Thursday: Greetings in Jesus on this lovely Thursday morning. I will be leaving the house around 10:30 a.m. today to make my way to Madrid, due to arrive there Friday morning around 8:30 a.m. On this 7-day trip I will be visiting Madrid and Lisbon, this will be my first time to both Spain and Portugal. The week was pulled together by a friend of mine in Penn Yan, NY named Penn Clark. Penn has traveled frequently to that part of the world, and this time asked if I would want to join him on a ministry trip. Our connections in both nations are with his friends.
Friday to Sunday we’ll be ministering at a conference held at a retreat center outside Madrid. The event is being pulled together by an American missionary in Spain who is based in northern Spain, but is bringing this conference to Madrid in order to place it within reach of more people. I believe it’s his first time to attempt a conference of this nature, he’s taking a step of faith. Especially so, considering the troubled conditions of Spain's economy. They are expecting roughly 200 people, which from my portal appears to be a strong response. Ministering with me are Penn Clark and John Arnott.
My first session is Friday night at 7 pm, and I’m preparing to speak on the taking of the stronghold of Zion. My next sessions are Saturday 4:30 pm, and Sunday 9:30 a.m. Then on Monday we fly to Lisbon.
Please join me in prayer for this believer’s conference near Madrid. I was told that the church in Spain is longing for a fresh move of the Holy Spirit. Let’s call on the Lord, that He might visit us!
Friday 10:30 a.m.: I am at my destination. It’s a sizable Roman Catholic retreat facility, located in a stunningly quaint community. Surrounded by hills. Quite lovely. Madrid is more desert-like than I was expecting. Obviously not much rainfall in a year. Trees cover much of the hills, but in the lower altitudes they are not so many. There’s no heat on yet on this wing, because people haven’t really started arriving yet. My host brought a portable heater into my room, it’s taking the chill off, I’m hoping to get a nap before lunch at 2:00.
Friday night late, 1:15 a.m.: My first session was tonight, in the second session of the evening. They had a session at 7 pm, then supper at 9 pm, then the second session at 10 pm. I ended up doing the 10 pm. Finished the message at 11:40. And then they all crammed the altar and stayed as long as they wanted. This is definitely different from America, smile. The word was strong tonight, the Lord’s grace very evident.
Tomorrow (which is actually today, Saturday): 8:30 breakfast, 9:30 John Arnott, and so the day goes. My next session is Saturday at 4:30 pm.
Saturday 8:10 a.m.: I just awoke, and the sun has not yet crested the horizon, which makes me think Madrid must be rather far west in its time zone. Because at 8 a.m. the morning light is just beginning. The town I’m in is called Guadarrama, you should look it up, very quaint and delightful. Time to grab a shower and head to breakfast.
Sunday: Well, it’s now 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning. I’ve been awake for a while, and finally pulled out of bed, gave up on the night. The second night in a new time zone is usually the hardest for me. Anyways, yesterday’s service was just super. They gave me as translator a sister who did a fabulous job (I’m sorry that she’s not available again today). I spoke on following the river of the Holy Spirit in worship, and at the close invited all those involved in worship ministry who wanted a stronger anointing to flow in the Spirit, to come forward. The altar was packed. Great time of ministry and impartation. Mine was the 4:30-6:00 pm slot. John Arnott was next, at 6:30 p.m. John’s way of ministry is often to tell stories of how God poured out His Spirit in Toronto, help people with Scripture to be more receptive to the Holy Spirit, and then to minister to people. These people are ready to go there! They’re certainly not afraid to show their emotions and express themselves as the Spirit moves upon them. So there was much laughter, various vocal expressions, falling, shaking, etc. I felt like I was at the Toronto Blessing all over again! Simply wonderful to see such openness to the movements of the Holy Spirit. No, more than openness, it’s eagerness. The spiritual hunger among the saints here is absolutely refreshing.
I was surprised last night when they told me, at the dinner table, that Spaniards make up maybe 30% of the group. That stunned me. They said most of the people at this event are from other nations, particularly Spanish-speaking nations. South America and Central America are strongly represented. They said, “Take our table for example.” Only one person at our table of nine was a Spaniard. One was Chilean, a couple was from Argentina, and four of us at the table were from the USA. The movements of the Spirit in Spain are largely among latinos who have come here from other countries. As for native Spaniards, the harvest remains largely untouched as yet. So the cry for Spain is strong. There’s a couple here from Ireland. And some folks from England. Truly an international gathering.
About today’s (Sunday’s) schedule:
9:30 first session, I minister after worship
12:00 second session with John Arnott
2:00 lunch, then dismissal
Sunday 12:00 noon: Just finished my last session here in Guadarrama, Spain. I spoke on the story of Jacob. The room was somewhat mixed — those who loved the message, and those who had reservations. The tension over faith for healing seems to me to be rather strong in this part of the world. Is it God’s will to heal everybody, now? Or is it His will to take us on a journey? One young man, in his vigorous zeal, stood up in the middle of the message and called out my healing. A leader brought order to it quickly. Later, the young man came and wanted to pray for me personally. My answer is always yes. Those with reservations were in the small minority, I think. My heart is thankful, and now we’ll start preparations for the trip to Portugal.
We leave Madrid 2:25 pm Monday afternoon. Penn and I will travel together on this flight. In Lisbon, we’ll be gathering with some saints with whom Penn has had a connection over the years. My impression is that our group in Lisbon will be smaller, but other churches have been invited, so we’ll see what happens. I am scheduled to minister Monday and Tuesday evenings. Then on Wednesday, I head for home.