When everything is going crazy and the future looks uncertain sometimes it helps to drive a stake in the ground, or set up a large reminder stone, or draw a picture and put it on the wall to remind ouselves, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!”
1 Samuel 7:12 Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!”
Railan is a young fellow whose foot got instantly healed about a year ago when I prayed for him, much to our surprise. I think this was the first time he ever really understood there might be a loving God out there somewhere. He kept stamping his foot and looking at me for quite awhile. In the months that followed he started a home group at his house with his friends that has now expanded to include his parents. I have been telling him he has a pastoral calling on his life.
A couple of weeks ago he pulled up a chair and sat right between Danny and myself. Then he looked at me and said, “Three pastors.” So…we’ll see.
Sami and I have been meeting weekly to help him figure out how to live this Christian life. When he heard Danny Meyer calls me once a month from the USA, “Pastor Ricardo is going to phone me while he is traveling.”
Saturday night during ministry time Penny Meyer asked me, “Who is that young man there? I really feel a call of God on his life.” I explained who Sami was. “Tell him to start praying for people. God wants to use him.”
Later that night Sami cast out his first demon. He shares his story.
Danny and Penny have been our mentors since our first year in Altamira back in 1996. There have been many personal visits and phone calls over the years. In 2002 Danny and Penny planted the church they currently pastor in Delaware County in Ohio.
Thursday night our church spreads out to meet in about six different homes in our neighbourhood. I went with Anni and Via to the group that meets in front of JohnLennon’s house. In the dim light four small homemade benches were placed in a square. Neighbours started to come. Eventually 26 people gathered, about 16 adults and 10 children. Luanna, our 18 year old house help, led the Bible study.
“Who would like us to pray for them?” Several hands went up. “What would you like prayer for?”
1. “I don’t want my discipleship class to quit. It is so good.” (A twelve year old).
2. “I want to keep coming to church. Even though my Mom is trying to stop me, I would like to keep coming.” (A thirteen year old).
3. “In church I always think of good things, and I feel a lot of peace. As soon as I leave the church and am back out in our neighbourhood all these bad thoughts swirl around in my head. I would like to have that peace with me even when I am not in church.” (A fifty year old mother).
After prayer for these people, and that God would transform our neighbourhood, the group sang four songs without any instruments, and then they played a short game. The whole hour felt really good. The Lord is in the midst of us who seek His kingdom.
While I was working on Northern Canadian Highways I read the testimony of a Korean pastor. He talked about how he was scared to testify about Jesus. “Why would this poor Korean be embarrassed? Who even knows him?” He got over his fear and went on to became the pastor of the largest church in the world. His testimony gave me courage to be more open about my desire to be a Christian. Listen to Daisy talk about her journey.
“If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38
Recently a gunman came to execute Zezym’s brother. His brother was sitting in the doorway of their house with his shirt off and no way to defend himself when the motorbike drove up. The guy pointed a handgun at the brother, and pulled the trigger. The gun did not shoot. They could see the gunman trying harder to pull the trigger. It would not fire. Finally the guy put the gun away and drove off.
Zezym is praying for God to save his whole family.
“They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.'” Act 16:31