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Manizales, Colombia - Mission Trip Report Aug 04, 2008

Manizales, Colombia  - August 4, 2008

    My Sunday school teacher would always tell me in reference to the Great Commission, “if you were going away for a long time, and knew you were not going to see friends, family and loved ones for an extended period, would you not choose your last words with care? Wouldn’t they be ones of vital importance?” Being as young as I was I don’t think I understood the implications she was making, and I never allowed my heart to be cut with the Son of God’s final words.
    Over the years there has been a transformation in my perspective, a transformation that comes along with maturity. Now, as I read Jesus’ final command to “go in to all the world” in this new light I cannot help but wonder, did Jesus know? As he ascended to the right hand of His father, did He see the 22 American laborers gathering together in Atlanta’s international airport on August 4, in obedience to the command He gave two thousand years prior?
    As the team began ministering, the answer to my question became very evident. He would not only see our response, but He himself would travel with us, demonstrating His authority and dominion over every sickness and infirmity and over every spiritual power in the heavens. Even those unfamiliar with the power of God saw mighty miracles and became conduits for His Holy Spirit. Some on the trip had never prayed for others for healing and through these Jesus chose to manifest His glory and love in ways that shocked even themselves. One individual on our team, a sophomore in high school saw God do eleven healings through him the very first night! A work that lead to his interpreter’s and the interpreter’s son’s salvation! It was an amazing prophetic signpost that successfully mapped out how great the rest of the trip was going to be.
    Colombia in her past was known as the drug, kidnap, and murder capital of the world. However as her citizens have risen up calling for the intervention of the King of Glory, she has taken a noticeable shift toward the Kingdom of Light. This change has occurred as a result of the prayers ascending before the throne of the Great King.
    We were privileged to be a part of Colombia’s National Day of Prayer held on August 7th. On this date, 7 million people joined in the Spirit and approached the Mercy Seat to petition on behalf of a broken people and a hurting nation. As the bowls of Heaven were filled, God responded.  His presence and glory filled the place as if to say, “Yes! I have heard your cry, and will I not bring about justice for my elect who cry out to me night and day?” That day the team received a deeper burden for the Colombian people. It was a breaking that allowed us to operate out of the love and compassion of Christ.
    His presence continued to rise, climaxing in a powerful “Healing the Brokenhearted” session led by Kathi Oates. The amount of inner healing that God did was nothing short of amazing. With the release of stored up bitterness, anger and trauma, the congregation and their pastors were free to grow in their relationship and in intimacy with God.
    The evening meeting was particularly powerful, the message and the anointing was not contained to the church building but spilled over the airwaves of Manizales. Gary instructed those listening by radio to call and report what was happening to them. That night two ladies responded to a word of knowledge and were healed of migraine headaches through the phone line! Another gentleman called testifying to the healing he just received in his back. From these testimonies, one person called in wanting to know this Man Jesus! After hearing incredible testimonies of people being healed and saved over the radio, an individual on the Gary Oates Ministry team testified of a homeless man wondering in off the street. The gentleman was a former dentist who had lost everything including his family. He was looking for hope and stumbled right into God. Our teammate prayed for him and he became undone with the love of Jesus.
That same morning, another amazing radio broadcast went forth led by Gary that had such an anointing, it left everyone in the studio in awe at what God had done.
    Each morning the team would gather together and head to the first meeting of the day. These morning sessions were for the equipping of leadership in the city. We want to see the pastors and leaders operating in the fullness of what God is calling them to for the purpose of maximum impact in their city.
On one particular morning Rafa Silveira, anointed and spiritual daughter of Gary and Kathi Oates trained and equipped the leaders of Manizales on the gift of words of knowledge for healing. It was a powerful message with the activation of that gift in the congregation. As the crowd began giving words of knowledge, the team stood back in awe of how specific and how accurate they were; some giving the person’s name along with the condition! On a separate occasion, Gary gave a strong word on the urgent need for purity and unity in this hour. It was a message filled with the convicting power of the Holy Spirit that lead to genuine repentance and reconciliation among the leadership.
    After breaking from the morning meeting, the team separated, some to an orphanage and others to a local nursing home where the power and love of Jesus was made known. Miracles began breaking out among those at the retirement community as our team brought heaven to earth. During this glorious invasion a women shot twice in the head, paralyzed from the neck down began to receive feeling in her limbs! After two days of prayer she began moving, something the doctors said she would never do again. Meanwhile our team at the orphanage made known the love and compassion of Christ through simple touch and powerful prophetic words.
    That evening we took the anointing and the message of Jesus’ love to a local shopping mall. Before going, Gary encouraged us to ask God for words of knowledge about the people we would encounter at the mall. Many saw their words hit the mark and even those who didn’t saw the power of the Hoy Spirit impact many lives. Over all we witnessed ten salvations and ten physical healings, all within just one hour of ministry! Among the healings was a woman healed of terrible migraines and an entire family touched by the fire of God.
    Near the end of the trip our team had the amazing opportunity to minister in the Civic Center. As she had done every meeting, Kathi took a portion of our team into a separate room to war in the heavens on behalf of the team and the people attending. During this time of intercession there was a visitation to our brothers and sisters as they prayed. The fragrance of heaven entered the room and lingered for some time! It was so tangible that the physical climate in the room shifted. Moments prior to the visitation the room had a heavy smell of exhaust from the traffic outside; however as His presence entered, it forced out the musty smell and permeated the entire room. The fruit of this time of intercession was clearly seen as we all partnered with Jesus in bring 73 people to salvation and witnessed the multitudes receive healing!
    On the final day in Manizales our team split up, each group lead by Gary’s interns moved strategically to six different churches (Baptist, Assembly of God, Foursquare, Community of Faith, independent churches, etc.) throughout the city. Once again the Lord graced each team with His beautiful presence, in which the sick continued to be healed, the oppressed set free and the lost brought home. That evening we regrouped for our second and final evening of the evangelistic outreach at the Civic Center. There, Gary preached a heart-cutting message on the love of Christ followed by a demonstration of His power. That evening we were blessed to witness 91 decisions for Jesus and innumerable healings and demonstrations of power. For example, a young girl was suffering with a deformity in her foot that hindered her ability to walk. A team member prayed for her and the power of God hit her bringing total restoration to her foot!
     As we gathered together for our final team meeting, personal testimonies began to emerge of life changing encounters with our Lord. It was a trip that not only impacted the nation of Colombia but also would leave every team member forever stirred. Some spoke of a renewed passion for Him and others of restoration to families and marriages, some even spoke of personal visitations of our God and King in the night hours. The night was beautiful - everyone taking pictures to capture the moment - saying their farewells and continuing in conversation in hopes of sustaining the wonderful family like atmosphere. Little did we know that the following morning all flights in and out of the city would be cancelled due to blinding fog and El Nino’s heavy rain.
    After realizing we weren’t leaving out of Manizales, the airport booked an hour-long bus ride through the mountains to another airport that was open. In international travel one must be ready for anything, especially flight cancellations and delays. Needless to say we missed our connection in Bogotá that would take us all back to Atlanta, an unfortunate event that forced us to stay an extra night in Colombia. In the middle of the chaos and stress of booking other flights, it was incredible to see the team pull together and lean on the bonds of friendship formed during the trip. This series of events lead to the demonstration of family amongst the brethren and gave birth to a real sense of community. We all got home at one point or another! And looking back on the trip we stand in awe at what God did, in Colombia and in our own hearts.

Chase Turner
for Gary Oates Ministries
    



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