Categories
First American Nation

When The Bellboys Came for Prayer

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Today as we start our roadtrip to visit the Rose bud Sioux Indian nation in South Dakota I want to share with you an experience from last year so that you can understand how God is opening doors and directing our steps supernaturally.

On our roadtrip last year God put in our hearts to pray for revival among the native Americans. We had no clue how to reach them but we asked God to use us and made ourselves available.

God did not only open our hearts, he opened our eyes .Suddenly we saw them everywhere: At the roadside, gas stations, the laundromats, the casinos ..  At one point we picked up a Navajo woman in the middle of nowhere. She had left her drunk husband in the village because she did not want to live with him anymore. She wanted to go back to town and get her own apartment with water and electricity so that she wouldn’t have to cook food on the fireplace no more!

One night in New Mexico we stop by a casino. As we went in to find something to eat we realized that the Indian people not only worked here. Many of them lived here. They sat at the slot machines drinking and smoking waiting for luck to come. There was absolutely no luck. Only emptiness and misery to be found.

We tried to reach out but nobody wanted to talk. We asked God to lead us to somebody, believing for one that God had prepared for us to meet!

On our way back we checked into our hotel .My husband took the luggage and meet the bellboy. This young man was half Arapaho and half Cheyenne. My husband started talking about the Holy Spirit and when I finally got to our hotel room on the 7th floor the bellboy was standing outside the door, hanging over the cart, speaking in tongues so loud that people stopped and watched in the hallway.

After 20 minutes the bellboy went back to work and we could finally go to bed. Just before midnight my husband received a text message. It was the bellboy asking if he could play golf with us tomorrow! What the heck …???

We realized this was not about golf, but rather an attempt to meet again. The bellboy wanted to introduce us to his bellboy friend so we could pray for him. The story was like this. When our bellboy came down from the 7th floor his friend could see the change in his face and now his friend wanted the same thing!

This was the moment we had been praying for. We got back in our clothes and invited them to our room. Next thing we had two bellboys kneeling at the bedside praying to receive the Holy Spirit. What a sight. My husband had to take a picture, if not, nobody would have believed it.

That night we were able to sow a seed into the revival amongst the native Americans. It started with our prayers and before we knew of it, we were having a prayer meeting with two bellboys in our hotel room. This was how it began, and here is how it continues this year as we are on the road again to preach the gospel in the Indian reservation.

Pray for us as we go, that God will have his way and people will receive salvation, healing and deliverance. We are driving for the next three weeks, so follow the blog and stay tuned!

Categories
Mission

Scales Fell From Her Eyes

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Puyo Mission Trip

I have found it hard to describe details from the latest mission trip to Ecuador. So many wonderful things happened but this video from the adventures in the jungle and the miracle crusade in Puyo says it all. You can sense the anointing in the songs, the hunger, the expectation, the miracles. And you can hear the testimony of the blind girl that got healed in the first night of the miracle crusade in Puyo, Ecuador.

Categories
Mission

My Sons Tribal Adventure

 

 

On my recent mission trip to Ecuador my son, Hector preached for the first time in a church in Puya. At the meeting was a lady who travels among the tribal people and she liked his message so much that she invited him to come and preach for one of the Huaorani communities in the jungle. He was the only white man, 23 years old, and she wanted him to share his testimony with the young people in the tribe. He had to be there at sunset which meant that she would come and pick him up from our hotel at 3 am in the morning!

Going to bed after the meeting he was so tired that he wished she would not be there, but he was still excited to go when she came and knocked on the door. They went an hour by car until they came to a small village. People in the community were sitting around the fire waiting for him, and he was received as a king. First, they painted his face and gave him a crown on his head. Then they gave him a necklace and an armband and a drum around his neck. Together with the other guests this morning, he started strumming the drum and walking around the fire. He had no clue what was going on since he did not speak their language, everything he said was translated, first from English to Spanish and then to their tribal language. At one point they wiped his arms with a plant to welcome him. Later he had an allergic reaction on his skin and found it that it was a poisonous plant! As the ceremony went on, he got served chicha, a fermented drink made of spit and yucca. He was served by each family and like this, he officially became a part of the Huaorani family.

As they were sitting around the fire, they all had their bible study with prayer and worship. For breakfast, they were served fish and banana wrapped in banana leaves. After breakfast, they took him to the river. They use bongos as transportation which are boats carved out of wooden trunks. Quite impressing how these bongos are able to float and transport people through the enormous Amazon delta!

Visiting the Huaorani people was a “one in a lifetime” experience. Hector was the only gringo invited to take part in this adventure, the rest of the team had to stay behind. When he came back before noon and I saw the painting on his face, the pictures of the tribal people, and the videos, we had a good laugh together, this was so unexpected, one of those things that God puts together for his people to enjoy.

When we came to the crusade in the evening, God and the Huaorani people had another surprise for us. Now it was my turn to receive the honour, and for this, I still give God the glory. My son and I received a crown and a necklace as a sign of respect, one more time, and now I rightly can call myself Warrior of the Huaorani …

If you click on this link you can see how Hector and I were crowned by our hosts at the last night of the crusade!

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Powerhouse Church

Jesus is The New High

Last year I blogged about “The Good, The Bad and The Evil”. It was a story of how somebody stole the circular saw that belonged to our church on Orange Blossom Trail. I was chasing the guy on my motorcycle and ended up in a dead end with a bunch of people that was more dead than alive. Heroin addicts and dealers, prostitutes etc. I felt cornered, so my only escape was to invite the most tattooed guy for a ride. It was a wild story. That day the two of us made friends, and as I am writing this blog the man with the tattoos is sitting in my living room reading his bible.

As I look at him, I am watching a true miracle. This man has been addicted to heroin for 38 years but now Jesus has made him clean. Not only from heroin but also from sin. Jesus has become his new “high”. When my wife was in Denmark in May, he asked if he could use my parking lot to get cleaned up. I took him to my house, gave him a mattress on the floor and covered him with a blanket. He stayed there for 5 days, shaking, as the heroin was leaving his body. Every evening I would come and lay my hands on him and pray, and every day we would fill our house with worship. In this atmosphere, the man was healed.

When he finally stood up, he was a new man. One big smile, happy and forever grateful. The first thing he wanted to do was to work. We had some engines in boxes in our garage, and these engines are now being attached to used bicycles. We have been buying bicycles from pawn shops and thrift stores and these bikes are being transformed into “power bikes” with an 80 cc engine. This week we loaded the pickup truck and took the power bikes down to our church so this man can have his own little business in the back of the building, selling motorized bicycles to people on OBT. He has made a sign for his business and will be sitting at the curbside talking to people and hopefully selling some of his bikes.

I can’t tell you how much I love my new brother. The more we spend time together, the more I see the grace of God over his life. We have had some deep conversations about life over the past weeks. The other day we talked about his past, but most of the time we talk about his future. We are looking for a place where he can live his new life with Jesus. He cannot return to the streets. That would be like the dog that turns to its vomit and the pig that  returns to the mud.” (2 Peter 2.22). He is a new creation in Christ, he is a part of our church family and not to be compared to a dog or a pig!

How God has set him free from heroin addiction has become a powerful testimony for the people he used to be around. Slowly but surely we see how the gospel is changing the mindset of the people in the street. When I go with him to serve breakfast and lunch for the homeless people at the church, I can tell how other heroin addicts now are coming to see what freedom looks like. and I believe some of them will follow his example and change. The rumor is spreading. It cannot be stopped.

Hope is coming back to our part of town.

Categories
Family

Celebrating Our Three Prodigal Sons

28082082_10214711779566339_504718714_oThis week on Valentine’s day we had a very special celebration at our church in Orlando. There were roses in vases, chocolate covered strawberries and some kind of non-alcoholic champagne at the table, but the party was not for Valentine, it was for our family and the homecoming of our three prodigal sons who finally have decided to surrender their lives to the Lord.

It has been a long and winding road, a detour down the darkest alleys where no parents want to see their children go. We have spent nights awake in prayer, reminding God of his promises, that “Me and my house will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24.15), and that “all my children will be taught by the Lord (Isaiah 54.13). There have been days where the battle has been so intense, where I had no tears left and my heart was broken into pieces, and there have been lonely nights where I have cried out in the laundry room and in my closet where I thought nobody could hear me except for God.

Our oldest son in Las Vegas was the first to surrender. He is 25 and used to be an atheist, on drugs and alcohol, doing magic in the street. At one point he got involved with a witch and that brought him to his knees. He was delivered from witchcraft and substance abuse, was baptized and blessed with new business opportunities. He got away from the street, started his own social media company and is now traveling the world doing social media and food trading. The past year he has visited 17 countries and seen things that most of us will never experience in a lifetime. The change in his life started the chain reaction, that eventually changed the life of his brothers. They finally came to the conclusion that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one comes to the Father except through him!

Seeing this as parents it the greatest you can ever experience. I had to take an extra look in January when our youngest son who has been an agnostic attended our communion service. The same day he told us that he had decided to follow Jesus, and the following week he started interceeding for the other brother who had been suffering from depression over the past two years. This young man had been running away from home, taking drugs to calm the pain in his heart. God answered the prayers within a week and now we received a text message that the depression was gone!

We were like dreaming when it finally happened. We were hoping against hope, but now our hopes were fulfilled, so we called our boys together for three days and send out the invitation to the party at the church. We wanted to share our joy, we wanted to give Jesus glory, and we wanted to make a declaration in front of spiritual powers and principalities, that we as a family have decided to follow Jesus together. Sitting with the three sons, talking, sharing and praying together, was epic. We knew we were writing history and we went out  to do ministry, just to proclaim the good news, that our sons had been dead but now they are alive!

Never give up. Keep praying and keep believing, even when there is no hope in the natural, there is still hope in the spiritual. Do like Abraham, our Father of faith. Hold on to the promises, hold on to his faithfulness. He who is faithful will never fail. Remind Hime of his Word and know that his Word will not return void. Like the Father was out there waiting for his prodigal son to come home, he is still there waiting. I believe there is a lot of prodigal sons coming home this year. If He can do it for our family, He can do it for yours. Our children are like arrows in the quiver, ready to be sent against their destiny. As God is sending them towards the target, I know they can never fail.

Genesis 50.20. “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

 

 

Categories
Powerhouse Church

The Good, The Bad And The Evil

The other day I went with my wife Karen on the back of the motorcycle down to our church downtown Orlando and when we hit “OBT”, Orange Blossom Trail, I asked her “Why in the whole world she had chosen to follow me all the way to the US spending her best years serving the homeless people, some of them drunk and drugged, lazy, lying and stealing our stuff.

Since we have been married 29 years I already knew the answer. “Because God called us to do it”, she said as we pulled up in the parking lot to feed the poor which we have done consistently since we first came to Orlando in 2011.

I realize that many people my age have their 401Ks and are ready to retire. We have no pension, it was already spent in the visa process. We have no savings and we don’t own a house. But we have something much more powerful. We have a strong vision and we have a purpose which makes us feel rich every day.

A lot of men and women from the street had found their way to our Community Cafe. Most of them I recognized and some of them were new. One of them was a crack head, he was roaming around as if he was looking for something, and as I went into the main building to do some work together with the administrator, he followed me in, picked up a circular saw that belonged to the church and ran out!

Instinctively I and the administrator followed him through the traffic across the street. He was fast and I was not, so I turned around to get the motorcycle and came right after with a pistol in my pocket. The hunt ended less than 300 yards from our church, right in front of a house with a bunch of guys sitting outside. They did not look friendly. The oldest one with the most tattoos came and asked what I wanted so I explained to him that I was a pastor from the church on the other side of the street.

The man with the tattoos looked at me and made it perfectly clear that he was not familiar with our church or any kind of church. A lady next to him asked me if we were Methodists or Baptists. We are “Wild-ists” I explained. “I don’t know what that is!”, she said. “We are the ones that worship with their hands up and shout Hallelujah”, I said. Then she turned to her friend. “That is the kind of church you would like to go to, you get “high” there!”, she said.

Now the guy that stole our circular saw came running behind the fence into the house. “There he is!” I shouted and took out the phone from my pocket to call the police. I guess they knew where I was, they told me to wait and NOT go into the house!

The man with the tattoos was looking at my motorcycle. I asked if he would like a ride. Next thing, he jumped up behind and we raced down the street. When the police finally showed up, we a pulled up next to the police cars in front of our church, I the pastor, with an over tattooed man on the back.  This was his first introduction to the church so hopefully, he will be back!

When I came down the next day the guy that stole the circular saw was there again. He came out from 7-Eleven and I jumped right up on the side curb on my big bike so that he could not escape. As I looked him in the eyes, he started begging me for forgiveness with big tears in his eyes. Sorry pastor, I should not have stolen from the church but the drug dealer put a gun to my head and told me to get 60 dollars within an hour!”

I want Jesus to be the new “high” in the street. Life on OBT is different from where I come from. But I love every second of it. We have a great church, full of extraordinary people. I will say we are about 75 members including rats and roaches. Recently we have lost several members, including a younger fellow that fell into the sink. We are not afraid of losing members, the only thing we care about is doing the will of God – and the number of rats in our traps!

Matthew 22;8-10. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the crossroads and invite to the banquet as many as you can find’.  So the servants went out into the streets and gathered everyone they could find, both evil and good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.