We connected with two churches while we were there. The first was in neighboring Jacó, a town full of tourists and expats. This was a church led by missionaries from the United States, and services were bilingual. This was our Sunday morning place of worship since I was the only one in the family that spoke any Spanish.
On Tuesday evenings, Sheila and I went to Parrita, the farming village to our south. We worshiped with a local charismatic congregation at their weekly prayer meeting. In spite of the language challenges, we were blessed by their hospitality and love for the Lord. One evening the pastor invited us to come to the front for prayer. The entire congregation moved forward, and he began to lay hands on individuals and they would fall to the floor.
He came over to me. At that time I had been struggling with a sense of call to do some writing in the last part of the sabbatical. I even laid out a table of contents. As he came to me, he told me that God revealed to him that I was asking about doing something new. The strong word he received was espera which means to wait, to hope, to expect. As he prayed for me, I received an overwhelming sense of God's presence and joy in my spirit that moved into the whole of my being. I remember thinking I had a choice to receive it and fall to the floor or to continue standing on my own strength. I chose to relax into that presence and I laid on the cold, hard tile floor for about fifteen minutes. God simply ministered to me through the Holy Spirit, not with words, but with His beautiful presence. In some charismatic circles, this is called being slain in the Spirit. I prefer to call it resting in the Spirit.
Since then, I've waited. When I went to the Anabaptist Renewal Conference this summer, i felt God stirring something within me, giving me the word "Go". And that is how this blog started. I get up each morning and I pray and read the Bible, social media, and news articles. I don't decide ahead of time what to write, i just listen and try to respond to the nudgings of the Spirit.
But I also believe that the word I've been given was not just for me. I believe there are others out there who God has been shaping and preparing for many years, and He is also telling you it's time to speak. Within the larger Anabaptist community, the voices for a vibrant witness now need to come forward, to let go of the fears of ridicule. You have been prepared and God will guide you. Perhaps you want to contribute to this blog. Maybe you will start your own blog, write a book, or just be more forthright on social media. Whatever way you live out that call, I believe now is the time to speak. Speak about the things you know. If you don't know, educate yourself. Speak about your experiences, your convictions and your hopes and dreams. Spend time being united with Christ so that your words are a reflection of His presence with you. Live in the humility of God's provision and allow His boldness to shape your words.
-John M Troyer
It's day 4 of the Ground Game Challenge, a forty day adventure to instill new habits in your life or lose old ones. Not eating after 7 pm has been difficult, and I finally did my exercising at 11 at night. Today is a new day.