Pastor Francis invited us and 12,000 was the number he said would be there. Well, ok then. Our girls will prepare a drama and be there with bells on. Save our Youth Rally 2012, baseball stadium, Tegucigalpa.
The youth in Honduras need saving, there is no doubt about that. Pastor Francis has a heart for young people in trouble. Dressed in a well-worn suit that hangs uncomfortably off his tall frame, he is drawn to the most desperate, the pierced, the tattooed, the hardened, the wounded beyond imagining. His father heart for the fatherless has already changed thousands of young lives.
There were tons of young people but perhaps not 12,000. Still it was a much bigger crowd than our girls had ever performed before. They had fasted and prayed for several days asking the Lord to use them. Their drama/dance was about the power of Jesus to set people free.
It took some setting our faces like flint just to get into the stadium. With one small opening for thousands, the crowd became a sea of death threatening waves. Our Jericho family got caught up in it until panic set in and we had to push, shove our way to the fray. A young pastor saw our plight and pulled me and Susana, now clamped onto my hand, out of the crowd into the back of a pickup truck and then out to where the sea of people dwindled. The whole family followed holding hands, up into the bed of the truck and then back down again. The pastor led us to another opening hidden behind street vendors. Once inside we inhaled relief and gathered for prayer.
Pastor Francis had mentioned something about a program but it became obvious that there was nothing written down. He asked me to pray for the children of Honduras, for the sexually abused and trafficked, for the dysfunctional families. I took a deep breath, joined the pastors on stage, and prayed for God to fill my mouth. My turn, screaming voice ready, I stepped out and lifted my right hand. We were at war. These were not nice soft whispered prayers. These were prayers to cut off the plans of the enemy, to declare null and void plans of abuse, destruction and death. The who-knows-how-many-thousands all raised their hands with me and together we got mad at the enemy. The last thing I remember is yelling “Prayer is not a vain thing” which I truly believe. God hears our war cries and responds in the heavenlies.
|our girls post drama with miss Katie. Paola is in the middle|
The drama went well by God’s grace. If the girls were nervous, it was not apparent. These seven young girls, plucked by God from the miry clay, are being transformed before our very eyes. Their early days filled with abuse, betrayal and rejection are now filled with living for the One who reached down to unstick their feet and free their minds. One girl, Paola, when she first came would melt into a mess of tears whenever she was addressed directly. Now here she was performing on stage in front of this huge wildly energetic crowd. Face bearded with my sable eye pencil, her long hair flowing, borrowed baptismal gown wrapped around her thin frame as her outstretched arms held back the powers of darkness (the other girls dressed in black)…..it was an amazing thing to behold this fragile timid child portraying Jesus. His strength powered through her. And so we stood, awed, especially those of us who know her, at the beauty of God's power made perfect in our weakness.
Then the lights dimmed and the concert began. Young people jumping and shouting and energy everywhere just seemed to drain me. I sat on a makeshift seat behind the crowds and felt much older than my 54 year old frame. I began to wonder how to find Jesus in all this ruckus. The answer became obvious. I needed to join in the wildness, partake of the dance. Several of my children standing nearby now became dance partners as we held hands and skipped forward and backward keeping time with the praise. The night sky our canopy, the twirling and spinning bubbled out laughter as we praised Him in the dance. He must have been made visible to the street vendor child now grabbing my hand begging me to take him on a whirl. I don’t know how long we danced like that, grabbing joy out of His outstretched hand. Then suddenly I stopped us. I asked this boy child, not more than ten, unknown to me, if He knew the Lord of the dance. No, not at all, but he would like to. So we bowed our heads, swirling now fading around us, and he asked Jesus to come into his heart. An unexpected Holy Moment in the middle of the stadium roar.