Tuesday 9:30 a.m.: Greetings from my hotel room, where I will be hanging today until I am collected at 4:30 p.m. Because of the language barrier, there’s little sense in my attempting to take in other sessions earlier today, so I will go in time for my 5:30 pm session today. We had 2 sessions last night to launch this event. At 5:30 pm Ithiel spoke, a young evangelist from Spain (I met him when I was there 2 weeks ago) who is extremely popular as a conference speaker. He spoke on Abraham and Isaac, and how true worshipers will offer up the thing that is most precious to them, rather than making an idol of their Isaac. Then I spoke on an eye covenant. They had a change of facility for this event, and this new facility seems to be working OK, except that it is long and narrow. The people seated in the back are REALLY in the back. The place was crammed with about 3000 young people last night, and they were estimating that yet another 500 pre-registered people will be showing up today, and they’re trying to figure out where to put them. (they had to stop accepting registrations, a great problem to have, smile) The nature of the seating configuration meant that some people in the back didn’t even attempt to get to the front to respond to the messages brought. There’s strong energy in the Spirit at this event, everyone seems real ready for everything God wants to do. A precious time, with precious people!
Tuesday 11:30 p.m.: Had a marvelous session this afternoon. I spoke on the cross, and showed The Passion DVD on the screen behind me as I spoke. Then we ended with Communion. A powerful time. I posted a clip of the hall on my public figure FB page. I have an early morning, 6 a.m. hotel shuttle to the airport. Then Saturday off to West Haven, CT.
Saturday: Dear prayer team, I’m on my way to Ciudad Mexico (Mexico City), where I will be once again be with pastor Alejandro Escobedo and the saints at Conquistando Church. (on the southeast side of the metro area) The meetings will be held at an arena because their local church facility can’t accommodate this event. Sunday will be an annual gathering for all the Conquistando churches, and I will be doing just one of the services on Sunday. I think they will be having a total of 3 different services tomorrow. Then on Monday thru Wednesday they are having a youth conference at the same venue, an event called EXJ Youth Explosion. This event will draw youth from a wide radius in Mexico. I am scheduled to speak once daily at this event on Monday and Tuesday, and then plan to return home on Wednesday.
I have prepared three messages:
Sunday: God is writing a story with your life
Monday: Eye covenant
Tuesday: The Cross
Please agree with me in prayer for a strong anointing that moves God’s people forward in their inheritance
Saturday 6:00 p.m.: Greetings from Mexico City, where I am settled in my room. We dropped off my bags at my room, then my airport driver walked me 3-4 blocks down the street to a large market — because I wanted to get a couple papayas. I’ve never seen a market with so many flowers for sale. Turns out, it’s one of the largest flower markets in all of CDMX. Vendor after vendor, in this vast, unending market. The flowers were simply dazzling. We walked through the flowers section to get to the fresh fruit section. I got my papayas, and another fruit that I need to find the name for. To go to that market was to experience Mexico City in its most authentic sense. Just amazing.
I have learned of some changes for this event. They were not able to secure the arena they wanted for this event, so they are punting. The Sunday services will be in their regular sanctuary, as regularly scheduled, and I will speak in the second and third services. Then the Youth Explosion will take place in some kind of a make-shift facility — it sounds like they’re erecting some kind of tent somewhere. I don’t know what to expect. Outdoor venues are very difficult for the sound team to capture my voice, so it remains to be seen exactly what is happening. Thanks for your prayers.
In the meantime, I’ve just slaughtered an entire papaya, singlehandedly.
Sunday 8:00 p.m.: I’m back from a wow dinner at an Argentine restaurant. In the USA, Brazil is more famous for its beef than Argentina, but in the latino world, Argentina wins all the accolades. Primarily because their beef is grass fed and just the most tender beef you might imagine. Now, while we were served in the cuisine and style of Argentina, the beef itself was not imported. So it was excellent, but not as excellent as the beef in Argentina itself. At least, that was the word according to the Argentine brother who sat at the table with us.
First service this morning was covered by pastor Vincent Fernandez of France. I covered second and third services. The title was, “God is writing a story with your life.” I ended with my baseball story. There were around 15 first-time decisions for Christ between the two services. They’re pulling in the nets here in Mexico, it’s just wonderful. Every time you cast the net you catch something. The saints here receive me so warmly, the affection in the body of Christ is just so amazing.
I am speaking tomorrow (Monday) in the evening service. On an eye covenant. Some will have the heard message already, but I’m bringing it primarily for those who wouldn’t have heard it when I was here last month at the leadership conference.
Saturday afternoon: What a lovely day! I got some good exercise this morning hauling some firewood around, then this afternoon I had a fun stroll in the woods with a couple of my grandkids. We were looking for feathers, and found only one. (Probably a turkey feather.) Today I am preparing for ministry tomorrow in a Kansas City area church: City Church in Blue Springs. It will be around a 30-minute drive from our house, I’m guessing. This will be my first time at citychurchkc.com, so I’m looking forward to it. The church is quite young. Marci was going to join me, but something else came up for her, so I’ll be doing this one solo.
I have prepared a message called, “Show Me Your Glory.” It’s been years since I’ve spoken on the Glory of the Lord, and I felt drawn in my preparation this week to this topic.
Sunday 9:30 pm: Thank you for your prayer support today. The Lord helped in my weakness. I believe the Lord was inviting the congregation this morning to long for, cry for, ask for the glory of the Lord to be manifest in their midst. And I believe He will do it. The glory is coming!
Next: Saturday I zip down to Mexico City, back to you at that time.
Monday real late, 1:00 a.m.: We were collected at the Lisbon airport around 2:30, and our host took us to downtown Lisbon, drove around, we saw some stunning architecture, an amazing city. Then we stopped for some fabulous sandwiches, and then we went to this place downtown that makes “pastel de Belem” or “pastel de nata.” Cream cake. It’s basically a custard tart, with a very thin, crisply crust. The take-out line extended out onto the sidewalk outside. The place is crawling with people, coming for these custard tarts! Very delightful.
They’re still remembering here the devastating earthquake that hit Lisbon in 1755. First came the earthquake, and then everyone emerged from their houses. And then came a tsunami, that rolled over the people. And then, because of the shaking and the fact that they made light with candles in those days, the candles fell and caused fires to erupt in all the city houses. Totally devastating. But the city recovered, and is beautiful today. And greener than Madrid.
They told me that Portugal is led largely by Brazil now. The baby is now the parent. So a lot of stuff starts in Brazil, and then makes it way over here to Portugal.
We had an excellent meeting tonight. Slated for 8:30, it didn’t actually start until around 9:10. A few other churches joined us, and the little room got pretty much filled right up. I spoke on Loyalty, and the Lord helped. Then we had a good time of ministry around the altar.
Tuesday 9:00 a.m.: As is typical for this region, this house has neither air conditioning nor heating. So this time of year, the house is cold. I don’t think it’s quite 60 degrees in the house, but it’s close. I’m not accustomed to sleeping in cold, so I slept under a few layers last night. Wearing my long sleeve shirt and sweater. And that was the trick, I slept pretty good. Except for the mosquitos that kept buzzing in my ear. Finally, ear plugs took care of that problem.
Wednesday afternoon: Hello from over the Atlantic. I’m on my way home, smile. Yesterday my host took us to see by car a few of the most stunning sights of Sintra, and took us up a narrow mountain road to a restaurant that was fully Portuguese in style. The sort of place tourists rarely find. Very busily frequented by the locals. We arrived at 2:00 p.m., which is lunchtime in Madrid but is late for Lisbon. Lunch is usually around 1:00 in Lisbon. So by the time we got there, a few options on their menu were already sold out. Such as fish and chicken. When you enter, there was a display case showing just what remained in their stock, and you could choose from what you saw. We each went with the hamburgers. It came with fries, rice, and an egg sunny side up. No hamburger patty. Wine, of course, is served with every meal. It became a joke on this trip, to find out how I would be served the hot water I requested at each meal. They just don’t get requests for hot water in these parts, and they don’t know what kind of container is best suited to the request. At this particular meal, it came in the creamer part of a creamer and sugar set.
In the Tuesday evening service, I felt inclined to share from my own story of walking with the Lord these 23 years in infirmity. I shared a few Scriptures and told stories, including the baseball story. Then we had a time of ministry at the end. The saints here have shown great eagerness for personal laying on of hands ministry after each teaching/preaching session. They’re thirsty, and the Lord has been giving them waters to drink.
Tuesday was a holiday in Portugal, and as a result they planned our meeting for 5:00 p.m. Which meant that after the meeting was done, and our fellowship time completed, I was able to get to bed by 10:00 p.m., which suited me perfectly, because I had to rise at 3:20 a.m. in order to prepare for a 4:00 a.m. departure for the airport. The flight left at 6:00 a.m. for Paris. My host told me it was a 20-minute drive to the airport, so I decided a 4:00 a.m. departure was adequate. He was up bright and early, got my bags into his car at 4:00 a.m., and off we went. One of the first things he said to me, as we drove for the airport, was, “It’s a good hour to go to the airport.” I was instantly alarmed. An hour to get to the airport?? I had timed our departure based on a 20-minute distance. “You said yesterday that it would take 20 minutes.” “Yes, 20 minutes.” “Not an hour?” Then he helped me to understand his meaning: It’s a good hour OF THE DAY to go to the airport. At 4:00 a.m., you’re not fighting traffic, you have a clear 20-minute shot. So we both smiled as we got our communication clarified.
Next up: I’m speaking at a church in Blue Springs, MO, which is in the metro Kansas City area. It’ll be nice to have a home weekend after being gone for a full week.
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.
Saturday: This morning I am flying to Cleveland via Detroit, to be with my dear friends Alan & Mary Schrader, and their congregation in Richmond Heights, OH. It’s already been two years since I was with them, and it will be great to reconnect and to see the progress of the work at Christian Assembly. We will have a service tonight at 6 pm, and then tomorrow morning. Then I return home Sunday night. I will bring a different message in both services. I have two messages prepared, but of course am always open to the Lord’s spontaneous winds.
Please join me in Cleveland, in the Spirit. Let’s agree for strong impartation of ministry and vocal strength, please.
p.s. I invite you to pray into another matter as well. My pastor friend in northern Nigeria, who has printed 3 of my books in the Hausa language (Nigeria’s native tongue), and basically given them away to the poor saints in that part of the land, has expressed interest in printing more books for the beleaguered believers there (the war with the Islamic spirit is raging strongly in Nigeria). I used to fund printings in Nigeria, but recent changes have made that difficult for me now. And I don’t have a vehicle for raising funds in the USA for printing books in Nigeria. If the Lord would show a way, I would be eager to see more books printed in Hausa in Nigeria. Thanks for praying about this.
Saturday 4:00 p.m.: Greetings from Atlanta. It’s been a most adventuresome trip so far. I left early for the airport because I was wanting to work on a possible change of flights, due to the freezing rain in KC. But on my way to the airport, I ran into a parking lot on the freeway. It was a multi-car accident, and I arrived just minutes after it happened. Sat on the Interstate for almost an hour. Finally they cleared the lanes, and we were able to move. I managed to get to the airport just in time to change to the Atlanta flight, because my Detroit connection seemed too tight to make, with de-icing the plane. The adventure wasn’t over, though. Turns out the Atlanta flight had a mechanical. So we sat at the gate for 2 hours, while they repaired the mechanical. By the time we got away, I had missed my connection once again to Cleveland. So I am now on a flight that arrives into Cleveland at 6:15 p.m. this evening. And the service starts at 6:00! So two parties are greeting me at the airport. One party to wait for my bags to come out on the carousel, and the other party to take me directly to the meeting. I’ve done more texting today that I can remember in a loooong time. Walking with Jesus is always an adventure!
Sunday 4:00 p.m. Last night’s and this morning’s meetings were both just wonderful, truly graced of the Lord. The Lord helped me in speaking, gave me strength, and the saints were so very warm in their receptivity. Plus, I’ve been enjoying delightful fellowship with the Schrader family, as well as with Dave & Rhonda Belles and son Matthew. We were up till 12:30 a.m. visiting last night, ha!
Wednesday: Earlier today I taught a workshop at the Intro to IHOPKC internship, and had a very blessed time sharing in the word with the group. Just the best of people!