Bilal Town, June 09, 2013
Jet lag persists. I woke up at 3 a.m. and was not able to get to sleep. This gave me the opportunity to prepare for the meetings but meant that the challenge would be to find the strength for a long day.
I was picked up at 8:30 a.m. to go to a church in the region of Bilal town about half an hour outside of the city. On the way there,we were blocked by protesters burning tires in the middle of the road. Many of them were carrying sticks. They were protesting the energy cuts. Some had been three days without power.
Emmanuel got out to speak to them and ask permission to pass. They became angry with him. He explained, however, that we had obligations at a church and needed to get through. When they heard this, they relaxed and let us through. I had a clear sense of the Lord's protection in this.
The church was located in a poor section on the outskirts of the city. Some of the roads were so poorly maintained that it was not possible to get a car through. We eventually found a way around these roads to get to the church.
There were no benches or seats in the church except in the front. People sat on the floor -- men on one side and women on the other. After the morning message, people came forward for prayer. There were so many prayer requests that it took me about an hour to pray for them all.
People came forward asking prayer for spiritual growth. A number had physical illnesses. One young man sat on his knees and used his hands to move himself around because he could not use his legs. Another young man told me he was mentally handicapped and asked if I would pray that God would give him a better mind. Mothers brought their children forward for prayer. One mother pushed her young girl forward and asked me to pray that the Lord would help her to be obedient. A mother of four children told me that she had lost her two boys and wanted me to pray that the Lord would give her another boy to replace the two that had died. I found it very revealing to hear these stories and was privileged to pray for these people individually.