Village #2 -- Tuesday, March 9

    I'm not sure where we are. Loren has never been here. A family has moved here to start a church, so we are staying in their new house several miles outside of town. I know this sounds strange, but we had a good bath. It was a little bit of a hike to get there, but the river was deep enough to get down in a little deeper than yesterday. It's the simple things, you know... They also have a pretty dandy outhouse and a nice, high fence to hang our wet clothes on. I never cease to be amazed at how these people open their homes to us. We've completely taken over their living room, and they're trying to keep a baby asleep while we hang hammocks and get situated. It's past all of our bedtimes. We didn't get in until 10:30, and now it's almost midnight.
    The Nicas left us napping at the house this afternoon and took it upon themselves to go door-to-door. They are learning to take ownership of this work, since Loren will be leaving this year. Preaching finally started around 7:30 (we got there at 6 to set up). To us it seems like it would be better to show the Jesus Film first, but these are their people and will soon be their ministry. We sat in the back of the crowd and prayed for the Holy Spirit to work, and when the film started there was a problem with the iPod. So, we (the ladies) sat and waited while the guys tried to fix it. and waited. I think we were all sort of praying that it would work. Finally they got the movie going again, but a little while later something else went wrong, this time I think with the projector. At this point we started talking about what we had all sensed earlier, that the enemy was trying to work. For what must have been ten or fifteen minutes, all of us girls joined in a circle and prayed aloud that the enemy would be held back and that the Truth of the Gospel would be heard. There were problems with the movie all night, and every time we prayed while they tried to fix it. Each time it worked again.
    I've had this kind of experience before, but it never loses the power to amaze me. I can't describe that sense of spiritual activity in a place; it's something you just know in your spirit, that you can't put your finger on, yet can't ignore. I can only say that in those moments I know something much bigger than myself is going on, something that goes beyond dead batteries and wrong cables. I know that only the power of Almighty God can do anything and it is absolutely crucial that we pray as if lives depended on it -- in truth, the eternal lives of those people depended on their hearing the Gospel. We did not travel days only to sit in defeat; when the enemy tries to intrude, we resist. Our fear was that the crowd would grow impatient and not stay for the rest of the movie, but not a single person left until the end.
    One of the ladies on our team also had an experience of the Spirit drawing her to a certain woman. Before they even spoke there was a connection between them, and after talking through a translator they found that their stories were much alike. The lady, who is also our school counselor, was able to talk with this woman and encourage her in a way that only she could. What if she had hesitated? What if we hadn't prayed that people would wait for the movie to work? I think we all learned tonight the importance of prayer and sensitivity to the Spirit's leading, because our battle is not against flesh and blood. (Eph. 6:12, 18-20)
    Our other adventure was on the ride here this morning. Our observant guys noticed some howling from the woods along the road, which turned out to be spider monkeys! So a few of us decided to get out and take a closer look. After climbing a fence, crossing a field, and taking a path through the woods, we finally found their tree. Let me just say that they look just like you think. Now we all have chiggers and are going crazy with these itchy red spots. I would say it was worth it. How many times in your life do you get to watch spider monkeys get mad and yell at you from the top of a tree?

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