Honduras Happenings, November 2017 – A John Chapter 5 Kind of Week
God taught me some very important things on my most recent trip to the Honduras. I think they are worth sharing. Last Spring Jeff Oakes, pastor of Hosanna Fellowship in Johnson City, TN, asked me to join his team in Central America. They have been visiting Honduras for some ten years. Bill Hauck, the team coordinator, has visited that nation eighteen times. He loves the place and the people, and for good reason. The people are open, friendly, and hungry for God. The team that Jeff and Bill have put together is a joy to work with. Although there are clears lines of authority and everyone knows who is in charge, there is no vying for supremacy or ego stroking. There is a true humility, teamwork, and a general sense of encouragement and appreciation for every person. This is important for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that we are modeling what a five-fold ministry team should be for the pastors in Honduras.
In September, 2017 a prophet told the pastors in Danli that a team of Americans was coming to help them. Not surprisingly, they were very open to us. For the first time we met with pastors from all five zones of the pastors’ association. These new relationships will bear fruit in the future, I have no doubt. They already opened doors for us on this trip. It is refreshing to be in the middle of what God is doing. He used the prophetic ministry to validate us to the local pastors.
I was privileged to deliver a five-part series on the baptism in the Holy Spirit to Amor Viviente Church in El Paraiso. The first night, tired from the long journey and without having had time to pray as we would have liked, I launched the series. To say that I was not “feeling it” would be an understatement. It felt as if God was not there at all. I wondered if Pastor Andres and the many people who turned out would come back. Little did I know that God was doing his behind the scenes validation work again. At the end of the teaching, Pastor Andres asked Sam Oakes and I to pray for some sick people, which we gladly did. Nothing special seemed to happen, but God healed at least three people that night.
On night two of the conference, we heard three healing testimonies. God stamped our ministry with his seal of approval before the people. Everyone seemed to be happy we were there and open to what God was saying and doing through us. They were hungry for more and their expectation was through the roof. God continued to work in this way all week, much to our joy.
Jesus put it this way.
But I have a greater witness than John—my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me. John 5:36 (NLT)
We were aware that God showed the people that he sent us. What an awesome privilege!
Doing what We See the Father Doing
On the second night, I felt that God wanted us to demonstrate prophecy to the people. Following the teaching, I asked if someone would like to come forward to see what the Holy Spirit might speak over him or her. A woman named Aida came forward. I explained to the congregation that I was acting in faith that the Spirit would give me something to speak over her, demonstrating that he can use anyone in this way. I laid hands on her and began to speak in tongues. The Lord gave me a mental picture of her with her hands lifted and a look of joy on her face, which I related to her. I asked her to raise her arms and told her that God was giving her joy in the place of sadness. Bill Hauck shared Isaiah 61:3 with her, declaring that God had given her a “garment of praise” in place of a “spirit of heaviness.”
The next night, Aida testified to the church that God healed her aching shoulder, when she lifted her hands, and removed sadness from her life, when we ministered to her! Another God validation! But perhaps even more significantly, I saw something else from John Chapter Five.
Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. John 5:19-20 (NIV)
When the Spirit gave me the picture of Aida raising her arms, I did not realize that it was something the Father was doing in her life. I was simply operating on the prophetic side of things, not the signs and wonders dimension. This gave me even greater faith to believe when praying for people in response to what the Spirit is showing me. Jesus must have had a continual video playing of what the Father was doing. What a privilege!
God imparted at least two powerful things to me during our trip. First, we can count on his validating our ministry in appropriate ways. When we are weak, he is strong. Secondly, we can step out in faith based on what he shows us by the Spirit, knowing that he is showing us what he is doing. Armed with these two insights, let’s continue to minister with even greater confidence in the coming days.
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But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)