Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Misión Ohio- Part 5

A little glimpse of worship in Heaven- here on Earth

Revelation 7:9- After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.

Daniel 7:14- all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him.

In Heaven, there will be people from all nations, all tribes, all languages, worshiping our Lord Jesus. Everyone will be worshiping in their own language- different languages worshiping the same God!

We got a small glimpse of this in Ohio through bilingual worship. The worship team from Filadelfia Church lead worship several times during the week- both in English and Spanish. Many times, you could hear people singing a particular song in both languages-depending on the language they knew.

It didn't matter what language they were singing. We were all singing the same song and doing the same thing- worshiping the same God- the God above all other gods.

A little fun after a long illness

Wow. Have you ever been sick and wondered how long the illness would last. My little bout of illness that I got after returning to Maracaibo was like this. While I am not exactly sure what I had, I was sick for a total of 9 days with various symptoms that were different at the end of the 9 days than they were at the beginning of the period. However, thanks to God (and the many people who were praying for me- Gracias!) I am finally feeling better.

Monday, I was invited by some friends to go to my first spanish concert. We went to see Jesús Adrián Romero. He is a well-known singer in Latin America- similar to Steven Curtis Chapman in the USA. I had a very good time enjoying listening to the songs (I even knew a few of them) and listening as he shared parts of his testimony during the concert. It was a wonderful evening of fun and fellowship with some of my friends.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Misión Ohio- Part 4

An Act of Service-
Another aspect of the mission trip involved acts of service to the local community. The team ministered by serving in a homeless shelter in Akron and by doing work projects in two different locations- one in Aurora and one in Cleveland. All of these outreach activities were rewarding experiences as the team members were able to interact with people from Northeast Ohio and help out in areas of need.
Serving food at the Haven of Rest in Akron.
Doing landscape work at a church in Aurora.

Putting the finishing touches on a playground construction in Cleveland.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Misión Ohio- Part 3

From one extreme to another-

Imagine running around a camp til 9:30 at night with over 100 overly active kids then waking up early the next morning to minister with men and women over the age of 100. This is precisely what the mission team was faced with. Talk about a change of pace.
We went to minister with the residents and staff of a nursing home about 15 minutes away from the church. We helped get the residents prepared for lunch and helped serve them food. After lunch, we were able to encourage them and share the love of Jesus with them on a one-to-one basis through conversation. We were able to share our testimonies and share the Gospel with many people there.

My eyes teared up as I watched a man in his 90s, sitting in a wheelchair, pray with one of our missionaries to accept Christ. What an awesome sight it was! It doesn't matter how old you are when you accept the truth of Jesus and choose to start a relationship with Him-- the only thing that matters is that you do!

The woman sitting down is 104 years young!

After leaving the nursing home, our next area of ministry was a prison. We traveled about an hour away to a prison for young men, ages 12-21. For security reasons, only men were permitted to lead parts of our chapel service (with the exception of the few girls in the drama that was performed). Due to security reasons, no cameras were permitted. Sorry.

Our worship team lead worship. This was followed by a few testimonies, the drama, and a message from the pastor. While the men participated in the activities, the women sat in back, participating in prayer.

Overall, the young men were well behaved. However, I knew we were looking at people who did not think, act, or feel the same way as our team members did. When the drama was performed, there is a part when the main girl is dancing with God, only to have "the new boyfriend" interrupt and shove God out of the way. With the many times this drama has been performed, this was the first time I have ever seen a group applaud that God got pushed away by the new boyfriend. Two of the young men even stood up to clap at that part. I prayed that they would stay focused til the end and that they would understand the truth that we were trying to teach them- that it is the evil in the world that tries to push God away, but God desires to be with us and has given everything so that we can be with Him. I prayed that the blinders would come off so they could see and understand the truth.

At the end of the message from the pastor, he invited them to accept Christ as their Savior. When asked, every one of the young men raised their hands, including some who looked around first to see who had their hands raised. While I do not believe every one of those young men accepted Christ that day, I do believe that seeds were planted and that there may have been some who truly accepted Christ. I know that God knows their hearts. He knows who truly prayed that prayer to give their life over to Him that evening in the prison gymnasium. I look forward to meeting those men in Heaven someday and hearing how God touched their lives through a group of ordinary people from Venezuela doing an extraordinary work in Ohio.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Misión Ohio- Part 2

A day at camp-

The team traveled to the rural area of Burton, Ohio- northeast of Cleveland- to spend the whole day with a group of kids at camp. This camp, Camp Good News, is sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship and is designed to bring in children from the inner city areas to spend a week in camp, having fun, and learning about Christ. For many of our missionaries, it was their first camp experience as well.

I was particularly excited about this activity. It was through a Good News Club in my neighborhood sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship that I accepted Christ at the age of 8. How awesome it is that I am now able to help this same organization as they share the Gospel with other children in the hopes that they too might come to know their Savior and Lord.

The team members were split up and paired with different kids cabins- groups of children- with which they spent the day. They ate meals with them, sang with them, played with them (basketball, soccer, swimming, etc), and even shared their testimonies and shared the Gospel during small group time.

Our mission team was also in charge of the entire chapel service that evening. Our worship team performed, teaching the children songs in Spanish and singing in English as well. We had some testimonies given by our missionaries, some of whom were giving their testimony either for the first time or for the first time in English. The dance team performed and Pr. Anaximandro gave a message to the children.

It was a great time of fun, fellowship, and worship of our Lord!

Misión Ohio- Part 1

A bout of illness upon my return to Maracaibo has kept me out of commission for the past 3 days. This has given me time to rest (couldn't really do anything else). Now that I am feeling better, I want to be able to update you on some of the opportunities God gave the Venezuelan missionaries in Ohio.

The team consisted of 23 Venezuelans and myself, who traveled from Maracaibo, Venezuela to Cleveland, Ohio. We knew that God was going to do some amazing things during this trip because the enemy was putting in some overtime work in trying to discourage us. All of the flights for the team's arrival were either delayed or cancelled. Nobody arrived in Cleveland when they were scheduled to arrive and half of the team had to spend the night in JFK airport. However, attitudes were positive, knowing that they were going to Ohio with a purpose- to expand the Kingdom of God.

Our first ministry activity was what we would consider pre-evangelism. We went to Akron, Ohio to help an organization called "He brought us out" prepare for their outreach the following day. There was lots of preparation that needed to be done before they could do their evangelism and the outreach in their community and we were glad to be able to assist.

We spent some time in prayer for their activity. Praying is the best way to assist, as we are asking for the covering of God Himself on this activity.

After doing some of the preparations that were needed, we went to the site where the activity was taking place and did a prayer march around the field. What a powerful experience to be able to march around the field, claiming the land and the activity for Christ!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Back in Maracaibo

Yes, I am back in Maracaibo after spending just over 3 weeks in Ohio. The mission trip was very good. I will be updating the blog later with some pictures and stories from the mission. For now, I am recouperating from the extremely busy trip and preparing to get back to work here in Maracaibo.

Thanks for your prayers!

Friday, August 1, 2008


Since I arrived in Ohio, I have been busy with the final preparations for the mission team- working with the church administration getting the outreach activities organized and host families arranged. It has been a lot of work, but also rewarding, knowing that the team is coming and we will soon see the results of all the preparations we have done.

Well...... It has finally arrived. The team from Venezuela will be arriving tomorrow. All the training has been done. All preparations are ready. Many of the team members are already in Caracas awaiting their flight to the USA tomorrow.

This is a historic event. It is not that common for mission teams to come to the United States from other countries with the goal of evangelizing. However, 23 Venezuelans are about to come to Northeast Ohio with that very purpose in mind.

I know that God has great things in store for this team and we are going to see His mighty hand at work this week. All the glory belongs to Him.

God, bless this team. Protect them as they travel from Venezuela to Ohio. Keep them safe while they serve You this week. Allow them to honor You in all they do, wherever they go.