Saturday 5:00 pm: Just a quick report from Church of the Living God in Manchester, CT. Had a great day today at the Elim Regional leaders gathering. Most of the folks I met were my first time, but I did enjoy reconnecting with a few folks that I’ve known over the years, even though I didn’t recognize them at first. Sweet fellowship. And they received me very openly and warmly in the sharing of the word. A couple brothers from the Elim head office were also present, so I enjoyed great fellowship with Chris Ball and Joe & Joann Jansen. There’s always special warmth for me when I’m with my Elim family.
Tuesday morning: Today I’m flying to Manchester NH, and then by car to Nashua, NH. This is a return visit for me to Gate City Church (Paul Berube). He holds an annual leadership conference this time of year, and it’s been a few years since I’ve ministered at this event, so I’m looking forward to this return. Just tremendous people. And sometimes when I’m there I’m able to reconnect with my friends, Joe & Debi Lopes. RT Kendall is also ministering, I met him at this event several years ago, and look forward to reconnecting.
My speaking slots are Wednesday 11 a.m. and Thursday 10 a.m. Around 100-120 leaders typically gather for this event, some from other nations with whom Paul has connections.
Wednesday 5:00 pm: Powerful session this morning. Amazing grace. It was sweet both for me and for everyone else too. Close to 100 leaders are gathered, with around 14 nations represented, a quality group of leaders and saints.
Thursday 9:00 pm: Had another wonderful session this morning in Nashua, the exchange of much affection, and the sense of meaningful times in the Lord’s presence. Afterwards I got a rental car, and have driven myself here to Hartford/Manchester.
I’m here for the Elim Fellowship New England Regional Conference that is hosted here in Manchester, CT by pastor Dave Mullen. Around 50-70 Elim credential holders and leaders are expected to gather for the one-day event on Saturday. I’m scheduled to speak twice on Saturday. And then I’m staying over to minister in Dave’s church on Sunday morning here in Manchester, CT. Church of the Living God. Dave is a pillar in this region, having served here for decades, and this church is a lampstand church in the area. I’m looking forward to privilege of being with them for the first time.
Saturday: Greetings from Sulphur, LA. Turns out I had to fly here last night in order to be here for the Saturday service because flights to Lake Charles LA are few and far between. So I’m hanging in Sulphur today, preparing for two services — tonight and tomorrow morning. This is my first time to Victory Worship Center. I met the pastors this summer because they attended an event in Dallas where I ministered. Great people! I’m looking forward to being with them! My host, pastor Jodi, was recently handed the baton by his father. His father is still in the congregation, I believe, but has given the reins to his son. Sounds like wisdom.
Saturday 9:30 pm: Tonight’s gathering was mostly from the sponsoring church, but several other churches were also represented in the group. There was an excellent spirit in the midst, and an atmosphere in which it was very easy to minister. They came hungry, and I believe left with a deposit from heaven.
Sunday 4:15 pm: Greetings from Lake Charles airport, where I’m waiting for Security to open. Had a marvelous time this morning with this church family. This church is a lighthouse and lamp stand in this region, and it’s a privilege to sow into the great soil here. Strong anointing, strong release of grace through the word and the Spirit. My heart and family just got larger, smile.
Today I’m on a bit of a trip, flying to Singapore. I left our house at 5:15 a.m. today, and will arrive Singapore Thursday midnight as the Lord helps. My hostess is a sister who hosted me for a worship event a good number of years ago, she has had changes in her life, and is now worship pastor at Eternal Life Assembly of God in Singapore. She has pulled together a worship weekend, drawing on a network of several small churches with whom she has connections, so it sounds like 150-200 people may be gathering for this Friday/Saturday worship seminar. I will stay over to minister Sunday at her church as well, speak Sunday evening to a tiny group at another church, and then return home Monday. So my speaking schedule is Friday night, twice on Saturday, and twice on Sunday.
Friday midnight: Tonight’s service was graced of the Lord. He helped me in the delivery, and the response time around the altar at the end was very heartfelt, reaching out for all of God. A great start. I have an early start tomorrow, so am off to bed.
Saturday afternoon: The Lord’s presence was sweet and strong during this morning’s session. I enjoyed watching Him touch His people. Afterwards I was treated to lunch — chicken and rice, a very Singaporean dish — by some friends whose friendship I’ve enjoyed through the years. Followed by a nap that dealt a mighty blow to jet lag pangs. Now I’m waiting to be collected for this evening’s session.
Sunday 4:00 pm: Saturday night was the closing session of the conference. I spoke on the secret place. Meaningful, significant, challenging. A good closing. Then on Sunday morning I spoke on having confidence to draw near to God because of the sprinkled blood of Christ. It was a great capstone to an excellent weekend. My heart is glad and grateful to God.
I brought the new RESET book with me to Singapore, it was my first chance to make it available because the books arrived just this past week. And I was encouraged by the interest in the book. I thought I had brought too many, but turns out they scooped them all up and wanted even more. So I’m encouraged by what seems to be initial interest in the book.
Saturday: Today I’m flying to Detroit, then making the short 45-minute drive to Petersburg, MI, which is not so far from Toledo. I think this is my third time at this church. It’s their church anniversary weekend, so we’re having a special service Saturday evening, and then also Sunday morning. The pastors are fabulous young people, the saints are amazing, I’m really looking forward to our renewed fellowship. Thanks for praying for a strong flow in the Holy Spirit!
Saturday night: This evening’s session was sweet and graced of the Lord. A call back to the secret place. So good.
Sunday night: Greetings from home. Had a good trip home, a direct flight from Detroit. This morning’s message was graced strongly of the Lord. It was very meaningful for me personally, as I was mostly just preaching to myself, smile. Not many people came forward at the conclusion in response, but no matter, I did!
Wednesday evening: Had a fantastic session this afternoon with the FSM students. I would guess around 70 students were in the room, and we made it a question and answer time. We started by showing my Job film, then we opened it up for questions. They asked really good questions. There seemed to be a lot of energy and interest on their part when we got onto the topic of identity. I’ve pondered writing a book on that topic, and today’s exchange has me pondering that again. The voice is totally wasted now, but my heart is happy.
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.