on Sunday, January 24, 2010

It has been such a full week. Graeme was supposed to speak last sunday morning, but due to some unexpected changes had to step aside. This was the second time his preaching chances were nixed, but he still had no trouble filling the week up with ministry opportunities.

Sunday night Graeme was invited to go out to a city called Masaya. They had invited a whole team of Bethel people to come over the weekend, but the team had been stretched too thin and the leader had to say no to some things. The church in Masaya was so disappointed and phoned our host, Pastor Ricardo, to ask him if there was anything he could do. He spoke with Graeme who was happy to oblige. It meant that Graeme would skip our last team meeting, but it was worth it. God showed up in power and people were healed. It was an awesome time. The day before, I was praying and asking God for some direction about how to minister while we are here and he gave me 1 Corinthians 2:4. In this verse, Paul is speaking to the Corinthians and said to them that when he first arrived, he did not come with words of persuasion, but with Spirit and with power. I shared this with Graeme, but I sensed that he was kind of set on preaching the sermon that was on his heart. He said he would keep it in mind though and consider how to do that. When he got up to the pulpit at Masaya and opened his Bible, he realized that he had forgotten all the notes that he wrote for his sermon and was not prepared to wing it. He was reminded immediately of the verse that I shared with him and him and God had a moment. He started to look to the Holy Spirit for the next move and it was all good. I wrote a little more about this night a couple posts ago if you'd like to read more.

Monday was a great day meeting and spending time with Pastor Arsenio. Wednesday night we went out to his church in Diriamba. Graeme got to preach again and he did such an awesome job of showing the church that everything they long for is birthed from an encounter of love with the Father. I could feel where it was going and was pretty confident that Graeme was going to do to me what he always threatens to do when it looks like he'll have an opportunity to preach. At the end of his sermon, he called me up to the stage and then whispered to me that I could say no if I wanted to. Hehe ... yeah right. I'm standing on stage in front of 550 people and I am going to say "No, I don't want to help you!" Fortunately, I felt the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart before Graeme asked me. It was time to give the church a love encounter. The band was already on stage and playing quietly so Graeme asked me to sing prophetically. I only sang for a few minutes, but it went well. The pastor said that the atmosphere in the place changed when I sang and he asked me if I would teach his worship team to flow with the Holy Spirit like that. I was so nervous, hadn't done anything like that for a while, but it felt right. I hope I get more chances to do that. It's really where my heart is.

Pastor Arsenio from Diriamba has asked Graeme and I to move out to his town. It is about 45 minutes away. He offered to provide us with a house that a church member owns and it would be free of charge. The offer was very tempting, but we really feel that God has established us here at Pastor Ricardo's place. The other house would be much more secluded, harder to get transport from. There are fewer social opportunities for the kids there and we would be less central to some of the other ministry options that are potentially coming up. We were torn in making the decision not to move. Pastor Arsenio is so desperate, so hungry for more. It is a privilege to have such influence and we hope to find a way to get out to Diriamba several days a week throughout the month of February and March to help him train his leaders in Bethel culture and just be available to mentor him or give to him what we know and understand about kingdom culture and kingdom government. Please pray for wisdom for us in this. We really need to know what God wants to help us develop our priorities and a healthy schedule.

On Friday night, Caleb and Bailey were excited to go to youth group with Judith. Judith is part of the Hernandez family with whom we live. She attends an American Christian school here in Nica and youth group there on Friday nights. The kids were so excited to meet other Christian kids that speak English. There was an awesome worship band, fun games and American snacks. Bailey and Caleb are looking forward to going again in a couple of weeks.

While they were at youth, Graeme, Ben and I went with Pastor Arsenio to meet some of his friends here in Managua. They were an American couple who have lived in Nica for 7 years. They had a beautiful home, fed us an amazing steak dinner (no beans and plenty of veggies - yum) and some yummy baking which is a rarity here. The best part was the fact that they have 2 boys and a girl and they are all fluent in English and Spanish. The oldest boy is 10 and him and Ben totally hit it off. We barely saw them all night as they ran around in the dark playing tag and goofing off in the house. We had awesome conversations about the power of God moving, heard testimonies of his power and provision. We had another couple from Bethel with us who stayed in Nica when the rest of the Bethel team left. We all took the opportunity to pray and prophecy over the couple who's home we were visiting and God did some awesome stuff. It was a great night. We were barely out of the driveway when Ben asked me if we could come back tomorrow. The cool thing is that this family brings their kids to the American Christian school only a block and half away from our place. I'm confident we'll get together again and Ben may even get to play soccer with his new friend Spencer when they start in February. I think Ben and Graeme will both be pushing for another visit. Graeme found another external processor and they really hit it off. They could have gone on all night.

Today was fun. Graeme got to preach twice. I went to the first service and he did really well considering he had at least a one hour sermon and he was left with a little over 30 minutes. The kids and I went home after the first service. They get a little bored at church because there are no English classes for them. Graeme was a little disappointed with second service, feeling like at didn't work out as well as first service, but I know however it went that it was truth and God could use it. When we came home, I was right into helping out with a big bbq that the Hernandez family was having. I baked a cake, made a potato salad and provided some hot dogs and buns. They have 2 families visiting from the states with whom they have a lot of history, so it was a good time to celebrate with a bbq. The Hernandez family doesn't have a gas grill or anything so they bbq "flintstone style" they call it. It is just a stack of cinder blocks with a sheet of metal to hold the coals and then they put a heavy duty pan on the top to cook stuff on. Just like a typical North American bbq there was way too much food and all of us are full and thankful for a chance to nap, relax and take a siesta. The kids are having fun playing around the yard with some other kids that are around, climbing the tree, kicking a ball, throwing a frisbee, playing basketball and playing with the dog. It's a great day and a great life. I'm so thankful for it.

It's been a good week ...  full ... impactful  ... and leaves me feeling like we are doing what we're here for. I love that. It's like God had it all planned out or something ?!?! I know he did. Check out some of our pics of the last week by clicking the "latest pics" link on the right hand side of the blog.



peachee39 said...

Hi Chris, thank you for sharing about how God is working and moving through you and your family as well as some of the fun details of living there in Nica. I got "goose bumps" when I read about you singing prophetically and how the place changed. Our hearts desire is to one day hear Graeme preach. Love you guys..thank you for your willing hearts to spread the Word and to minister to the people there. Blessings! Pirjo

amieedwards said...

So excited to hear about your opportunities to do what you were destined to do and how God is blessing you along the way with the B.B.Q, youth group and meeting people who's hearts you are connecting to and friends for the kids. Wow! I was teary eyed thinking about how everything you've sacrificed to go to Bethel is paying off with so much to share and amazing fruit to see!

Bob & Glenda said...

Hey, Chris & Graeme!
We are enjoying reading your blogs. Thank you SO much for doing that for us. It is exciting to hear on an on-going basis why the Lord had you go to Nica... and how He is blessing the people through you & your family.
Life in Canada is still as you left it, but will not remain the same when you return!
Love & Blessings, Bob & Glenda
P.S. Caleb, Bob wants to know if there are any wild animals close by to where you are living. What type of birds do you have? How about insects? . . .
(. . . and why does this say "Bob & Glenda says" ??)

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blogs as well. They make my heart swell with pride; that my family is out there doing God's work in such a powerful way. I'm a little jealous too, as I wish I could be as involved in doing God's work. I haven't done enough for Him. So I'm praying for you and I'd like you to pray for me that God make His will for me known; open some doors or a window. I love you guys Aunty Linda

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