The thing about Brazil was that God was everywhere, all day, everyday. There was not a moment that I didn't feel Him or see Him or hear Him.
According to scripture, He never leaves us, so that should be the case whether in Brazil or Geneva, Illinois or wherever you are. But it is not the case, the difference is the people.
And I'm not talking about the Brazilians, although they were wonderful too, it was my fellow Global team members that carried God's glory wherever we went. They were always ready to stop and pray over anyone, any time, anywhere for anything. The photo above is of me and one of my favorite people I have ever met, Russell (more stories about him later), and another teammate praying over our translator during a Treasure Hunt at the open market. I had gotten a word from the Father about a young girl that was nervous about college. I kept my mouth shut about it because it wasn't time to talk about it yet so I assumed it was just me. But then someone else mentioned something about graduation and I knew it was HIM showing up..again. Ends up, both of our translators for the day were young girls about to graduate college and both were nervous about what comes after. As we prayed for this beautiful young woman, her hand started to burn and fill up with gold sparkles. I can't make this stuff up people. God is more AMAZING than we will ever get to the bottom of.
The 'Treasure Hunt' I'm referring to is the kind where a group of us get together and pray and ask God who He wants to touch as we go out and about during our day. He gives us clues as to what to watch for and we all write them down and then head out with a translator to see what He does. Sounds like a blast I know. It was!
One of the funniest 'words' I got during preparatory prayer was a picture of a 'captain' (I knew it was a captain by his hat) with a hand issue like arthritis or something. I felt silly sharing it with the group as I am sure I sounded crazy. A few minutes later someone else said something about a word of someone with an eye patch. Well, combining the two together gave us quite a laugh as we pictured running into a pirate at the market! We all started talking with our best pirate accents and using "Arrrggh" at the end of each sentence, then we headed out in giggles to see what God would do....
And there he was. Our Captain/Pirate with the hand issue.
Notice the hat, the Arrrrggh sign and the metal anchor to the right...This is his booth at the market so as we turned the corner the signs were all right there, hovering above his head. Russell saw him first and thought it would be nice to ask God's blessing on His business, which the shop owner gladly obliged. That opened a door for other prayer. His niece was in premature labor so he wanted prayer for that. Then, I asked him about his hands according to the word that God had given me...and he immediately showed us by demonstration that he has something called Trigger Finger. When he closes his left hand, his fingers will not open back up on their own. We knew that God wanted to heal him, that is why He had sent us! One of the women with us was even healed of the same issue herself and was able to avoid surgery because of God's intervention. But this man refused healing, he said that many other people were suffering with worse so he didn't see a need for healing for something so little, even though he admitted that it worried him that as he got older it would be a bigger deal and maybe keep him from being able to work.
How sad this was to me. When people, by the enemy's lie of false humility refuse to accept God's love, forgiveness or in this case, healing, the kingdom does not advance. Nothing good comes out of refusing the Lord's goodness. It's not like God's healing runs out, that if he would've accepted it that would mean someone else would still have to suffer. That is not how Jesus works. The healing His stripes provided has no end. For you, for me, for all. For big problems and diseases and for little glitches in our health. It is there for the taking. God sent us to this man and He refused God's free gift. Something to think about in our own lives.
Is God trying to give you something, set you free or invite you to receive Him while all the while you refuse in the name of humility, or self sacrifice which is really just pride disguised? Don't let the enemy fool you. It is for freedom that Jesus set us free and it is not His plan for you to stay bound. If this hit you in a way you least expected, maybe it's time to repent and receive all that God has for you before it's too late.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1