Joined up with Mike Silva Ministry and a team of around 50 to impact the area of Cartagena.
The white walls of the fortress that surrounded the downtown shopping area was not a inhibitor as we passed out flyers and invited the public. This was done in the poorer areas of the city as well. We had one day to connect and rehearse skits, drama and testimony’s to be used in the public schools and then broke into 5 teams and headed out. I went from team to team adding value and suggestions wherever I could and then for next 5 days hopped on different vans to add my object lessons or message to the overall presentations.
The audiences ranged from 500 outside hanging over balconies to 40 at a highschool orphanage. I was asked to bring the message at a school where Jesus could not be mentioned and had no problem helping the youth understand choices, eternity and Gods pursuit of them as lost sheep. Many prayed out loud to receive Christ.
My Wildest Time was at a School
They used sirens to change classes and jammed around 400 youth into a meeting hall and said they are all yours. Although unable to pull all of them into listening about half did and Gods word went out to the seeking and hungry. Never saw glass doors break as kids rushed to exit…only in Columbia! It was great to see ordinary people show up with their availability and abilities and be used in these outreaches. One 14-year-old boy learned through repetition how to share his testimony w peers at public schools. Some of the sessions I just observed as it is time to start letting the next generation grow and step into center stage with Gods work. This strategy to reach the schools for 5 days happened because of the offer to bring a water well to a village up in the hills.
I'm Just a Man in a Boat
I had numerous one on one conversations in Columbia but the one that stands out was in a boat with a world salesman as we sailed to a small island about 15 minutes away. We were the only ones in this boat and by the end of the ride he had admitted he had never read the Bible, committed to do so and would have a discussion with his girlfriend on becoming a Christian. Only God can work in that short of a time on someone’s heart and I am reminded how God is just looking for ordinary people to present His love, purpose and pursuit of the lost in a heart-to-heart way where a person will take one step closer to making a commitment to him.
Your Donations Helped Give Clean Water
One morning we all headed to the top of a ghetto where 600 kids were not recognized as a village because there was no water. Silva’s ministry installed a water pump, storage tanks and filter system and consequently the mayor started 2 schools and a church was planted. NextGenArising gave $5,000 to the overall cost of $15,000 thanks to your donations. All the village gathered around as we dedicated the well and the future of the village to the Lords work. There was such joy in the village and many prayed to receive Christ.
The Main Festival
The locals were trained to counsel and follow up with their own. Over the 2 days I would guess 10-15,000 showed up with bands and proclamation of the Gospel. This was my first time with Mike Silva ministries and the next trip to Dominican Republic I will head up my own team and have a more intentional role during the Kids Fest as well as have a youth pastor seminar. I taught at a church Sunday school and could see such a need to train God's people how to effectively reach and teach the youth.
My Future Purpose
Most of the mission trips I go on reveal churches with no youth groups and poorly run children’s ministry. I get excited as I think of what can be done when a children’s team is fully equipped. This seems to be where my time will be invested in the future, writing training material and teaching seminars.