I have seen some crazy things. I am an optimist and really like to paint a pretty picture, but things have been really difficult.
Let me give you a few examples, so that you can pray for us...
During Love Extreme in Cusco, I was leading a team going to a few different schools to do a drama sharing the gospel. We walked down to the main road to grab taxis with the Pastor. We finally got everyone in a taxi and headed to the school, and all arrived about five minutes after our scheduled start time. The principal wouldn't let us come in. So we didn't get to go into the first school.
So we decided to head over to the second school early, and since there was a university right around the corner, we were going to see if we could do the drama there as well.
On the way there, we got a flat tire, and were delayed about a half hour!
So we headed to the university, still with plenty of extra time. We talked to security, and they just wouldn't let us in. They said their schedule was too tight and it just wasn't possible on such short notice, but we could schedule a time sometime.
We finally went to the last two schools, and things went pretty well. Now I know all of these things could be ordinary, happenstance things. But I remember standing at the second school thinking about all the things that had gone wrong that morning, and feeling so attacked. The enemy was at work, because Cusco belongs to him. He didn't want us to share the gospel with the next generation that day. So he used men and objects to get in our way.
Another example pops into my mind from the week of Consolidation after Love Extreme. All day of the Mega-Event, there were people working to put the names and data into the computer to help us when we went to follow up with them. A few of us stayed up pretty late that night to get this done to be able to begin calling people the following day.
The next day, things didn't go as smoothly as they could have. And the enemy started working to cause division. And he did. I won't go into detail, but there was a lot of division.
So to attempt to solve the problems, I volunteered to just take all of the consolidation stuff home and finish what we needed for the following day. I was determined to not sleep until it was done, and really, I wasn't planning on sleeping. I also volunteered to help get short-termers to the airport the next day by 5 am.
So things went fine for me that night once we finally go the data sent to my computer (There were many technical difficulties in this process; imagine that!) So I stayed up all night, everything got done, and I took all the stuff with me to the airport so we could go straight to the church after that to get everything printed and ready to go for a day of follow-up with people who had made decisions for Christ.
So, we left the airport, Jaclyn and I, walking a ways to get a taxi for cheaper. We walked, and kept waving down taxis. Every taxi either ignored us like we were invisible, stopped but couldn't go that way for whatever reason, or was charging outlandish prices! We walked for nearly an hour, and without exaggeration, waved down about 50 taxis.
We continued to pray, and finally got a taxi. On the way to the church, there was a lot of prayer because of the crazy traffic and near-accidents. And when we looked at the clock once we arrived at the church, and it was one minute until our meeting was supposed to start!
Do you realize I had every piece of information about the 700+ people who gave their lives to Christ on my back that morning? And the enemy tried so hard to not allow us to get where we had to be with that information that morning.
I have been thinking a lot today about all the difficulties we face on a daily basis. A lot of times, there are conflicts and divisions among people. But I am reminded today that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). Our struggle is not against people! I feel very strongly that Satan often uses people for his purposes, but our struggle is not against people. It is against the evil forces using people.
So let's remember to put on the full armor of God.
Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.