I knew it had happened the moment I stood to speak to this crowd. Some of you remember my miracle of early March... after 3 months with my voice scratchy and gravelly and unable to sing due to preaching about 70 times in Argentina. After the prayer of faith with a group of youth my voice cleared up and I was able to preach another 59 times in Argentina and then 24 times in Spain. But a 12 hour flight from Spain with no shut-off valve to restrain the cold AC blowing on my neck I had lost my voice again. For the past three weeks it has not been clear.
I am in a great church in San Salvador with Pastor Lisandro Bojorquez ministering this week. Last night I preached to the youth, but with difficulty. Many friends were praying for me, yet the miracle did not happen. But in spite of my voice and feeling like I had failed, four new people came for salvation. Praise God!
However Sunday morning the moment I opened my mouth to speak I knew I had just received the miracle. Suddenly my voice was as clear as ever. I was able to sing, teach a song and preach in the three back to back morning services and a fourth one last night.
All four services of Sunday went very well. Please note that there are people in the distance, as far as the eye can see. These are four different congregations of the same church. They only have room for 1,500 in each service so they have 4 Sunday services.
Dozens were quick to respond at the altar calls in each service.
God helped me and I was able to reduce my one hour message to 35 minutes with plenty of time to pray individually with many of those that came forward to dedicate their lives afresh to seek and fulfill the perfect will of God.
This morning, Monday, I spoke to the smaller children of their Christian School 3 years old to the 3rd grade. This was much more challenging than the adults... and I knew in advance it would be. In the first place... every time I asked Felipe a question... about 100 cute little kids each screamed out an answer. By the time I got that quieted down Felipe had forgotten what the question was. So I had to ask him again... which, although I begged them not to answer, they could not help themselves. So although this was all done in much fun... it was very straining on my voice. Tonight and again tomorrow night and Wednesday night I will have a similar situation with an estimated 300 to 400 kids of all ages up to 12 I think. They will fill the central part of the church with their parents seated in the two side sections.
Children in most churches are taught to answer questions. A leader yells out at the top of his voice, “Who knows what did Jesus said to Zacheaus?” ... or some other question, and he expects the entire crowd to yell out the answer. So when I ask something to Felipe... and they all think they know the answer... they will all scream it out at the top of their voices. It’s not their fault. They are just doing what they have been trained to do. If you tell them to not shout out, but just raise their hand... it sounds good in theory, but these little ones cannot restrain themselves... all their little their hands go up and they shout at the same time.
After Felipe was back quietly in his case and as I began to minister the Word to them. They showed great attention until a large black and white butterfly decided to flitter all over the ceiling above the platform... and I lost the whole crowd... all little fingers were pointing to the ceiling J. That little butterfly was a creation of God, too. He finally decided to take a rest and lit somewhere on the wall I think.
In other cases (not here) a dog or a chicken has walked across the front... or a rat on a board on the wall behind me. I can’t blame the devil for these distractions. These are God’s little creatures and they have their part to play in our lives. They, too, can teach us many things. Yet with small children... one strives to hold their attention long enough to get a thought through the fog of distractions and into their little hearts. That is my challenging job for these next three nights. I plead your prayers!
Yes, my voice was miraculously changed Sunday morning and I could preach and even teach a chorus with no problem in all four services. This morning with the little kids... I confess I was struggling some... since I had to force my voice to out-shout the “answer shouters” and that noisy butterfly.