Revival in Cochabamba!
Sorry you haven't heard from me in a couple days but you will not believe what’s happening here. To begin with, there has been a lot of excitement about our coming to Cochabamba. Churches have been working hard for weeks making and distributing 2,000 posters on street corners, doing radio and TV announcements and face to face invitations to my presentations.
But on Saturday, I had a lot of trouble breathing, was nauseous and felt like a bomb exploded inside my head. Funny how only your head hurts but your entire body is incapacitated. I felt sick the entire day. Thankfully, we anticipated this and nothing was scheduled for me during the day so I was able to rest, but I did have to speak that evening. We made a plan that Jeff would film and Tony would translate for me during this adjustment time in case I loose my breath and am not able to finish my sentences. At least he knows my testimony and would already know exactly what I was trying to say.
On Saturday night I gave my testimony inside a former movie theater were 2 churches gathered to hear me. I began by giving apologies for being out of breath and explained that I was still adjusting to the altitude here in Cochabamba. Many people seemed amazed that I was even willing to come here knowing that I could be ill for a couple days. In the end around 20 people gave their lives to Christ INCLUDING TONY’S COUSIN!!
Sunday was a big day. I had 3 churches (First Baptist, Cochabamba was added) and a jail scheduled and I was still not breathing too well. The first church, Ekklesia, was amazing. This is Tony’s home church from 14 years ago. His pastor was so proud to have him back and to see that he is now traveling with us as a part of our ministry team. The service was very emotional for us. Several members of Tony’s family traveled 6 1/2 hours by bus just to meet Jeff and I, hear me speak, and to personally thank us for the love we have shown to Huguito (the little boy I told you about with Leukemia). I just couldn’t believe it, 19 in all came in from different areas.
Imagine the overwhelming feeling when I saw more than 120 people coming forward to receive Christ. Imagine the overwhelming feeling in Tony’s heart when he saw his father in law, his aunt and another cousin also coming forward. We just couldn’t believe our eyes. Here I was gasping for air and thinking that I couldn’t make an impact in this condition and GOD used my weak moment to start a revival. Wow!
My time at “El Abra” Maximum Security Jail was like nothing I have ever experienced. Let me be honest and say that this Bolivian Jail is a very scary place. After a strip search, the guards just opened the main door for us and let us go through UNESCORTED!!! As far as we could see, there were no guards inside. The men roam free in this place. Anyone could grab us and at anytime. Where is the maximum security??? We had to walk through on our own to get to the chapel. Lots of mean faces, scars, tattoos and cat calls just like you see on TV. Cells have about 20 beds with one toilet. The smell of men who have not taken a shower for days lingered in the air.
But then we met Pastor Felix Ferreira who lives in this jail. Yes, he is an inmate with a 30 year sentence (that’s the maximum sentence in here Bolivia) for murder. But God has changed him, right here in this jail. In fact he said that if he didn’t come to jail, he wouldn’t know the Lord at all. There were about 37 in the chapel and I found it difficult to really engage these guys. They have been through so much more than me and have seen and done such horrible things in their lives that I was concerned if my testimony was right for them. But when I gave the invitation, I was surprised to see more than half open their hearts to Jesus. It was amazing!
The rest of the day was more of the same, me gasping for air during presentations and many coming to Christ. By the end of the day, I was out of breath, exhausted and OVER 250 WERE ADDED TO THE KINGDOM!!!!!!!
Today was great; I am feeling like myself again and breathing well. In the morning I did a TV interview, Radio interview and also spoke at a school where 9 accepted Jesus, including another one of Tony’s cousins! We have the night off tonight because the parents meeting was canceled, but we can all use an evening of just watching TV and eating junk food.
For those of you following me with your prayer guides, I have been invited to share my testimony with the Chamber of Commerce at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow. Please remember us in your prayers at that time, they have no idea I’ll be speaking about God.
Well, that’s the latest here in Cochabamba. The icing on the cake has been giving out the toys you sent. The kids are so thankful. It was a rough start for me physically but I am MUCH better now. Thank you so much for praying and for all your encouraging emails. In case you are wondering if I will ever put myself through this again, the answer is YES!! God has a purpose in what He allows. Look at the revival that has started in this city and today is only Monday! For me, altitude sickness is just a little discomfort in comparison to what Jesus did for us.
With Love to You – Because of Him,
Posted by Bernadette at March 23, 2009 09:20 PM