Angel David is 52 and serves as Tierra Nueva’s Honduran leader due to his tireless service on behalf of the area’s most marginalized people. I have known him for 26 years and watched him grow fuller and fuller of grace and truth. Now he leads TN’s new initiative to establish “hogares en transformacion” (households in transformation)—a house church movement focusing on people in extreme poverty who are excluded from the church.
Two days before TN’s Mexican pastor Salvio and I arrived for a nine-day visit he tells us how he heard gunshots on the dirt road below his house. He ran down to find a 23-year-old man he had been a godfather to dying in a pool of blood, shot to death by someone he had threatened. He carried him to his mother’s house, his upper body soaking up blood and brain fragments, and they loaded him into a pickup to be transported to Tegucigalpa. He died en route.
“Like many young men from our area he had gone to El Norte looking for opportunities, worked a few years in different states before being arrested and deported back to Honduras,” explained Angel David. “He came back with a serious drug problem, all disoriented and not wanting to work for $3.00 a day. I used to invite him to play soccer with the other young men, and always insisted on holding his revolver for him as we don’t let people play armed, and now he’s dead and the young man who shot him is on the run,” said David.
Years before we had tried to intervene in his family’s life after a local pastor had insisted that his father return to his first wife to escape the punishment of eternal hell for adultery. The young man’s father had at that time left his current wife and eight children to return to a previous partner in another part of the county.
We held a four day leaders school to directly confront negative images of God and the Bible that often lead to disaster. Some 60 participants were involved, many from Angel David’s home gatherings. Afterwards we traveled from village to village to tell people about our new initiative and pray for them.
Last Sunday afternoon we visited our new 15-acre coffee farm high in the mountains of Yoro and met and prayed with old friends in the village of La Fortuna. It is exciting to see the tremendous potential of eventually being able to fund TN’s Honduran movement through coffee sales while at the same time providing quality coffee for our ex-gang members in Burlington to roast and sell Underground Coffee.
We then descended to Guachipilin, a village that runs up and down a steep mountainside. Back in TN’s heyday nearly all the famers there had converted their eroded lands into highly productive contoured terraces, winning them a national ecology award. We stood among a gathering of peasants overlooking a sweeping valley and Angel David introduced our visit.
“Tierra Nueva used to come with files and machetes and hoes to promote conservation of soils. We are still about this but now our first priority is to discover in the Bible about a God who loves sinners, to invite the Holy Spirit to fill us and to see Jesus heal people of their sicknesses.”
He described how our team were there to pray for people to be filled with the peace of love of Christ. He then prayed for the Holy Spirit to come and we began laying hands on people while Carlos from Catch the Fire in Raleigh played guitar and sang “Fire of God, fire of God, come breath on us” in Spanish.
Angel David, the six of us from Tierra Nueva in Burlington, Carlos’ English wife Catherine and other Hondurans who had attended our course fanned out an began praying. A whole line of peasant women were crying softly as they received prayer.
Next we prayed for those in pain and a woman who said she suffered from pain in her back, joints and throughout her entire body began to weep and loudly cry out as she bent over double. A bit worried I asked her what was happening.
“I feel heat in my whole body, and all the pain is gone,” she said.
Many others were healed that afternoon of all sorts of aches and pains. From there we jumped in our pickups and drove the bumpy roads to Las Delicias—where the local Catholic leaders who had all attended our course hosted a worship and healing service for the community.
There I felt led to have the children lay hands on people in need of healing. Six young kids came forward to volunteer. I invited them to lay hands on a woman with pain all through her head, neck, and shoulders. I had them send the pain away like they would order a dog trying to eat their dinner to leave the kitchen. “Vaya para afuera!” (Go out!) they said over and over. The woman began to cry.
“What is happening?” I asked her. “I feel heat all over… and the pain is going away.” We kept praying until it was completely gone and the kids prayed for others too.
It was a delight to see the Spirit move so powerfully in our outreaches after having earlier in the week experienced God’s empowering presence in our course.
On the third day of our course after teaching on baptism/empowerment by the Holy Spirit we prayed for people and many were deeply touched in ways that I have never seen in Honduras. Adults, youth and children were overcome by the Spirit—surrendering themselves to God’s love without resistance. This was very moving and our leaders there were all very surprised and delighted.
There was healing happening every day– nearly always accompanied by heat and often by tears. One man named Hector, an old friend and once TN promoter who is over 65 had severe back problems that have kept him disabled for 15 years. He had come with a cane that he used to walk everywhere. After going through a fire tunnel he began leap and was ecstatic:
“I’m healed! I’m healed” he shouted and jumped. He left his cane under his chair– a souvenir I’ve brought back from the trip.
On the final day of the course we had a worship and healing service in the center of Minas de Oro– which we never have done. Some 60 people came– mostly our course participants, but also some others. The worship was powerful and many people experienced God in new ways. Nearly everyone lined up at the end to receive prayer to step fully into Jesus ministry of sharing good news, healing and deliverance.
On our sixth night I had a powerful dream where I met a Latino man in his office. He looked at me and began to prophesy in an ecstatic way: (esto va ser fructifero, pero muy fruitifero) “This is going to be fruitful, but VERY FRUITFUL! he yelled, pointing at me. I began to cry and fell to the ground in the dream. I woke up panting rapidly and heavily. I fell back asleep and the same Latino man came back to confirm the same message.
Our Honduran leader Angel David was amazed by what God is doing and sees unprecedented thirst. He’s worried about how he’s going to lead this new movement of the Spirit– which is exactly what it feels like.
The six of us from Tierra Nueva got to assist in a beautiful new thing that is happening after 27 years of work there in Honduras. Please pray:
For Angel David, Ramiro, Elia, America and Dagoberto– our main TN Honduran leaders. For wisdom, courage, unity and love to reign. Pray also for strategies to reach young men who are either contemplating heading to the US to work or those recently deported who are longing for new opportunities.