Was this the biggest trip ever? 159 team members, 5 speakers, 4 busses, 4 churches, and 11 incredible staff members who worked night and day to get everyone where they were supposed to be. Our hotel in Fortaleza was right across the street from the beach, so we had the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty during the afternoons.
One of the big themes of this trip was ‘Welcome.’ We are blessed by a wonderful warm welcome whenever we go to Brazil, but Casa do Pai took this to another level. It wasn’t just the greeters lined up at the doorway who made sure to say ‘welcome’ even if it was the only word in English that they knew. It wasn’t just the welcome posters displayed inside, outside, and even in the bathrooms! It wasn’t just the rows of seats marked ‘reservado’ for us. It wasn’t just the brochures they printed just for us, to make sure we felt at home and knew where everything was. It wasn’t just the welcome from the pulpit, that included the whole team, not just the speakers. It wasn’t even just the meal they had waiting for us every night after the meeting. It was a pervasive message that they were waiting for us, and were glad we were there.
That natural welcome that we experienced was echoed in the spiritual, with a welcoming of the Holy Spirit. We saw this over and over. William Wood said “the church needs to learn again how to steward the presence of the Holy Spirit” and then demonstrated it by sacrificing his own message to allow the Holy Spirit free reign, leading to a rich time of commissioning. Another evening we saw about 100 salvations before anyone even prayed. And I don’t think anyone will forget the fire tunnel, with about 80 of us praying, and about 600 attendees, and countless Holy Spirit encounters!
Another theme of the trip was partnership and building. We got to see the fruit of the ongoing relationship these churches have had with Global. Their congregations have grown, their communities have been blessed, they have expanded to build new buildings, and they have learned to pray for each other.
And in the midst of all this, we saw healings, of course. The lame walked, the blind saw, tumors disappeared, and demons fled. One of the most powerful aspects of these trips is the fact that the team is an essential and active part of ministry, not just observers or groupies. We saw the presence and power of God acting both sovereignly and through our own hands. Most of us can hardly wait to go again.