Columbia Trip Testimonies
Mission trip to Baranquilla Colombia Oct 2009
Lord! How GREAT and wonderful you are!
You work in ways that we cannot see! Praise and Glory to You!
Oct 25 – Sunday Afternoon
David and I prayed last night before sleep (David Hartley is from Arkansas. What a blessing to get to know fantastic lovers of Jesus on these types of trips!). We had awakened at 3:45 am in order to catch planes from Dallas to Miami and then on to Baranquilla Colombia. We were worn out by the time we hit the hay in Colombia!
This morning I lead worship (just one song). This is a worship leaders dream! Everyone is completely sold out to Jesus – that makes for great worship even if all the voices are not great – grins! Sam Ingrassia, the primary leader, had a great message. He asked if our Christianity was more like a cruise ship or a battle ship. Very good – ready to go to war!
We traveled to a new church this am. 5 years old with about 50 people. Young pastor with a great message and very good music done with tracks. It was a great joy to worship with this church even though we did not completely understand everything. There is something about full on worship in another culture. We are humbled by there enthusiam and commitment. I was prepared for a message this morning but all they needed was a song from me (that I played on my guitar) and a testimony from Paula. She did a great job. It is so great to have her on the team.
Oct 27 Tueday evening
Wow! What a God-ordained two days! People saying yes to the good news! The harvest is truly ready here! Everyone on our team has been used by God to lead others to Him!
We felt your prayers!!! Thanks!!!
One of the great thrills – to see Doug Hurtig walk in after the first morning and the only thing he could say was “WOW!!!!” You could tell that this great guy, who admitted that he was so nervous about coming and saying the right words, was moved to his core! There were similar experiences for Paula – they are both “newbies” to the E3 campaigns.
The prayers of our team at Waterbrook combined with those of you outside of Waterbrook and the Colombian team and the national churches are being honored by God. Praise Him.
Thanks to you who are on my personal prayer team!
In general -
- great concerts of prayer every morning lead by Vicki Ingrassia from 6 to 7. The time just flew! I was also privileged to get to lead several worship songs in that setting.
- Great breakfast at the hotel
- Great Bible teaching from Sam
- Great partnerships with the local churches because of great organization from E3 and and national leaders
- Great fellowship
- Great sense of mission
- Great nervousness and great adrenilan rush
- Great team love and unity
- Great Kingdom expansion
All because of Jesus!
All Glory to Jesus!
Thank you triune God!
Unique experience today -
- witnessing in the neighborhood when 65 year old man comes from back room – looks Colombian – starts speaking in English with a British accent – what a shock! Furthermore, he is loud and obnoxious, called himself Sir Lancelot, and believes in his favorite book – “The Origin of the Species” by Charles Darwin!!! He was not interested in graceful dialogue. We agreed to disagree. I’m trusting that some seed was sown especially to the others in the house. His grand daughter showed some interest in coming to the afternoon service.
Another experience today -
- invited into a house – very poor – noticed 4 birdcages above our heads AFTER we sat down. Paula gave her testimony then handed over the cube to the nationals to continue – while sitting and listening to Spanish, we watched as stuff dropped from cages between Paula and myself and hoping the rooster and two dogs at my feet would not bite or peck! I was praying simultaneously for love for these people and protection from disease. ( If I am honest, it was the latter request that was predominant.) God used the team and four ladies in that house trusted Jesus as their Savior! Awesome!
Oct 30 Friday morning
Wow! Again amazed at the sovereign work of God expressed thru the stories of our team!
All of out team experienced “divine appointments’ and people heard the Good News! Some responded with a yes, some with a no.
Last night I also had the privilege of giving a worship/music seminar to the worship team and pastor of the 5 year old church plant – Casa de Oracion Amistad- House of Worship and Friendship. For 2 hours we talked and I tried to give guidance. They expressed gratefulnss for the help and I praise God that I could encourage them in that part of their ministry. Thank you Lord for your sovereign grace!
We consider this trip successful because the “seed” of God’s Word was sown to over 3500 people! Most of them were face to face interactions! Many of them said yes to the Good News! We are also excited because our entire North American team of 49, worked alongside 14 local churches so that these pastors and people could do follow up work. That is necessary because the Lord has commanded us to “make disciples” as opposed to just decisions.
It was a great time of faith-building! Would you consider going next year? It might be the greatest week you ever experienced!
My first trip to Colombia (2008) was so full of life changing experiences I couldn’t summarize everything I saw and did while I was there. One year later, on my second trip, the Lord brought the subject of prayer to mind.
On this second trip my husband, Doug decided to join me in mission work. He was adamant about the fact that it was mainly to please me, because I had shared so much and told him his life would never be the same, but not so much that he wanted to go.
From the time I got back from my last trip I began praying that the Lord would give Doug and others a spiritual nudge…so they would step out of their comfort zone and receive the marvelous blessing that I received when I asked the Lord to use me.
My third day in a little barrio I went down a street and this man and his wife were sitting on the front patio of their home. As I approached I could see the woman smiling but her husband didn’t look as happy. They were very gracious and allowed me to give my testimony and introduce them to Jesus, even though her husband said he was leaving the house in two minutes for business. After I stopped talking the man said my testimony was good, but I received Christ when I was only 7, and he was a man 54 years old, so for him it wasn’t “so easy to believe.” He went on to ask many questions, “how did I know the bible was true,” and “how did I know it was Jesus knocking on the door of my heart?” “Was it just a ‘feeling’?” Very good questions. He immediately began telling me that his job was in the country, working with animals, and he was alone all day with them. He didn’t have any other people to connect with at all during the day and it often was lonely for him. He said he had prayed every day for the past year that God would reveal to him that He was real and alive, but he said God had not done that for him.
At that very moment I realized, God had just answered two huge prayers! I began telling this man how God told me to go to Columbia, and how I had prayed that He would allow me to see His glory, and to tell others He was Lord. The puzzle pieces just started to come together…he prayed one prayer and I prayed another and God brought us together to answer both. I asked him what the odds would be that I would come from North America, to his barrio, to his very street…and had I come just two minutes later I would have missed him, all because Jesus laid down his life to show him that he was loved by the King and that He lives. I asked him, “Do you think that was a coincidence?” “You can know in your heart that God answered that prayer.” He told me he had asked for “a sign.” People in Latin American countries are big on “signs”…signs and superstitions are common. I know he was looking for a sign that he had imagined in his own mind, but I told him God didn’t work that way. God reveals himself to us in ways that we know it isn’t something we are expecting, but in ways that we would know it could only be God and nothing else. That was a turning point for him. His eyes began to tear and he was ready to trust that Jesus was his Savior. This man saw God reveal himself through my team, and I saw God answer my prayer to see His glory. Isn’t He awesome?!
I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was only 7 years old, so I’ve always had a special place in my heart for children and I prayed for opportunities on this trip to witness to children, or families that had children. I just love it when I pray within the will of God, and He is just thrilled to answer!
Our team approached a school and asked if we could come in and talk to the children. The principle, (a woman in her sixties), wasn’t so eager to extend that invitation. She met us with a frown on her face and a very skeptical look in her eyes. She asked me in a very stern voice if I understood Spanish and when I answered “only a little” I saw her eyes dart to the rest of my team. “Who is this?” she asked, pointing to my interpreter. And I responded by telling her one person translated for me, and introduced the other two members of my team. Immediately she called me and the interpreter into her office and began grilling us about what message we wanted to deliver. Very quickly she told us that she was of strong Catholic faith and there were many catholic children attending the school. She didn’t want her kids confused, and she certainly didn’t want us to dispute any of the Catholic influence. I was praying inside the entire time “there’s no way in the world she’s ever going to allow this”, I thought. And then, to my amazement, the impossible happened. She said she would allow me and my translator (but no one else) to present to the fifth graders, but she would be watching us the entire time.
So here I was, praying all the way down the hallway, “God, I have no idea how I got to this place, but please make these words count and let them penetrate hearts and young minds. Let the truth set them free.” As I was presenting the cube, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, one of our nationals taking pictures. When we were finished the principle escorted us back to the lobby where she proceeded to offer us refreshments (unbelievable, I know). Then, her next words just about blew me out of my seat. She asked if we would like to come back that afternoon to witness to eight classes of kids from 6th through 11th grade! In all we counted more than 200 kids that heard the gospel in that school. And here is the best part (oh yes, it gets better) – the principle wanted to keep the Evangecube!
During the evening service at our local church that night God was bringing to mind the times I had prayed, and how my path was crossing other paths where others had prayed, and how He had answered all those prayers using each one of us. I prayed for a Godly husband, and He brought Doug into my life. Doug had gone through a divorce when his son was only 4 years old, and while his life seemed like aimless wandering, he finally came to a place where he was seeking for something to fulfill that emptiness. I was friends with Doug and when I heard about his heartache I began praying for him, that he would come to know Jesus and that void would be filled. Eight years later, we married and Doug accepted Christ as savior. On this trip in Colombia Doug revealed in his testimony that he wanted a family and God answered by bringing me, his son, my son, our adopted daughter, and a grandbaby that is growing up in our house all together as a family. Our lives, intertwined in such a miraculous way that all our prayers were answered, and the pieces matched up perfectly.
Scripture tells us to pray. Jesus himself set the example with The Lord’s Prayer. Daniel was thrown into a lion’s den for praying, and God brought him out in response to Daniel’s prayer. Philippians 4:6 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I know we have riches stored in heaven that are beyond our wildest imaginations. We cannot comprehend how much He has for us and is excited to give if only we would pray (ask).
I’m thrilled to serve the God who answers prayer. Glory to his name!
Don asked me at lunch on our first day what I thought. My answer was WOW!
I had never done anything like this before. It was a very big step outside of my comfort zone. I always felt that I would “set” God back if I tried to speak with others. I also worried about traveling to a country about which I had heard many bad things.
I want to tell you that none of my preconceived views of Columbia turned out to be true. Columbia is much different than what most of us might image. I never felt in any danger in Columbia. The people of Columbia are great. Everywhere we went we were treated like family. I am so proud to call the Columbians I met my friends. Each of the churches our team worked with was amazing. Their love of Christ, their worship, their prayer and their knowledge of the bible was an inspiration to me.
What I remember most is how God is in control and if I take the first step he will guide me. All week I saw God working. I just needed to show up. Before our first day on the streets I was studying the Bible much like one would for a final exam when I realized that I could not do it on my own. I closed my Bible and said to God that he would need to take control if he wanted me to be his voice when I shared my testimony and the Gospel. I learned that by taking a step in faith that God would do the hard part. God put words in my mouth when I needed them. My testimony and Gospel presentations would change as if God knew the words the person I was talking to needed to hear.
It seemed that God picked the people that I talked to just for me. For example, a man named Angel told me that he was encouraged by my testimony when I talked about going through a divorce and struggling with pride before knowing God. Angle came up to me later that day at the daily worship service and thanked me, and told me that he was going to try and make his marriage work. I was amazed that I went 4,000 miles and ended up talking to the specific people I talked with. Each of us who made the trip had similar stories of how it seemed that God placed us in front of the people we each talked with.
Take the first step and let God guide you! You will be blessed like you never have been before.