Bill Thomas' Report - CHRISTMAS 2008
TEXAS - COLUMBIA
After Kansas City, I went to Texas for a five-day endeavor which was basically the effort of two churches.
The first one, THE WAY, is pastored by Bill Butler. It is a small but dedicated congregation. VICTORY FELLOWSHIP,
the second church, is a ministry that was begun by Freddie and Ninfa Garcia in the 1980s.
Its main thrust is to reach the marginalized people of society especially drug addicts and ex-convicts.
The interesting thing for me was that I had read Freddie's story a couple of years ago, and here
I was in one of their churches working with them. By the way, this ministry has spread to many countries in Latin America.
We began the meetings with the two churches on Sunday evening in the Seguin Convention Center. It was supposed to be a children's event but half of the audience were adults. The singing was uplifting, the atmosphere was electric. The men from Victory Fellowship sang and danced before the Lord. Of the 150 people present that first night, 25 responded to the invitation. There were only 8 counselors to speak with them, and they managed somehow.
On Monday night, we had a similar attendance and response. On Tuesday morning, I spoke at the Victory Fellowship main center in San Antonio to about 200 students, and a time of questions and answers on Christian growth followed. The evening meeting, which was in Spanish, was held in a local park, the Lord also granted many blessings there. In all, 750 people attended the meetings, and 52 were counseled.
This was a challenging experience for the NGA group of evangelists I was with. There were seven of us, each evangelist preached in three of the seven sites around the city from Tuesday to Thursday, changing sites each day. In my case, the first night I spoke to 300 people at Pozon; when I arrived there, they were still setting up the platform, the lighting was very poor and I could barely see my notes. Eight people responded to the appeal. The second night was at a better site, called San Francisco. It's a place that is known for its gangs, violence and drugs. 500 people showed up, and 200 came forward. The third night, I was at another site where it had been raining during the afternoon. The rain had not completely stopped as we left for the meeting. 150 people came out anyway. Just as I began to speak, someone turned up his music and blasted away the whole time. Providentially, we had a very powerful PA system, and it was truly a spiritual battle. God won 30 people came forward for counseling, and some were healed. Afterwards I learned that what this individual with the music had done was illegal, and that the organizers should have called the police, but nobody did.
I spoke at a Sunday morning service and also at a seminar. I had a second seminar planned, but I gave my place
to another NGA evangelist who wanted to speak, and I ended up interpreting for him and another person because
the Columbian interpreter could not come.
About 3,500 people attended the two days of meetings in the stadium where Franck Alexandre preached.
Please continue to pray for Columbia. If the pastors and churches would put into practice Psalm 133,
there is no telling what the Lord would do !
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas as you celebrate the Lord's birth on earth, and may God give you a wonderful and happy New Year. Thank you for caring and sharing in this ministry. Without your prayers and help, all that we did in 2008 would not have been possible.
As I write this, I am in the midst of meetings in Seguin. Most of those attending the meetings
are "from the streets" - former drug dealers, ex-convicts, etc., who are trying to get their lives straightened out.
We are seeing a good response every night, and also praying for the sick.
In my next letter, I will say more about the rest of my time in the US, and then in Colombia, and also include some photos.
Please keep me and my ministry in your prayers. These are very difficult days for everyone, especially economically. But God is still on the throne.
I have only 50 or 60 copies of my book left. So if you want one, you must let me know right away!