Here’s what’s normal: Pastor goes on a short-term missions trip or visit. He knows he’s going to be asked to preach at the guest church through a translator. So smart pastors bring a couple of their favorite messages to bless the locals. Bada Bing… done!
The system kind of breaks down when you are in a place like Haiti. A land that has experienced so much suffering, tragedy and loss. Every single person I’ve met in Haiti has been effected by the devastating earthquake. Our partner church really loves us, prays for us, and warmly receives us and has a wide-open heart to every word. But last time I was in Haiti (May) I just felt like if I was going to say anything it had to be a specific word for them. So about 10 minutes before we walked over to the church service I grabbed a half sheet and scribbled this:
GOD IS POWERFULLY, UNSTOPPABLY AT WORK IN OUR LIVES… FOR GOOD
– FOR HIS KINGDOM
– FOR HIS GLORY
– FOR OUR GOOD
I kind of went through Romans 8 on the spot. But that was pretty much the message. It was a blast and I could tell it really was a word from God.
So back to San Diego USA and last weekend. When we finished God at the movies, we had a single weekend before some guest speakers and I take some time to surf and hang out with the fam. As I was praying for one of our Journey people, I felt God say, “I want to lift this off them…” Then the thought came: “I am powerfully, unstoppably at work in their lives for good!” I’m not the smartest guy on the planet, but sometimes even I can see when God is serving up a hanging curve.
We had our prayer team prayed up and ready at the communion tables. Powerful stories of healings and God meeting people in some amazing ways: here’s one from my friend Tom:
Hi gents, scholars, boys (you get to choose which one you are),
I just wanted to give you some feedback on today’s service: the prayer time was AMAZING! I often pray for the same people in our corner after service, which is great, but today was SO different. While walking around from station to station, I came across an incredible need for prayer and so many of them made comments like, “I have been dealing with this for 10 years and have been too afraid to ask God for help.” People and comments like this were coming out of the wood-works as people took risk and responded to the call-out to get prayer and turn their needs over to God!!! It was incredible! Just thought I should share the Good News. I know you can’t structure service like this every week but the most was certainly made of today’s message!
Peace be with you, Tom
The gospel is GOOD NEWS. How good? However you answer it’s WAY BETTER! We remember how Good it is,, now certainly God means to be good to us as we take the bread and the cup. Wow. Let’s step into this!