Monday, July 26, 2010

Ministry Update - July 26, 2010

SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST

This past month has been the most rewarding and exciting time of our entire stay in Mexico. The Cave of Adullam School continued to experience the Presence of God in the classes and during their outreach. The city of Jerez was impacted by the consistent zeal and love demonstrated by the students.

On the final week of the school, the ministry hosted a conference for the alumni of the previous schools. People from many parts of Mexico attended. Their hunger for God was richly rewarded. This conference was different from typical ones in the U.S. and Mexico. There were no well-known speakers. There were no music groups. There was only a large cross in the center of the stage with a crimson robe draped across it. A spotlight helped to accentuate its presence while some prerecorded background music helped create a suitable atmosphere.

Every meeting was focused on Christ and honoring Him. There were signs and wonders throughout the three days of meetings - healings, deliverances, and prophetic words. We were caught up in God's heart and no one wanted it to end. I cannot describe in words the joy that comes when you witness God in His glorious splendor ministering to His precious Bride.

On the final day, the students officially graduated. It was an opportunity for their lives to shine on a larger scale. Everyone was moved by their testimonies and Christ like attitudes. The love of God seemed to radiate from their faces. Their lives give me great hope for Mexico and the world. May God raise up an army of them!

GOING OUT WITH A BANG

As we prepared for our return to the U.S., we realized that we were going to need some help. Our van and trailer was not large enough to transport two families. We contacted a member of one of the churches who offered his fruit truck to drive eight hours to the border. The only problem was the truck could not cross the border into the U.S. We then rented a U Haul truck on the U.S. side but it also could not cross the border into Mexico.

Our only solution was to drive our van and trailer across the border and unload its contents into the U Haul truck. Then our empty van and trailer could return to Mexico to pick up the remaining items in the fruit truck. It was a hot and exhausting endeavor but that was soon to be overshadowed by a dangerous development.

While unloading our trailer into the U Haul truck on the U.S. side, our Mexican friends were approached by a policeman from the border town of Nuevo Laredo. He asked them what was going on with their fruit truck. Our friends explained the whole situation and the policeman said that was fine. However, when we later arrived back in Mexico with our van and trailer, the policeman also returned with additional officers. They were now saying that we were not allowed to load in a public place without a permit and the cost of the permit was $1,500.00!

They threatened to arrest us if we did not pay them immediately. Finally, one of our Mexican friends told them that he and my son-in-law, Adam would be willing to go with them and take our chances before a judge. At this point, they got very upset and the rest of the police officers started waving their guns, screaming profanities, and saying "You think we are stupid or are you stupid?? This is not about going to the judge or paying a fine or permit, it is about giving us a cut. That is the way things are done around here. We work for the "Z" (that is one of the biggest mafia cartels here in Mexico right now). We can just cut your heads off right now and no one would care." They then confiscated our cell phones and checked all of our pockets. They shouted many threats including, "Don't you know we can strip you guys naked take everything from you and kill you??" At one point, they stuck their gun barrels into a couple of our friends. The tense standoff went on for close to an hour.

Finally, they were willing to listen as we shared that we were Christian missionaries who had been serving in Mexico to benefit their nation. As the police officers began to consider who we were, their demeanor started to change and they went aside to talk. They were saying things like, "You idiot, why did you take the money away from that guy?? We have made a huge mistake." One female officer made eye contact with me and I sensed a spiritual connection. Later she pointed at me and said, "He is a good man." I began to feel more at peace after that.

After they discussed a little bit more, they gave everyone back their cell phones and all our money. They even escorted us back to the border. We do not know what they experienced spiritually. We just know they had a complete change of heart and God had intervened on our behalf. Thank you so much Jesus!

A NEW SEASON

Since arriving back in Minnesota, I have sensed B.U.D. is entering into a new season of ministry. God has done much in our hearts during our team's stay in Mexico. We believe the spiritual insights our team received this past year were not just for Mexico. We want to be a part of spiritual transformation in homes, churches, and communities in the U.S. If we can help serve you or your church, please let us know.