(Taken from Ken Brooks' blog – FIMUpdate – this post is part 5 in his Mexico Series. Get to the other posts here – FIMUpdate)
Previously, I mentioned a rather messy ride from Cuernavaca to Puebla. What would have been an hour and half drive by car, ended instead with 2 additional by bus. That wasn’t too huge a deal, save we had someone waiting at the station in Puebla to pick us up. And even that would not have been so bad, had the movies they aired over that long ride, lacked the strong, sexually, immoral overtones they did. Still, I rather enjoyed the newer, Spanish translation of “Planet of the Apes”. Would have watched it 3 times, in fact.
Jason and Cliff
For me, my outlet was a long, deep conversation with Scott. For others, worship music via an iPod/Phone, or other means, was a viable solution. We came up with other ideas, post travel; preparing in advance what our plan of attack would be, should we encounter a similar situation. Funny thing was – we would! And having prayed ahead, the films aired on that next go round were of higher standards. Praise God!
Kyle and Amy Leading Worship
But ultimately, it was neither the media, nor the momentum of our travel that was most disheartening. Rather, it was a text in which one of our team members received, that dropped the biggest bomb – the news of a plane crash that stole the lives of several his family members. I guess they weren’t as close as some may come; producing any dire urgency for him to rush straight back to the States. Still, there was hurt. There was pain. And there was potential for fear to permeate itself into the trip, possibly causing us to draw back from all that God wanted to release. But that’s not what happened.
Streets of Puebla
Once arrived, we met Ale (Ah-lay) at the bus station. Ale was our driver. Our guide. She was Scott’s friend, and soon to be ours as well. She was the one who showed us our rooms, who showed us the town; who organized, implemented, and made our time the most it could be in Puebla, at Living Hope International! Thanks Ale!
Living Hope Int, or “Esperanza Viva”, is an Orphanage/School of Ministry. The students there are not of the orphanage itself, but are notoriously noted as having had the greatest impact of their tutelage through their being with them. It was also the students that we would be working with, primarily. That’s subject to change for next time. But based on what we did see, I have a sneaky suspicion we missed out on a real treat – those orphan kids.
Donna and the Kids
As for the school, it was our team’s job to teach on the prophetic. Low and behold, this was only the 2nd week of class overall, so we were going to need God’s help! Ok, we always do, but… Well, we hit a little turbulence on that one. For what was expected of us, and what we had time to prepare, had yet to line up. I can totally understand the school’s point of view, that is – being that there was a cost for enrollment, a tuition to be payed; they wanted those who specialized in teaching, preaching, etc. (Eph 4).
Hallie Leading the Students in a Prophetic Exercise
I’ve been to Bible College before. So, I can totally relate. Still, there was some confusion in our camp, and through that, the enemy almost stole that portion of our journey. Fortunately for us, by the grace of God in wisdom and humility, we were able to roll with the punches, and pull through for an amazing victory!
Me Teaching on the Prophetic
Not only did we bounce back, but those students caught the spirit of prophecy quicker than any other class in the school’s 10 year history! Along with that, was an evangelistic outreach that the school asked us to take the students on. So, being that it was prophetic week, we decided to send them out on a “Treasure Hunt”, a method of evangelism in which you first hear from God for clues that lead you to His treasures; people He would have you minister to. So, we divided the students into 4 teams. Each constructed a list of several signs which they were to search out. They were doing great!
Over coffee, Josh, the school’s administrator, informed us that they’ve never experienced much fruit in terms of evangelizing this particular area we were in.“Sometimes we reach some tourists, but the locals are usually pretty unresponsive – set in their old religious orders” (paraphrase). For the life of me, I can’t remember if he said that before or after we got the phone call from one of the teams, who informed us that the owners of a local cafe had just been touched by God and were inviting us to a free meal!
Praying Over the Owners of the Cafe
In fact, when all was said and done, we were blessed by the dozens of great stories – how God was leading them to people who were either touched, saved, or healed by the love of God! And yeah, we did go back to that cafe, just to follow up. Truth be told, we had already eaten. Still, out of respect for some ‘lost, now found’ business owners, a family, I ate those sandwiches anyway. Turkey and cheese with Mayo, and a glass of Jamaica (Huh-mi-kuh) Juice – good stuff!
I lack the words to express exactly what happened with all that. IT WAS GOD!!! All I know is that what started out as a recipe for disaster, in fact, ended up being the part of the trip I believe I liked best. I’m not suggesting that was the most effective in terms of Heaven’s perspective. Still, as for me, it was the most personable. It was where I felt most in partnership with the Lord. To each his own.
After lunch, we made our way back, by bus, to the compound. The students were to minister during that time. Each team, I believe, caught a different one. They were to ask permission of the driver, as to whether they could preach the Gospel, open air. And that they did! Reminded me of my time in Boston when we would hit the subways, jumping on and off each train, preaching the Kingdom to Come to those on board. Fun times!
Need I mention that it was standing room only? That made it an adventure in trying to balance yourself through each and every start and stop. It was…mmm, snuggly! But again, people were touched, even if only a few.
King of the Mt. Dew!
Finally, the bus dropped us off at the end of the entrance to the compound, which was still a 20 minute walk on a hot day. It was a dry and dusty road – similar to desert. The mangy dog and bagged pig that lay dead on the side of the road added a little incense that was, undesirable to say the least.
Once back, we were sent to prophesy to the staff. I was so tired! All of us were. And yet, it was some of the best flowing prophecy I’d had in quite some time! Interesting how that works, when all the energy we have left, lies solely in God. I should also mention that before the students did the outreach, we partnered together to prophecy over the kids from the orphanage. Oh, and we worked on ‘Dream Interpretation’ as well. They were pros!
Workout Day – Tabata Style!
The food was good and our residence was awesome! Funny, how we had the finest facility at the place we worked the hardest. Sounds fair to me. And I cannot forget to mention Scott’s initiation of the students through physical fitness. No pain. No gain. Somehow that opened them up to receive the message he had for them. Yeah, it worked! Following that was a formal time of training the very next morning – early – Tabata style! Check it out!
The final night was a late one. Scott was having what we “presumed” to be both a private and solemn meeting with the ministry head, Jerry. They were in our room, and there was speculation for intimidation, but that’s a long story in itself. In the meantime, we guys stood our distance in the “formal” meeting room, where we talked, laughed, and sang for an hour and a half, about what now seems the most ridiculous of nonsensical material in the entire world! We were caught in a moment, though; tired, bored, and not really sure what was going on in the room just 10 feet from us. It was weird!
Keep One Eye on What You’re Doing…
But it was also a bonding moment – an indication that our friendships had developed past the point of being merely exterior, and we found ourselves as bold and vulnerable enough to act utterly ridiculous before one another. Wouldn’t trade it for anything! From the inside: “ESV! When Your Not Strong, and I’ll Be Your Friend…!”
Turns out, their meeting was nothing of such weight as we’d imagined. In fact, our two groups joined forces as we all talked a good bit afterwards about mountain climbing, physical training, etc. Well, it was mostly Jerry, but I thoroughly enjoyed his tales of death defying adventures!
A Sunset to Remember
It was a night to remember. The hardest part was probably the good byes from the students. One young man got on his knees to bless even my feet. Tear jerking! And certainly the kids made a solid entry. Prayer warriors they were! It was also in that moment that a particular phrase was coined – one that would endure with us for the rest of our trip, “Whut…is your problum?” was what one of the girls said to me while I was giving them a hard time. Why me?
Guess I can’t forget how the ministry’s van broke down on the way into town one night, either. It was our second situation with vehicle damage. Would it be our last?
Next stop: Oaxaca City – where we would realize that Jack Black was also playing a significant part of our mission. Next time…