Getting ready for my fifth short-term mission trip was the smoothest yet. I had peace because I knew the organizers of the trip, the weather would be on the chilly side in Lima and for the first time, I didn't even need any shots.
I had seen God work in miraculous ways in my past trips, so I went with great anticipation for what God would do in Peru.
It didn't even bother me much that I was the lone New Yorker on this team of 136 missionaries who would saturate Lima with the love of Jesus.
Leading up to this trip, I had seen a lot of my friends and coworkers in dreams. I felt prompted to tell some of them the dreams, and to my surprise it would mean something to them. It would be a word of confirmation or an invitation to share the struggle they were going through, and they would ask me to pray for them. I perceived the Lord was testing me to see if I would deliver the messages to the people. I asked one prayer warrior on the team about this, and she nonchalantly said the Lord was training me to hear from Him. I welcomed the training and by now knew God wanted to do something special in Peru.
Three powerful dreams also stood out as my trip drew closer. In one dream, I prayed for a woman, and she was delivered from her affliction. In a second dream, I was bitten by a serpent and was able to shake it off. In a third dream, I saw a dead man rise and sit up. I knew these dreams were all symbolic, but they reminded me of various Bible accounts, including Luke 10:17–20, when Jesus sent out the 72 to preach the gospel and heal the sick. I could tell the Lord was increasing my faith for this next mission. And He was reminding me of the authority we have in Him. I looked forward to seeing how God would show up in Peru.
Once in Lima, we had a packed week of street outreaches in the plazas and parks. We prayerfully picked a spot, set up our amplifier, blasted upbeat Christian songs and danced in the street. We then shared short testimonies, did a few skits, and ended with the drama we performed in Honduras and invited people to that Saturday's festival.
Prayer in the Park
The location for our final ministry stop for the week changed at the last minute. We had planned to visit a school, but we were redirected to a nearby park, which was mainly concrete. I must admit I wasn't enthused about going there because we would be visiting other Christians. I didn't mind ministering to other Christians, but our presentation was geared toward unbelievers.
Still, I trusted there was a reason why we were sent there and was happy to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We walked around the corner and found a grassy area and started our presentation.
This would be the team's last performance of the drama, and I had volunteered to reprise my role of "death" that I hadn't performed since Honduras.
Hidden behind a mask again, I transformed into the evil role. I tried to embody sin, temptation and death. I wanted the onlookers to be impacted and to cheer when the guy playing Jesus defeated the enemy.
My teammates were surprised that I was so good at playing bad. I was glad to reprise that despicable role that one time in Peru for the glory of God.
We then invited the crowd to accept Jesus and prayed for them.
When my teammate and I were finished praying with a little boy and his father, we returned to where the rest of the team was. They were still praying for people. I noticed a person lying on the ground. That was astonishing enough, but then I looked around and noticed people lying on the ground all around. Speechless, all I could do was whip out my phone and snap pictures to document this holy moment. It was as if the power of the Holy Spirit had breathed on them and knocked them down all at once.
I knew this was common in some churches, but I was in awe that it was happening right in front of my eyes in this little park in Lima, Peru. And to think we weren't supposed to make this stop.
I can only say that God knew His people in this area needed a fresh touch from Him. It was truly a wonder to see His people be ministered to while on the ground and to rise up refreshed and restored.
Is God still moving among His people on the earth? Yes!
Nancy Gavilanes is an author, speaker, life coach and evangelist who has a passion to encourage people to live their God-given dreams. She is the author of By Faith, Waiting on God Well, Abounding Faith and Crossing Your Jordan River. Nancy has a master's degree in journalism from New York University, has been on short-term missions trips to five countries and has spoken to various groups, including to Christians working at the United Nations, students at Nyack College, and has given her brief testimony at her home church, Times Square Church. Connect with Nancy at AboundingFaith.com.
This article is an excerpt from By Faith
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