As you may have gathered from some of my previous posts, and as we are learning the longer we are here, Camboriú is well-known for being a city of "pleasures" - anything and everything goes. For this reason it is also quite the tourist attraction as well. In particular, there is a very strong spirit of sensuality which is manifest in many different ways.
URGENT PRAYER NEEDED!!!
The city officials recognize the problem; the school teachers recognize the problem -- but they don't have the answers to the problem. We, the people of God, DO! We believe that we have been placed here strategically, even though we didn't know anything about this place before we came! And certainly not just us, but this ministry as a whole - MANG church.
This weekend something MONUMENTAL is going to take place here, the FIRST time anything like it has happened! MANG Church is hosting a seminar on Sexual Restoration, starting tomorrow evening. We are hosting a couple from Argentina who are specialists in this area with a whole bunch of titles behind their names (lol), who will be doing the speaking, on topics such as pedophilia, homosexuality, prostitution, healing from sexual abuse, for parents - how to talk to your kids about sex, training for teachers to recognize cases of abuse and what to do about it, what the Bible has to say about sex, healing and restoration for marriages that have suffered adultery, etc.
Tonight Fabio was able to go to the pre-meeting (he invited himself!) with the MAYOR of this city, the other city officials, and the principles and teachers of several schools - about 100 people altogether. It was AWESOME! Praise the Lord! The mayor, the city officials and the school directors and teachers are looking to the CHURCH for answers -- which is just the way it should be, amen??! They were so excited about the information, as they see the desperate need for it in our current society. (Pictures to come soon.)
PLEASE PRAY!!!! We have been out in the highways and byways for the past several weeks handing out pamphlets in schools and on the street, posting posters, etc. Please pray that many people would come, and most of all the POWER of God would be released in a mighty way over the ones that come!!!
Now it happened, as Jesus was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”
When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Mark 2:15-17
While Fabio was at the meeting, I took the kids and hit the streets. We were actually going to the mall for ice cream, but we were armed with prayer and tracts and on the lookout for the girls 'working' the street. When we came to the first spot, we found the ones we have talked to the most all fighting - yelling and pushing and shoving - seemed to be mostly directed toward one girl named Tatiana that we had talked to before. I decided it was not the best time to stop and say "Hi".
We went on to the mall without finding anyone else to talk to, but it was still only around 7pm, so I thought it would be better on the way home. We did find two girls on the way home that were very open, so we talked with them and prayed with them. They said they would come to the seminar, so we'll see.
Then we went on to the main spot where I was still hoping to talk to the group that had been fighting earlier. Not one of them was around. I was disappointed. I thought that this must not be the night....
We kept walking, but then Dominique found them! There were four of them at an open-air bar, and no one else was in the whole place. There were two older ladies, a young one, and a transvestite. I waved to them, and they motioned for us to come over, so we did. The young lady got up to make a phone call, and the trsvst. got up to get another drink.
One named Martha was there, and she was so tickled that I remembered her name. She took my hand and put in on her head and asked me to pray for her (and her son, who is in jail. That tells you something of her age!). I prayed for her with my arms around her, and she got all teary-eyed.
Then the other older one (who had invited us to her house once) kept searching in her purse. Then she called "Ariel" over from the bar, and s/he gave Dominique some money! I said we didn't want it, but she (the older one- can't remember her name) told Dominique to buy some candy for herself and her brothers and told me to keep praying for them. I promised that I had been praying and I would keep on, and that they didn't have to pay me for that! She grabbed my hand and kissed it and kept telling me how much she liked me. I prayed with her too and told her the Gospel in the simplest terms. She was the only one that was a bit drunk, but still it was encouraging to see how much she was drawn toward me and kept saying things like "I'll stick to you no matter what!" and once asked if she could hug me. In spite of their "profession", these ladies are outcasts, rejected by the world and starved for real, true LOVE. We are pleading daily for the Lord to FILL us with so much of his love that we would OVERFLOW in speaking to these people and that they would be truly TOUCHED by Jesus' transforming love.
But the thing I thought was most significant from this encounter was the one called "Ariel". S/he is the same transvestite that once had acted bothered by me trying to talk to them and would not make eye contact with me, and the next time, s/he just walked away when we approached. Tonight, though, s/he greeted me and even touched my arm. I told him that I had realized that we were next door neighbors!! Then the old lady told that kept saying how much she loved me said that "she (Ariel) was her daughter"! AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH. I couldn't believe it! Sheesh. What a messed up family. Wow.
Anyway, I prayed with them too, and then they decided to buy a 2 liter of pop for me as well, to take home. LOL. I came away SO stoked!!! They were more free to talk to me because they weren't "working", and I think they are beginning to see that we really do care. This is so key! Please pray for them!!!
These are the things that recharge my batteries! We have been "inside" all week, preparing and cleaning for the seminar, which is all good and necessary, but once I get out in the streets, THAT is when I start to get really fired up again! The kids too - they were SO excited to have met up with these ladies again. And, Dominique was happy about the money the 'girl' gave her too. Imagine, if you wish, the look on their faces when I gently explained that that 'girl' was really a man!! After a moment of shock, Dominique said that she knew it all along because "she" had such a deep voice. And Joshua wondered why a man would want to become like a woman? I said that it was hard for me to understand too, but ultimately, it is the spirits living in him that make him think he wants to be a woman, but that JESUS created him to be a man, and JESUS can set him FREE from his bondage, and restore his manhood. Most of all, I stressed that Jesus LOVES that man, even though what he is doing is wicked. That is why He came to the world, to seek and save the LOST!
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16-17
Whew! I gotta get to bed! It is after midnight, and I have to get up at 5am to pray. I have no idea if what I just wrote even made good sense. No time to polish it right now!
Fabio is praying now. We are all praying around the clock from yesterday through Sunday for the seminar, each taking an hour block at a time. Please join us in intercession for the setting free of captives here in Camboriú this weekend!!!!!