Thursday, November 5, 2009

Healing Story on the Streets

Dear Praying Friends,

There is something I wanted to share with you but I totally forgot. It happened one night in August and it was mostly like other nights we’ve spent on the streets. Mostly, but not quite.

The team that came from the States had prayed hard before coming due to the political unrest that has plagued us since the latter part of June. The travel advisories stated that one should not venture to Honduras unless it was totally unavoidable. Ron Pagel (far left in the photo-JM’s US board president) was the leader of the team, and he knows Who he has to consult for travel advice. He told me that God woke him up one night and said, “I am inviting your team to join Me in My work in Honduras.” So they came at His bidding. There were nine of them on the team and all but the two youngest decided to go with us that night. I had not been back to the streets since the beginning of my healing adventure partly because of the new focus God had put on our hearts (reach the next generation) and partly out of the need to recuperate. But right before this team came, the Lord spoke to my heart and said none too gently, “Get back out there!” And so we went.

We met Saira, our administrator, at a hotel close to where the women gather on the streets. We found an empty table close to the hotel’s outdoor pool and in that dimly lit area we spent some time in praise and prayer before setting out to meet our friends on the streets. Our tentative plan was for one of the team members to share their testimony and then we would pray for the women and men.

From a distance I could see that there were several people soliciting on the corner where we usually share and pray with the sex workers when they aren’t looking for clients. As we drew closer to the area, I noticed Tita coming towards me. She embraced me like a child who has just found her long lost mother. Tears streamed down her highly made up face. Tita, whose real name is Carolina, and I have known each other for almost all the years that we have been visiting the streets. She lost two of her daughters in a tragic drowning accident some time ago and Hae Young and I went to support her at the memorial service. That night she gave her life to Christ and vowed to follow him but decided against entering our program. She said she could do it on her own. The lure of the streets was too strong and she was unable to keep that vow. There was another time when she was arrested for robbing one of her clients and she called us to come to the jail to pray with her. Miraculously the charges were dropped against her right after we prayed. She made a commitment to follow Jesus that day too, but just like before, she was unable to keep the commitment. Sometimes when we’d visit her, she would be flying high as a kite and the words coming out of her mouth were acerbic and cutting. Other nights, she would quote scripture and tell us how her Christian husband had left her penniless which drove her away from the church and onto the streets. But this reaction was new. I had never seen her so tender and caring. When she released me from her arms, tears still flowing, she began to speak excitedly to the others, “Look, Betsy was almost dead and now she is totally healed.” The healing miracle seemed to touch her deeply and she wanted to make sure the others understood what God had done. Her excitement made me want to twirl around like one of those plastic ballerinas gracing the top of a music box to show off God’s handiwork. But I refrained. It hadn’t even occurred to me beforehand that I needed to share this healing story on the streets but now it made perfect sense. As I shared, other friends of ours joined the spontaneous celebration and responded in like manner……tears and embraces mixed with joy.

The Holy Spirit was definitely touching this little band. After one of the team members (Jon-front and center in the photo) shared his testimony, the Lord nudged me to ask Ron to pray over each person in the gathering. Jesus had already put this on his heart and so he was ready to be God’s channel of encouragement to these thirsty hearts. Carolina went first and once again tears flowed as God spoke into her heart. Her man was standing beside her drinking everything in. He is a taxi driver and the street gossip is that together they rob her clients. The Holy Spirit led us to pray for him and to offer him the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. It was such a Holy Moment. The Presence of God surrounded us and we were all lost in this Holy Embrace. Carolina’s husband nodded to indicate that he wanted to give control of his life to Jesus. After we prayed, he told us how earlier in the day he had mentioned to Carolina that he wanted to start attending church. Is that God or what?

We came away from the streets that night, awed and humbled. What a privilege to participate in the stretching forth of God’s hand to those who are blind and lost. Thank you for praying for us. You, too, are a part of His outstretched arms as you pray for the lost, lonely seduced ones of the streets.

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