Eight days in Mexico proved to be a highlight in my recent six-week visit to the Americas.
We had an excellent time in the States (reported on August 7th blog) but particularly enjoyed Guadalajara. Oscar and Bibi Suarez were outstanding hosts and the 200 leaders from the 20 Newfrontiers churches were full of zeal and warmth at the leadership conference.
The worship times were great. My experience is that Mexican Christians enjoy obeying God’s command to give Him praise and rejoice before Him!
In addition to the leaders’ conference, it was great to preach at Oscar’s church and to a citywide Celebration hosted by the extended El Camino church.
Rio de Janeiro
It was a real pleasure to sit and talk with John and Flor Evans and hear how they are responding to God’s promptings in connection with Brazil. Having inherited El Camino (our initial Newfrontiers church in Mexico) and built it up, John and Flor handed the leadership over to a great team led by Arturo, and planted a growing church in another part of the massive city of Guadalajara.
Now they are learning Portuguese in preparation for Rio de Janeiro, where they may well be starting a church. Things are not finalised, but an initial six-week visit to a small nucleus there will be followed by a longer three-month visit next year and then they are looking to God for His confirmation of the next step. What a great pioneering couple they are!
Jesus heals today
For me one of the greatest joys was the powerful presence of Jesus we experienced in healing sessions following most of the meetings. Having seen dozens who had back and shoulder pain healed – I usually start with what has been called ‘Terry’s leg trick’ (let the reader understand – Mark 13:14), the sense of the Spirit’s presence seemed to grow, and a woman with a damaged, bent spine told me her problem. Having seen a woman in Leeds wonderfully healed from a similar situation, I was quite surprised to hear myself say, ‘It won’t be like that for long!’ A surge of faith bubbled up. I commanded the spine to straighten, and she began to shake, fell to the ground and got up completely healed!
Next day, a girl (Monica) who had been in a serious accident at a fairground last October, when a metal girder fell on her head and shoulders, asked for prayer. Her spine had been terribly damaged and her head had ached ‘24/7’, as she put it, ever since. The hospital had told her that nothing could be done for it. As I laid hands on her I saw tears falling down her cheeks and she testified, ‘It’s gone!’ The pain had stopped and her back was fine. Glory to Jesus!
On the final night at the Celebration there was no time (or space) to pray for individuals, but a prayer over everybody led to several hands being raised and, through a microphone that was passed around, we heard testimonies of healings that had happened!
Our whole trip to Mexico and the States, where we so enjoyed bringing Ted Hoit’s church (Prairie Avenue Christian Center) into the Newfrontiers family, was a huge blessing and joy but these were some of our most exciting moments.