Sunday 7:15 a.m.: Greetings from Ciudad Juarez municipal airport. This is not the kind of airport that Americans usually navigate. There’s very little here to support an English speaker. So I’m having cultural immersion today. My hosts who brought me to the airport said they will stay at the airport until my plane takes off, just to be sure there’s no problem or delay to complicate my day. Way sweet. They told me on the way here that the crime situation in Juarez is remarkably different from what it was a few years ago. Corruption was rampant, and at one point 20+ people a day were being murdered, many of them execution style — as an example to other businesses that you needed to pay the cartels in order to stay alive in your business. The government sent a man in who turned the thing around. First, he sent all his family to the USA. Then he set up shop and began to clean house, which meant sending a lot of police and military personnel to jail. In the end, in an attempt to kill him, they paralyzed him for life. But Juarez is much more orderly now. My translator told me that one time he came here with a friend, the police pulled them over for going 3 mph over the speed limit, and the cop said, “We can work this out.” The driver said, “Give me my ticket, I will pay it.” The cop kept saying, “We can work this out.” They had to convince the cop to give them a ticket, rather than paying him a bribe. But now things are much better. So here I am in the Juarez airport, where people are standing all over the place because there isn’t enough room in the gate seating area for everyone to have a seat. I rarely drive into Mexico, I usually fly in, so this morning we had a procedure I’m not accustomed to: We pulled over at the border, went inside the Customs office, and filled out paperwork for my entry. It was a wise move, because now I can travel freely without being questioned, I have the right paperwork on my person. Today is a travel adventure, smile.
Sunday 6:30 pm: Greetings from Chihuahua airport, where I am checked in and waiting for my plane to arrive. My impression from the monitors is that my flight is delayed nearly an hour. It’s a short one-hour flight to Juarez. Then a 40-minute drive to my El Paso hotel. And then an early Monday departure out of El Paso. No problem, I know how to sleep on airplanes, smile. Had two excellent services this morning. I brought a different message in each service, and both times it seemed that the Holy Spirit was helping the people to connect with the word. Fabulous saints! Then they treated me to a marvelous dinner. I’m coming home full in every way.
Friday 6:00 pm: Greetings from El Paso, where I am settled in my room nicely. I was expecting to go directly from the airport to the conference to speak, but my hosts decided the timing was too tight, so I will be speaking Saturday morning only. So I’ll have the evening in my room, and then will be collected 9:40 a.m. for tomorrow’s morning session.
Saturday 5:00 pm: The Lord helped the speaking of the word, and it seemed to me that valuable seeds were being sown into the body of Christ. This youth conference has been convened for 33 years, and this is the last year they’re holding this event. They don’t know what will be next, but they feel this is the last year for this particular event. It was a privilege to be a part of this concluding event.
Tomorrow (Sunday) I will be collected at 6 a.m., we will drive 45 minutes to the Juarez airport (on the Mexico side), and I will take the hour flight to Chihuahua, Mexico. I’m scheduled to speak in their 11 a.m. and 1:00 pm services. Then I will get a 7:00 pm flight back to Juarez, and then be driven back to my El Paso room. This church is a satellite of the home church here in El Paso. The pastor’s wife in Chihuahua is daughter of the senior pastor in El Paso. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s ministry.
Wednesday: Today I’m zipping down to Dallas in preparation for ministry with worldministry.com. This ministry holds an annual gathering for their pastors and leaders in Dallas, and this year I have the privilege of speaking two of their sessions — Wed night and Thurs morning.
In my preparation I have felt inclined toward the Lord’s chastening (Wed) and moving with the Spirit in corporate worship (Thurs). Thanks for prayer for clarity, power of impartation, strength of voice (I’m doing a lot of speaking this week and need His help).
Thursday 12:30 pm: Greetings from DFW airport, where I am shortly boarding my flight for home. The Lord graced me strongly for both last night and this morning. There was a good response in both services at the altar, and expressions of sincere appreciation. I feel so enriched by being with these excellent pastors and leaders from many states across the USA. I’m flying home with a grateful heart.
Tomorrow morning I turn around and head out for El Paso. The event is a youth conference at a Spanish-speaking ministry in El Paso, under the leadership of a brother names Chris Richards. This event draws heavily from both sides of the border. I’ll be ministering with a translator. I’m scheduled for Friday afternoon immediately upon my arrival (4:30 pm), and then if I have enough voice for it, Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. Having just done two days, I’m hoping I have enough strength for two more days in a row. And then I speak in a church in Chihuahua, Mexico, on Sunday, two services. Thanks for praying me through!
Saturday: This evening I’m preparing my heart for tomorrow’s ministry. Tomorrow morning Marci and I plan to drive 40 minutes north, to minister in the 10 a.m. service at Lift Church. They rent a hall that is not much more than a stone’s throw from the KC airport. This will be my second time with them, and we’re looking forward to returning. Our primary connection with this church is Chris & DeeAnn Abke, who have become lifelong friends, and who lead the worship ministry at Lift Church. We’re looking forward to the ministry and also to the time of reconnection with our friends.
Sunday 5:30 pm: Marci and I had a marvelous time this morning with our friends at Lift Church. The Lord enabled me to speak on Luke 11:5-8, “illegal prayers.” It was meaningful for me to be renewed in that message, and I believe there was strong edification for many. Afterwards we enjoyed a great time of fellowship during an all-church dish to pass lunch. This is a delightful church family with genuine joy in their midst, and Marci and I are looking forward to a growing relationship.
Saturday: Today I have a direct flight to LaGuardia, and will be ministering in Astoria, Queens this weekend. This is my second visit to Ekklesia NY, a Spanish-speaking congregation in Queens. I’m not sure if all their services are bilingual, but they are this weekend at least. Meaning, I’ll be ministering with a translator. Ekklesia is like so many NYC churches, a congregation that jams into a tiny hall they’ve found. They are passionate, eager, delightful saints and I’m really looking forward to my return visit. I’m scheduled to speak Saturday evening and Sunday morning.Then I catch a Sunday 4 pm flight home.
Sunday 3:20 pm: I’m about to head to my gate here at LaGuardia. It’s been a quick and delightful weekend at Ekklesia NYC. The Lord’s grace was with me for both Saturday night and Sunday morning, and the saints responded in great sincerity of heart to the word. I’m so grateful to the Lord that I get to do this, to share from His word over and over.
Tuesday from Minneapolis airport: Great time last night. I wasn’t feeling much movement in the Spirit during the worship time, so I went into it leaning hard on the Lord. And He was enough. The Lord chose to anoint the message, and the room went places in the Holy Spirit. A great night.
Saturday morning: Today as the Lord helps me I’m flying to Fort Smith, Arkansas, and then driving by car for two hours to Hatfield, AR. This will be my first time at Penuel Church in Hatfield. I met the pastors last year at another church, and they asked me to be with them in Hatfield. Originally we were planning Saturday and Sunday ministry, but after we had set the weekend up, the host pastor learned that the city is having a city-wide fireworks night this Saturday. So we are having Sunday morning ministry only, and tonight I’ll be joining everyone for the fireworks show. Sounds fun!
Please agree with me in the Spirit for a mighty impartation through the preached word this Sunday.
p.s. In other news, we just received 3 sample copies of the French translation of Envy. Please bless this book in your prayers, may it be a blessing in France and throughout all of Africa.
Sunday 8:00 pm: Greetings from Atlanta airport where I’m waiting for my flight to Moline, IL. I had a great time this morning with the Penuel family in Hatfield, AR! This jewel is tucked in a town of 400 people in the hills of Arkansas. Beautiful spirit of worship in the house, and much expectation for the word of God. They were riveted for an entire hour. Meaningful response afterwards. My heart is enlarged, this little family of faith is now in my heart forever. Thanks be to God!
Now I’m flying to Moline, IL, to prepare for a Monday evening service at Calvary Church of the Quad Cities. The site for the event is deeperconf.com, it’s an annual event that Calvary hosts. David and Nicole Binion are also at this event, so I’m stoked to minister with them and to make new friends at Calvary — my first time at this church. The service will be Monday at 6:30 pm, and since this event is a worship event, I’m planning on speaking on following the river of the Spirit in worship.