Thursday, September 10, 2009

Deanna and a Quechua girl

Our time in the mountains of Peru was both dark and rewarding.

The beauty of the villages of Huamachuco and Santiago de Chuco is unique. The former is two or three times the size of the latter. Both are inhabited by largely, indigenous people.

Our team walked everywhere for ministry. Everywhere you walked seemed to be uphill. I still haven't figured out how that is possible, but it sure seemed true.

I've spoken of Huamachuco before. We ministered there a year ago. This is the village that is desperate for the Word, and for a church to begin. Our contact continues to work to facilitate this need. We looked at potential sites for them to meet, while there.

These areas with the greatest hunger for Truth, seemed to usher in the deepest darkness.

We taught this team on spiritual warfare. We taught them they did not need to fear. The Word repeatedly teaches, "fear not." We are not battling FOR victory, but are battling FROM victory.

This dynamic shift in approach and understanding, brings about confidence and reliance upon Christ.

Still, the darkness was deep and thick. There was a day I had remained back to prepare a teaching on the Holiness of God. I was enthused about what God wanted to do.

As my enthusiasm built, several of my team literally began to be carried back to where Deanna and I were at the hotel, one by one... under attack from the enemy, and seemingly rife with fear.

We covered them in prayer, and saw the Lord prevail in each and every instance! We gathered and began to worship Him, as a team. The joy in the Lord's victory was significant. The enemy was unhappy.

That same evening, after dinner, as we were preparing for teaching, the enemy began attacks in earnest. Students were experiencing disturbing visuals that were not physically tangible. While not tangible, they were consistent. The stories (which they had no time to share with each other) were so similar that we knew the enemy was seeking to destroy our faith.

As my leadership team prayed over each student brought before us, and saw the Lord release each one from the enemies attack, suddenly, the lights went out all over the village. The enemy sought to use fear to overwhelm us.

We were high in the mountains, in a village where the city fathers told me they descended from bird gods. As we walked the village, we had seen many birds of prey on tether's, throughout.

These people viewed birds with the kind of defiled hearts spoken of in Romans 1:23.

The battle was real. They needed Jesus!

It was unlike what most of us ever see or experience in our country. Retelling it must generally be done with little to no detail as it has the capacity to strike fear in those who hear.

Why we don't experience it much at home is perhaps a topic for another day... but has to do with our complacency in spiritual matters and our seeming, lethargic relationships with Christ.

The enemy has us believing that more material things will satisfy us. We so embrace this pursuit, that we are largely ineffective in walking in simple obedience to our Savior. Though the Word of God reveals that these battles are taking place, we seldom believe as we have not experienced them. We do not experience because we are not engaged in serving as we should... in effect, we are not dangerous to the enemy... and most of us like that just fine.

That evening was one my students will never forget! The Lord delivered and prevailed!

The following morning, we did another impromptu teaching on "fear." Sometimes, we must experience life in its ravage and rampage before we get the point.

We continued to minister in this city. We had no more episodes that overwhelmed our team. They learned and began to do battle as is required of us who believe.

On the final day in this village, a man I had seen at different ministry sites stepped forward and opened his home as a place for a house church to begin! We praise God for Him!

I know that as a rule, we would prefer to never encounter the enemy in such ways. If, however, we are intimate with our Savior, the battle will come to us, and we must be prepared to fight it. The battle does indeed belong to the Lord. We engage as we are obedient. We become dangerous, as we allow His presence and Spirit to work in and through our lives.

Impotent, anorexic faith is useless... except to the enemy. He has victory when we live this way.

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "But the righteous man shall live by faith"... Romans 1:16-17



At 12:46 PM, Blogger Mac and Sue said...

Brent, Thanks to you, Deanna and your team leaders for the time you poured into the Peru team. We are so thankful for the wisdom you have in discerning the attacks they come under and teaching them to not be afraid. As we read the posts each day, we were blessed and humbled by what the Lord was doing. Thanks for your servant hearts and we pray His protection to each of you as you continue to share the "good news". Love in Christ, Mac and Sue, Kelsey and Kaleb's grandparents.

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing Brent. Love that perspective and not heard it put quite that way before. That is, your comment about working FROM victory rather than FOR victory. I'm always learning from you! Muchas gracias amigo!
Mark \0/

At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am overcome with emotion as I read this post, Brent. I thank you for sharing the real battle and for allowing us to realize just a glimpse (although GRAND) of His Glory.

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Tina said...

Praise God, Brent, that these teams have you and Deanna in leadership to help direct/guide them and pray with and over them against the enemy. His attacks are strong. I have been feeling some of my own over this last year and it's difficult to stay strong when you don't have that same leadership. It's an uphill battle trying to get others to see what's truly important in this life and what's not. People are so worldly, it drives me to tears often.

May God bless you abundantly today!
Tina (Cedarburg, WI)


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