Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Isla Vega 2012 - Family Camp


As Eliezer had to drop me off and head back to Asuncion, I got a ride back to Paraguay with Charlie, Diego and Osvaldo.  The Rejas family followed us in their van. This was their first time in Paraguay.  We all enjoyed the “adventure” of crossing the Paraguay River in a ferryboat; especial the Rejas kids.  Brother Fide met me in Asuncion and drove me back to Villarrica; I wanted to sleep in Villarrica to have at least a little rest before camp.  Charlie and the Rejas family all stayed in Asuncion.

We got home late and did not get to bed until past midnight but was up by 5:30 and headed down to Abuela Asuncion’s (Loida’s grandmother) house to drink mate with some of the family.  It was a little sad to enter the house were Abuela’s presence was so dominant and she was no longer there. She passed away last October. She was truly a godly influence in that family.

I headed for camp by noon, as a group from Caazapa and San Juan had prepared an asado (barbecue) for us.  We were surprised to see the number of people already there setting up camp.  Many came from Formosa, Argentina this year.  Some had been there since Monday.  By supper time there were well over 400 people there.  The cooks had to scramble to get enough food for all.  Loida arrived from Ciudad del Este with her sister and her parents arrived later.

We started camp Wednesday night with a good anointed service.  Bro. Fide announced that 5am prayer would be mandatory.  I think some slept through the first morning, but after that we had some good prayer meetings with a real moving of the Holy Spirit.

We had been praying, not just for a moving of the Holy Spirit, but that God’s people would be filled, with the evidence of speaking in tongues.  It seams that the last few years, even though there has been a good moving of the Spirit, not many have been filled.  The Lord graciously answered and at least 4 that I know of personally, were filled.  Each night we dismissed the service, asking people to take any conversation away from the building, and invited those who wanted to be filled or refreshed to stay behind.  Each night the Lord led in a different way and the moving of the Spirit was palpable.  I have every assurance that a true working of the Spirit was done in many hearts.

The Lord impressed on me in every service that there is NOTHING that I can do, but obey.  It is not up to me or anyone else.  The moving of the Spirit, the working of the word of God in the heart, is a Sovereign act of God.  Truly it is NOT by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of God.  I was impressed by the fact that what God, by His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit, is working in each life and heart is often hidden from us.  We do not always see a visible result and even when we do see some visible result, there is much, much, much more that God is doing in lives and hearts.

There were over 700 people in the evening services and only about 150 stayed after to seek a filling or refreshing of the Holy Spirit!  Am I surprised?  No.  Am I disappointed?  Yes.  Am I discouraged? No.  I don’t know that we will see a massive revival among God’s people in our day, but I am overjoyed and greatly rejoice in the work that God IS doing and the hearts and lives, though few, that are hungry for MORE of Christ!  More of His Spirit!

I continue to cry out to the Lord for a revival among those who WILL take the time to seek.  I continue to cry out to the Lord for Paraguay and Argentina and for our local assemblies here in the USA where truth is taught.  Revive your work oh God!! Revive us in the midst of these apostate times!!

There were also at least 14 people that I know of that accepted Christ as Savior at the Isla Vega camp.  Two children in the Sunday School classes, 6 in private conversations and 6 during services.  Several that accepted Christ in the service, did so with tears.  One young man seemed almost desperate that I lead him in prayer so that he could then pray.  I thought we might witness a conversion followed by an immediate filling of the Holy Spirit; he was not filled that I know of, but he certainly poured out his heart to God.

There are obviously many personal interaction, conversations, prayers and more that can not be shared.  Most people ask; “was it a profitable trip?”.  I would have to say that even if we saw NO visible result and even if EVERYTHING went wrong, if we made the trip in obedience and I believe we did, then YES, it was profitable!  Obedience is always profitable.  Jeremiah never saw any results from his ministry.  No great revival.  But he was obedient and therefore his ministry was profitable.  I stand in awe of GOD’S FAITHFULNESS!!!  It is HIS work, not ours!  It is HIS word, not ours!  I saw the Lord confirm things to my heart and to many who expressed as much to me.  

Maybe the thing that was most impressed on my heart was the need for CHRIST to be lifted up.  I believe that is what happened.  I believe that the Holy Spirit, through the preaching of the Word, and His moving in our midst, put the focus on CHRIST.  I can’t really explain it, I guess.  We mess things up when WE get in the way, or try to fix, or do, or intervene.