Happy Thanksgiving! This week, the single missionaries are on mission in Allende, Mexico. I’ve been so blessed by the excitement and generosity of the people who have received us with open arms. The whole trip has been amazing, but I’d like to share with you a glory story from Tuesday night.
The group did a three-day “conference” in the neighborhood chapels of Allende. We rotated three groups among three chapels, so each group got a chance to speak at every chapel. By the last day I felt burned out from speaking so much Spanish and doing hours of home visits every morning. By Tuesday afternoon I hit my limit, but it was my turn to give the teaching at the last chapel, Santa Cruz (the Holy Cross).
I didn’t prepare my talk beyond choosing a couple Bible verses and knowing the overall subject, “New Life and Belief in Christ.” After our last home visit in the morning, I had felt discouraged. The lady we visited, Lichita, was an invalid and a shut-in, and when another missionary and I felt a prompting by the Holy Spirit to pray over her for healing, she didn’t even want to try to stand. She was too depressed, too afraid, and she couldn’t gain the courage to stand with our help. No matter how much God wanted to heal her, she needed to have faith to walk again.
So I began my talk without a plan and with a translator, and with a heart-felt prayer to the Holy Spirit. I felt the Holy Spirit burn in me and fill me, and God’s words poured out. I probably couldn’t tell anyone what exactly I said that night, but God called the people of Santa Cruz to a new Pentecost. But at first no one would come up to be prayed over. I told them the story of Luchita, and how they needed faith that God wanted to fill them and heal them, even if they were afraid.
As I told this story, a man hobbled into the church, leaning heavily on a walker. He had scars all over his head, and it was obvious that he had been in some terrible accident years ago. As he took a seat in the back, I invited the people once again to come be prayed over if they wanted to walk with the Lord. As one, they all came.
We laid hands on them, and began to pray. Immediately people began resting in the Spirit, and tears of healing poured forth from many eyes. We prayed for healing, for love, for a new Pentecost. At one point I felt prompted to pray over a man who had problems with his knee. As I prayed over him, movement caught my eye.
The man with the walker had left his walker far behind, and was walking as fast as his stiff legs could carry him. Pure joy filled his face, and he was swinging his arms in excitement. I went to him and rejoiced with him. We laughed and praised God. And he kept walking faster and better.
Later that night he shared his testimony. Juan hadn’t wanted to come. He’d walked by the church and felt an urge to enter. When we were praying over the people, he’d felt something burn through his body, and heard me say “leave that and walk.” In faith he did, and he walked.
Juan sharing his story
The people of Santa Cruz were filled with joy and love where before they had division. The missionaries were also filled with joy and love, and we went home rejoicing and praising God. For me, when I’ve prayed over people before I’ve been afraid that I wouldn’t be worthy enough of God’s healing power. I couldn’t contain my joy and gratitude that God used me that night as a vessel of his power, and that he healed his people through all of us.
On this day of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for all the usual things: my family, my friends, food to eat, a place to sleep. But even more so I am thankful for God’s love and mercy, for his healing power, for moving through Santa Cruz, the generous people of Allende and how this one week of mission has changed my life yet again.
¡Gloria a Dios!