Trip Recap - God is Incredible
Traveling to Latin America is a privilege. I love inspiring and loving people. I love seeing them healed and experience the hand of God on their lives. Thank you to all of our supporters who make this possible.
We started this trip by speaking at Vision Hosanna on Sunday morning. I talked about having a vision like Abraham for the near and distant future. We always find people are thirsty for a good Word from God and personal ministry. This trip started with precisely that. Being at this great church in San Jose, Costa Rica, was great.
We then went to a beautiful wedding of one of my partners, from
Costa Rica. Valaria has translated one of my books from front to back, and edited another. The wedding was top-shelf in every respect and was one of the most beautiful venues I have ever seen. We got to pray over the bride and groom separately before the service at their request. We sat with other Americans, Bob and Judy, whose house we would be staying at the following week, and a Messianic Jew who performed the ceremony and his wife. Also, Greg Smith and his wife who travel the world ministering. All of these were strategic connections for which we are very thankful.
The following day we had brunch with the newlyweds and their families at their favorite breakfast spot. I had organic and healthy food and even kombucha! After that, we had an early dinner with Pastor Martine, who would host us with a special service at his church that night. I spoke on faith, and we had a fantastic ministry time. God moved powerfully, and we had many words for people that were spot on.
Day four came with a free morning. That meant I got a great workout in the decently equipped gym at the hotel. That night we went to a mountain church. I can't remember what I spoke about, but I had words for people during the service. We also had a great ministry time with several people healed instantly and super specific words given to people. I prayed for one guy's headache, and it left. He came to me later to tell me that his shoulders had also been healed. I felt God wanted us to impart gifts to people, so we had a long ministry time praying over people and giving them what we had received from God. Lora and I always pray over people who want to have babies; that night was no different.
The next day we had a conference in the morning. I didn't speak that morning but enjoyed our fellowship with everybody. That night Lora and I spoke at a church to a group of married people. It was billed as a marriage conference, but it was more like a church service for couples. We prayed for marriages, and several people wanted to have babies. What was amazing to me is that most people at this particular service didn't seem to enjoy the teaching, but they responded when prayer was offered for specific or general things. They wanted what we (God, Lora, and I) were offering. It is a beautiful thing.
The next day I spoke the entire morning at a conference for pastors. I spoke on leaving a legacy for your children, church, and community. I encouraged and strengthened the pastors to live in a way that would take them to the next level and others around them. I broke up the three sessions with questions they answered in small groups. All that I said was well received. I had 30 workbooks that sold out in minutes, with more people wanting some. Pastor Javier, the conference host, also told everyone that I was starting a group for health! I had no idea what he was talking about. So I made something up, and now I text the group of about 30 people a challenge for the week to become more healthy.
After the conference, we went with Bob and Judy to Puntarenas to stay at their beach home. It was a modest home but right on the beach with a pool! It was
great to be in summer weather! The next day was completely free. We enjoyed some study time, prayer, and the beach and pool. That night we took our hosts out for a nice dinner.
On day eight, we hosted a group of pastors at Bob and Judys and did our best to communicate with them. I would be speaking the following day at their church. We asked them about their lives and the ministry and encouraged them in the faith. We also had some specific words for them that landed on some very fertile soil. We had a great time together!
The next day was Sunday, and I spoke at a church in Puerto Puerto. I spoke on faith again, and we had another powerful ministry time. Another person was healed of leg issues which made more than a few this trip. God seemed to be healing legs. We had more specific words and watched the Holy Spirit minister to people. It is fun and amazing to be a part of what God is doing. A man in his late 60s came up afterward to us and told us that he had not felt the Holy Spirit like that in decades and that our Word for him was exact. We even had a word for our interpreter's family, which was spot on. They own and operate a private school, and I offered life coaching to the husband of my interpreter, the school's principal. We will be having our second session today.
That night we went to the only church in beautiful Playa Hermosa. Again it was an excellent service and powerful ministry. When we minister at the front of a church, it usually takes 30 or more minutes, and this church was no exception. Some people needed an encouraging word, and they got one. During ministry time, Lora and I split up, and she took the best interpreter. It seems to me that another person's leg was healed. It all runs together a bit. One thing for sure was people were changed. After church, the pastor and his wife took us to dinner at our favorite spot in the city, Bowies. We now are "friends" with the owner, and the food is reliably good. When we were leaving, I asked the pastor's wife if she was okay. I sensed she was not. Although she first denied it, she did speak up and say that she was tired. She needs a vacation. So many pastors are on the verge of burning out, and I could see that she was one of them. I admonished the pastor to take her away, and we left. Our hotel was 100 yards down the road, so we walked.
The following two days were off. Although there was much preparation to be done for my next trip to Mexico, we walked on the beach, layed in the sun, and I studied. You can see my study spot on my Instagram! The last time we came to Costa Rica, we had eight days straight of non-stop ministry and 4 hours of driving per day. I wore my wife out. This time, we both got to relax in the beautiful country of Costa Rica.
Tuesday night, we took a shuttle to San Jose and stayed there for the night close to the airport. We met a friend who is a missionary to Costa Rica and enjoyed some good fellowship with her. Connections are essential when you have a ministry like ours, so we take the time to connect to whomever God crosses our paths.
Wednesday was a travel day for us. Lora went back home, and I went to Mexico City. I woke up really sick. I had a kidney infection, and it was hard to move because of the pain in my back. I felt pretty awful. I was in contact with Jess, my daughter, the naturopath, and she advised me with wisdom. I was also in prayer all day, commanding my body's healing.
That night I spoke at a church in one of the roughest parts of Mexico City. The people were so happy to have me, as was the pastor. Like almost all of the churches
I speak at, this service originated because I was going to be there. When I come into town, the pastors that host me call a service so I can minister to their church. I was speaking through God's strength and power because I was weak. At the conclusion of my message, I was so irritated with being sick and in pain, which hindered my movements, I called out back pain for healing. Five people stood up, and two were instantly healed. I am not sure I was supposed to do that, but I thought I would wreck the devil's plan. We prayed more, and I think another person got 100% healing, but it was tough to tell. I prayed over people, and my interpreter was playing worship, so I was alone. That reminded me of the Word that Roxanna gave me at church. She said I don't need to know Spanish. I communicate love with my being. What a word! That is what I did that night as I commanded healing and prayed for people. A woman came up to me afterward that was extremely thrilled. She told me she had been healed of double knee pain and moved so I could see. There is that leg thing again. It was fantastic.
The next day was filming day for the
YouTube channel that
Pastor Yves has. We filmed five segments about health. The chef at his church, yes, you read that correctly, made us a great lunch, and I was back at my hotel by 4 pm.
I had the following morning and afternoon off, which was very welcome. I was improving but not all the way better yet. The rest and nap I got were just what Dr. Jesus ordered, and I felt pretty decent that night. That night the men's conference began, and I did two sessions and taught straight from the Word to lay the foundation for Saturday and how we are to think about manhood and masculinity.
Saturday, I taught five one-hour sessions. It went really well and well received. That was a long day, but ministry fills me up as it drains me. I was about 70% that day and was able to move freely. The sickness allowed me to do hard things. Women and men both have to be able to do hard things. I taught five sessions and wasn't done until 8:00 pm. I was still under Jess's care and using wisdom, but this was a faith walk for me, and I was going to walk, run and win!
The next day was Sunday, and I taught all three services. At this point, my health was 80-90%, and I could move around very well. The services were incredible. I taught on the prodigal, but God's Spirit was so present that people laughed and cried throughout the teaching. It really was amazing. His love was palpable, and at the conclusion of each service, I invited people up for prayer and a hug. The Spirit was so strong, and people were weeping on my shoulder. Young people, older people, men, and women all needed to feel God's love. It happened at the 9 am service and the 11 am service, maybe even stronger. Then at the 6 pm service, God did it again. This group was pretty non-responsive until I got into the story. I was told that they were not very responsive. But God had them glued to the story, and some weeping during the teaching. Ministry time was the same. God was moving, and men and women were receiving His touch.
I have to say what a privilege it is to be a part of this. I just did my best and communicated what Papa wanted me to, and He kept showing up. I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. The love of God is fantastic, and I get to be a bringer of it. The honor of it all humbles me.
Monday was another video day where we did five episodes on living your mission. After that, we had to change some money because Pastor Yves took an offering, over my objection, at every service! I am not sure why I objected, but he would have nothing of it. I came home with a generous offering. Pastor Yves is such an honoring and great man of faith. His faith encourages me tremendously. Even that morning, the makeup artist had a brace on her hand for pain and tendinitis. (That's all I could understand) We prayed, and she was instantly 100% healed. God is so good and continues to supply for what I am doing in every way.
That night we had a health mini-seminar. I spoke for about an hour (that is a half hour with a translator) and then took questions for another 30 minutes before Pastor Yves shut it down so he could take me to the hotel. It was very well received as I tried to keep it simple and practical. The questions were challenging and complex! It was good, and I think people were encouraged to take care of their health and fitness.
Overall it was a great trip with God doing things through me that He hasn't done before. I also noticed an increase of blessing, favor, and anointing. This was the first trip since I was officially released from The Sound, where I have pastored for seven years, and there was something different about this trip. The people of Latin America are typically open, but there was more openness. There was more power. More love. More lives were touched. It is incredible to be a part of what God is doing. As I reflect on this trip, I am so thankful. Thankful for the people who pray for me. Grateful for the people who financially support me. Thankful for people who believe in me. I am supremely grateful to God for the new direction in my life. It is hard work at times, but so enjoyable and worth it. There is nothing like living your purpose.