Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chronicles of Peru

So, here I am in Cuzco. Tomorrow morning, I am heading up to Aguas Calientes and then on to Machu Picchu. My camera is ready and my heart is bursting for the adventure! But it seems I can’t get away from adventure. It clings to my footsteps, it hangs on my shoulders as a robe and it is held, bound to my heart and spirit. Last night was the first night in the past week and a half that I actually slept.( when I woke up, I was in a hospital bed with several doctors and nurses talking incessantly in Spanish and pushing back down into the bed each of the 7 times I tried to rise. They would say, “Sir is okay. You are fine. Sit back. Sir, lay down! Please rest. You will be fine. Don’t worry.” Needless to say, I was ticked off and would soon have ripped out the tubes from my nose had it not been for one of my team members peeking into the room to check on me…..and then I knew I wasn’t having a dream. Stupid diabetes.)But, for the each of the previous nights, I had been sleeping on 17 hour bus rides through the Andes, in a hammock lashed between poles on a boat, on concrete floors, on wood floors, in church sanctuaries and in canoes as I traveled with my team through the Amazon in search of unreached tribes. I am sure to be jumping ahead of myself a bit, however, seeing that before this adventure I spent almost three weeks just traveling down the coast of Peru, through the long and vacant desert that spans the country. That first part of Peru was, in itself, as intense as the jungle but different in that it was just traveling and not pursued ministry. Still, for the first week of Peru, I was sick as a ditched dog; sun-poisoning reeks havoc on your body. And….just a note on the side, if you are going to spend any time at a beach in Peru and then decide to try surfing for the first time in your life ALWAYS wear sunscreen. You may be strong….but the sun is a freaking slave master. Don’t try and skip him, or he will pummel you into the beautiful Peruvian sand. In fact, almost our whole team spent many days in the toilet, with all the side effects of poisoning. Haha! It was a crazy time. And even in that environment of seemingly endless torture , several hippies came to the grace of Christ just as we lived at our camping grounds in Zorritos, Peru.**********After traveling for many more days, zooming through the desert in our 5 car caravan, we made it to our first stop; Paramonga. In this smallish town, we spent almost 5 days ministering in churches, small-groups and in outlaying communities.….I say this as fact….with no joshing in between the words……EVERY person that we prayed healing for was healed. Done. Every one.This was actually a roaring faith-testimony to my own heart, for many times I have prayed for people and seen little healing, or none at all. But not this time. God is in “ever increasing mode“; I feel His courage billowing in my heart! –Nothing will ever be the same, each day that we come before our King. For, as we come into His shade, He overshadows us in His truth and in His life. Each time, let the waves wash and swirl me into His hand and heart. I change. I am shaped. I become His goodness. I become His faith. I become His light. I become His love. As I stand in His presence, the Faithful Witness takes me into Himself, so I am moved into His image. That cannot be taken away. It is His faithful work.– For two nights in Paramonga, we held holy parties in the square. The first night, we were able to pray for so many people. When the time came to pray, I set my camera down and approached a row of quite elderly men, sitting on a bench. These men seemed to be the oldie buddies who claimed the square each day for their usual men-meetings. I walked up to the first man and in broken Spanish asked if he wanted prayer. He said no, flat. So, I went on to the next man. After praying twice, the man was totally healed and was wiping tears from his eyes! Then, the first man who had rejected me latched onto my hand and begged me to pray for him. Ditto, that man received total healing. As so it went on! And as I walked down the line, each one was healed by Christ and each one received prophecy of words of life. It was incredible to see God stopping for every person. No old man would be left out. Each child received His blessing and each woman and youth received destiny upon their lives. I approached one young man, with Liney, who was sitting on a bench. Although he didn’t seem quite enthusiastic about getting prayer, he didn’t reject us either. So, went fell into it. At first, his broken index finger didn’t feel any different. We prayed again, accompanied with prophecy. He opened his eyes and moved his hand, clenching his fist. His whites grew as he looked at his girlfriend in astonishment! Total healing. He let us continue to prophecy, smiling a surprised and giddy grin all the way. The second night, a cultural meeting and festival was being held. Probably 400 or 500 people filled the square. And the mayor of Paramonga gave us 15 minutes to do whatever we wanted!! So we got up and preached the word! Whoo! A captive audience, there was no commotion in the crowd. Even though there were shops and stores to investigate, they stood silent and listened to our Colombian sister, Liney, preach the Gospel of the living King! Come on! The world makes way for the Kingdom of the living God! That’s how it should be and that’s how it is going to be increasingly manifested! Amen.*********From Paramonga, we crusaded on to Lima, capital of Peru.Lima is beautiful. And, on a rather physical note, it has been the Capital of Starbucks so far on this trip. Ha! The first day in Lima, I think I drank 3 or 4 drinks. Maybe a stretch, but it did my heart well. Lima was basically a base for our split up teams to reconvene and head out again for different outreaches. After a couple days of chilling in civilization, a group of 13 of my teammates and I (including Zoe, the 2 year old) packed up and headed off to the Amazon! We first had to bus around 17 hours, through the Andes and into the door-city of that particular region of Amazon. Although the desire was to get as quickly as possible into the far-reaches of the forests, my team and I ended up ministering to the church which was hosting us and to the satellite churches within the city. Sometimes ministering in a church is the hardest option in ministry, but the rewards are huge; the greatest reward being that it is Christ who receives pleasure from the time and it is He who groans for the ministry to work in power! Along with that, it is easy to feel as if you have nothing left to give in ministry after you have continued on in church ministry morning and night, but it is Christ who is the Faithful Witness and it is He who gives any man or woman an abundance if they will choose to step into the ministry of helping Christ’s Bride up out of the dust. After a few days of the city, though, I was even more eager for the mysterious jungles. I should also note that I invested in a pet before heading out into the jungle. And I will also say that I have the most “bombing” baby monkey that anyone has ever seen! Haha! The more I thought about the reality of my circumstance (that I was truly going to be within the Amazon) the more I realized in my spirit that Christ has been preparing me for these days since I was a tiny child. I remember looking through dictionaries, watching the Discovery Channel and reading National Geographic all day long when I was a boy. The geographical world was a thing of mystery that I longed to discover and know. When it came to school, I could care less about American history, but world history was a passion! Even in my youth, God was creatively designing me for His adventures. He planted desires in me. He trained me, even when I thought I was simply doing fun and interesting stuff.And there I was, about to boat off into the snaky Amazon, a land that I had longed to explore since those first dreams of childhood. Crazy. God has you; even when you think that your thoughts are just your own misguided creations, God is actively painting your life in glory. But moving on along the chronicles, we began and ended our 6 day journey in the Amazon with a 18 hour boat ride. The boat was a small, double-decked flat bottom river-boat. The first deck was constructed with many beams so that over 60 hammocks could be lashed between them. The ceiling was quite short, though; not high enough for me to stand up all the way. It began to remind me of the old slave-ships. But it was a party boat for us! Close quarters always seem to bring about the spirit of awesomeness in this team. During this boat ride, I saw the most incredible sunset over the Ucayali River, spent the most incredible evening watching the Milky Way and reflected stars in the water and later I got to witness many Amazonian River-dolphins! To be sure, it was a swell ride. Our guide down this river was a pastor of the indigenous Shepibo-Kenibo peoples, Pastor Antonio. I think we spent around 3 days in this village. I can say, in pint of fact, that EVERY person prayed for during ministry times was healed! In this trip, my team saw a huge breakthrough. Along with that side of ministry, as we prayed and discerned the spiritual atmosphere in the area we knew that some shamanism was buried in the hearts of the people there. We prayed. The next night, at the church in the area, we prayed again for the people and invited them to come up for blessings and then led them in a cry to dismantle and vanquish that disease of witchcraft! Power poured out. From that village, we traveled up river to another sector of the Shepibo-Kenibo peoples. We ended up spending a night there because the locals supposedly couldn’t find strong enough boats for us to make the day long journey up to the Shanika peoples. The Shanika people are said to have virtually no contact with the outside world and are also rumored to continue to bear tribal facial tattoos and feather piercings. I admit with a jealous and groaning heart that we did not end up making it to that tribe. We made the 8 hour trip there and then were turned back because the chief wasn’t there to welcome us and because some of our local pastors grew afraid of the Shanika and didn’t want to take their children, which they had brought, into the village. Even so, from the frustration of that journey, a dream and vision was born into the hearts of my leaders, Jesse and Christian and myself. It has been prophesied that within 5 years, Iris Ministries will have at least 1 large, double or triple-decked River-Boat! This boat will resemble the old Louisianan river boats. And from this boat, a campaign will engage t reach EVRY UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUP! Jesus is holding, waiting for the people to hear. We have to catch the vision that one day……….EVERY group of people will have the word preached to their hearts. From the substance of this vision, the possibilities for the Gospel are huge. Within a short time of getting the boat, teams from around the world (who have been longing for these tribes) will be able to fly in and travel throughout the 4 countries where the Amazon runs; Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil! Many different teams will be able to be housed on the boat, from forerunners to the linguistic teams helping to translate the Gospel into these various languages. From the large boat, we will carry many motorized canoes which we will be able push off at any tributary and take up river to find the many rumored tribes. The vision is large. But Christ desires His Amazonian Bride. He will have her. —–I would invite anyone who feels that burden to engage. Begin praying hard for what God will do in these next few years in the South of America.—- The rest of the travel was long and adventurous. I think that within those two weeks I slept a full night maybe once; and it continues on. But the adventure with Christ during the day gives as much energy as the sleep at night……(but, sleep is always good! And I hope that the schedule will even out again!)……………….Ending this one leg of the Peru Chronicles, Taylor McClendon, Kurt Weller and I bused back 17 hours to Lima. When we arrived it was around 5 in the morning. No one answered us from within the YWAM compound. So, we climbed up the wall to the second story window and made a human chain to get our luggage and monkeys up into the house!!! HA! So much fun. Now, it’s on to Machu Picchu!

Post by Taylor Lindsey

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