I was one of the speakers and trainers this past week as Ministerio Neuva Condicion (New Condition Ministries) brought together numerous pastors and churches from the cities of San Juan (in the north) and Ponce (in the south) for a historic conference on sexual redemption.
The 5th Sexual Redemption Congress was held in beautiful colonial Ponce March 11-13 on the expansive campus of Iglesia Christiana de la Familia, the first time any such conference had been organized and held in the south of Puerto Rico. The conference organizer Heisha Fernandez, worked untiringly to bring together so many people to hear the message of freedom and deliverance.
Although the conference didnt begin officially until the 11th, a worship service was held on Thursday where Pastor Aldo Lopez of City of Refuge Church in San Juan preached a powerful message on “learning the language of the bones”. He told the church that God was speaking a language to dead bones that only they could hear, but if we are to see them resurrected, we would have to learn to speak that language. Many came forward to the altar afterwards to ask God for renewed spiritual power to help with speaking out to those who were lost.
Hundreds of adults and youth were on hand each day to hear (some of them for the first time) powerful testimonies of how God delivers from pornography, homosexuality, lesbianism and sex industry lifestyles.
Friday night, a young lady who I remember as “Ruthie” shared how God took her out of nightclubs were she was a pole dancer for men. She said that when she came out, God told her to dance for him and she shared such a moving worship dance that when she finished the Holy Spirit moved and prompted a spontaneous worship all over the sanctuary. The church worshipped like they were truly hungry for the presence of God. In fact, when I was presented for the main message that night, the anointing of God fell afresh in such a way that I could not even open my mouth to speak intelligent words. Both myself and the translator as well begin to praise God at the same time. The pastor, an educated man, and his wife and many of the leaders fell on their faces in worship before the Lord as he moved in the midst of us. The service was simulcast on the internet. One of the church’s technicians told me the internet broadcast had a larger than normal audience.
When the Spirit released us to continue, I preached from James 4:13 from the subject “Make this moment count”. I conveyed to the church that God had given each of us only a moment in time to make an impact for the kingdom of God and that we should take full advantage of it. When I gave the altar call the first to come were teens and young adults who were crying out to God and praying for each other. It was a sight to behold.
On both Friday and Saturday, I conducted six full seminars on a range of topics from temptation to developing healthy same gender relationships to the various challenges faced by the church from homosexual affirming theology. This was my first time working with a translator, but the Lord gave us supernatural unity of spirit (and form) with the two translators assigned to me. They both flowed with ease so the people were completely blessed, educated and equipped.
I was astonished at the passion of the saints in this country as they truly came with believing hearts and many, many excellent and thought provoking questions. On Saturday, the seminars were held behind the church in a large tent (like a revival tent) because the youth were given the sanctuary to hear presentations and a music concert aimed at equipping them. Even though the heat cranked up, not one person left or complained. Sure, they live there, but it was no easy task as we struggled with the heat to deliver God’s word.
I was told by some of the people that it had not rained in Ponce (Puerto Rico’s second largest city) in some time. In fact, a doctor told me that the land had been dry and brown for some time. But the day after we arrived, clouds formed and the rain began to fall intermittently. As we were leaving out, the doctor showed me how already it looked as if the green was returning.
I was especially blessed to work with Pastor Pat Lawrence of Toronto. Pat is the past president of Exodus Global Alliance. She and I had worked on a similar missionary trip in Barbados in 2006, so it was a joy to see her and work with her again.
The congress was backed and sustained by a small army of prayer intercessors. I noticed that they prayed constantly no matter what was going on. They were faithful to the call to cover the meeting in that manner. It was also evident that the prayers of the righteous availeth much.
On Saturday evening we took the roughly hour and a half drive back to San Juan where I was hosted by a gracious family. Both were doctors and well to do, but treated me with such respect. They fed me well with Puerto Rican food. All my taste buds can say is “wow!”.
On Sunday, I had been asked to speak at two local church services. The first was the morning worship at Iglesia Cristiana El Sembrador. Although I could not understand the words to the songs or what the people were saying at times, the Spirit confirmed itself. One song about the faithfulness of God moved me to tears and truly set the stage as I shared with the packed church from Psalms 66:10-13 I relayed to them that God was moving us to a “wealthy place” and that he had allowed and even orchestrated the pain and hurt we go through to bring out the best in us for his glory. I was touched deeply as many of the older mothers of the church came forward weeping in prayer and the word was received with joy. The Lord instructed me to pray for those sick and anoint them with oil. My translator told me that CD sales of the message doubled that day. All glory to God.
We left that church and went immediately to a service at my host’s church where I didnt speak but enjoyed a brief service of praise. Although it was a Baptist church, the service reminded me of some “apostolic church” services I had been in.
Later, I was the guest minister at the City of Refuge Church where the other translator assigned to me pastored. So many people had come the pastor told me he had to turn away several families because of building restrictions. I know it had nothing to do with me, but the worship was so rich and powerful, it made ministering the word easy. The passage the Lord gave me was from Psalms 118:15-17. After the service, a lady whom I recognized from Ponce, came to me and gave me a small silver ring. She couldnt speak English but she told the pastor she wanted me to have it so “I would not forget her”. She said that I had answered so many questions and issues she had been struggling with. My heart was so touched it could have just melted.
Was I exhausted? You bet I was! But worth every second. I am truly thankful that God allowed me to be a small part of this historic moving of the Spirit in Puerto Rico. I ask that you pray with me that the seeds sown will bring forth a bountiful harvest.