This morning I preached at a small church (45 present) that is located near a fishing village and an area where the poorest of the poor live. The fishing village was completely destroyed by the Tsunami and the people live in thatched huts (see pic) while their homes are being re-built.
Let me say that I don’t think I have ever been in a worship service where there was more fervent declaration during the worship. These people, who pretty much have only the Lord, are incredibly passionate about their love for Him.
When I saw their hearts of gratitude and praise during the worship time (the only instrument was a man playing an old snare drum with his hands and a stick), I changed what I had planned to speak on and shared an encouraging word from Psalm 42. After words, it was announced that I would be praying for people. The people practically climbed over each other as they gathered around to be prayed for.
We saw miracles again! One woman who was having trouble breathing (I assume emphysema – her wheezing was very profound) was breathing clearly when we said amen. Another woman complained of pain around her sinuses and told me the pain was gone when we finished. Broken marriages were prayed for, as well as sick children and barren wombs. It was quite a morning!
In the evening, a large tent was erected in front of Pastor Sammi’s house/church building right on the main road in the middle of town. Don’t picture a huge worship center with a beautiful lawn and shrubbery. Think more of a modest, aging stucco structure and a dirt yard along a dirty, busy road.
During the worship, a white man in his mid-thirties walked up to the tent. Pastor Sammi greeted him and introduced him to me. His name is Jonathan, and he told me that he was from
, and that he was here on a month-long spiritual retreat among the Hindu people. I told him that if he stayed around, that I believed he would find what he was looking for. He stayed, and I preached about the blind beggar who called out to Jesus and whom Jesus told him that his faith had made him see. England
After the preaching, as myself and other local pastors were praying for people, Jonathan came up to me and said, “I only speak to experts about spiritual things. I think you are an expert on faith.” Well, needless to say I am no expert, but I do know a little about faith. So we talked and in the end, he committed his life to the Lord!
I shared with him that I believed the Lord was saying He had called him out to make way for His coming. Jonathan responded, “That’s interesting, because the children (who were sitting by him under the tent) said he was John the Baptist (he knew who John the Baptist was). I told him, “Not interesting, but confirmed.”
Yes there were physical miracles that evening, but I believe that the experience with Jonathan was the highlight for me.
Thank you for faithfully praying for me and for reading this blog to see what God is doing half-way around the world. Your comments are very encouraging to me on this difficult and demanding ministry trip. Blessings!
Zach just left my office. I told him how great it was to follow your progress from so far away (it is usually the middle of the night -- your time -- when I log on!) He told me that you had "texted" him from a cafe at some early hour!
I think that it is truly awesome the way the Lord is using you on this trip. I believe that God is more ready to do the miraculous things of which you speak in a poor area that has been so devastated. It is His way of telling the people of His great love and to also let them know that He walks with them.. . and you are His instrument. . . You are His shining light! How wonderful!
We continue to pray for you. May God's will be done.
We are encouraged by the things we are hearing from you. Do to the snow last week, there was very little school for the kids and me, so we just started following you (even though I looked last week). The kids found it interesting and I helped them some by finding maps of the cities you discussed. We read through Day 3 today and plan on reading Day 4 through the last entry tomorrow. Be encouraged and keep winning souls over. Jonathan came from England to find the Lord in India. Look at all of the people of SE India that have come to know the Lord too. Hugo
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