Good bye Torben, Lars, Lebo and Marius. We must go back now to what we were doing before this crazy little journey. We got to the airport with a couple of minor issues, Lebo and Marius got checked at the police control again, and after some coffee we went to our gates.
I love flying, but even better when I get a free seat next to mine. I was lucky to get one on my last flight back, from Istanbul to Malaga. My neighbor passenger was a friendly Turkish man who lived in Chile and luckily spoke fluent Spanish. So we said hi, and like good men, stayed quiet watching videos on the screens in front of us. Suddenly this picture starts invading my thoughts, of a tall young boy with short dark hair, together with some other ideas. So why not take the risk: “Excuse me, you have three children, right?” “Yes,” he replied. “And one of them is about 13, right?” “Yes,” he said. “He just turned 14.” “And he is tall, with black short hair, and is going through tough times, right?” “Yes…” “Do you know how I know all of that?”
So there began a very nice conversation, where I could explain the gospel to him and pray for his family. I was more shocked than he was about those words of knowledge, I enjoy those kind of surprises. Praise God!
After meeting my family, we left Malaga heading north. It was nice to see Pieter again, who has become like a young brother to me. He was the third person I ever baptized, and we spent time together in Denmark as well. We traveled together to do a kickstart in Barcelona, together with Torben, and now I could see where he grew up and meet his family. It was great to see how he continues his walk with God, and even though it has its battles and struggles, he pushes on to reach the purpose for which God called him.
After a couple of days and two stops at Sevilla and Merida, spending some quality time with my family, we made it to our destination: the school of YWAM at Caceres, near the border with Portugal. There we met Natio, from Brazil, a good friend of mine who I met in Peru 16 years ago and that now serves as director of this YWAM school. I was more than glad (and surprised) to hear that after that single evening in May when I took the students to the streets (check my post At Israel, Heart of Religions, part 2 to know what I am talking about) the life of many of them had been totally changed, and that they were equipped with new tools to heal the sick and preach the gospel on the streets. Some of the students that had finished their DTS went back to their home countries and were doing the same there, and some of the staff too! What a great joy it brings to know we are useful to the body of Christ!
So I taught them for 5 days about the gospel. First, I explained what the true gospel is about, then I worked it out with them: checked if they had truly repented of their sins, if they had been righteously baptized, and if they had been filled with the Spirit. On the second day we baptized 5 people, one of them being filled with the Spirit! We went three times to the streets, and though I must say it was hard to find ill people to pray for, we did see great fruit.
One common frustration is to focus on what has not happened. When we got back to the school I asked them how it went, and one of the first answers was that they got a lot of rejections. On the other hand, in the first two times we went out, we could talk to three people who were really open to the gospel. One of them was very ill, and one of the students we were training was told by God to approach her. We prayed a lot for her, and she didn’t get any better. However, she was so touched by “something” in us, that she came to visit us the next day, and the day after again, and even brought a good friend with her.
In 3 hours work, in total we must have been rejected by more than a hundred people. But we saw miracles, the students heard God’s voice, and the skeptical ones turned enthusiastic and bold. Furthermore, we found three people who responded to the gospel and invited us to visit them again. We could choose to focus on the many rejections and on those who were not healed, or rather rejoice in the fruit! Expensive pearls are hard to find, but they are there for those who diligently seek them. The last day we went out again a last time under the rain, but we couldn’t pray for anyone or find open people, neither stop the rain, though we did try.
Kickstarting people can be sometimes quite hard. It is like a woman who is giving birth: the pain, fear, contractions, can be so hard. But once the baby is born, all the suffering is left aside and only joy and happiness fills everyone’s heart. Kickstarting can be in the beginning hard, scary, painful, but if we press on we will see the fruit that we so bad are longing for.
After a great fruitful week, and getting a new clutch for our camper, we left Caceres now on our way back home. Still we had one more mission to fulfill that was not in our plans, but that fortunately was in His. But I will tell you about it on the next post…