Last Thursday and Friday a number of remarkable things happened that have encouraged my heart, and hopefully will encourage yours. I keep seeing God heal people and provide for needs in humble yet very real ways.
On Thursday night I went into the jail to do my four bilingual Bible studies. There were only two Mexican men in the second Bible study– Francisco and Guadalupe. I knew them pretty well as they’d been incarcerated six months. As soon as we sat down I felt two sharp pains in my left wrist, the one closest to Guadalupe’s right hand as I faced him. Since I had no known problem with my wrist I asked Guadalupe if he had pain in his wrist. “Si,” he said, showing me a red, swollen wrist bone he’d damaged when he fell playing handball in the jail recreation room.
“What’s really bothering me though is the pain in my chest,” he said. “I’m trying to get into the doctor here as it’s really hurting and I’m worried.”
I offered to pray and he agreed. I placed one of my hands on his wrist and the other on his chest. As I prayed I felt a warm cushion of air over my hand—like there was an invisible hand laid on top of my hand. “Do you feel that warmth?” I asked, and he nodded. After praying, Francisco read that day’s reading, the story of the healing of Naaman in 2 Kings 5. While Francisco read the passage Guadalupe kept leaning back in his chair, stretching out his arms. Finally I asked him if he was having a hard time focusing on the reading. “Are you still in pain?” I asked.
“I can’t focus on the reading. I’m too surprised because the pain is completely gone, in my wrist and in my chest,” he said. “Only God could have known about this pain,” he said, and tears streamed down his face. We gave thanks to Jesus and offered him our lives, something these two men have been doing week after week since they came in. I prayed blessing and protection over them. They will both head off to prison on Tuesday to complete the 20 months remaining of their sentences for dealing cocaine.
Later that evening I met one-on-one with Epifania—a 51-year-old Mexican woman. Epifania is a migrant farm worker and beloved member of our faith community. She has just been ordered deported but was transferred up from a Federal Detention Center in Tacoma to Skagit County Jail to face some new charges of possession of cocaine. She praised God that I had come and told many stories of praying for people’s healing while in the immigration detention prison (see our upcoming Tierra Nueva appeal letter at www.tierra-nueva.org). I told her about what had just happened with Guadalupe and his wrist. She told me that she too had a lot of pain in her wrist, and I remembered that indeed I had felt two sharp pains. I’m still not accustomed to watching for and catching the clues the Spirit gives to show me what God is wanting to do. Apparently God wasn’t through healing wrists that evening. We prayed and sure enough her pain went away. I am continually impressed by God’s kindness and goodness. God cares enough about our little, very personal problems—which was brought home powerfully for me personally the next day.
The next morning I drove up to attend the last morning of one of Toronto Airport Christian Felllowship’s five-day International Leaders School of Ministry in Aldergrove, BC. Towards the end of 45 minutes of worship I ended up praying with Murray Dueck, a new friend who leads a prophetic school in Langley called Samuel’s Mantle. He began prophesying “I see you like Mario in the video game, collecting gold coin after gold coin, more and more of them as you go from level to level in the Spirit.” He said he thought this represented both my spiritual inheritance and God’s financial provision. I was encouraged as two days before the bank had notified us that our personal checking account was overdrawn more than $2,000. I had no way to cover this, but just the day before a friend had sent us an unexpected personal gift for $1,000. I sat down feeling encouraged and moments later another friend at the conference, completely unaware of Murray’s words, handed me a folded check written out to me for another $1,000.
God was aware of my financial need and ministered to me through his servants just like he’d brought healing to Guadalupe and Epifania there in the jail. May God richly bless you and pour blessing through you as you seek first the Kingdom of God.