Missionary Heartbeat

Rocky Grams Fall, 2012

Missionary Heartbeat

"Out of your inner being will flow rivers of living water."

What an amazing description of life.    

And Jesus should know.

We will express the overpowering life-producing activity

         of the Spirit of God.    

We participate.

We free those churning waters

Or we block His expression altogether.  

It's our choice.

The latter is a life of unassuming, steady, no surprises comfort.

The former is full of danger and packed with potential.

This week, Roberto Tolosa, IBRP senior, returned from Spain.

While there, he preached in twenty churches.  

An average of four or five people per church received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.                                                     

He also preached in ten towns that have no Evangelical church

And saw great response among the people.

Rivers flowing.

The third day back at IBRP  

he awakened with a start at 4:00 A.M. and saw a vision.

A storage area full of backpacks of many colors and the leadership of the Bible School distributing backpacks to the students,

Who then left for the nations of the world.

"What is in the backpacks?" Roberto asked the Lord.

God's answer: "They're filled with anointing, passion, preparation and the tools to take my Gospel to the nations of the world."

Lord, what do we do with so many concurring words

                                                 from such diverse sources?

"Each student receives a cross and goes to the nations."

      Dave Becker from Kentucky

"Each student receives a backpack and a flag and goes to the nation assigned by God."                                             

Igna de Suarez from Colombia

"You will begin to walk on water."

                                              Felipe Quiñones from Chile

"This is just the beginning of your ministry."

                                    Gladys de Mena from Catamarca ,        

                                                               Northern Argentina

    "This generation will be the protagonists of the greatest revival yet."

                     Damián Gonzalez from Rosario and Indiana, USA

    "The circles of fire are like the ones animals jump through in the circus. The highest and the most difficult is yours."

                            Virginia Contreras, missionary to Argentina

    Lord, are we crazy? Are we lunatic fanatics?

    If we're crazy, it's for God, Paul said.*

    Lord, do we force things to happen?

    No way. We can't anyway. You are the Verb.

    "Pastors will come to the school to be renewed in the Spirit."                                                               

     "You will be going to a new level."

    "The presence of God will fill the school with light."

    "Fresh oil..."

    "Coals of fire about to be extinguished are reignited."

    And the testimonies keep coming in.

    "We were invited to the home of a transvestite who sells his body.  He is open to the Word."

    "The annex church that meets in a garage was about to close down.

    Two of us went to help out with the adolescents and services.

    This past weekend 30 families showed up, including 70 children!"

    "We held an event at the train station. 1500 were there.  

    So many of the kids and their parents ran forward to accept Christ."

    As we speak the Seniors are returning from ministry in Cape Verde, and Mozambique, Colombia and Senegal.

    Our graduates are all over Argentina and in Italy, Spain and Latvia, Haiti, Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Norway.

    The River is flowing.

    What is our place?

    Let it flow.

    Believe. Obey.

    Let Holy Spirit take the day.

    It's His day anyway.

    *II Corinthians 5:13

MISSIONARY HEARTBEAT

                  by Rocky Grams              

Lord, You called us to this battle. 

Sleepless nights of anticipation  before the challenge of the next day

Or of worry and concern at skyrocketing costs and the pressure

Of so much going on simultaneously. 

Lord, this is Your idea.   It’s Your battle.

122 resident students just left for their churches and three days later

309 resident students arrived on campus. 

We’re out of chairs in the chapel.  Out of beds and mattresses.

Out of cups and silverware.

It’s Your battle!

You called us, Lord, to this place of transformation. 

The timid young lady of a few months back is now coordinating youth retreats.

The would-be-suicide is now teaching self-defense and Bible verses in the slums.

The demure and reticent has stated: 

“This course has made me addicted to evangelism.”

The freshman pastor’s kid went back to his church after a year of training and Watched the youth group quadruple.

The former drug addict who had spent eight years in jail has now planted a Church that has grown to six hundred in five years.

It’s your place of transformation where the love of teachers, staff and classmates And Your love has healed so many hearts. 

Lord, You called us to a place of dreams.

Where your called ones catch Your dream for their lives. 

“Jesus to the streets” was a dream You birthed in the heart of Nicolas Ferreyra.

His entire family was involved in this last event in Southern Argentina

Where dozens of young people were preaching on the street corners Simultaneously while 700 others were evangelizing house to house.

That evening 12,000 came together for a music fest about Your love.

Lord, You called us to a place of life.

Classes six days a week all day long and evenings.

Four training programs going on at the same time.

So many churches represented.

Students from so many nations.

We’re stretched to the limit.

But the battle is yours! 

And what a battle it is. 

We’re amazed and grateful to work in this Your place of

Transformation and of life.

Your place of healing, of love,

Of learning to dream Your dreams. 

And simply, to obey.  

Missionary heartbeat

     by Rocky Grams                          

Is it a special place if people weep there in God’s presence almost every day?

Is it a special place if people pray and worship and intercede there all the time?

Is it a special place if students are desperate to find a place to pray?

A merchant walks on campus and comments on the peace he feels.

A student begins to tremble during a short time of counsel in the office:

“I feel something different here.”

A group of students begin to laugh unto tears during our day of Fasting and Prayer.

A senior student from Colombia purchases a cookie from a street vendor and says

“God bless you!”  The man begins to shout!  He has been healed of deafness.

A freshman goes on his second trip with the ministerial team and learns how to take authority over demons.

Training in the Word and a life of devotion are a constant in this place.

In this place a life is transformed from timidity and self-absorption to influence and leadership and compassion.

In this place life-long covenants are forged of sacrifice in the pastorate or

On the foreign field. 

A young woman is here in our freshman class.  She was won to Christ by the change she saw in her incarcerated father—he, her mother’s assassin, is now part of the church leadership and is encouraging her to train in this place.

In this place a young man has reached his junior year.  He was won to Christ from a life of drug dealing and contraband and robbery.  Previously running with the demon-possessed and desperate, now he is helping to restore lives. 

In this place God is birthing dreams in his heart.

In this place there are often tears when the Word goes deep during chapel times

Or during evening services.

When a teacher interrupts class because Holy Spirit is moving

When a student gets a slip and faces leaving due to non-payment

Is it a special place when volunteers construction workers from Tennessee and Wisconsin and California and Missouri who never knew the school say a tearful goodbye to students they just met?

Is it a special place when there are visions and dreams that ring true in our heats?

An American visitor newly arrived:  “I saw a whirlwind of fire with the epicenter on the school swirling and sending fire around the world.”

A sophomore student:  “I saw students in prayer in a bubble of fire

About to explode.”

A junior:  “I saw hundreds of students laughing and walking around the in the new building and so many people, older people unseen to them, kneeling behind the walls their hands raised in intercession.”

A pastor from Minnesota:  “You are not on the last chapter or the middle chapter but on the first chapter of the book.”

A pastor from California:  “I saw you and Sherry seated and the students surrounding you, hands raised and interceding.”

An Argentine pastor:  “What is ahead is so much more.”

A graduate who ministers worldwide and spoke in chapel this week:

“I saw angels running through the buildings!”

Is it a special place when the staff keeps working year after year despite consistent shortages?

So much going on.  So much to do. 

So much faith to keep on track with what God has shown us. 

We would give anything to work here.

We have given our all.  Staff and teachers and so many more

Have sacrificed immensely to help keep this mix viable.

This is His place

And we are His coworkers.  We belong to him and are so grateful to serve at IBRP,

Instituto Bíblico Rio de la Plata.

A place of dreams from God, of tears, of laughter,

Of potential projected and realized.

Missionary heartbeat

                                                             by Rocky Grams                          

Is it a special place if people weep there in God’s presence almost every day?

Is it a special place if people pray and worship and intercede there all the time?

Is it a special place if students are desperate to find a place to pray?

A merchant walks on campus and comments on the peace he feels.

A student begins to tremble during a short time of counsel in the office:

“I feel something different here.”

A group of students begin to laugh unto tears during our day of Fasting and Prayer.

A senior student from Colombia purchases a cookie from a street vendor and says

“God bless you!”  The man begins to shout!  He has been healed of deafness.

A freshman goes on his second trip with the ministerial team and learns how to take authority over demons.

Training in the Word and a life of devotion are a constant in this place.

In this place a life is transformed from timidity and self-absorption to influence and leadership and compassion.

In this place life-long covenants are forged of sacrifice in the pastorate or

On the foreign field. 

A young woman is here in our freshman class.  She was won to Christ by the change she saw in her incarcerated father—he, her mother’s assassin, is now part of the church leadership and is encouraging her to train in this place.

In this place a young man has reached his junior year.  He was won to Christ from a life of drug dealing and contraband and robbery.  Previously running with the demon-possessed and desperate, now he is helping to restore lives. 

In this place God is birthing dreams in his heart.

In this place there are often tears when the Word goes deep during chapel times

Or during evening services.

When a teacher interrupts class because Holy Spirit is moving.

When a student gets a slip and faces leaving due to non-payment.

Is it a special place when volunteer construction workers from Tennessee and Wisconsin and California and Missouri who never knew the school say a tearful goodbye to students they just met?

Is it a special place when there are visions and dreams that ring true in our heats?

An American visitor newly arrived:  “I saw a whirlwind of fire with the epicenter on the school swirling and sending fire around the world.”

A sophomore student:  “I saw students in prayer in a bubble of fire

About to explode.”

A junior:  “I saw hundreds of students laughing and walking around in the new building and so many people, older people unseen to them, kneeling behind the walls their hands raised in intercession.”

A church leader from Minnesota:  “You are not on the last chapter or the middle chapter but on the first chapter of the book.”

A pastor from California:  “I saw you and Sherry seated and the students as a protective circle around you, facing out, hands raised and interceding.”

An Argentine pastor:  “What is ahead is so much more.”

A graduate who ministers worldwide and spoke in chapel this week:

“I saw angels running through the buildings!”

Is it a special place when the staff keeps working year after year despite consistent shortages?

So much going on.  So much to do. 

So much faith to keep on track with what God has shown us. 

We would give anything to work here.

We have given our all.  Staff and teachers and so many more

Have sacrificed immensely to help keep this mix viable.

This is His place

And we are His coworkers.  We belong to Him and are so grateful to serve at IBRP,

Instituto Bíblico Rio de la Plata.

A place of dreams from God, of tears, of laughter,

Of potential projected and realized.

MISSIONARY HEARTBEAT

                           by Rocky Grams                            

It’s springtime in Buenos Aires!

Our neighbors have an amazing tree

That produces thousands of little seeds at this time.

They are little balls the half the size of marbles and they are a nuisance.

I almost slipped and fell on the sidewalk

When I stepped on a couple dozen of them the other day.

The lawnmower today sent those little missiles zinging right across the street!

Dangerous little items.

Asked what the name of the tree is:  “paraíso.”  Paradise.  That will preach!

We have a prolific, generous God!

He makes sure that one tree produces thousands of seeds.

What amazing potential!  And the opportunity to spread “paradise” all over.

Life—growth—hope—healing—restoration.

But there is an Enemy who wants to trample on every one of those seeds. 

He wants to mow them across the pavement and into oblivion.

I’ve seen it happen.

“You are the good seed.”

And someone doesn’t allow the seed to be planted

Or digs it up just as it is about to produce fruit.

One young seedling was so passionate for God in his junior year that he was coordinating evangelism encounters from various provinces simultaneously.

Young people who didn’t even know him were so impressed by his speaking and his compassion for the Lost

That they would take the message straight to the train station,  

Kneel in the middle of the crowd to draw attention and then

Preach the foolishness of the Cross.

“Satan has desired you to sift you,” Jesus said to Simon.

“But I have prayed for you.”

My seedling friend had a major falling out and has been sidelined from

Fruitfulness for well over two years now.

Another seed full of enormous promise is driving a taxi and sleeping around.

Both he and his wife are graduates and lived the same intense chapel services and classes and times of deep devotion.

Well-known in their community, they were producing so much fruit.  However,

A wife can only take so many beatings and being called a cow in front of the kids.

“But I have prayed for you.”

Did I not pray enough?

However, there are so many graduates, paraíso seeds,

That have produced tremendously.

Nicolás Ferreyra, recent graduate, coordinated 8,000 young people via internet to go out and serve and evangelize in their communities all over Argentina.

God has used him to impact a portion of Canada, to boot!

Alberto Rey—two congregations totaling well over 2,000 and 15 churches planted.

Duilio and Marcia Aristimuño, on their way to Asia to spread the Word of life.

Graduates Osvaldo Carníval and his wife Alejandra, 25,000 members in the church and the host of the Spanish 700 Club.

Tonight with our present students during prayer meeting I called for those who have been used to heal the sick.  Sixteen came forward!

Graduates Daniel and Noemí Rodríguez are pastoring in Mallorca, Spain.

Over 1,400 are meeting on two campuses and the church is growing!

Students on Missions trips to Northern Argentina, Brazil and Chile and Ecuador. 

Lord, protect the seed of every life and produce your amazing and prolific harvest!

This year we will have 140 graduates.  Take those seeds all over the globe and germinate the potential of eternal paradise in the hearts of many! 

Missionary Heartbeat

                                                            By Rocky Grams            

The Christian life is supposed to be even-keeled.

Balance and consistency and predictability.  No tossing in the wind.

That’s how my Christian life was two years ago.

But we’ve jumped on a wild ride by faith

And we’re holding on for dear life!

You’re supposed to get your ducks in order before you act.  You do.

And you look again and you have less ducks than you thought.

Counting the cost—isn’t that what Jesus said to do?

Well, we did sit down and count the cost—a lot.

But the faith portion of this exciting undertaking has suddenly grown exponentially.

But God!  He is the Source!  The Provider!

One day I’m exhilirated and so full of faith

The next day I’m full of fear. 

We’ve torn down the chapel to make way for growth.

The new Living Learning Center will give us space for 432 students.

In the meantime, where do we worship?

Where do the students get together to pray, to seek God, to intercede?

Let’s rent the Spanish club mini-auditorium three blocks away.

Imagine 300 students trekking through the neighborhood daily.

Let’s do simultaneous chapels—

One in the cafeteria and the other in the library.

But unity in worship and in receiving the Word is

Critical to the life of the school.

Let’s have chapel in two different shifts in the dining hall.  Maybe...

Then the guidance came—tear out the back wall of the cafeteria and have the kids sit on the stairs going up to the dormitories.

Perfect—now we have just enough space for over 300 of us to worship.

Feels like we’re all sitting together on the platform, but it’s nice!

Alumni and present students wept when they saw the chapel come down.

“That corner is where I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.”

“Behind the piano is where God confirmed my call to Europe.”

In the present transitory location the presence of the Lord is the same

The worship is just as passionate.  The tears come just as intensely! 

God is still confirming calls, purifying and uncluttering minds and healing hearts.

“I saw you and Sherry standing on Bibles.”

A student beautifully used in prophetic gifts was saying it again.

“You are standing on the promises.”

No, that song does not translate that way in Spanish!

“Keep walking.  It’s raining manna, but keep walking.”

“Much growth is on the way.”

“God is entrusting many potential leaders into your hands.”

“You’ve stepped into the Jordan and now you must keep walking.”

The stress recedes when faith floods back in.

Paul had some stressful moments, too!

“Dangers without, fears within.”

The heart of the school is the chapel. 

That’s what I used to think. 

But the heart of the school is actually prayer and worship and the Word.

The presence of God!   It’s tight and uncomfortable, but He is with us!

And we’ll keep walking by faith.  

Gallery of Heroes

     by Rocky Grams                

              

Eighty eight graduated in these days.

Sounds a little brash to say they are heroes.

They’re mostly untried—merely obedient dreamers.

Overheard some well-known Christian educators

In a different  leadership school assess the potential of their students: 

“We know only 10% will make it into full time ministry.”

Went totally against the grain of what we feel and hope and yearn for.

We really believe for 100%.

Some years it has happened and all are in ministry.

Pastoring and teaching and planting churches and touching the poor

Reaching out to hundreds of children and high school students.

Eighty eight graduates gleefully holding their diplomas aloft.

Over a thousand graduates in the last fifteen years.

Are we a diploma mill?

Hardly.

They’ve paid too high a price to just be milling through to a cardboard certificate.

Twelve to a room and bunk beds three levels high.  Sixty four to one bathroom. 

No loans.  No help.  Little encouragement from home or current leadership.

Practical application and service not optional:  required.

They’ve wept many tears to get this far.

They have dreams and passion and that’s about it.

And training and the willingness to serve and they’re filled up with the Word

And God’s strong Spirit.

Obedience is their resource.

Will some opt out of the gallery of heroes?

Like the young lady graduate used in the gift of healing

Now alone—drifting in the natural world

Cut off from the Body and from the Dream.

How about those sidelined by envious leaders?

Or the one who walked down to the slime of an affair?

Well loved by us

But they opted out and away.

This class truly is hero material.

Two weeks before graduation they honored their teachers with a fine banquet.

And then the soon to be graduates washed their teachers’ feet!

Immediately after graduation they worked together and planted a church!

Sold candy and raised funds for two years for that project of faith.

What do they have?  Who are they?

“We are a spectacle to the world,” Paul says.

About sizes it up.

Not much from that perspective.

But in obedience to God’s dream

A gallery of heroes.

We stake our lives on it.

Missionary Heartbeat

                               By Rocky Grams               

“The Seniors are taking their meal to their dorm rooms to eat.”

“There are people eating standing up, holding their plates.”

Maybe we should set up tables in the chapel as an overflow dining room.

And what about those who fast and pray there?

Maybe we could eat in shifts.

“There is standing room only for chapel services.”

What about using the dining room as an overflow chapel via direct video?

What about the two classrooms we’re missing

For Youth Ministries and the Saturdays program?

Maybe we should limit enrollment.

There was a school I heard of that only let pastors’ kids train for ministry.

Sounds like a make-over of the caste system.

We need the mind of Christ.

What about those couples on the waiting list for next year?

We limited their training opportunity for now.

How to forget their open faced enthusiasm turned to gloom?

Lord, give us the mind of Christ.

We’re still building.  We’ve been building for a while.

And we keep running out of space.

Don’t think Jesus wants us to turn back kids like

Romina—two and a half years ago she was transported by his grace

                  Right out of a life of drunken stupor, prostitution

                  And twisted relationships.

Now she’s glowing with the presence of God.

Gave her testimony in Evangelism class and we were in tears.

Or Laura who was saved by the hug of a six year old child

                 On the very day she had determined to take her own life.

Or Alexis who spent nine months alone in rehabilitation

After a motorcycle accident.

God created a new section of tendon in his leg and called him to ministry.

                 Now his life is listening to the Holy Spirit’s voice.

Sounds like the mind of Christ.

The chapel is packed with called ones and the powerful presence of God.

We’re stretched to the limit

But believing.

Don’t think we’ll block out any called ones.

Having them here

             Watching them worship

                            Observing them grow and change.

We’ll meet them soon in ministry

As we did the Espejo family 1,100 kilometers South of here.

We found room for them when they came along with their four teenagers.

Three years after graduation was last week

And their church plant is running 100.

Got a hug yesterday from Gustavo, also a graduate.

He has planted two churches, started a rehab center for drug addicts

And is now reaching out to hundreds of retirees.

Glad we found space for him.

We’re finding the mind of Christ.

We’ll keep building as He leads.

Risk taking faith:  water walking and oil vessel borrowing.

That’s the mind of Christ.

I was four when

                                                by Rocky Grams

She asked me if I wanted to accept Christ.

I did.

I learned to whistle when I was four.

And I’ve been whistling since.

She often celebrated that fact: 

“To find you we just listened for the whistle.”

She laughed as she remembered:  “You always

Called yourself ‘Mr. Worker’.” Once again, she

Affirmed me as a person.

Celebrating the self-description of her 4-year-old son.

She taught me the first notes on the piano.

We learned with her to sing in harmony.

To look for bargains.

To look around and see the needs of others.

And to rejoice in the midst of trying times.

Each year she got us a 75% scholarship at that

American school in La Paz, Bolivia.

She taught us to believe.

We communicated a lot.

Most weeks we received three-page

Single-spaced letters from her.

She cared.  She mentored us.

And she mentored a lot of others.

I can still hear her high pitched “You’re beautiful!”

That echoed all over the Minneapolis airport

The first time she met Sherry.

It was fun to share and communicate with her.

The first years in the pastorate in Menomonie.

The first years here at the Bible School.

Years of growth and risk-taking faith.

“Their works follow them.”

What influence she has had!

I’d like to tell her how many have been impacted

By her buoyant faith.

I’d like to share with her the latest miracles of today.

It’ll have to wait.

She’s with the Lord.

I’ll tell her when I get there.

Missionary Heartbeat

                                                    by Rocky Grams   

Diminutive but full of the fire of God

Monica asked for the microphone.

“I have a word God gave me for the students two days ago.”

In her freshman year she had been so timid and

Had struggled with serious physical problems.

Now a senior—God has shaped her life to effectiveness.

We were in Thursday night prayer.

One hour at least all together to pray in commitment and intercession.

Speak—and let the church judge. 

That’s what the Bible says.

Here it was:  “Many of you are not declaring your calling

Because of an unfounded fear of pride.

You must honor your call.”

The Holy Spirit was speaking alright.

With firm authority she continued: 

“The missionaries come up here on the right.”

Sixty students called to other cultures walked forward immediately.

“Now the prophets come up on the left. Now the pastors.” 

“Now the children’s pastors. Now the music ministers.  Now the youth pastors.”

Most of the students were standing against the walls all around the chapel

In their respective groups.

A senior came up to me

“I feel a call to teach and want prayer.

That ministry hasn’t been mentioned.” 

Another group of fifteen students.

Each calling began to pray for the other—with tears.

We were honoring each other’s God-given purpose.

I stood amazed that only a small group of students were still seated—

Yet undefined in their call.

Here was the evident diversity of the church.

Here we perceived the reality of Holy Spirit’s voice in their lives.

The dreams of God becoming clear and

The demand of God to risk and honor their ministry now

When everything looks so much like maybe

But in God it’s a resounding yes!

Monica just returned from a Missions trip to Mozambique along

With two other lady students.

They touched many lives in a month.

David has been used in the prophetic in many settings.

Erick has been preaching and God is using him

To heal people in the train station.

Maite and two other young ladies have been preaching

At the station in the fifteen minutes between trains.

Emanuel has been reaching out to street kids.

Elisa has been teaching in the jungles of Bolivia.

They’re all still in training—but the call burns in their hearts.

Holy Spirit, thank you for the deep joy of watching these

Servant leaders grow and learn to trust you. 

We surrender all for the sake of the call.   Yes!          

MISSIONARY HEARTBEAT

                                    By Rocky Grams          

Is it cavalier to talk about what’s going on around us

In confident tones of amazement?

Is it emotional or cheap to be moved by what we’ve seen and heard

And touched with our hands?

Is it showing off to share power testimonies?

Is it naïve to believe them?

Is it flippant or coy to talk about goiters disappearing and

Teeth being filled miraculously?

Is it even-handed to only talk about the healings and deliverances and lives mended and redirected, leaving some stories untold?

What if it causes despondency in the listener?

What if there is a 55-year-old believer who has yet to observe a miracle?

What if what we see and hear is unbelievable to some?

What if they judge us awkward or adolescent?

What if our stories get laughed at?

Is it brash to be a witness?

To talk in quiet tones about the evidence that surrounds us?

Are we braggadocios because we talk about what God is doing?

I think not.

“Out of the mouths of babes thou hast perfected praise.”

I ask

Is it right to keep so much good news to ourselves?

Can we keep under our hat under wraps under a bed or a bushel basket

So much free light?

We choose to be spent declaring His works

To the last iota of our strength.

Yesterday a young lady was healed of deep guilt and self-loathing.

Jesus did it and we are just reporting.

Today an intelligent P.K. told me that he wept last night in the service

Till he was empty of all that distracted from his vocation in God.

“I quit manipulating from within,” he said.

“I lost control (to God).”

The puddles of tears at the altar were about 3 inches in diameter.

I don’t think it’s cavalier to state that.

And the glory goes to God.

On Sunday a Chilean young lady received an unexpected gift

From her Risen Lord.

He healed her leg—right there during the service with no fanfare at all.

“It started burning from within and grew out over an inch.  I ran back 

Flexible wineskins are the key to so much

By Rocky Grams                        

May, 2004

In the Kingdom of God.

The powerful New Wine is amazing to watch

And so effective in bringing change.

Two of our Seniors are planting a church

This month—during classes—across from the train station--

In the Center of this city of 13 million.

About every other day they are starting a new cell group

Two prostitutes one day, five

Cross-dressers another day,

Another five prostitutes and so many others

Have committed their lives

To the one known as a lover of

Wine-bibbers and street women.

Their first two day campaign May 1st and 2nd

Resulted in 45 decisions for Christ!

They say they have the largest building in the world—

It has no walls and the sky is their roof!

A month ago I accompanied 17 graduates

To Pilar Ñeembucú, Paraguay—

Just across the river …after riding the bus North for 20 hours!

On the little ferry to the other side the “kids” led two people to Jesus.

Already!  Before the official start!

By the time ten days were up, they’d shared

Their testimonies on 3 radio stations

And in various schools and had preached

Simultaneous campaigns

Including two nights in the plaza.

Healings, baptisms in the Holy Spirit,

Conversions, commitments to the call—

And even deliverance from Satanic power—

We thought we’d been transported to the Book of Acts!

One of the students grew up in that town

And opened up the way for 17 people to share one bathroom

And sleep on the church floor

And experience the time of their lives

As God’s power through the New Wine

Impacted a city of 40,000.

Had a spur-of-the-moment idea

For a recent evangelism class with 96 freshman students.

I invited Alberto Romay, graduate and evangelist,

To share testimonies of God’s power.

The first thing he did was call forward those with flat feet.

Six students—two at a time—took their shoes and socks offAnd in front of our eyes, they had the arches placed in their feet

By the Creator of the New Wine.

A young lady was healed of two cysts,

Leonard Campbell, a young man from Honduras,

Had two cavities filled and two teeth reconstituted…by God!

Those two 50-minute classes lasted from 4:30 P.M. to well past 9!

We will give place to the New Wine!

Interviewed graduate Pastor Guillermo Prein this week

Though he preached twelve times a day on the street and once at night

For six months at the beginning of that church-plant in Parque Patricios,

Not one person accepted Christ!

But the owner of the vineyard told him there would be much fruit

And today they have 1,700 cell groups and 25,000 people attending church.

Water baptisms each quarter average over 400!

We’ll give place to the New Wine!

And to power evangelism!

Missionary Heartbeat

                              By Rocky Grams

Jolts are part and parcel of missionary life.

The unexpected almost becomes normal.

And “normal” is disquieting.

Jolts--like the time manhole covers and miles of

                        Underground telephone lines

Disappeared to looters’  basic needs.

Or the time we hit 150% inflation—a month.

Or the time bank deposits were frozen.      

              Like now.

And often lately—life disrupted by protesters

Cutting off the flow of traffic—

by burning tires in the road!

Strangely, holidays are the hardest jolts.

Mother’s day in October.  Easter a non-entity day.

A hot summer Christmas.

Christmas last year was a jolt.

Our church put off the Christmas cantata for

An evangelistic campaign with Carlos Annacondia.

Everybody knows evangelists take a break in December.

But they don’t know it here!

What  a way to celebrate Christmas!

Inviting your friends to a healing campaign.

And watching 400 visitors show up--

                        and go forward en masse.

Ten demon-possessed were freed!

It was a jolt alright.

But didn’t the Christ come to give His life for many?

He didn’t come to adorn my holiday tradition.

He came to bring the darkness-bound

                        into the light.

That’s Christmas.

He can jolt us out of the predetermined,

                        preconceived—any time!