It’s not very often when you feel your life is impacted in a short matter of time. There are just those certain events, and I’m sure you all know from your personal stories, when either a person, a lesson, a decision or a mistake seems to alter the way you think. I feel like someone took a pile of spiritual manure and dumped it over my head this past week. I guess what I’m trying to tell you is I experienced some intense spiritual growth!
Most of my readers have kept up with this blog and know that every week I have a new class, yes a different class each week. This past week our class was Spiritual Development of a Missionary… or something along those lines, I’m translating this from Spanish. Our professor’s name was Jim Lynch. He is gringo and TALL… very startling sight. But, honestly I felt a closer connection with him in comparison to the other professors that I’ve had because… well we are both gringo!
In our class we talked about the importance of prayer, reading the Bible and meditating on it, fasting, healing, and sanctification. There’s a slight possibility that I may have missed something there, but you’ll forgive me, I don’t have my notes here with me. One of the things that I learned most about was holiness or the sanctification. I always thought that holiness was something that only old people could attain or, I’ll say bluntly, was boooooooooring! I’ve learned quite the contrary, however, that holiness is something that God calls us to. We read I Kings 8:54-61, you can read it at home too, it was eye opening.
Later that week we did a study on healing. I normally would have been saying, “Whoa, hold on here!” But, having seen how much I had learned prior to this lesson I was open to hear what the professor had to say. The thing that resounded in my head above all was that God as never changed, and the God we see in Acts working through the disciples healing broken people can happen all the same today. We ended up gathering in the back of the room in a circle and the professor asked us if there was anyone in the group who needed healing to step inward and we would pray over them. We prayed for an hour and a half anointing people within our group. We know for sure that one person was healed!
Part of the healing lesson the professor led us through had to do with casting out demons. Again, God has never changed and he can still do the same work through us. Well, this past weekend Roy had gone out with Tricia and Lindy and had come across a man who, after hearing about his actions, appeared to be demon-possessed. I was scared when Roy was telling me about this and I thought… I need to go! We went out looking for the man, but we couldn’t find him. I was a bit disappointed, but happy because I answered God’s call and was obedient going out to look for the guy.
Well, I started this post about a week ago. But this past week we went to Puno to look for prospective homes. This is the story of what happened while we were there. It is posted on the Extreme Nazarene website, but I’ll do you the favor and post it here as well.
We have a praise from the city of Puno! We recently traveled out to Puno to look for some prospective living places and to get to know the city better. During some of our free time, we decided to explore the city. From our explorations, we discovered the most authentic “Punonian” souvenir shop! Garren and Roy initially discovered it, and then Kristen, Francisca and I met them there. By the time we had gotten there, Garren, in an attempt to get a discount on a hat, had told the store owner that we were missionaries working in Puno to plant churches.
The store owner, Hector, showed immediate interest and started asking more questions about what we were doing there. Francisca, being our only native Spanish speaker there, took the opportunity to share more about who we are and what we believe. Then, she asked him if he was ready to make a decision to give his life to Christ. There was no hesitation. He immediately said yes as he wiped away tears. We gathered around him, and Francisca led him through the sinner’s prayer. Afterward, we were joyful and shared more with him about our Christian walk and tried to feed him spiritually as much as we could in the short time we were there.
I think one of the most amazing things is how he shared how he had been looking for the truth in other religions. He had gone to Seventh Day Adventist, Mormon, and Living Water churches, but he didn’t find what his heart we looking for there. He told us that he could feel God’s presence with us. Then, I think the most amazing thing is that he told us he never has his shop open in the mornings… and that he knew that that day he needed to open his shop. I told him God had a plan and wanted him to come to him that day!
We gave him the address to the local Nazarene church in Puno, took down his information, and gave it to the Pastor. Pastor Herman said he would be in contact with him!
We are all blown away with this blessing. Not only was it awesome to see this man come to Christ, but also to see how God is preparing Puno for us before we are even there! His hand is working, cultivating the hearts of these people. It is so encouraging to see the evidence. Praise the Lord! He is so GOOD! Keep praying! The Lord is listening!
It is so true. The Lord is so good. I am so excited to see what else He has in store, I know I say that a lot, but how could I not!? Joel and I are getting along a LOT better. Today we went out into town and stopped at a restaurant with Kristen and had some Chocolate Fondue. It was pretty delicious! So, I’m just excited to be spending quality time with my partner. Thank you all for your prayers, they are every bit appreciated!