A BIRTHday Celebration to Remember

In my last post I told you about the opportunity the Lord had given us to throw a birthday party for a woman from the streets.  I want to tell you about the events of this glorious BIRTHday celebration.

When we arrived at the church we saw this woman approaching.  She was dressed nicer than we had ever seen her and she had cleaned up.   She was apprehensive as she approached, because she had not seen our children since she left our home last year.  As she entered the building she immediately began to cry and wail.    My children greeted her and gave her a hug, which caused her to cry even harder.   For the next half hour or so while we prepared her birthday decorations she laid out on a set of folding chairs and cried uncontrollably.

It was Mike’s turn to present the message of Jesus last night.  As he began sharing, Diane sat next to my wife and just wept as my wife held her.   She then began to cry out to God asking for His mercy, because she had destroyed her life.   She declared her fear of dying and being under the control of her street life any longer.

When Mike began to talk about our response to God’s offer of new life in Christ, she sat straight up and began to follow him with her eyes.   She cried out to Mike to come pray with her, to tell her what to do.   Mike instructed her to pray what was flowing from her heart.   I could see her struggling to speak and I felt prompted to speak against any spiritual force that was trying to prevent her from moving from death into life.  In a tear filled cry for help, she began to confess the choices of her life, naming things that were so painful and so personal.  She then declared her need for God’s grace and asked Him to take control of her life.

Almost immediately her countenance changed and her tears of pain became tears of joy.  She began to speak of the inrush she could feel deep within her and the enormous weight that had just lifted.  She then reached into her shirt and pulled out her cigarettes and lighter.   She acknowledged the battle would be difficult, but she also knew she needed to make her first change starting now.   With that, she handed those things to Mike and asked him to dispose of them.

When everyone had regained their composure, we sang happy birthday and celebrated her life and her NEW life together.

The journey ahead will be difficult for her as she has lived and worked on the street for over 10 years.   I believe this will be the first real opportunity for us to put the mission of Simplicity Solutions to the test, as we will need to help her keep her hands busy and her thoughts focused in a life giving direction.  We will also have the challenge of trying to find her housing that offers a drug and alcohol recovery program.   Discipleship for an individual in her condition has to be holistic, teaching not only the Christian life, but life skills in general.

Here is the other amazing thing about this whole experience.   When she walked back into my life on Wednesday, I was meeting with a Vineyard Pastor who leads ministry at an Assembly of God church.   He was able to provide clothing for her on the spot, because a woman had given him a stack of woman’s clothing the day before (of course the correct size).   The birthday cake, balloons and banner were provided by my friend’s Baptist church that had been challenged 2 weeks ago by an Army chaplain.  Of course we were the third piece, cultivating the relationship through our presence in a tough area.   This truly was a picture of the body of Christ at work.

If the gospel comes….

Since returning from Africa, we have been praying about the direction of our ministry here in Corpus Christi.   With our local population being transient, we have struggled to meet the ongoing expenses of the building rent and utilities.   Yet, in spite of the struggles, we also see the need for our presence.   In the past 9 months we have watched 3 churches in our area close their doors.   The crime, addictions and broken lives continue to go on seemingly unchecked.   What were we to do?

A friend of mine called me for lunch last week and we met.   I shared with him my uncertainty over the next step we were supposed to take and he responded with this story.   He had just come from a meeting with 2 other pastors, who were wanting to turn their focus on to our ministry neighborhood.   During this conversation, one of the pastors related a conversation he had undertaken with a relative who was a drug dealer in the area.   In this conversation, the pastor asked what it would take for the drug dealers to leave.   The relative responded with this answer:  “If the gospel comes we will leave.”  He went on to elaborate that in his lifetime, he had seen the gospel come into an area so forcefully that the drug trade could not continue.   When the pastor inquired if just by planting churches and doing ministry the drug dealing would leave…the man corrected him.   He restated:  “If the gospel comes we will leave.”  He went on to elaborate that he was not worried, because he had only witnessed such a happening twice in his life.

For the next 24 hours, I found myself haunted by those words.   Last Tuesday night as we were praying, I found the Lord giving me a vision and a renewed sense of purpose for the corner of Staples and Coleman.   The vision was simple, the gospel would be proclaimed and lived out at that location 7 days a week.   As others begin to join with us to carry this load, this proclamation will ultimately be done 3 times per day, 7 days per week.   The Lord also impressed upon me that this message was to be declared, even if no one was present.

This Sunday we began this new chapter in our journey.  My wife prayed as I preached to chairs and passers by.   Interestingly enough I had just finished reading God’s Smuggler, one of the stories told in that book was of a minister in Holland who was led to do a similar thing.   It was noted that even when no one was in the building, the message and invitation always seemed to be received and responded to by someone on the street.

Testing the defenses

In my last post, I talked about the spiritual battle that ensued in our Tuesday prayer time last week.   Saturday night we held a Christmas open house for those who have taken an interest in our ministry.

The man who had brought such a spirit of distraction with him on Tuesday showed up with a “friend” accompanying him.  This second man brought with him a demonic presence unlike any I have ever encountered.  As this man would speak, he would begin to speak unintelligibly.  He would call himself by different names and he would throw around Bible verses like a rapid fire machine gun.

When I asked him, who Jesus was?   He gave a myriad of answers, but never said “Jesus is Lord.”   The spirit within this man began to directly antagonize me and challenge me.   “Who do you say Jesus is?’   “What makes you a follower of Jesus?”  “What is your favorite Bible verse?”

The Lord told me to be quiet and not contend with this spirit.  Over the next few moments, this man patted our children on the head and touched each wall, each table, etc…  The Lord instructed me to begin worshiping Him, so I began to sing the words that the Lord was giving me.  Immediately both of these men got up and left.

The Lord showed me that this was a testing of the spiritual defenses of our ministry.  We prayed over the children once these men had left and spoke a word of blessing upon them.

We wrestle not against flesh and blood

Last Thursday we had a guy walk into our Organic Group who just wanted to talk incessantly and pull us away from our Bible study.  It took nearly an hour before he chose to leave and the whole time he was there, you could feel a spiritual battle going on.  As soon as he left, I remembered this man had been encountered a year ago and continued to interfere as I tried to minister to a hurting man at one of the local missions.

Tonight when I arrived for prayer, I found Mike engaged in conversation with a man.  About 10 minutes later, the man from last week re-appeared and began to commandeer the conversation.  The Lord instructed me to begin worshiping Him.  I sang for the next two hours.  Singing until it hurt….the defiant spirit within this man refusing to yield to the glory of God.  The Lord continue to tell me that I could not quit until both of these men left, as the first man was drawn in by the spirit of the 2nd man.

After 2 hours both men left and we continued to worship, but I was exhausted.  I have never been in such a prolonged, intense spiritual battle as I was tonight.

All I can say is “WOW!”

You never know what, or who for that matter, to expect on Sundays at Simplicity – Corpus Christi.  With Mike and Kim being out of the country right now, we feel like we’re “incomplete” to begin and we will be glad when they return this coming weekend.

Shortly after we arrived this morning, a man rode up on his bicycle and asked if we could bless him.  We spent time praying for him and gave him a sack lunch and some coffee.   As he and I were talking, a woman we had last seen a year ago appeared with a friend of  hers.  This woman has struggled with drugs and alcohol for years, living on the streets estranged from her family.  Her greatest desire is to have a relationship with her 16 year old son, but her addictions drive the wedge deeper and deeper.  She allowed us to pray with her and the Lord gave words that I believe will be significant in His working in her life in the days to come.

We were joined for service by a young, soon to be married couple that I believe will become co-laborers with us in this ministry at some point.   With them was a young lady who has only been to church 5 times in her life (3 of those were funerals).   Before service was over we were also joined by a man I met a few months ago.  Although this man has not beaten his addictions, he sees where our first encounter has begun a process of transformation deep within him.  I prayed for him again today, but felt a new certainty about his ultimate deliverance from the addictions that have held him in bondage.  I look forward to the day that my certainty becomes a reality in his life.

Reflections, re-acclimation and renewal

I’ve been back from India for just over a week now.  My body is finally getting back to normal and the case of Delhi Belly that hit me upon my return home is finally gone.  I’m finally sleeping at normal hours and getting back into my normal routine.

As I’ve taken time to reflect on my time in India, there are a few things that stick out:

First of all, God used my absence to bring about some strengthening in those around me.

My first Friday out of the country, Mike and Kim learned that their brother-in-law had been killed in Afghanistan.   Mike and Kim were able to be a source of strength to their family, even though they did not have my presence to draw from.   Mike and Kim were forced to lean on the Lord in a way they had not had to draw on His strength before.  Carol also felt led to join some meetings that I normally attend, and also led out with our monthly overseer’s meeting.  This was a large growth step for Carol as well and she now sees her role as my ministry partner much more clearly.

I believe the second primary purpose of this trip was my influence on some key people:

My interactions with Tom and Santhosh, in particular were part of a molding, shaping and directional process that the Lord is taking them through.  In the case of both of these men, I watched God take them through some stretching of their comfort zones and standard modes of operation.  Additionally, in two of the cities where I led meetings, the pastors came under conviction about their need to work cooperatively towards the purposes of God’s kingdom.  In the wake of our meetings, these pastors have committed to working together towards the fulfillment of God’s plan for their individual communities.

The third key issue was the reminder of the completeness of God’s power and strength.

On two particular occasions, I was speaking with almost no physical or mental strength.   On both of those occasions, I spoke not with force or vigor, but the power of God was incredibly overwhelming.  On the first occasion a demon manifested in a man as I was speaking and threw this man into the adjacent river.  He was immediately delivered from the demon and received the life giving touch of Jesus that night.   The second time I gave the invitation after making a very simple gospel presentation and I watched as over 30 people came forward to give their lives to Jesus.

It was good to be back home on Sunday.  Sunday was the first anniversary of the launch of Simplicity – Corpus Christi and the Simplicity Church Network.  We all marveled at how quickly the year has gone, and how much God has molded, shaped and changed us in this first year.   We also decided to replace our big orange water cooler outside with some of the sack lunches we have put together.  Sunday we set out 6 lunch bags with Vienna Sausage, fruit cups,  and crackers.  By the time church was over, only one bag was left.

Tuesday was a great day of victories as well.  Carol and I were short on making our house rent.  Our rent is $1,000/month and we only had $179 to our name.   We asked some people who are close to us to pray with us over this need.  One of those individuals told Carol, “I’m praying that someone will show up at your doorstep with a check in hand.”  Not 10 minutes later this same individual called back and said she would be bringing a check by…she ended up being the answer to her own request.

Tuesday evening we were praying at the church when we heard a knock on the door.   A young man entered and said, “I believe God sent me here.”   We then told him how he got to us and he agreed…I told him we were praying for him to come, we just didn’t know it was him that we were specifically praying for.  This man has been in Corpus for 2 weeks.  In the past his life has included many pitfalls, and of course he found himself in the epicenter of those things here in Corpus Christi.  He knows he has a call on his life, but his frustration with his circumstances had led him back to some places he swore he would never go again.  After speaking into his life we offered to walk with him as he works to rebuild his life.  Over the past two days I have had the opportunity to help him find new housing arrangements and to begin looking for work.   While I was in India, the Lord spoke to me about someone he was raising up to become the leader of Simplicity – Corpus Christi…something in my spirit, says this man may eventually be the one God was speaking to me about.

India Mission Trip – Week 1

I left Houston on the morning of the 12th and flew to Chicago.  While in Chicago I met several passengers who were going to be aboard my Air India flight to Frankfurt.  Included in those I met was a pastor from St. Louis, MO who was going visit pastors he supported in Germany.  There were also 2 men and a woman from Calvary Chapel in California, who were going to visit pastors they supported in India.  It was a sweet time of fellowship, each of us going to encourage overseas pastors in their work.

In the past I have flown Lufthansa to India, but this time I was on Air India.  I actually like Air India better, as they offer better leg room, which made the long haul much more pleasant.  I was also intrigued by the external nose camera they had on the plane.  It was fun watching the take off and landing.

I arrived in Delhi at 9PM on Tuesday.  My first stop was a Swine Flu health check station that included a thermal imaging camera and video display that recorded each of us as we got off of the plane.  Once I cleared customs I retrieved my luggage and exited the airport to find Pastor Santhosh waiting for me with a big smile.   We met Pastor Joy Thomas and loaded my luggage in to his vehicle.   They then took me to a nearby hotel.  The hotel was basic, but very comfortable.  Because Diwali (the Hindu festival of lights) was beginning this weekend, there were big flashing lights on my hotel window, so my sleep mask became very necessary.

Wednesday we went to a small village outside of Delhi, where I met Pastor Wilson.  Pastor Wilson runs the Rohini Pentecostal School and Church.  The interesting part of his ministry is its location.  The school and church are located in a village that is 100% Hindu with no Christians; however, all of the students in the school are Hindu, even though it is a Christian school.  The school teaches the students Hindi and English using scripture verses and songs.  Pastor Wilson has found himself having great favor with his Hindu neighbors.  You can see the harvest in the making.  The other memorable thing about Pastor Wilson’s ministry is his daughter Glory.  Glory has a worshipper’s heart and a smile that just radiates from deep within.

We met with a group of about 25 pastors on Wednesday.  We were very delayed due to traffic, so I only was able to speak for about 1 hour and then spent time eating lunch with them.  Chicken curry and rice was the menu for the day.    Wednesday evening I went to the home of Pastor Joy Thomas and his wife.  Pastor Thomas has visited the US on several occasions and will once again be in the US next April.   He currently oversees a great number of churches in eastern India.   We left his house and drove back to my hotel in the dark, because his headlights quit working.

On Thursday we once again went to the village where Pastor Wilson’s church is located.   We had a great conference again with about 25 pastors and ended up having a great time of dialogue and sharing.  The best part of the day came when the Lord gave me the opportunity to minister to these pastors.  As I laid hands on each one, the Lord would give me words for them.  I watched a great number of these men and women begin to weep as the Lord used me to speak deeply into their hearts.   The Lord also gave me a word for Glory, Pastor Wilson’s daughter, to begin writing down the songs that the Lord was putting into her heart and to share them publicly that the body of Christ might be built up.

After returning to Delhi, I spent the evening with Pastor Santhosh and his family.  Pastor Santhosh lives in a small one bedroom apartment with his wife and two children.  He is very benevolent, often sending his resources to the pastors he oversees.  We enjoyed a great meal and fellowship, as I have been communicating with and praying for he and his wife for number of years now.

Since Diwali was getting ready to start the streets of Delhi were very crowded and fireworks were being set off all around my hotel.  Between that and my fear of oversleeping and missing Friday’s flight, I did not sleep very well.

Friday morning, Pastor Santhosh and I headed to Delhi airport to catch a flight to Kochin.  Once we arrived in Kochin, we went to the train station and Santhosh and I caught a train to a city approximately 3 hours away.  We were tired once we arrived, so we rented a room to drop our bags and take a small nap.  I met Pastor Sabu Daniel while I was there.  Pastor Sabu would be our host over the next few days in Kerala.   After catching 2 hours of sleep, Pastor Santhosh and I headed to the train station once again to catch a train back to Kochin, so we could pick up Dr. Blackaby at the airport at 4AM.   This train ride was an experience.  We had “general admission” type tickets and Santhosh convinced the conductors to let us move to a 1st class coach.  So at each stop we would get off run further up the train and try to find an open door on a first class coach.  The train would begin moving, so we would have to jump back on.  The final time we tried this we ended up on what could best be described as a “cattle car.”   It was packed wall to wall people, with people hanging out of the doors, we were in fact barely able to get on the steps.  I pushed my way in and spent the next hour with a man’s hands on my waist, back, and shoulders, with flesh pushed against me from all sides.  My prayer simply was “God if they are going to be pushed against me, let your anointing flow through me and touch some of these lives, because of it..”

We arrived at Kochin at 1:40AM.  I was barely able to get off of the train, because of the crowd and again had to push my way through.   I was very tired having only slept for 2 hours.  So I tried to sleep sitting up, but could not, so finally I laid out on the concrete floor of the train station and got an hours sleep.   We go to the airport right as Dr. Blackaby’s plane landed and a half hour later, Dr. Blackaby appeared….tired, but mobile.

We went to the Kochin train station and caught a 6AM train headed back to the city Santhosh and I had been in the night before.  We arrived shortly after 9AM and stopped by the guest house to change clothes.   Then we jumped into the 3 wheeled cab and drove an hour into the hills.  We went into a very beautiful area full of rubber, banana and coconut trees called Malepolly.   We went to the house of Pastor Sabu and his wife Monemah.  This precious couple has a house church and they have taken watch care over 10 orphan children who have lost one or both parents.   This precious couple blessed us with eggs, toast and coconut milk.   We then began our conference with approximately 20 pastors.  Most of these pastors are young men in their mid to late 20’s.  They are very fiery in their desire to undertake fully the work of the ministry.  We had great discussion and they asked many great questions.   After lunch Dr. Blackaby spoke, even though he had not been to sleep since early Thursday morning.   God gave him the strength and he delivered a great word of encouragement to these pastors.   When he had finished speaking, we laid hands on each pastor and prayed as the Lord gave us words to speak.  Again the words of the Lord brought great strength to these young men.   Then in a very touching gesture, they asked to pray for us.   We sat down and these young men began to pray, the sounds of their prayers roared loudly, then a young pastor from Nepal began to speak and prayed a prayer of favor, boldness and authority over Dr. Blackaby and I.

As evening neared, we headed towards town and were taken to the home of a precious Christian couple.  This couple has a beautiful daughter who faithfully serves as a missionary to Ethiopa.  Their home sits on the banks of one of the rivers and provided a beautiful place of rest.  We watched as local men fished, others washed clothes and others paddled by in their wooden boats.    Dr. Blackaby headed for the nearest bed and bid us farewell for the night, while I also took a short nap.   At around 7:30 Pastor Santhosh and I went to the house of Pastor Sabu Daniel.   There as about 70 people gathered in the courtyard worshipping.   I went inside where I met pastor Santhosh’s mother, father and sister.  Pastor Santhosh’s sister is also the wife of Pastor Sabu Daniel.   Pastor Santhosh asked me to only preach for about 20 minutes, because the public address permit was good until 8PM and the Hindu people would get offended, if we went longer.

I decided to tell the story of Naaman from 2 Kings 5.  As I said the name Yaweh, all of the sudden there was a shrill screaming and a splash as a demon manifested within a man who was standing outside the fence and threw him in the river.   Many jumped up to rush to his aid and Pastor Sabu and others delivered him from the demon.   When I was finished speaking, I prayed for many who were sick and one woman whose marriage was on the verge of divorce.   Several people trembled and wept as I placed my hand on them and prayed.

When I returned to the house where we were staying I found Tom awake…his sleep schedule was definitely not adjusting well.   We talked about the service and then both went to sleep.

Sunday morning after waking up we had tea that was provided by the home owner.   Tom and I spent several hours talking…actually, I think I did all of the talking….I told Tom to remind me to be quiet the rest of the day.   He brought out an interesting observation.  He said you were speaking on a man being healed by immersing himself in a river, and a man was delivered last night as he was thrown into the river.  I had not thought of that and was grateful for the observation.

We walked to Pastor Sabu Daniel’s house for morning worship.   We learned that a man had been struck by car and killed earlier in the morning and that many of the church members were ministering to this man’s family.   I also learned that Pastor Sabu Daniel had written a book, from a dream God had given him.  The book is an interpretation of the dream and it is called “Renaissance.”  Pastor Sabu Daniel will be translating this book into English at some point and I will be very interested to read it.

We ended up with only a handful of people for church, but the presence of God very strong.   Many shared in prayer, song and scripture reading.  Tom spoke on God’s molding and shaping process.   When he was finished, Pastor Sabu led a very fervent prayer over Tom and I that very much echoed the prayer given by the pastor from Nepal the day before.  As he was praying, the Lord gave me a word for Pastor Sabu.   The word dealt with the spirit of revival that has been birthed in this pastor.  The Lord had me describe the outward flow of this revival and how the river in front of his home was a representation.   The Lord also had me liken the effect to the flooded rice patties behind his home.

We spent the afternoon with Pastor Sabu and his family, before returning to the home we were staying in.  We recharged our computers and rested up for our overnight train ride to Madurai.

The train ride to Madurai was a new adventure as well.  Our tickets were for the air conditioned sleeper car.  Tom opted for the top bunk and I took the bottom.  All 6’4″ of me on a 6’1″ bed was pretty amusing.   As we got to Madurai, I hung out the door of the train, looking for Pastor Jesudoss.   He of course, found the whole thing very amusing.

This afternoon, I caught up on the latest happenings with the Jesudoss family since we had last visited.  The big news in the house is the baby that Elishba and Benjamin are expecting in March.

Tonight, we held our first open air crusade meeting.  I spoke for about 40 minutes and then we spent another 45 minutes or so praying for those who came forward.  The man that stuck out in my mind, has a skin disease and is mute…I look forward to the news that he has received healing and the ability to speak.

That’s too easy

This week has been a great time of seeing God work.  Every day, I have had at least one person stop by the church to visit with me.  Some were looking for prayer, others are just trying to figure out who…or what we are.

Today was joyous, as we were getting ready to begin, I saw a woman pushing a stroller coming across the street towards the church.  I recognized this woman as someone we had met at the bus transfer station a few weeks back as we were handing out water.  During that first interaction, Mike had spoken with this woman for nearly 20 minutes.

She entered the door with her 3 year old daughter and we began to interact and I learned that her name was Nellie.  Nellie has been watching us to see if we were going to stay put.  She decided that today was the day she would come to see what we are all about.  Nellie is a hodge podge of religious thought.  She has been influenced by a Pentecostal grandfather, Jehovah’s Witness friend and a myriad of other voices that have generated a great deal of fogginess in her mind about things pertaining to God.  Nellie asked one question that stood out:  “Why is Jesus called the Lamb of God?”  This allowed me to to talk about the perfect sacrifice that was made for all mankind when Jesus gave up His life on the cross.   When I was done explaining this to her, she was so excited, because “she could finally understand.”  Before the morning was over, I gave her a Bible.  She told me this was the first Bible she had ever owned, with the exception of a small Precious Moments Bible she had once had as a little girl.

As we were finishing up today, a man walked in, burdened by some things that were causing him to question whether he was truly ready when this life is over.  This man carries a piece of baggage with him that has weighed him down for 50 years.  Mike shared the message of salvation and forgiveness that is found in Jesus.  This man declared, “that’s too easy!”  Sadly, he could not accept that God would extend grace so freely.   We are praying that God will show Him grace in a powerful and unmistakable way.

I am currently about $300 short of having my India airfare with one week to go.

Setting off explosions

Over the last few months, the Lord has been speaking to us about the importance of praise in bringing down the spiritual walls of the Simplicity – Corpus Christi neighborhood.  So when the opportunity to host The Burn 24/7 was extended, it was a “no-brainer.”

This past weekend, people from a variety of denominational backgrounds came together at 805 S. Staples and for 24 hours, they worshiped, prayed, danced, painted, played and glorified God.   During this time, we had several people come in off of the streets and were able to minister to them.  It was truly a nuclear event in the spiritual environment of this neighborhood.   One of my intercessors said it best:  “Foundations were shaken.”  This weekend was also strategic, because it was exactly 1 year ago that my church voted to release the staff and ministry, so they could afford to keep the church property.  It was that set of events that led to the implementation of the Simplicity vision that God had been birthing in me for a number of months.

Sunday was in my mind, the best worship experience we’ve had at Simplicity since we began in November of last year.  We shared how God had touched our lives throughout the week and during that time I began to look at the banner that had been given to us by one of the worshipers over the weekend.  The Lord prompted me to hand the banner to Brooke and I gave her permission to move throughout the room with that banner to praise Jesus to the best of her 3 year old ability.   The Lord then took me to a song that I had not sang since I was a child…His Banner Over Me is Love.   We sang that song and then the Lord began to write the verses.  Before our time together was done, the Lord had given us 6 or 7 new verses to this song that we sang with great joy.   Our service ended up lasting nearly 2 1/2 hours and yet no one seemed to notice or care.

Yesterday, Mike and I attended a pastor’s prayer retreat in Banquete.  This retreat has become a highlight of my year each year and this year was no different.   The morning speaker came out of the worship time with a word for nearly each one of us.  To Mike and I, he said this:  “Sit in the saddle.”  “All that you are going through is by God’s design, don’t rush the process.”   Throughout the day, God reminded me of the need to be a conduit, not just a cup.  The day ended with 2 intercessors praying over each of us.   The words spoken over me included:  “Courage; a willingness to go where no one else will; the opening of multiple harvest fields unto me; the need for me to have wisdom to manage the resources that God is releasing into my hands; and a prayer of thanksgiving for the resources being released that are not only sufficient, but exceedingly abundant.”

I ended my day by speaking via phone with Pastor Santhosh about our upcoming ministry in Delhi and Kerala.  Pastor Santhosh has been unable to raise the $2,000 necessary to put on the conference he had intended in Delhi, so I had suggested that we invite a handful of leaders for a few days of private meetings.   Santhosh had been praying and fasting over that suggestion and is being led to invite 15 pastors to join us.   We talked about my lack of air travel and fiances, but I assured him that God was going to provide.   It is now 13 days until I leave and the airfare is beginning to creep up, so I know that we are not far from the provision, but this is an exercise in faith and trust.

If you would like to contribute to the India ministry effort, please visit the donation link

A testimony that just keeps getting better.

Ugandan man coming to faith in Christ

Ugandan man coming to faith in Christ

During my time in Uganda, this past May, I had the privilege of preaching in the PCM Church in Kapchesoy.

One afternoon as I had finished preaching and was sitting down, the whole church erupted in celebration.  I learned that they were celebrating, because a man (pictured) who was the village drunkard and troublemaker was giving his life to Christ.

In the days that followed, I learned his story.  He was cooking beer a mile and half from the church.  He had been drinking all day and was already drunk.  As he explained he heard a voice telling him that he needed to run as fast as he could to the church and give his life to Jesus.     He had arrived, just as I sat down and he went forward and gave his life to Jesus.

The next day, his closest friend was at the front of the church giving his life to Jesus, because of what he had witnessed the day before.  Now if that was the story, that would be absolutely amazing in itself, but it gets even better.   I received this update from Pastor Adams today:

The lord is still working great things and fire as never ceased!
The man you prayed for him during the conference in Kapchesoy church who came smelling alcohol is still firm. The lord has used him to win 12 other drunkards to Christ and many are coming to get saved because of his salvation.
We have enrolled him in our Bible College and taking certificate. I was with him and told me to send you his personal greetings.

He has a hunger and passion to reaching the lost. He told me he will resign soon from teaching to start preaching the Gospel but I told him first he should seek the lord before taking any step.

One transformed life, transforming the lives of others.  The power of God is truly amazing to watch.