Glory to God!
This morning we arrived in Butuan and were greeted by our "hosts," pastor Berwyn and pastor Julius and his wife Roszel with their parents. It was great to see them again after 2 years. We made our way to the hotel where we are staying and caught up a little before going out for lunch. After lunch we spent some time with the family at their home before returning to the hotel to rest and prepare for the evening meeting. I am enjoying showing Frances all the things I had got to know during my previous visits like Kiliau - raw fish in garlic, onion and ginger with chillis - yummy!
We were picked up at around 18:40 to be at a meeting at pastor Jonathan's church (picture above is of pastor Jonathan and his wife, Grace). What had previously been scheduled as their prayer meeting was changed into a worship service because of their "foreign guests" as they put it. We had a short time of worship and then I (Richard) was invited to speak. The Lord had given me a word for the evening: FIRE! I then looked at how God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:25-29) and how worship is our response to how God reveals Himself to us. I had the conviction from the Spirit that God was looking for people who would burn for Him: worshippers who burn with His presence. We then looked at how the fire of God fell on the temple in 2 Chronicles 7 and how the following manifestation of the glory of God was preceeded by prayer, sacrifice, offering, and then fire followed by glory. God showed us that He wants to fill His people, the temple of God with His fire and glory so that they reveal His goodness (God's glory is the manifestation of God's goodness - Exodus 33:18,19). After asking the people who wanted to surrender their lives to the Lord to burn with Him, about 20 young people came forward to give their lives to Jesus and to be filled with the fire of God. Frances and I then led people to the Lord and ministered to them as we prophesied over them and saw God visibly touch His people. Pastor Joanathan and pastor Berwyn helped translate as we spoke over every person.
We praise God for an awesome start to our 2 week visit. We are pretty bushed from the travelling and jet-lag but really excited about what God has begun already!
"When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshipped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying 'He is good; his love endures forever.'" 2 Chronicles 7:1-3