Guatemala Mission – Tuesday April 30th, 2013

Tuesday Morning

This Morning we visited the Casa Shalom orphanage in San Lucas, Guatemala.  It was a very emotional vist filled with highs and lows. The highs of course being the love we were able to share with these special kids, and the smiles and laughter they gave back to us.

Pastor Kelly had asked several of us to share with the kids. I chose to tell them about my very special friend Jesus, and how no matter where I went Jesus was with me sharing His love.

The hard part is the situations that brought these kids here. Many of them were rescused from abusive situations. Others had been saved from the drug cartels where their parents had sent them to work off the parents drug habits etc… What God is doing for these kids through the work of the missionaries in the orphanage is amazing. I encourage you to visit their website through the link above and support them if you feel called to do so.

 

Tuesday Night

 

We are traveling back to Guatemala City after an amazing time with The Lord at a crusade about 2 hours south of Gautama City. So many things happened.

Gauatemala Crusaide From the moment we stepped out of the van to the thunderous  roar of the Guatemalan worship, I knew God was there. When we walked through  the gates of the pavilion where Pastor Curtis was to preach I instantly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. Unlike many times at home when I come to church with the weight of daily life it takes me time to get into His presence.

Here in Guatemala I have not experienced that at all. I am constantly in His presence. But the moment  we walk into his place of worship I feel Him in ways I rarely get to at home. I pray that when I return home I can continue feeling and getting in His presence in this powerful way.

Jason Maxwel in Guatemala

Tonight when they did the alter call and I came to the front with the other missionaries. I was not afraid. You see typically it makes me very uncomfortable to pray for people, but God has released me from that fear. He has shown me on this trip in a very short time that my words don’t matter, when I lay my hands on them, the Holy Spirit will minister to their heart. It doesn’t matter what I say, it is His power and presence that speaks to their heart.

This Revelation took out all the fear of praying and allowed me to truly open myself up as an empty vessel for Christ. I know that this is why praying in tongues back home can be so important. It allows the Holy Spirit to minister to the need without the giver or receiver focusing on the spoken words.

I began praying for a man in a wheel chair, talk about pressure. He didn’t seem to have any reaction to my prayer physically or emotionally, I felt almost as if he was annoyed I was touching him, yet behind him stood his mother praying desperately. As I laid  my hands on her shoulder tears started pouring out of her. She was in such pain. The struggles of years worth of worry for her wheel chair bound son had weighed her down. As I continued to pray I could see the tears and sobbing increase and I know that with ever tear shed God was providing healing to her bourse bed heart.

I began praying for the next  woman closet to me and within second Gods anointing was flowing through me. I could feel His great power pouring  through my body. The woman probably in her mid to late 40’s began weeping in my arms. Words came out, but my soul was praying for her to be delivered from years of hurt and pain that she had been carrying since childhood from physical and sexual abuse. As I continued to pray she was filled with the spirit and fell limp in my arms as I struggled to guild her to the ground.  Now this is the first time I have laid hands on someone and them gone down, so while I had prayed God would move through me in powerful ways, it still took me back that it happened. As I began questioning it in my own mind, I realized the Devil was trying to take away my anointing. I immediately praised God, smiled and thanked Him for the honor of using me as His empty vessel.

Next I moved on to a man who as soon as I said Jesus Jesus Jesus (in the Spanish enunciation) he hit the ground…again I thanked God and moved on.

This continued on as I prayed for many others, some received from the spirit, some did not, some I could actually feel the resistance. Even though they stood and came forward to receive what God wanted to give them, they were so oppressed and carried with them Spirits of oppression, perversion, rebellion, and disbelief. Without opening themselves up completely to receive what God wanted them too, they lost out. At first I wanted to just stay and keep praying over one personal until we reached a break through, but the Spirit guided me and had to move on. I questioned this and He reminded me everyone has free will. He will never force Himself or His gifts upon someone who is not willing to receive.

I came to a woman in her early to mid thirties. She was dressed nice in business suit jacket over a black shirt. Her long black hair neatly groomed. As I began she smiled and soon I felt the change, I was not praying for her as I was all the others. No in fact I’m not sure you call it praying at all, I was taking authority for her. In the name of Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God I demanded Satin to leave her body, to release her because she was my sister in Christ and the property of the Living God. I remember thinking oh my gosh I am in way over my head. Please Lord let another one of the missionaries or Pastors hear this and come cast out this demonic spirit. Then as if receiving a loving corrective spanking, God spoke to my spirit and reminded me I don’t have to do anything but sit back and let Him do it all. All I have to do is be a willing open and empty vessel. in this moment I was no different than the pastors or missionaries or great healers throughout the ages. I was willing, I was open (although questioning like a young child at every turn), and I was an empty vessel that God was using to pour out His blessings and deliver His children from their hurts and pains. Now all of these thoughts and communication with my Heavenly Father happened in just a blink of an eye. I began screaming at the top of my lungs demanding Satin to leave my sister alone. Her body started to jerk, her head was jerking violently in my hands. Her hair was rubbing so fast under my left hand it felt like sandpaper rubbing off my skin. As I continued to pray, the woman began screaming out in a language  I’ve never heard, it certainly wasn’t Spanish and it wasn’t a heavenly tongue. Whatever it was it was demonic and it was scary. I opened my eyes to see what was going on, and what I saw scared me even more. The well dressed well groomed woman I had initially started praying for no longer was the same, her whole presence was different, her once beautiful long black hair that framed her face was now hanging 360 degrees around her head, covering her face completely. It was a sight I’ve only seen in horror movies, in fact I wasn’t going to be surprised if the next thing I saw was her eyes glowing red from under the black veil of hair that was covering this woman as this demonic spirit was manifesting itself. I again closed my eyes and prayed trying to forget what I had just seen and hand her all over to God so He could work a great work in her life. Moments later it all stopped as her body fell into the legs of the man standing behind her. I looked at her for a moment as she laid there and she looked so peaceful.

Next I came to an older woman and standing next to a man probably in his thirties, I assume her son. I prayed for her hip, she started moving it in a large circular motion and back and forth in large movements, she had a smile on her face.

I prayed for the man’s back because he had pointed to it and as I prayed I felt his spine popping and straighten, it freaked me out but I continued to give thanks to God. When I stopped he started bending forward to touch his toes, and twisting side to side, all the while with a great big smile, nodding yes, it is better.

I continued on laying my hands and praying for others until there were no more people except for a man with a walker. Pastor Kelly and Brother Isaac and I were all praying for Him.  As Isaac had him try to walk, it was obvious that the man’s tendons and ligaments were so tight he stood on his toes, unable to bend his ankles. As I watched him drag his unprotected toes across the concrete floor of the pavilion, with one ankle locked behind the other, His feet black from the dirt of the streets and the hard life this man has lived. God spoke to my spirit and said wash his feet. I argued with God in my spirit saying but God we are in an outdoor pavilion without water. Anyone who knows me will tell you I do not like to get dirty, or hot. I continued in my flesh for a few more seconds making excuses as to why I was not going to touch this man’s feet. Finally I yielded to God’s will, because after all that is why God sent me to Guatemala to do His will, not mine. I told Pastor Kelly that we needed to wash the man’s feet. She of course said “well then do it.” I of course was hoping someone else would volunteer.

Then God spoke to my spirit…humble yourself before your Lord God, and do my will on earth as it is already done in Heaven.

I asked Isaac to ask the man to sit. Someone ask what we would clean his feet with and God showed me the water bottles that had been given to each of us to drink throughout the night. Each of us was given one bottle, most of them were close to empty, but in the midst of 6 or 7 empty bottle God provided an entire unopened bottle of water. As I took the water I closed my eyes and began to pray and intercede on this man’s behalf. Instantly Gods heart opened to mine and I began to weep in ways I can’t explain. I began to open the water bottle an knew that this was real…God had opened the heavens above us and the Kingdom of God was at hand, God  was about to do something amazing.

Jason Maxwell washing mans feet in Guatemala 1

As the water flowed out of that bottle the Living Waters from heaven were flowing and as I began to wash this man’s feet I noticed they were like steel rods. There was no movement and as I pushed against them they remained stiff. I have never seen anything like it, no matter what direction I washed or the pressure I applied they remained still. As I continued to intercede and wash the feet of this man, exposing his renewed skin, I was led the place the bottom of foot in the palm of my hand and apply pressure. At first nothing, and I continued praying Over what seemed like 10-20 minutes and his ankle began to release the tendons relaxed and his foot flattened, no longer did his feet hang from his body like that of a fully erect ballerina ready to twirl, but they were flat. For the first time this man’s feet were horizontal to the ground. I asked him to stand, he looked at me with eyes that said I don’t want to stand. I asked him again and move to the side as so he could lean on his walker. He stood as he always had lifting with his arms. As he did I watched as those horizontal feet tightened and became vertically locked once again. My heart breaks as I think of this man. I know God healed him, God told me He healed him. Immediately though the devil came into my heart and doing as  only the devil can, he came to steel, kill and destroy. He laughed at me as we watched the man drag down the aisle walking with his arm strength instead of His healed and flattened feet God had given him just moments before. Satin used his control over that mans mind to steel his blessing, then he turned his attention to me to try and steel my blessing by laughing at me by making me think I was crazy. I prayed instantly for God to protect my mind and heart from Satins attacks.  God then began use the missionaries around me to speak life back into me, as I was drained. I had given to this man all God had given to me leaving nothing back. I walked back to the van in a state of sadness and confusion. Throughout the trip home more was given to me including a new prayer language. I have been asking The Lord for almost two years to give me a new prayer language because my present  one sounded like such baby talk consisting of just a few syllables that remind me of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles saying Calabunga Dude!

As the trip home continued I began to pray using my new pray language. It is a language of worship, of song, and sounds so beautiful even though I don’t understand a word of it. I will thank God for the rest of my life for the blessing I received from Him today by yielding to His will.

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Guatemala Mission – Monday April 29th, 2013

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Today started off early as I said goodbye to Sarah my wife, our daughter Hollyn, and our now 38 day old baby Emelyn Faith. Excitement was in the air as I joined the other Missionaries from our church and we traveled from Northwest Arkansas to Guatemala City. As this is my first mission trip, I really have no idea what to expect, other than to see God do some amazing things as He transforms lives. I know that this is not like the mission trips I had heard my Grandma talk about. You know, the youth group on a mission to help out by painting houses etc….No, this is very different as our mission is to save hundreds, if not thousands of souls by bringing them to know the love of God. To know what He did for them and the price He paid through His son Jesus Christ.  To give them hope, love, and faith. To preach the Gospel of Truth and minister to the people of Guatemala.

Guatemala Flight

When  arriving in Guatemala, Pastor David and his wife picked us up from the airport and drove us to our hotel in Zona ViVa.  Pastor David is a local Pastor who has worked very hard to set up the events our team will be holding this week. We took a couple of hours to get settled in and rest before go to the evening services. Pastor David drove us to his church, where we split up into three groups, and went to three different churches around the city.Kenny, Kit, Brother Justo and I all went to a church in one of the worst neighborhoods surrounding Guatemala City. A neighborhood known for its cartel activity, where businesses are expected to pay the cartel $200-$500 a week. Keep in mind that in this neighborhood, most people are paying $100-200 a month for the houses they live in.  Failure to pay will result in the business owner’s family members being killed. There are times when entire families are killed. Our driver a local Pastor in that neighborhood told us of mass shootings, and how not long before we arrived the cartel had killed 15 people at once in a local drug/convenience store.

It is hard to imagine that in the small area of maybe 2 miles there are over 200 churches. Within 6 city blocks there were nearly 60 churches according to the pastor that was driving us. The average church has about 100-200 people with a few having 500 member congregations. When I saw the small area that all these churches were contained in, I instantly questioned where do all the people live? I mean take 6 city blocks in a US neighborhood. Most neighborhood contain between 30-40 houses per square city block, multiply that by 6 and you get between 180-240 houses. If the average house has 3-4 people, that leaves you with 960 people, on the high side, in neighborhood of 6 square blocks in the US.  60 churches with each containing 100-200 people equals 6,000-12,000 people attending church in this 6 block area. Now add in the room required for the 60 churches which are much bigger than a house, and logic shows us that the people must be traveling from a long ways to get these churches full.

So of course, I questioned the Pastor about this and asked him where all the people came from? His reply was the same 6 block area. Holy Cow!!! How on earth do you fit 6,000-12,000 people in a 6 block area with 60 churches(granted most of them are just one really large room to our US standards), and stores to supply the needs of those people. The answer seems relatively simple, build skyscrapers right? Wrong! The tallest building I saw in this area was two stories. Hard to imagine how packed and crowded the people’s living quarters really are. I can tell you on one corner I saw a small house, what we in American real estate would consider the size of a small 8×10 storage shed, or a child’s bedroom many would consider too small to house a child’s twin bed and their toys. In the open doorway of that house stood a man, woman and their 3 small children.

Upon arriving at the church, we were warmly welcomed by a couple of members of the congregation and taken to our seats on the front row. The worship part of the service had already began, so we quickly took our places and began worshiping and preparing for what God had called us here to do. Their worship was amazing, the people seemed so hungry for God’s presence, and God wasn’t disappointing those that were desperately seeking Him!

After worship the local Pastor introduced Brother Justo to the church. Brother Justo was going to deliver the message that evening. Each of us said a few words, before he began, thanking the church for allowing us to come. I wish I could tell you more about the service itself, but Brother Justo delivered the message in Spanish, so there was no interpreter for just the three of us. I always knew I needed Rosetta Stone! What I can say is it was a great time with God on a personal basis, and I could tell the congregation was really getting a lot out of the messages being delivered.

The Pastor asked brother Justo to have me come up and say the closing prayer. This is something that would normally terrify me. Not the thought of talking in front of large groups of people, I’ve done that for years, but praying for people and in front of people is something that a year ago would have shut me down. The thought of it still scares me just because it’s one of the ways the devil try’s to hold me back. But the honor God blessed me with by having the Pastor share his podium with me and closing out the service overcame any fear.

After the service the Pastor said they had prepared us a traditional Guatemalan meal, and that we could not leave without eating and sharing a meal with them.  Keep in mind the water in Guatemala is not safe for us to drink, so food outside of a large franchise type restaurant is very risky. Something most the people on our trip seem very worried about. I figure God sent us to this land to serve His people, and in return they have honored us to eat among them. That is a direct reward from God, and He will nourish it to our bodies.  1 Timothy 4:4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving

IMG_1908So we walked out into the street and greeted people. We watched in amazement as the kids crowded around Brother Justo and his impossible to catch American dollar bill. The joy and laughter it brought to not just the kids playing, but to the parents and other adults was amazing.

Soon we were asked to come back into the church room, where to my surprise all the chairs had been stacked and removed, in the center of this Guatemalan church sat  just one table with 6 chairs. Enough for the Pastor of the church, brother Justo, the Pastor that had driven us, Kit, Kenny and myself. I can’t explain the overwhelming feeling of realizing what Honor these people had given to us. God’s love was pouring into me and I was treasuring ever moment. One second I would be thinking how honored I was to be sitting around this table with the Pastor of the church. The next moment I was thinking why would these people give us such honor, we are just three everyday Americans from Arkansas that love God. The next moment my heart would be breaking thinking about how much food was there available for us to eat, more than we could eat if we stayed all week. Why wasn’t the rest of the church eating with us. Why were these people who had so little, giving us so much?  Soon the Pastors wife and son pulled up chairs to the table to fellowship with us…keep in mind, the whole time brother Justo is talking to them in Spanish, I had no clue what was being said. But regardless of the language barrier the universal language of God’s Love was shared and evident among all of us at that table.

As we drove back to the hotel, I couldn’t help but think how blessed we all are. What a blessing it is to allow God to use us to show His love to others.  How blessed I am that God was using these people to bless me with love in return. What an awesome Living God I get the honor to serve!

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