Friday, June 24, 2011

Declare it Boldly

I woke up this morning at the mission house in Guatemala City feeling the effects of a cold I picked up a couple of days ago. Our two hour devotional with Hermann started at 7:00 a.m., and I didn't feel like huddling with team members to pray with them. So, I sat in my chair and prayed with Cheri, then dozed off for a few minutes.

Today's clinic was only forty minutes away, which was a welcome relief after five or six hours on the road Monday and Wednesday. We arrived at the site, a school with an open pavilion, and set up the chairs and tables and we were in business. I was glad to have pharmacy duties because I just didn't feel like sitting and talking with people.

The church served us a lunch of chicken, rice and bread at the pavilion We swatted at flies and chased dogs away as we sat and ate. As lunch was winding down, the patients started to arrive for the afternoon clinic. One man brought his wife who was so sick she could't walk or lift her arms. He was carrying her in a wheelbarrow lined with a blanket. We watched as she was helped into a plastic chair and was then carried into the pavilion.

As we started the afternoon clinic, I saw that we didn't have many patients. That was fine with me because I was assigned to work a counseling station, and the Dayquil I had taken wasn't helping much. I was away from my assigned station when Pam called me over to join a group that was assembling to pray for healing for the woman that was so sick. Corrie prayed for her, then Pam asked Corrie and Carl to counsel her and her family.

I was relieved that I wasn't being called into duty, and started to pack my Bible away. But Carl waved me over. I pulled a chair over to the group and sat just far enough away so I wouldn't have to engage. I listened as Corrie talked with them about healing and I began to pray off to the side of the circle.  I heard someone say that the husband, Margarito, had not accepted Christ. I was moved to ask Corrie to switch places with me so I could talk with him. Pam had called Giovani, one of the most experienced translators over to work with us. With Giovani translating, I explained to Margarito that we all have sinned and need Jesus as our savior. He stated that he believed In Jesus but wasn't ready to accept his gift of salvation. 

I pressed on, but he still said he wanted to think about it. I prayed for God to remove the blinders from his eyes so he would see his need to accept Jesus. After I prayed, I asked him again if he would accept Jesus, and he said not yet.  During that time, Corrie was utilizing her Spanish to talk with their oldest daughter. As I turned my attention to them, Corrie told me the daughter was ready to accept Jesus. I led her through a prayer and she accepted Jesus. As we did this, Jordan had taken the two younger children and was presenting the gospel to them using an Evangicube. 

After Corrie and Giovani left the station I realized Carl and I were sitting alone with the family. I felt prompted to ask Margarito one more time if he was ready to accept Jesus as his savior. I asked Eddie, one of the interpreters, to ask him if he was ready. I was amazed to hear him respond, "si"! We sat down and led him through a prayer as he accepted Christ. I looked at his wife, who was already a believer, and the color was coming back into her face. She told us that she was starting to feel better, and that if we come back next year we'll see her walking! I told her God had used her to bring her husband and daughter to Christ. She was very pleased to be used by God.

After the clinic was over, I opened my Bible on my iPhone and saw a passage I had highlighted this morning. Ephesians 6:18-20 says, "praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.".

I wasn't looking for an opportunity to declare it boldly today. In fact, I was trying to avoid it. But God had spoken to me this morning and then put me, along with my teammates, just where he wanted us today. What an amazing God we serve!

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