Ice-cream, Superman, and Charles

We were sitting at an ice cream shop in downtown Santos by a main square enjoying spending time with Pastor Nelson and his wife; it was a beautiful afternoon and we had simply stopped to enjoy an ice cream. Suddenly a homeless woman frantically approached us, I could tell by her appearance and actions that she was also a drug addict. She was speaking in Portuguese but the tone of her voice was desperate as she pled for help. No sooner did she begin to ask for help as a police officer began to push her away from our table. It must be said he was only doing his job. As he began to escort her back to the street she became aggressive; screaming as tears were pouring from her eyes. The police officer had to get physical as she was jumping at him and violently throwing her arms. It seriously felt like time stood still as I saw this play out before me. Suddenly Pastor Nelson, my host, stood to his feet and stopped the Police Officer. I did not understand what was being said as it was all in Portuguese but the love of the Father transcends language. Suddenly my heart was overwhelmed as the atmosphere turned from one of chaos to one of beauty as the Overshadowing Presence of God rushed in to the ice cream shop. The homeless woman stood there heaving and still visibly angry. Then Pastor Nelson bought her an ice cream cone. At once the smile of a little girl was on her face and she skipped away eating an ice cream. If not but for a brief moment God used Pastor Nelson to restore innocence to this woman’s heart. He looked through the anger and the addiction to see that this was one of our Father God’s little girls broken and hopeless. As she skipped away licking her ice cream cone Pastor Nelson sat back down and said the Lord sent her to our table for us to show her love. I know that that act of love marked her. According to 1 Corinthians 3:6 some plant the seed and some water. Sometimes the best evangelistic tool is simply buying an ice cream cone to make someone smile. One thing’s for sure Jesus said, “whatever you have done for the least of these you have done for Me.” Matt 25:40 I am convinced now that Jesus likes ice cream!                                           
The ice cream experience was just one of many encounters; our trip to Santos Brazil was absolutely incredible. We were immersed in the Sound of Awakening!!! Every meeting truly was an encounter with Heaven as hearts were stirred and lives were changed. Prior to the meetings beginning we had the privilege of driving the streets with Pastor Nelson and hearing his heart for his city. He drove us through slums where they minister to drug addicts and slum lords. Recently they preached the gospel in a slum risking their lives and thirty-five addicts accepted Jesus. AMEN! One street we turned down was especially important to him as he began to tell us how he goes and feeds the homeless and ministers to the addicts who gather there. One in particular is a man named Superman. We stopped the car and he called out, “Superman!” and sure enough this young man walked over to the car. He began to tell us that because this young man had no identity of his own that he had taken on the identity of Superman. He said at first Superman wouldn’t even respond to him. Over time, Pastor Nelson made consistent attempts to display love to him. Eventually he gained his trust. This street corner was filled with men and woman who have lost their identity. My heart ached for these men and women as he told us story after story. Then the thought occurred to me that you don’t have to be on a street corner to have lost your identity. We truly need to reach those who have hit rock bottom but in order to do this many in the church must step into the realization of their own identity as sons and daughters. “Creation is groaning for the sons of God to be revealed.” Romans 8:19
Saturday night of our conference in Santos was very weighty with the Presence of God. We began singing my song, “At Your Feet” and I began to not just cry but weep uncontrollably. Those of you who know me personally may say, “That’s not out of the ordinary” but this was different. Something was happening in the spirit as many began to weep. As we moved on from that moment I noticed two men walking into the back of the church. One of these men had a jacket on with a hood covering his head. I began look back at them every few minutes. Eventually I saw both of them with hands lifted as they worshiped Jesus. After the meeting I found out that during the song, “At Your Feet”, a gentlemen from the church, Roberto, who is also a well known soccer player for Santos ran out of the church saying. “I have to find someone to tell about Jesus!” This is who I saw walk back into the church with another man named Charles. Roberto found Charles and ministered to him about the love of Jesus! He brought him into the church as worship was still going on. That night I felt strong to preach on the ravished heart of God. They told me as I shared he began to weep and gave his crack cocaine to the Pastor and gave his heart back to Jesus!!!!!! I later met Charles in person. The church allowed him to take a shower, shave, eat, and when I had the pleasure of meeting him I got to pray for him myself.
Friends there is nothing like seeing a life change before your very own eyes. Let’s rise up as sons and daughters and release the kingdom of Heaven. It may be as simple as buying an ice cream cone or as scary as preaching in a slum. Whatever it looks like for you,  YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!! Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world! 1 John 4:4 Please pray for us as now we travel to Sao Paulo and Sorocaba. We are here in Brazil for fourteen more days. We covet your prayers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s