Friday 10:30 pm: We have just finished the Friday evening service at the retreat facility, and are now making the hour drive back to Pereira. We drove here in darkness, up and down many mountains, so in the morning I know that I will see some stunning scenery. The last time I ministered here, we fought with the sound system very intensely, and this time they were prepared for me. They have new equipment that is making the sound system actually work for us. My translator, Danny, flowed smoothly with me tonight. We had to stop for a minute while I explained to him what “yeast” and “leaven” meant, but once he got it we were off again. The grace of the Lord rested clearly on the message, and the saints responded eagerly to the word.
Tomorrow I will stretch my faith and do two sessions, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon.
Already I am being pampered with Colombian food. For lunch I was treated to Bandeja Paisa, the consummate Colombian plate. Just fantastic! I love beans and rice all over the world, but for me, Colombia does beans and rice the best.
I just about killed myself to get books to this event. I won’t even start with the hurdles. But tons of effort means that now the books will be seeded through these saints to many places in Colombia. It’s the seeding of the books that is possibly the most gratifying part of what I do in the Lord’s service. They seem eager to get the books, which warms my heart.
Saturday 4:00 pm: This morning’s session on the secret place went well. Strong response to the word. At the close I think the entire group came forward when an opportunity was given for personal prayer regarding the message. Afterwards, I was taken with the pastor and other speaker on a car ride to a town around 25 minutes away named Salento. It’s one of Colombia’s tourist hotspots. We enjoyed a delightful lunch, and then walked around the central city area. The place is chock full of shops, virtually all of them targeting tourists. So for a few minutes it was like we were all on vacation in an exotic destination.
Now we’re back at the retreat center, and I’m waiting because the other speaker is doing a session before me. Then I think I am holding the concluding session of the conference. But yesterday I asked the conference attendees how many were planning to be with us on Sunday, and it seemed to me like everyone raised their hands. So it’s possible that Sunday is considered the conclusion of the conference. This part of the country gets a downpour of rain most every day, and right now we’re in the rainy part of the day. The rains don’t usually last real long, but tend to move through. These daily rains mean that the countryside is constantly green and lush, and the air is always being refreshed. The evening temperatures here get cool enough that some folks wear a jacket while others don’t. The temps are right in-between, and you can’t figure out sometimes whether to put a jacket on or take it off. Great retreat weather. No heat or AC in any buildings in these parts, windows and doors are always thrown wide open. It’s like this year round.
Saturday 7:00 pm: Our sharing on an eye covenant was graced of the Holy Spirit. The group seemed very attentive and responsive. At the close there was opportunity for laying on of hands prayer and anointing with oil, and it seemed to me that almost everyone in the room desired to receive that ministry. The presence of Jesus was precious in the room, and I’m believing for the fruit of the sharing to be eternal.
Sunday 1:00 pm: Greetings from the Pereira airport. My hosts managed to get me on a 1:30 pm departure today to Bogota, so I am starting my homeward pilgrimage, grateful that the Avianca pilot strikes have not totally disrupted my travel.
This morning’s session on Heb. 12 was excellent, with once again a great response from the people. I’ve had a marvelous time here with these tremendous saints. I’m pulling myself away from Pereira, but my heart will always be joined with these believers.