God is definitely at work in hearing the many prayers offered for the saints as described in our previous post.
MANUEL called me yesterday morning all excited to report that God had sent him an ex-commando, a real foul-mouthed, fully-armed "Rambo" who for unknown reasons has decided to take on Manuel's case and defend his cause. He has become Manuel's "best friend" and is standing guard 24/7 over the properties and threatens to blow off anyone's head that attempts to invade the "Lord's property!" While I admit such "answers to prayer" don't jive with my own personal theology, one has to admit, WE PRAYED; GOD ANSWERED. I am continuosly amazed at how often God responds to prayer not in the way expected, but often outside of the small box we have Him enclosed!
Manuel went on to say that the Lord had impressed upon him the Scripture in Romans "BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK..." So on Sunday they fed all the invaders sandwiches and colada (oat meal drink). Everyone was happy about that and assured Manuel they would leave his land alone and only invade the others around him! They went on to have an open-air evangelistic service and will begin a new outreach group with those interested.
MIGUEL showed up unexpectedly yesterday. His situation remains the same with his employer, but continues to negotiate a solution. However, what he had come to share was how excited he was that on Sunday 7 new believers showed up to their discipleship class and 25 kids. He is so thrilled and came to ask us all to come out for a visit and especially to continue to pray for the new church plant.
PEDRO also had a wonderful weekend. A fellow missionary on our team, Barbara, visited his new house church group on Sunday. They had 10 new believers show up for the first discipleship class that meets in his empty car mechanic workshop. Barbara said he did an excellent job discipling them. I shared his story with a couple of other house churches who are committed to raising a love offering this week to help Pedro out. I am waiting for them to present their offerings first before sharing with Pedro that in the past days I have received a foreign love offering from someone in Europe! Since the European offering is so much more than what our people will be able to give, I want to wait a few days and not overshadow their own offering which they are working on this week to help Pedro and family. I know he will be overcome with gratitude to the Lord when he hears about these love offerings from his own fellow believers and those in far-away places.
JOHNNY and family are much encouraged, though still saddened by the loss of their loved one. He told me over the phone this morning that many people in his town have been impacted by their faithful Christian testimony and manner of facing death. When I told him how many people had been praying for him and his family and the church, he was genuinely impacted and expresses his appreciation to each of you for caring about someone so far away and not even known. He was also encouraged by the word that a group of us from Guayaquil are planning on coming to his town in the coming days to help him and the church with an evangelistic emphasis weekend.
Truly God is responding to each of your prayers. We look forward to hearing even more victories in the days to come.