This is a recent video my son Joshua put together of some of our travels and life over the past few months.
I know I’ve been writing longer and deeper these last two blogs. Most prefer a quick read of “fun facts”. I understand. Who wants to read some long essay that demands serious focus? I can only say that for anyone who will do this it may really help you. It starts down further at A Wounded. I will try to return to the quicky version next time.
As soon as we got out of Peru we started seeing one warning sign after another; Zone of Fog (fog so thick we could not see twenty feet), Zone of Sandstorms (fierce winds of sand), Zone of Landslides, Zone of Falling Rocks, Zone of Tsunamis, Zone of Dangerous Curves. We felt like any minute we were going to see a sign that read; Zone of Monsters. Then, believe it or not, there was the Zone of Hazardous Explosions. We had no idea what that meant. Seriously we felt like we were entering some kind of strange children’s storybook land where, at any minute, some big monster was going to come out from behind a mountain and try to swallow our van. It was weirder (if that’s a word) to think it was all real than to think that maybe a monster could…. No. Forget that.
Anyways, so many things have happened in this leg of our journey through South America that have made us feel we are living out something planned long ago (Is.25:1). It’s like when I saw a movie one time where people in a control room were directing someone in a car far away by simultaneously using a tracking device, map, satellite and cellphone. No matter what that person saw before him, he was fully confident that he was headed to a predetermined destination because he was communicating with someone who could see everything and was closely monitoring his every move so as to bring him to that place.Continue reading
Maybe you saw on the news that a 8.2 earthquake just hit last night in the city Iquique to which we are headed. This is an enormous earthquake. We should be arriving there in the middle of the cleanup. We know that God will protect and lead us in this extremely dangerous and volatile region. They are expecting another huge one at any time. Maybe we can bring the gospel at a time when these people may be more vulnerable to Jesus. It surely does not seem like a coincidence that we are here at precisely this time. Quite mind blowing really. We could be far more in God’s will then we realize. Jesus IS coming soon.
In regards to the prisons. We are now having to bear backlash of Satan’s fury for what God accomplished through us. Paul warns of “spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph.6:12). Demons whose sole purpose is to craft concepts of delusion to win men. We did several presentations in the prisons this last week. It seems we greatly offended the evangelicals in the prison who rely heavily on the officials to support, regulate and expound their TV ministry out of the prison. In turn officials get a kickback. They actually have a huge banner for it on a prison wall in the middle of all these catholic shrines.Continue reading
I could write a story about all the dogs we have dealt with. No kidding. It is funny but not funny because they don’t bring out the best in you. I won’t even mention the ones we deal with in our crowds.
To follow up from the last blog where I shared about us all going to the prison to ask if we could perform for the ten thousand prisoners. The commander approved our visit so we will be going there three times this week. This is quite a move of God if you knew of all the obstacles we had to overcome.We did something last night that we have never done before.
We explained to the crowd that we were going to the prisoners and asked if anyone wanted to help us bless these guys because we can not afford to do what we would like to do. We told them if they could help us we could buy some things for the prisoners. One person actually gave us thirty five dollars! We were shocked. They didn’t even want credit. They just put it in a hat we had sitting on a speaker. All together we got sixty four dollars. We’d like to get something that lasts. But when you multiply things out times 5000 to 10,000 it gets very expensive.Continue reading
I’m going to have a bumper sticker made that says “I’D RATHER BE EATING GOAT”. Because it is not about the goat that we ate last night but the abundant blessing we all shared, sitting together as a family on Rachel’s birthday, just after ministering to an extremely poor but so grateful community of Peruvians. (My precious cheerleader turned 58 but will never be a day over 19 in my eyes.) It’s like what Jesus said after sharing with the poor woman at the well. He told His brothers “I have food to eat that you do not know….” ( Jn.4:32). Jesus was full of the joy that comes from giving the Father’s life to someone who is hungry.Actually I would bet that Jesus did eat goat. This alone proves His divinity. I would imagine it was a staple of that culture. It is cheap but the taste….well…let’s just say if I had nothing else to eat I would LEARN to like it.Continue reading
The conclusion of our dilemma in the desert was that the sole battery that was in a desert city got us to where Abraham found someone to fix the alternator. So the van rose again from dead in the desert.
As we approached a new city we were faced with a whole new set of challenges. When we left Bogotá, or other cities in which we stayed for a while, we spent much work and time to established favor with those who print our tracts, with various officials, venders, lots of street people, some police and merchants. Now once again we have to start from scratch in another city. Nothing too difficult for God. People are not as friendly as in Colombia. Everybody quite mean and people don’t know or care who we are but God does…so God DOES. Since we don’t have phones we do everything by foot. First we have to find a place to stay. No place for a tent. A tight budget limits our options. Then we study and figure out the roadways and places for ministry. Find someone to make tracts, copy CD’s, a place to get food, etc.
We deal with multitudes of suffering people. Many of them have mental illness. Oftentimes people do not appear as mentally ill but quite the contrary, ‘together’. The other night a woman came out of the crowd carrying a dead pigeon to show us. She then disappeared. A little while later she came out of the crowd and just put her arms around me with a big smile. Middle aged, blonde hair, looked American but Peruvian, somewhat pretty and not badly dressed. She positioned herself on the ground right in front of our equipment and she proceeded to move to the music. As the night progressed she deteriorated into bizarre behavior. She pleaded to come with us, then went on about being a Christian going in and out of Spanish and English. So far not that bad.
Then she started to just move from one side of the area to another. She’d start half crying then laughing. You could see her inner torment. Just walking quickly and stopping, grabbing something then coming up and spitting in my face from her over talking. It would be only natural for any person to get angry, tell her to go away or laugh at the absurdity of it all. After dealing with so many people we have learned the importance of realizing that God tests us at any unexpected moment. Oftentimes it is when we are the most into our own thing. We were surrounded by hundreds of people and in the middle of doing various songs, etc.
RIDDLE: What two things go up as we drove down below the equator? (answer at end)
What image do you have of the coast from Ecuador to Peru? Most would think of lush green mountains? We were educated to the surprising landscape that reminded us of when we were in northern Africa. Sprawling desert, blowing sand and heat waves surrounding our van on an absolutely deserted road gave us that deep sense of total dependence on the mercy of God. The poverty of Ecuador and Colombia continued and even gets worse because these people have no land that they can live off of to grow crops and find shelter. It is unsuitable for habitation but these people are surely not there by their own desire.
We tented in the back of a cafe in a tiny city as laughter and blessing filled our hearts to have entered country number 38. We were just so aware of the Lord’s Presence in our midst. Contentment is an extraordinary choice. It eliminates all striving and self-pity and leaves you with the space of mind and heart to utilize your time to create life that breeds joy.
Not to long ago we moved from an apartment in Bogotá, Colombia into a van to travel down through South America to bring the living Jesus to as many people as possible.
Not two.. or four people…. not six people ….but EIGHT full-grown adults living and traveling out of a VAN in a 3rd world country. Awesome. Nothing more edifying than living on ‘the edge’ (literally driving along the edge of three-mile high Andes mountains). The power God offers to live by faith is no little thing. After some forty years of traveling the world we are setting out to do the most difficult thing yet…and I’m 60 years old!
Jesus says, “Go…and…Lo, I am with you always…” ( Mt.28:20).
God does phenomenal things but altering the molecular structure of possessions is not one. But God does alter our hearts and minds so that we get rid of junk, live with little and learn how to access His love for each other and big grace in little space! (2 Cor.12:9). Jesus repeatedly emphasizes to put no importance on possessions. Why? They become like anchors to the soul (Luke 12:33/ 18:22/Matthew 6:19).