Prayers Answered! (and a little more update)
Greetings, Victorious Ones!
Thank you all who prayed for us, the people at the immigration office changed their minds and indeed said we could stay! We were looking into our options if we had needed to leave, and the cheapest way would have cost at least $1,200, so we’re very grateful we didn’t need to.
And since I have a minute with internet, I’ll go ahead and add a little update on everything else. Jon is still pretty sick, and he doesn’t have much energy, so do keep praying for his health to recover. Classes are still amazing and filling, though at this point many people are starting to chomp at the bit to be released into ministry rather than just learn about it every day. I have definitely felt more at home in the villages than when we’re on the base all day every day, so I’m looking forward to our 3-week outreach right after school where we’ll be able to spend more time in various villages.
Speaking of village outreach, our last one was quite amazing. On the way there, bumping along in an open-air flatbed truck, we really got hit with how much ministry is all about love. The first night when we wanted to show the Jesus film, the generator broke and we couldn’t. Even so, instead of expressing frustration the team just hung out with the crowd we still drew, and showed them love and attention. The next day we specifically looked for ways to bless and serve the people, and one cool testimony came from that. A group from the team went out evangelizing door-to-door, and they came upon some women who were shelling beans. They sat with them for over an hour, shelling beans with them and talking. Both of the women were Muslim, and wouldn’t even let the girls pray for them, but they were very softened by the time the girls spent with them and the love they showed. Those women came to the evangelism event that night (we got the generator fixed) and saw the Jesus film, and one of the girls who sat with them shelling beans got to lead them to Christ. They were so transformed by love that they wanted to go out and pray for everyone they saw and help our team in healing their friends and leading them to the Lord as well!
Another cool thing we got to see was a lady who was completely demon-possessed got set free. It was on the last morning in our brief church service before we left, she was shaking violently, her eyes were clenched shut, and she was and uttering these deep, gutteral growls that didn’t sound at all human. Julia, a girl on our team, just held her and loved her, and the longer she loved the more agitated the demons became. Darkness cannot remain in the presence of love, it can’t stand it. After a while of praying and commanding the demons in our Christ-given authority, they left and the lady was completely free and at peace. She looked up with eyes full of light and joy, it was so priceless. She accepted Christ and we gave her a Bible we had—she couldn’t read but she said she would ask her husband to read it to her.
One more quick testimony… We had just finished doing a short church service where I got to preach in Portuguese, and someone ran over to us and told us a man was very sick just across the road from the church. A couple of us walked over, and sure enough there was a man lying on a cot, sobbing and wailing in intense stomach pain. Tears flowed freely down his face. We began praying and his crying lessened, but even after several check-ins with our translator the man said he still had a great deal of pain. By now we had drawn a crowd of about 30-40 kids all watching us, so I told them all to extend their hands to him and pray with us “ma cheena na Yesu” (in the name of Jesus), for the man to be healed. After a couple minutes of those precious children’s prayers, the man had absolutely no more pain! It’s so cool to show the people that it’s all about God’s power, not us. There’s nothing special about us missionaries. They have access to the same God that we do, and it’s so cool to see the light come on in their eyes when they realize that and walk in that power. The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these…
Well, I should get going. Thanks again for your prayers for the visas, and please keep them coming for Jon’s health.
Abiding in Love,