Bill Thomas' Report - December 14, 2005
SPECIAL REPORT ON CENTRAL AMERICA
...was an uplifting experience. In the midst of crime, corruption, murders, robberies, drugs and domestic violence, God is at work. Travelling into the capital, one can see a huge billboard that says, "Jesus Christ is the answer to Guatemala's problems." Many of the public officials are openly acknowledging this motto. The crusade organizers took Franck and me to visit the chief of police. Every Tuesday, he has a prayer meeting with his staff at 4:30 AM. There are also prayer groups in the different police departments. They recognize that the underlying problems of the country are spiritual and that public enemy number one is Satan. We had opportunity to pray with and for the chief of police.
Later on in the week, we visited and had prayer with the Mayor of Guatemala City , Mr. Arzu. He was president of the country for two terms. He had just been selected as the number one Mayor of Latin America and the number three Mayors in the world. He too gives public recognition to his faith and dependence on Christ.
The three day crusade in MAZATENANGO was organized by a ministry called Seize the Nations for Jesus Christ. The founders, Renaud and Else Cuchet really put themselves out and made tremendous sacrifices, including financial. Their objective is to bring the churches together in evangelistic campaigns. There is a lot of disunity among the churches.
42 churches actively supported the crusade which drew 8,000 people to the sports venue There were 200 counsellors. Over 100 people made commitments to Christ, but between 700 and 800 people with all kinds of afflictions came for prayer. God was pleased to grant healing to many. I prayed for one girl who came in with crutches. Four months earlier, she had been hit by a car. Her healing then and there was not complete, but it was a good start. She left without the crutches. A man came with his walking stick. For eight months he had not been able to get around well. He left carrying his stick as a souvenir.
Some people were also delivered from demonic spirits. The area is known for its occult practices and witchcraft. T here were so many testimonies.
In order to further help the pastors with follow-up, I gave two seminars: one on "The healing of the mind" and one on "Why get married instead of just living together." 80% of the children in Guatemala have been deserted by their fathers.
The impact of the crusade will go on for some time to come. Franck and I were interviewed on a cable TV station, Libertador. He gave his testimony and I spoke a word of encouragement. The potential viewers number some 300,000.
SANTIAGO DE MARIA, El Salvador
This was my first trip to this country. On entering, there also is a big sign that says, "Jesus Christ is the answer to El Salvador's problems." The town's population is 50,000. There are several protestant churches but they do not cooperate with each other. Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses are very active. The area where I went has been known for its violent street gangs. In fact, while I was there a young man was murdered. There is a lot of poverty in the country. Thousands of people have left for the US and elsewhere. Unfortunately, among them are some very bad elements who have formed gangs in the USA.
I spent four days with a team of young people who are part of a ministry called, Christ is the answer. My ministry was mostly one of sowing into their lives to better enable them in their witnessing on the streets and in the people's homes. Most of these young people have had little education. They need a lot of encouragement. They have set up their tent in the same area for the month of December and seeing people come to Christ by the twos and threes.