Wednesday, January 19, 2011

House of Hope, Nicaragua - Part 3

I'm traveling to Nicaragua for a week in January, to encourage and serve at House of Hope - a Christian vocational rehab for women & children escaping prostitution in the Managua area. Monday through Friday, I'll teach Bible studies (with a translator) and pray with individuals afterward. I'll also be staying "on campus" and interacting with about 60 residents (teen girls, adult women & their children). Tuesday morning, I'll share a Bible message with up to 350 women (some still on the streets) who come to House of Hope once a week to make greeting cards & jewelry as an alternative source of income. Friday's teaching session with the residents will be followed by "soaking prayer" (restful worship in God's Presence), as well as time for each of us to share what we've experienced during the week.

Thank you for remembering us all in your prayers!

For more information about House of Hope (including U.S. address for tax deductible donations):

A report I wrote after my first trip to House of Hope in January 2009 is posted below. It was long, so I've scheduled it to post in 4 parts - on 1/5, 1/12, 1/19 & 1/26 - while I prepare, travel, and recover from this year's trip. My 1st & 2nd trips to House of Hope were also described briefly in an earlier blog about missions, "Loving My Neighbor - Part 1" posted on this site on 6/3/10. The teachings I plan to share this year include adapted versions of the "Wilderness" series, which posted on this site 11/12, 11/26, 12/3, 12/8, 12/15 & 12/26/10.

Thanks again for keeping this ministry in your prayers...

January 2009
(continued from last week's posting)

Thursday's teaching was on deliverance, and afterward a beautiful teenage girl named Juana came for prayer saying she wanted to receive Christ into her heart. April walked her through the scriptures to ensure she understood repentance and what Jesus has done for her, and I was so privileged to witness her commitment to the Lord and delighted to see the beautiful peace that came to her from that moment forward...

Next we prayed with another young teen who was patiently waiting and weeping – Lenora had previously been asked to leave HoH for performing lesbian sex acts with some of the other dorm girls, then went back to prostitution with men, but had just been allowed to return on the condition that she live with and be supervised by her older sister in one of the 2-bedroom family apartments. With no prompting on our part, Lenora tearfully confessed her sins, including specifically rebellion toward Oscar and previous sexual activity with the dorm girls, and declared her desire to be free and move forward in her life and do well in school, so we prayed with her for deliverance and cleansing – still a bit intimidated by a sense of guilt and fear, she allowed Oscar to lead her in a prayer renouncing lesbianism, after which we encouraged her with the truth that this was not her true identity in Christ; she was comforted and released from much oppression, and smiled with a new peace whenever I saw her the rest of the week...

On Friday, I taught a message I felt God had given me specifically for this group - "God's will for you is prosperity" - which focused on giving, sowing & reaping, God's strategy to bless and make us a blessing - amazing to me that a college-educated woman who grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, could speak so directly to the needs and hearts of this group of Nicaraguan ex-prostitutes, but April was excited as she translated my words and commented a few times in English "good preaching!" as we sowed vision for God's grace and increase to be released in and through their lives...

Having spent the first four days praying with individuals and discussing "heavy" but important subjects to release past pain, I felt God wanted us to close the Friday session with a "tunnel of blessing" – like the "fire tunnels" or "glory tunnels" or "tunnels of joy" at renewal services in other places, I explained to April & Glen & Jana that we would line up across from one another (even though there were only 4 of us to pray – Oscar & Vilma have 4 home groups in the city on Fridays), play some happy worship music (Dios Es Bueno CD by Marcos Witt) and have the girls walk outside the circle of chairs and pass between us while we prayed blessing over each of them. I thought this would be a relatively short "happy ending" to the teaching, but God had other ideas... :)

As the girls continued to walk around the circle of chairs and pass through the tunnel (this was great for Glen and Jana, who are very sensitive to Holy Spirit and unhindered by language barrier in this setting, since it didn't involve any counseling or conversation, just prayer and impartation), the Spirit of God began to fall on the girls more and more... little children were being touched by God, standing very still and peaceful or quivering ever so slightly, responding to His Spirit with their eyes closed... teenage girls, who had made me somewhat uncomfortable the day before by striking sassy and provocative poses when I asked them to smile for photos, were suddenly weeping as they walked in genuine repentance - some fell gently to the floor (April was a good catcher :)) as His presence washed over them... it was a sovereign holy time that lasted about an hour or more.

Afterward we offered to pray with individuals for specific needs - another beautiful teenager named Maria asked to receive the Lord, then Lenora’s older sister Nancy recommitted her life to Christ. Nancy had asked Jesus into her heart at age 10 but had lived in prostitution for the past 4 years and was now at age 17 repenting sweetly and receiving His cleansing from shame - April smiled and said “you thought you came here for Lenora’s sake, but God had something for you!” - Nancy also radiated new peace and smiles after that day.

By now it was getting late, so April asked Valerie & Sabrina to come at 9am the next morning for prayer (Valerie had given her place in line to Maria so she could pray for salvation) – these two also experienced breakthroughs the next day.

To be continued next week on 1/26/11...
. "What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off ? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off."

[Matthew 18:12-13 NIV]

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