Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
This is Pastor Davis and his family. He told me that he has been praying for seven years for a soul winning crusade to happen in his city. He was so excited that we came to Palmar Sur and he is so thankful for all the people who got saved.
Tonight my sermon was on “The Prodigal Son.” I preached, “even if you are one thousand steps away from God, it is only one step back.” When I gave the altar call I asked everyone who was living away from God to come home to the Father’s house.
One man ran to the front and fell to his knees. He began to cry. As I knelt down beside him, I noticed that he reeked of alcohol. He was half drunk. He told me his name was Abraham. As we knelt together, he gloriously repented and cried out to Jesus for forgiveness.
A lady from a local church told me, “Everyone in the city knows Abraham. Many years ago, he used to pastor a church in this city. But then he fell away from God. Nowadays he is known as a public nuisance because he is always drunk.” The whole city was astonished to see the man who had once been a pastor, but then turned away from God, came home to the Father’s house.
After the service, Abraham told me God had also healed him. He said, “Three years ago, I was in an accident and my shoulder was injured. I started to drink alcohol to dull the pain. But, now the pain is gone. Jesus has healed me.” I prayed with him and told him that God wants to restore him completely.
Mauricio gave his life to Jesus tonight. As I prayed for him, I noticed that he had a bandage over his left eye and that entire side of his face drooped toward the floor. He explained to me that he has been living far away from God. His life became so desperate that he decided to commit suicide. He put a pistol to his chin and pulled the trigger. The bullet passed through his jaw, shattered his cheekbone, and exited through his eye socket. But, by the mercy of God, his life was spared. I told him that Satan had tried to take his life, but that God had saved him. I explained that God has a purpose for his life and I encouraged him to follow God with all his heart.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
My sister Melody is a missionary in Honduras. She flew over to Costa Rica to see me for a day. It worked out perfectly because she needed to leave Honduras anyway in order to renew her visa. She is teaching at a school in San Pedro Sula. Right now, she only has three people who regularly support her. She is praying for more people to help her stay on the mission field. Can you pray about helping her out?
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
In the area where we conducted our Gospel Festival there are over thirty homes that have been burned down and destroyed by tribal warfare in the past six weeks.
I visited one home. The walls were bashed in. The roof was gone. Ashes covered the floor. Broken pottery was scattered around. A mother and her two daughters were sleeping in the open air.
The mother explained, “My family is from one tribe and we are living in an area claimed by another tribe. They tell us we have to leave, but this is our home. One dark night a mob of young men from the other tribe marched down the street with fierily torches. They lit fire to the all the houses of my tribe. They stole our possessions. Now we have nothing and nowhere to go.”
At the Gospel Festival we preached that Jesus loves the people of every tribe. We asked the different tribes to forgive each other and to live in peace. Thousands gave their lives to Jesus. Now that the Prince of Peace is reigning in the hearts of the people, we pray that there will be peace between the tribes.
We left early for the children’s festival in order to get everything set up. When we arrived, over 1,000 children had already gathered. The only available sound system was being used by the pastor’s conference so we were forced to entertain the kids for an hour without sound.
More and more children poured in from every direction until there were almost 5,000 kids. When the sound finally arrived, we kicked off the service by singing an Ethiopian song. All the kids were dancing and jumping up and down.
Then we introduced Pastor Eric Hamp. He is a children’s pastor from Denver, CO and the mission’s director for the International Network of Children’s Ministry. Pastor Eric played some games with the children and taught them a new song, “Allelu, allelu, allelu, halleluiah, Jesu get tano. (Praise Jesus)”.
I did not have any room to bring juggling props in my suitcase but I managed to find some local equivalents. For juggling balls, I used five potatoes and for juggling clubs I found three toilet plungers (new, never used). The kid’s laughed and clapped as I tossed the objects in the air.
Then Pastor Eric began to preach to the children. They listened intently as he shared the gospel message using simple props. All the children prayed to receive salvation.
When the service was over, I stationed ushers at each of the gates with boxes of candy. We tried to form an orderly line of children but passing out the candy quickly descended into a riot. All the children pushed and shoved to get the sweets. They tried to climb through a barbed wire fence in order to get in line again. They grabbed handfuls of candy and ran away. Even one of the ushers picked up an entire box of candy and tried to run away with it. Within minutes 36,000 pieces of candy had completely disappeared. Afterwards, we were just thankful that none of the children were seriously injured.