On Friday night, we had a blessed evening with Iglesia Rompiendo Cadenas in Chía. They are a small church, but a very warm one with a pastor who has a heart for unity among the churches and revival in the nation. We have known him for years, and he is one of the most cooperative and supportive pastors in the area. He is also someone who suffered much in his youth, and now has a deep love for God and genuine humility. I spoke on the theme from Song of Songs 1:4: “Draw me, we will run after thee…,” as well as speaking from Revelation 2:4-5 about returning to our “first love.” As we surrender our lives to the Lord and draw near to Him, He will use us to draw many others as well. Three people prayed with us to receive the Lord, and the entire church stood up quickly at the second invitation to give their all to Jesus.
Saturday morning, we went to the Congregación Mesiánica in central Bogotá, another small congregation led by Pastor Aaron Ladino (a Sephardic Jewish name). I spoke once again on the theme “Proclaim Liberty,” the three major Sabbaths of the Old Testament and their fulfillment in the New, focusing especially on Isaiah 61:1-3. The message was warmly received, and the pastor and his family invited us to lunch afterwards in their house with most of the church present for an extended time of fellowship. Many people here and elsewhere bought copies of my book “Ven y Sígueme,” with several pastors buying extra copies to have them on hand for their congregations.
On Sunday, we were at Rompiendo Cadenas in central Bogotá for the third time, this time with close to five hundred people present since families of the young people in treatment and many others came as well. I sang “Amazing Grace,” telling some of the story of John Newton’s conversion from a slave ship captain responsible for the deaths of 20,000 slaves to a mighty preacher and enemy of the slave trade. I then spoke of the story of the two thieves crucified with Christ from Luke 23:32-43. How was it that one blasphemed Jesus, yet the other repented and believed in Him right there while dying on the cross? Both had lived lives of sin, but one remained blind while the other allowed the Lord to open his eyes, and was told by Jesus that “today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Many came forward at the invitation to receive Christ, and nearly the entire congregation responded to the invitation to give their lives entirely to the Lord and crown Jesus not only as Savior but as Lord. Dan Voll led the prayer after both invitations with much brokenness himself, and Pastor Eduardo Betancourt came up on the stage with us during the invitations and prayers. He told us afterwards that, as Dan was praying, he looked all around the congregation--on the main floor and around the balconies--and saw that many people had tears streaming down their faces. Among other things, Dan prayed for the healing of Colombia from all her spiritual darkness and suffering, especially the suffering of the children in the streets. God is truly doing a powerful work in this church located in the heart of darkest Bogotá!
Afterwards, the pastor and his family invited us to a lovely lunch in their home and a time of blessed fellowship and prayer together. It is truly amazing to see what the Lord has done with this man who for years worked with Pablo Escobar, but now is on fire for the Lord--serving in an area where he has had bullets whizzing by his face, yet God has kept him and his family safe!
On Tuesday morning, Jacob and I fly back to Newark after a special time of seeing God work in the capital district of Colombia.
“All my fresh springs are in thee.” (Psalm 87:7)