Friday: I have an early start today, leaving the house at 4:20 a.m., in order to fly to Guadalajara via Houston. This will be my second time to be with Iglesia El Vergel. My relationship with this church has become a little bit special to me because they have translated and published two of my books into Spanish: UNRELENTING PRAYER, and now just recently, THE CHASTENING OF THE LORD. (at least I was told it would be printed in time for this weekend) Also, the pastor’s son ministered with me in Poza Rica, Mexico, last December. So even though it’s only my second visit, I feel like I’m traveling today to friends and family.
This is their annual summer conference. The pastor serves in an apostolic capacity for a network of churches, so I’m expecting guests will be present from a variety of places in the Latino world. I am scheduled to speak Friday night, Saturday morning, and Sunday morning.
Friday 10:30 pm: Tonight’s opening session was quite difficult. My translator’s English vocabulary is limited, but the hardest part was that she couldn’t hear me adequately in her ear buds. So she frequently asked me to repeat the most basic sentences. The message never gained any sense of momentum because it was constantly being interrupted with repeated phrases. And that meant that I labored extra hard to be strong vocally, which in turn wore me out. Add a couple other challenging factors, and it was a tough night. At the close, the altar filled with folks wanting to respond to the message, so it seemed that the Lord was gracious to work in spite of the human limitations. At the very end of the message, as I’m in the closing prayer, I heard a roar in my ears and my hunch was correct — it was rain on the roof. Whenever it rains on their tin roof it makes a big noise. The Lord held off the rain until my closing prayer. Thank You, Jesus! They had my mic turned up extra hot, so the pounding of the rain on the roof was an overwhelming roar in my ear buds. I was forced to close down the prayer at that point. I guess that was heaven going, “You’re done.” The response time seemed to be very authentic and eager.
Saturday 2:30 pm: Today’s session was much easier. We figured some things out. The receiver pack of my translator was at a wrong setting, and they fixed that, so she was able to hear me much better today. And I switched to a different mic that worked better. Plus, we had no rain this afternoon, smile. So it was much better, immensely easier for my translator. A sense of strong impartation in the message. These are great people to minister to!
And thanks for praying for my voice, it’s hanging in there, just the usual levels of discomfort, nothing beyond that.
The church sanctuary is not air conditioned, they have fans only. The days are hot, but the saving element is that nights are cool. Which means morning walks are delightfully cool. Cool mornings help to lower the temp in the sanctuary. But by the time the room fills, the temperature quickly gets warm. These saints persevere in the room in the midst of the heat. They open up the doors and windows, and then blast the sound system. The singing can be heard for blocks around. In this part of the world, most people have neither heat nor AC in their homes.
Sunday 6:00 pm: Greetings from Houston airport, where I have a layover until my 9 pm departure for KC. This morning’s service was graced with a strong anointing, and the meeting was still going strong when I had to pull myself away and rush off to the airport. By faith I preached into the soil of Mexico.
I am coming home with a supply of the Spanish translation of my CHASTENING book, which they printed in time for our conference. They did an excellent job with the cover and layout (I can’t speak for the quality of translation, smile). I spoke on that topic on Saturday, and afterwards they sold a decent number of those books. The saints really connected with that message. Please offer up a prayer of blessing now on the Spanish translation of THE CHASTENING OF THE LORD, that it might touch the Spanish-reading world in a meaningful way.