Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Post #31 - FIFTEEN DAYS in SANTIAGO de CHILE
Spiritual multiplication is an incredible strategy for reaching the world with the gospel of Jesus. One neglected facet of His gospel has been the promise of the healing of the brokenhearted that opens the door to setting the captive free (See Isaiah 61, Luke 4:18 and John 8:32).
Over the first 16 days of April, I had the incredible privilege of taking part in multiplying this neglected but essential part of the Good News to the Southern Cone of Latin America (mainly with people from Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and Uruguay). What was that obscure promise toward the end of Isaiah again? A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation. I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time (Isaiah 60:22 NKJV).
I have to admit … Chile was one of the most fulfilling two weeks I’ve spent in a long time. To re-engage with brothers and sisters from far away places like Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay and Chile and to make a new friendship with a wonderful Brazilian couple was convergence of all that God has taken me through over the six decades of my life on the planet.
I was totally immersed in both the culture and language. I’m not sure how to explain it, but something came alive deep within me so that I was able to speak Spanish in such a way that I was understood and relate intensely without becoming completely exhausted. In fact, most of the time I felt very energized by all of the new relationships and experiences God allowed me to take part in.
I spent most of my first week with a young couple that recently moved from Brazil to minister to the youth in Santiago. We had incredible times together capped off by facilitating an evening on listening to God to the 15 or so people in the youth group.
Then we traveled to an area convent for the Easter Weekend Encuentro (encounter) focused on Listening and Inner-Healing Prayer. On Friday we had nearly 50 people in attendance. On Saturday we topped off the teaching by giving people opportunity to meet with God for healing on their own as well as a time of facilitating this ministry with another person.
In readying people to pair off for this training in facilitating healing prayer with another person someone spontaneously volunteered to allow me to to conduct a live demonstration of facilitation in front of everyone. The volunteer and I were both pretty nervous. After preparing for a time of listening to God, my Spanish was so “rusty” that I had to read some of the prayers from our Spanish workbook.
Isaiah 64 begins with a prayer that says: Oh, that You would burst from the heavens and come down! In verse 3 Isaiah goes on to say, When You came down long ago, You did awesome things beyond our highest expectations. Jesus miraculously came down and took the person I was meeting with to a painful place is her childhood. As her eyes moistened with tears, so did mine. He somehow revealed that He was present in the midst of the hurtful event and whispered words of truth into her ear. It was obvious to all of us that we had witnessed a holy moment of deep inner healing of a broken place in the heart of one of His precious daughters.’ Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Both during and after the Encuentro, many of the people met God in “exceedingly abundantly” ways (Eph 3:20). Finally, Sunday morning a former missionary to Chile from Canada did an excellent job giving an overview on Relational Healing and how to deal with conflicts in marriage. The Encuentro ended with lunch.
The following week I moved to the foothills of Santiago and stayed at a Chilean couples’ home with their family of six. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday gave birth to significant ministry opportunities ranging from meeting with two Bible study groups, to one-on-one inner healing prayer times, to counseling a group that meets in someone’s home, to taking 4 couples through some material on forgiveness and keeping short accounts. I was also honored to share the tasty Chilean cuisine with several different couples in some very fine restaurants.
On Saturday I traveled by taxi, subway, and bus to visit Chile’s beautiful Pacific coast and spend the day with a couple that had attended the Encuentro. We had a great time together and ate an incredible outdoor seafood lunch (the main meal of the day) overlooking the Valparaiso harbor.
Sunday I was privileged to man the barbecue (not a gas one) and cook a huge rib of seasoned Chilean pork at the home where I was staying for nine people. Then, one more appointment and the sad work of bidding hasta la proxima (until we meet again) as I flew out of Santiago on Monday evening.
I put together a 7-minute slide show summary of the this wonderful Chilean experience complete with the music of Cuban artist Silvio Rodriguez.
As always, I’d love to hear from you. Your experiences, comments, questions, and thoughts are always welcomed.