on them. In one church a boy was a menace during worship, he ran around the church, refused to do anything anyone said and kept hitting his sister even making her cry. In the teaching like the rest he was the opposite and then God gave me a word for him. I had to pause and just double check before I could say it and so every time my eyes fell on him as I scanned the rows he looked at me with pleading eyes, then as I called him out his whole face lit up.
I want to take this last chance for this year to say a huge big thank you to you for your love, commitment and faithfulness to this ministry over this last year. This which I have shared is barely the half of all God has done because even I don’t know all that He did in every meeting and life. But it all happened because of you and us working together in obedience to God. So again thank you for the bottom of my heart and Barbara and I trust that you will have a great Christmas and blessed New Year when we continue to work together.
Much Love & Thanks