Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

Mother's where would we be without mothers. I can only wonder what the world would be like without their influence in all our lives. First of all they give us life by bringing us into the world. Most of us come into the world head first a few like my self come here feet first I don't know if I wanted to test things out first and if I didn't care for it I could chose to stay in that nice warm and comfortable place a little longer or not. Something like testing the old swimming hole with your toes to see if the water is warm enough to swim I just don't know. I think that must have been a little hard on my mother which I hope she forgave me for. I think she did because she was a loving and caring mother who all ready had three other children she was caring for at the time. I was a war baby born in the second world war at a time when America did not know for sure it could win fighting two world powers. When I was born even sugar was being rationed so the troops would have enough of what they needed. Having one more mouth to feed my family was given another ration of sugar because of me. I hope that helped a little. Mother's are the glue that holds families together they teach us all most every thing we learn in those early years. They feed us, dress us, care for us when we are sick and punish us when we miss behave. So we need to honor them from the bottom of our heart not only with words but our actions.

Now if your mother is still alive remember her on her special day call her, write her a letter, a card and show and tell her you love her. If she has passed on you can honor her by being the person she would be proud of.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Mom and Dad


Mom and Dad celebrating their 80 th birthday at Cascade Grill, Albany Oregon

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Buffet Time For Seniors

With all the excitement of feeding time at the zoo the senior buffet is packed with much more. The anticipation and the planning that goes into such an event may compare with the planning that astronauts must endure on a trip to the moon. No details must be over looked every thing has to go off without a hick up. If a breakfast buffet is on tap the alarm clocks must be precisely set then double checked and then checked once again the night before the main event. The next morning after getting up critical attention has to be give that little food is consumed at home maybe just a swallow of hot coffee to keep ones mind at top performance. All medications must be carefully considered nothing must hinder the senior once they arrive at the buffet hall.

This is Valentines Day Buffet for the Seniors a very special day if you have been married for 50 years you get a free breakfast Oh Boy, Oh Boy!!! There is nothing a Senior likes better then a buffet and a free one is even better. One would take his life in ones hands if you would dare to get between a senior citizen and his or hers buffet be warned it is no laughing matter people have died for far less.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Monte Maria Church (Mexico City)


On the left in this picture is Pastor Arelio who was the founder of this church. He was a Catholic priest until the Catholic church kicked him out for his evangelistic activities. The person on the right is Pastor Roberto who was chosen to fill Pastor Arelio's spot when he passed on. This particular photo was taken during an outdoor evangelistic meeting in Mexico City. Notice how the hands in the photo form the symbol of the cross.

PASTOR ARELIO GOMEZ

PASTOR AURELLIO GOMEZ (Mexico City)Posted by Picasa
Mexico Mission Trip (by Homer Freitag)


We left Albany at 5:00 PM the 2nd. Of April 1998, I had taken it off from work to prepare to go. Diane was upset with me, justifiable so for spending not enough time with her. (The old enemy of our soul trying to cause trouble) praise the Lord I won’t let it derail what God wants to do. I bought Diane some flowers so she would remember me and I wrote her a note and hid it with the bills I knew she would pay, it said forgive me for being too busy and I would see her in Glory if not in 13 days.

The trip was tiring we had a meeting at Westside Christian Fellowship for the first time we met the people we were going to minister with, they didn’t look like God’s warrior’s . I forgot that God delights in using ordinary people, and by mans standards they would have probably seemed to be mostly below average, but that way God gets all the Glory.

I was extremely impressed with Arlands meeting, he covered a lot of things in a short period of time, and I am convinced he is a very capable leader, we had some good prayer after the meeting.

We went to Mike Brink’s folks house to spend the night, I took my cpap machine so I would not disturb people with my snoring, well it seems that Dave Ramos keep people awake with all his snoring, expressly Ron Miller and Mike Brink , Mike even tried going down stairs to the couch to get some sleep.


The Third of April


The next day we all got up and thanked the Brinks for there hospitality and took off to the airport, there we found out that we were going to have to have an extra stop in L.A. before going on to Mexico City. We left Portland right on time, came into Salt Lake City I was impressed by the large snow covered mountains by the city I guess that is where the next winter Olympics are going to be held, we had a three hour lay over before flying out to Los Angles. On the way to LA I sat in the middle seat and I had a Mormon man named John Clark on the window side and a team member from Portland on the aisle side named Nancy. We found out that John was a professor from B.Y.U. who was going to Mexico to study old civilizations. Well we proceeded to get into discussions on the differences of Mormonism and Christianity. I don’t think John is too far off from being a Christian (need to remember him with prayer).

The Fourth of April


After arrival in Mexico city at 1:00 am we shuttled to the J.R. hotel which was not too far from the airport, the airport was a fearful place at that hour with all the stories of be mugged and all the strange looking faces. Going trough Mexican Customs Ron Miller had to open his suitcases up for inspection, because they have you push a button and if the button makes the red light come on then you have to show what you are bringing in

The next morning we got up and went down to breakfast we were all afraid that we are going to eat something that would make us sick, like contaminated water. I had the continental breakfast that consisted of coffee, toast, jam and orange juice. After breakfast we got loaded on two busses and headed out through the streets of Mexico City the largest city in the world with 30 million people. It took an hour to just get to the end of the city and then we were in the country roads winding and rough. We had gone another hour when I realized I must have left my partial plate in the J.R. Hotel where I brushed my teeth after I ate breakfast so I told Mike Brink and Jose about it so I could get it back. When we got to the Fiesta Mexicana Hotel they had some one call over to the J.R. Hotel to check our room for the partial plate. Well praise the Lord I found it in my shaving gear bag the good Lord was looking out for me.

When we got to the mountain the Mexican church people were waiting for us and they greeted us with smiles and clapping they were so glad to see us, it made me feel very humble to be welcomed like that.


Then we ministered to the people and they were so hungry and open for the things of God. Men, women and children would weep when we laid hands on them and prayed for them, most would fall down on the ground with the Spirit of God all over them. They would line up in long lines around the stage area as many as three thousand the first night. When you got done with one line there would be another line of hungry souls. I didn’t have an interpreter most of the time but the Lord moved in mighty ways. I saw short legs grow out to normal size as I commanded them in Jesus name. People got out of wheel chairs and walked, as the Lord would touch them just like Hunters taught on their healing tape. I did have an interpreter by the name of Martha she was very helpful but she could not speak real good English but she tried real hard and I was able to use her. I have no idea how many people we prayed for but I do remember thinking that I would never ever be the same again after being used of the Lord in such a wonderful way.

It was midnight and starting to get cold when we boarded our bus and headed off the mountain back to our hotel. As we passed one place on the narrow dirt road Wes remarked that by the time we come back in the morning that place would be teaming with vendors selling their wares to the people coming to the mountain to worship. Also that large busses would be arriving all night dropping the hungry seekers off.

We had to be back on the mountain at 7:30 in the morning and our clocks had to be set up an hour due to daylight savings time, we already lost two hours because Mexico City time zone is two hours ahead of Portland. My room mate for this night was a man from San Diego named Steve a large blonde headed guy who I later learned was a surfer. The reason I bunked with Steve was because Mike, Ron and Jesse stayed on the mountain. I could not use my air pump because my plug was too large for the outlet. Steve took his shower first by the time I finished my shower he was already fast asleep.

The Fifth of April


I woke up and felt pretty rested even if it was very short night Steve said he didn’t hear me snore.

Sunday morning on the mountain, Wes was right the vendors were setting up their wares all kinds of interesting things to buy and to eat. Now there were more people and more busses some even walked God only knows how far they had to walk.

I was able to get a fast bite of food Mexican of course I don’t remember what they called it but it tasted good and along with some black coffee it did the job on my appetite.

Time to begin again, they had all the men come forward around the stage and Wes taught and preached. Ministry time the men of the team myself included were instructed to lay hands on the men and pray that they would receive the Holy Spirit. Men falling out in the Spirit, men weeping, men falling on men already on the ground being ministered to by the Spirit of God. To an outsider it must have looked liked chaos but to me and I am sure to God it was an amazing time. This could have been anywhere in the world where the Holy Spirit of God was moving on hungry and open people. Oh how much God loves these people.

Now it was the ladies turn, the same thing but this time it was Stacey teaching, preaching and telling her life’s story. But some how I was stuck in the middle of thousands of women because I didn’t have time to retreat after praying for the men. Women shoulder to shoulder as Stacey preached and her interpreter translated. I felt out of place but could not escape without being rude so I took a picture and watched and waited. After she finished the women of our team started ministering and the same Holy Spirit doing the same thing with the women. I prayed for some women and they fell out under the power of God as I ministered to them. This went on for several minutes until they started calling the teenagers forward but this time I retreated to the stage area not to be caught in the middle again.

The young people were taught and preached too. Same Spirit moving on young lives in powerful ways everyone praying for them. I saw a teenager girl grabbing at her stomach and sobbing as if in pain. Another girl hanging on to her and sobbing also my first thought was maybe a manifestation of a demon of abortion but later after talking to some other team members I now believe that these girls were interceding for something possibly some unsaved friends. The young people impressed me from our team they were used of God mightily even Jesse Brink who I thought might be too young but was used greatly.

After the teenagers we go another bite to eat all the food on the mountain was furnished by the Mexican people out of the goodness of their hearts. Dave, Mike and myself were able to pray for a man in a wheel chair and another man by him who was having pain on his side the pain left him and I believe he was healed.

Wes and Stacey were able to preach on the Mexican national radio from the mountain to all over the country of Mexico it was a historic event indeed.

Then later more prayer for everyone. Time running out, people still hungry for God. More sobbing, more laughing more falling out in the Spirit. There was one woman that Dave Ramos was praying for, he asked me to pray with him her right leg was badly swollen. We prayed for awhile and nothing was happing an Mexican interpreter came over and we found out that the woman we were praying for was not a Christian and she was filled with six demons. My first thought was to have the interpreter ask her if she would like to accept Christ as savior. Dave told me we didn’t have time for that and to just leave her because it was getting very close to leaving. Besides he said Rick Szymanski had spent five days delivering a woman and he still was not completely finished with her we simply did not have the time for that. As we left her she tried to kiss my hand but Dave Ramos pulled my hand away then he prayed for my hand and me that there would not be any thing to slime me, thank God for a Christian brother with that kind of insight into the Spirit world. It made me mad at the enemy that we had to leave that women but the Lord blessed Dave and myself because the next two women that we prayed for were instantaneously healed both had leg problems one said her leg was broken. The lady with the broken leg fell out in the Spirit and as she lay on the ground she started moving her legs. She kicked them very violently as she lay on the dirt and the dried grass. We blessed her as she lay on the ground and then it was time to grab our luggage and get on the bus. It was a sad time as we left the mountain but it was with a thankful heart to know that God was faithful to us his humble servants.

We left the mountain it was a very dusty, hot and long ride back to Mexico City. Along the road we see a lot of fields that have been worked up by mule or donkey. We see almost every kind of dwelling from shack to very nice homes more of the shacks. One thing I noticed was that every place had a water tank on the top of the house. These I understand is because the water is pumped only part of the day so they must store it and draw from the tank when no water is flowing in from outside source. Our third Hotel the Atizapan we are told our new hotel is located in a very rough part of the city in fact the same bus we arrive in was attacked and one man that was riding in it was now paralyzed because of a bullet wound. They told us not to leave the hotel at night and never alone even in the daylight. The reason we were booked into this hotel is because it is a short bus trip to Monte Maria church where we are going to minister for three days. This hotel is not as nice as our other ones but it will due Ron Miller helped me fix my plug on my cpap air machine by cutting it smaller with a pair of dikes and then filing it smooth once a maintenance man always a maintenance man. Jesse was first in the shower Mike got upset with him because it was taken him so much time. We found out and Mike had to apologize because the shower was very hard to adjust it would cycle between too hot and too cold I never did learn the secret of the shower.

The Sixth of April

This was a going down town day to shop. We left the hotel following our trusted guide Jose, we walked about four blocks went across an overhead bridge and caught a bus. We rode for a very long time finally pulling into an unloading area and got off our bus. We had arrived at the subway. Down under the ground we go with orders to stick together and pair up so that everyone would have some one to look out for. Jose was given our money and he bought tickets for everyone and we all squeezed into one-subway car, we just took it over. We rode that car for a long time exiting it and coming up in a large square with a large Mexican flag I think this must be the center of town. There was a very large Catholic Church on one side and we headed that way. We ran across beggars, vendors and children. We went into that old church some of it looked in danger of falling down they even had some metal support installed to keep it from falling. As we left we split up into groups and looked for bargains among the vendors who had their wares displayed for the tourist out on the side walk on blankets. I found a belt that I bought and some things for Diane. We met back at the flag pole and split up into groups again this time the group I was in went too an department store they have guards in the stores I think to prevent shop lifting. There was a restaurant in the store so we decided to get a bite to eat. Jose was very helpful in helping us order. After dinner we did a little more shopping and then back to the flagpole and then down to the subway. Off the subway onto a bus and back to the hotel. We had a meeting in the restaurant to pray and prepare for the meetings at Monte Maria Pastor Gomez’s church.

Time to set our alarms 7:30 AM comes early took my shower and went to bed.


The Seventh of April

Up at 7:30 I was first out and down to get some breakfast no one in hotel restaurant so Bob Carrol from Weside Vineyard and myself decided to go to the little restaurant one block away. Which we did but it was closed so we just walked around the block and back to the Atizapan hotel restaurant which was open then. I had eggs and refried beans and coffee Americana. I have been eating my pepto bismo which was suggested to me by my male nurse Dave from were I work he even gave me some samples. We have already had one casualty Bob Schmoll who had to ride back home to the hotel when he got sick on our trip down town. I sure didn’t want that to happen to me if I could help it. The bus picked us up and took us to Monte Maria, which took about twenty minutes. The church which is located on a hill with a metal fence all the way around it is a large bare bones white building with six feet or eight feet patio doors for windows up high in the concrete walls. They have benches outside so they can have services out there also. They ushered us in and sat us in the first two rows in the church. They gave us some of their bottled water that they purify themselves one drinks a lot of this here and only bottle water is safe to drink. They also gave us some home made balloons made out of colored paper with tooth picks for strings and each one with a different Bible verse maybe they were made by Sunday school children.
The service started with worship, which was real good, and then Pastor Gomez invited Wes to come and preach. Wes preached on the same things he did at our church with Roberto acting as interpreter Roberto is a missionary from the States who has started churches in Mexico. After the Wes was done they took up all the chairs and the ministry time began with some people going out side I stayed inside. Martha came up and helped me interpret we prayed for people and most of them fell out under the Spirit some weeping some laughing after being touched by the mighty hand of God. After ministry time we broke for lunch I headed off not knowing what to expect and some one pointed to a building and I went and inside was some more of the team feeding like kings and queens on every Mexican dish you could imagine. I sat down and was waited on hand and foot I tried what ever they brought and it was good and I could get as much as I liked I only had one helping no use to over do it. After lunch we went back to the church for the afternoon meeting and it started with worship which was very very good with dancing and singing and waving paper and banners. We all got into the spirit of worship it was so good you just wanted it to go on for ever maybe that is what it will be like in heaven. More preaching by Wes and more ministry time I didn’t have Martha to help me this time so I had to wing it but the Holy Spirit of God was there in all his Glory praise the Lord.

The Eight of April

Got up again at 7:30 same procedure board the bus ride the twenty minutes to the church sit in the first two rows. Wonderful worship again but I believe they save the best worship to the afternoon. Wes speaking again Arland said we were going to go outside but this time everyone praying and walking just as Wes had us do in Albany.We prayed the bible by taking and praying the word of God. I walked and prayed in the very large parking lot with hundreds of others including team members. We did that for around thirty minutes and then we broke for lunch this time they had us eat in a shed that had a roof but no sides it was cool but some dirt was blowing in the breeze. The food was real good I think it was like a potluck. The Mexican people had to buy their dinner or bring it but we were provided ours it was very good.

The afternoon started the same way with more of that wonderful worship with everyone getting into it with all of his or her heart. Wes preached after the worship, he preaches on hearing from God. Wes instructed the people to get in circles with the people they came with or friends and pray for revelation to be received to the person standing in the center of the circle. Then they had us the ministry team goes around praying for the groups. Some of the groups had people falling out under the spirit as they were prayed for. Some groups look more like they were interceding for the people more then getting revelation for the people. But whatever the case the Lord did another wonderful work in our midst.

After that we went back to the hotel but some of us were dropped off at VIP’s restaurant for supper. The restaurant was very modern and looked very clean and efficient with friendly staff. I bought a calling card for 30 pesos and called home. I direct dialed and had no problem in getting through. Peter answered and I caught my wife Diane, as she was about to go to Spanish class that Miguel was teaching. It was good hearing her voice and I felt good that I was able to touch bases at home and that everything was fine on the home front.

It was getting dark now and we had to walk through a rough section of Mexico City to get back to our Hotel. I said a fast prayer for protection for everyone in private not wanting to show any fear to those around me. Then we were off Hosea our trusted interpreter leading the way with Dave Ramos and myself tagging behind. We decided to stop at a shopping mall to see if they had any pastries for breakfast they did and we took several kinds back to hotel.

The Ninth of April

We got up and had to have all our baggage packed and loaded into two busses because we were not returning to the same hotel again.
The same procedure but we rode two busses because of the entire luggage. Then when we arrived at the church we had to take off all the luggage and load it into the back of a large truck in the parking lot for storage for safe keeping because the busses would be doing other errands that day.
I got some of the bottled water that the church supplied and went into the church for worship service. Before and during the service women would bring and give gifts to our team members, mostly to the women but also to the men I received my share. We were instructed not to refuse any gifts because it would offend the Mexican people.

Arlan Askew spoke and we ministered by laying hands on people to receive more of the Holy Spirit. It was a very good time with lots of people falling out when the power of God came upon them.

Then lunchtime in the same location but the Mexican people out did them selves. Some one even had brought home made tamales witch was wrapped in banana peelings umm um good. The best I have ever eaten anywhere.

After lunch we went back into worship which included dancing and pome pomes. Arland preached on healing. Then he prayed for the sick a boy and a woman with brain tumors and eye problems. Then he had prayer for people who were sick and people were falling out in the spirit all over the inside of the church.

Now it was time to say good bye to the people, they would want to come up and shake your hand or give you a hug. They didn’t want you to leave and it was a very touching time I felt a real love for my fellow man and a oneness.

The people even lined up in the parking lot so we would be compelled to pray for them as we headed out to the busses to leave. I believe I was one of the last ones to pray for the people of Monte Maria.

We boarded the busses and then the busses drove to where the truck was parked with all our luggage, then the Mexican men helped us remove the heavy suitcases from truck and on to the two busses for the trip to Hotel Bamer getting there around 7:30.

The Hotel Bamer is located in the better section of the city. We had to unload all the luggage from both busses and move it into the lobby this time we got room 903 which was located on the ninth floor. The room was very comfortable large and had a good view overlooking a very large park. Like every other hotel on our trip there was no air conditioning but it had large windows with a good breeze. This hotel has an elevator operated by real live operators who stay in the elevator at all times.

The Tenth of April

I got up early to try to get some laundry done because I was running out of clean cloths. I found out that no laundry would be done until Monday the 13, which would be too late for me because of the Easter weekend.

We left at 10:00AM to go to the Mexican pyramids it took 100 pesos for buss and another 16 pesos apiece to get into the ruins. We went through the museum first and then the hike up to the top of the sun pyramid from that vantage point we could see a lot of ruins they looked like buildings with the roofs taken off. From there we could see the moon pyramid also. We didn’t bother to climb it because once you’ve been on one pyramid the challenge is all gone. It is sort of an ire feeling all over the area because there were human sacrifices performed here and as we walk from place to place vendors are trying to sell you little fingerings of different gods, no thank you I can do with out any of those demons. I bought some angels made out of wire and polished stone very pretty and some earrings for Diane from some vendors that were set up in an area where the busses were parked. Now back on the busses for the long ride back to Mexico City.

Louise and I went to supper down the street at a little restaurant they had good service I ordered a tamale but it was no way close to being as good as those home made ones at Monte Maria I think I have been spoiled.

The Eleven of April

Got up and went down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. I ate with Bob Schmoll from Westside Vineyard. I had a number one consisting of a poached egg in a tomato type sauce very hot to the touch and very good. I had some hot coffee and the egg came with some bread I normally like things hot but they say down here in Mexico the hotter the better because the heat will kill any germs.

After breakfast the two Ron’s, Ron Schilz and Ron Miller and Kevin Pate, Elias and myself went for a very long walk. It was sort of a shopping till you drop type walk. We went to an open market place that took up a whole city block and consisted of all kinds of little shops from food to clothes. I didn’t find any thing that I needed to buy but I think some of the others did. We walked and walked and finally made it back to Hotel Bamer.

At 8:00PM we had a team meeting in room 404 Tom Christoe’s room to pray and prepare for Easter Sunday service the next day it was a good time of fellowship and we took Holy Communion lead by Tom. Wille Welch is now in charge of our group because Arlan Askew took an early flight back.

The Twelve of April (Easter Sunday)

I had the same breakfast again it was tasty and very reasonably priced. Now we are off on a smaller buss to Easter Sunday services in a small Protestant church. The church is made out of concrete block. It is two stories with a fellowship type hall on the ground floor and a worship area on 2nd floor. The church is not fancy by any means it looks like it may have been made a section at a time. The people are friendly and welcome us with open arms. The people look like they are not as poor as the ones at Monte Maria. We have a good worship service but it is not as free in the Spirit as Monte Maria.

After worship Tom Christoe preaches and Jose translates it is good but to my opinion Tom tries to put too much into one sermon. Now it is ministry time and we pray with laying on of hands and some people are touched but percentage wise not as many. I sense a more reserve church and that is what we have been told. This church has not come into the renewal as fully as Monte Maria. Some of the pastors have and they have invited us to minister to their flock. We minister and many are touched.

After the service we break for lunch which is a potluck down stairs. There is a lot of food that the people have brought. It is good I have chicken and other food and we are treated with great hospitality.

Now it is time to go upstairs to get ready for evening service. More worship with singing and instruments. Tom preaches again not so long this time. Ministry time consists of a prayer tunnel with team members in two lines facing each other. People proceed to walk down the tunnel one at a time getting prayer from the team. Pastors first and then members of the church many falling out when the Holy Spirit coming upon them. Some have such a fine time that they get in line again for more blessing from the creator. What a fine way to end our time in Mexico.

We say our good byes and onto the buss back to our hotel. A large group of us go to a restaurant not too far away called Sanbornes it is very fancy and nice and large. Two stories we eat on the second floor and it was good food.

Now back to hotel to get ready to depart tomorrow we leave early.


The Thirteenth of April

Up early and off to airport Jose helping us with bus driver and getting to right ticket counter. Waiting in long line and turning in our luggage and checking our tickets. Good feeling to be boarding plane and knowing it won’t be long till in good old USA and home with wife and family.

Arrive in Los Angles go through customs a little troublesome filling out forms which you have to get and turning them in. Now on to Salt Lake City and layover and off to Portland.

After arriving in Portland we have trouble finding Louise’s car because it was brought there by Dave Ramos. Mike Brink drove his car around to locate it. I drive it home and as Dorothy says in the Wizard of Oz there is no place like home, there is no place like home.





Revival in Mexico City

(Kevin Pate)

Kevin Pate, a member of a Vineyard ministry team, reported in April 1998 on their visit to Mexico City with Pastor Wes Campbell, including a weekend mountain retreat with 18,000 Mexicans.


the most amazing time of my life


The week and a half that we spent in Mexico City ministering to the people there I would have to say was the most amazing time of my life. I know that is a pretty dramatic statement but I hope that you will understand as you read the rest of this account. But first a little background.

Monte Maria’s history

The following history is as best as I understand from what was shared with us while we were there: The church that we went down to help out is called Monte Maria. The history of the church is quite interesting.
Back in about 1979 a Catholic priest in Mexico City by the name of Father Gilberto was at a point in his life where he was very dry and seeking God intensely. One time in prayer he was overcome by the presence of God and started weeping greatly for the lost and hurting of the world. This weeping continued on for a year! During this time as he would perform mass, interesting things would happen - people who were in the congregation as normal were healed of a variety of sicknesses and infirmities. News of this sort travels quickly and soon people were bringing their sick relatives and friends to the church and many of them became healed too.
Unfortunately, some people in the church and surrounding area complained about the increased number of poor people tromping through their neighborhood and church (riffraff they felt) and soon Father Gilberto was told by the higher-ups at his diocese that he was no longer welcome at that church. So, Father Gilberto went down to the local city dump and started to perform mass there and minister to the poor. There was in essence a city of poor people at the dump because this was the only place where many of them could live (they were very poor!) and could get stuff to survive on (food scraps, clothes, etc.). The healings continued and many came to belief in Jesus Christ as their savior.

Simple church building

So many people came to Father Gilberto for ministry that he then started another church in Mexico City. I believe that he bought a dump (obviously he could get it cheap!), cleaned it up, and constructed a church. The church building is a very simple concrete structure -- basically just concrete walls and floor, and sheet metal roof with insulation (to keep it from being an oven in the summer), folding chairs for the folks to sit on, and simple platform at the front. The air conditioning is a bunch of open windows. This church building holds about 3,000 people. There is also an outdoor area that can seat 5,000 people - the outdoor part is used for Sunday morning services because the building is no longer large enough to hold everyone.

The prayer mountain

Monte Maria has also planted about 12 other churches in the Mexico City area; each church plant has about 100-200 people. Monte Maria has home groups during the week to help the people bond together, get discipled, and minister to each other. More recently they also received 293 acres of land outside the city in a mountainous area (donation from someone) - they call this "The Mountain". They use this for monthly (7 times per year) meetings where people from all over Mexico City and surrounding area gather for a time of worship, listening to preaching, and to receive prayer ministry. The truly poorest of the poor come to this. Many of them band together and chip in a few pesos each and rent a bus to get there. They camp out in a variety of ways - in tents, under tarps, or just sleep under the stars. The weekend we were there, there were about 20,000 people at the Mountain; in the past there has been as many as 50,000 people.
Father Gilberto has now changed his name to Pastor Aurellio Gomez since the Catholic church has told him he can no longer minister in the Catholic church. Pastor Aurellio has taken a very strong stand on preaching against idolatry (which permeates portions of the Catholic church) and this has not be popular amongst the Catholic leadership in Mexico. Pastor Aurellio has been very much a proponent of church reform and ministry to the poor but with this frequently comes much criticism from the establishment.


Wesley Campbell and team

A couple of years ago, Wes Campbell travelled down to Mexico to see what God was doing down there. Wes was the pastor of a Vineyard church in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Back in 1984 his church was strongly touched by God and has been in moving powerfully since then. Wes promised God that if this same sort of touch would come to the church in general around the world, he would do everything he could to fan the flames of renewal and revival. Wes and his wife Stacey met Father Gilberto and found a very hungry Mexican people who were in the midst of revival - many thousands of people being reached with the gospel, many being healed of all sorts of infirmities, and many set free from the power of the demonic enemy. Father Gilberto invited Wes and Stacey to come back with a ministry team to help out at their monthly gathering meeting at the Mountain and to help out at meetings at their church in Mexico City. The ministry team that was assembled was about 30 people from Westside Vineyard in Tigard, Oregon (including Arlan Askew the senior pastor), 5 from the Albany Oregon Vineyard, and 5 from the San Diego California Vineyard.
Prior to going on the trip, I shared with some friends here that I hoped to be able to see and experience first-hand what I have heard was going on down there and elsewhere in the world. The blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, and many people are reached with the gospel of Christ. Well, I am not exaggerating when I can now say that we indeed did see and experience first-hand all of this! As the Mexicans would shout - "Gloria a Dios!" (Glory to God!). And the best part was that we got to participate in what God was doing in the people - we were the prayer ministry team who were privileged to be able to pray for people for these types of healings and lead them to the Lord!

Prayer ministry

The first weekend we were there we went to the Mountain. When we got there we were very warmly welcomed by the people. After a bit of orientation, we got to work... praying for people. There were literally thousands of people ready and waiting for prayer -- lined up desiring a touch from God. It was a staggering feeling. But we all just plunged in and started praying for them one at a time, knowing that it wasn’t just a crowd, but it was individuals who deserved individual attention because God loves each of them equally. So one by one we ministered and started to see an awesome move of the Holy Spirit.
Nearly everyone we prayed for was visibly touched in some way - overcome by the power or presence of God and couldn’t stand anymore, touched by a physical healing, or even some deep touch in their emotions and spirit evidenced by tears streaming down their face. Young and old, men and women, almost all were touched! It was astounding to me to see so many people so touched by the Holy Spirit! It had to be partially due to their great hunger for God. These are the poorest of the poor and really don’t have any other options. They are too poor to be able to seek a doctor for their sicknesses and infirmities; God is their only hope.
It certainly wasn’t due to any great faith that most of us had - I was rather nervous going into the trip. It was really God’s work. Essentially all of us were able to pray for all types of problems in the people’s lives - blindness, deafness, lameness, and countless other problems. In many, many cases we were able to see immediate improvement and in many cases complete healing of the people. We had some translators available to help us communicate with the people while we were praying for them which helped immensely. At other times we had to wing it on our own without a translator.
The meetings at the Mountain started at about mid-day Saturday and lasted until late Sunday afternoon with only a two or three hour break in the middle of the night Saturday night to Sunday morning. We prayed for the people during the worship and prayer ministry time, but did not pray during the preaching time since the people needed to focus on that. Wes preached about the revival occurring all over the world, and more specifically about what God was doing in their midst there in Mexico. Arlan preached about receiving the Father’s love, intimacy with God, our relationship with God made possible by Jesus Christ and his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead, and how this relationship/intimacy is the most important thing that we must seek. Everything else in our life and ministry will flow from that.

Healing and deliverance

During the week we were also able to minister at three days of meetings at their church. These meetings were more focused on teaching and training, receiving God’s love, intimacy and relationship with him, moving in the prophetic gifts relative to ministering to people, and praying for healing for each other. In the evenings we sometimes had opportunity to gather together as a team and share what experiences we had during the ministry times during the day. The following is a short listing of some of the testimonies that I was able to write down. There were many more that I didn’t write down or hear, and of course there was much more that God did that we don’t even know about:
-- Woman had ears healed (was hearing a fuzz or static that was interfering with her hearing), after praying for her she could hear clearly; in addition, a pain she was having in her chest was gone too.
-- Lame man who had pain in his legs healed and could walk without any pain. This was kind of a humorous incident. After praying for a while, the pain in his legs was gone and the man just sat in his chair happy that the pain was gone. The person doing the praying then reminded the man that he might now be able to walk. The person looked surprised since he had been confined for so long in his chair that he hadn’t even thought to try walking. He did and was overjoyed to find that he could indeed now walk!
-- Another person in a wheel chair walked. The person had suffered an embolism 3 years earlier and was paralyzed on one side of the body. While being prayed for, the paralyzed leg and arm started shaking significantly - the power of God was evident! After a while the person was able to get up out of the wheelchair and walk.
-- A man who had cataracts (obvious by clouding in the lens of the eyes) was prayed for. Gradually the clouding disappeared and the man ended up being able to see clearly.
-- A woman had a tumor on one side of her body that could be felt from the outside was healed -- no more tumor detected.
-- A little boy who was blind in one eye, after prayer began to see, then sneezed three times and could see perfectly.
-- A young boy who was controlled by a demonic spirit (thrashed about quite a bit), the demon finally acknowledged its name was the "god of hatred", the boy finally denounced the demon, accepted Jesus into His life, and was delivered and filled with the Holy Spirit.
-- More deliverances of people bound by demons.
-- Woman with paralysis on one side, limped seriously, couldn’t speak, arm wouldn’t work. Interviewing determined the woman had very poor self-esteem (because of the stroke). After spiritual counselling and prayer for healing, she was overcome by the presence of God and went down on the concrete. After a little while the woman started screaming with joy, leapt up and found that the paralysis was gone and she could speak clearly.
-- Woman’s eyes healed to perfect seeing.
-- Woman’s knees that were in severe pain, couldn’t walk well at all. After prayer felt heat in her knees, then was able to get up and walk without pain, and even was able to jump up and down. She was very excited about this since she wanted to be able to dance during worship. What joy on her face!
-- A woman with hurting feet was improved.
-- A woman with hurt shoulder was healed, could move it all ways without pain.
-- A woman with bum knees, after prayer got up very happy, joyfully hugged the person praying for her and said she could now bend her knees without pain, has not been able to do this for years.
-- Woman with bulge and pain in her stomach (didn’t exactly know what it was
all about), after prayer the bulge and pain disappeared.
-- Woman who was being prayed for started throwing up (a common manifestation of someone releasing a demonic spirit), continued praying for her and asking God to fill and cleanse her with His Holy Spirit, she then started weeping and then praising God. Very visibly changed.
-- Many people were led to Jesus Christ and prayed to receive Him in their heart. It certainly helped having translators available to help in this communication.
It was awesome to be able to participate in what the Lord was doing. I was particularly happy to see the four teenagers who were part of the ministry team get right out there and pray for the people. And they saw and experienced every bit as dramatic move of the Spirit amongst the people they prayed for as any one else on the team! What a life-changing experience for them (and the rest of us of course)!

Life changing experience

With the extended prayer times that we had, I found that due to tiredness I would sometimes sort of lose focus on the person I was praying for and get distracted by other things and people around me. I would then look back at the person I had my hand on and found that there were tears streaming down their face - God was moving and touching them in spite of my tiredness and lack of focus. It was also neat to see the next person in the line that I was working down get visibly touched by God prior to me even getting there to pray for that person. It reminded me that it wasn’t really me who was doing the work in their life: rather it was all God.
It was astounding how the prayer lines would never end. As people would leave after being prayed for, others would step in where they were standing and ask for prayer. We’d be walking amongst the people and many would come up to us requesting prayer for themselves, or one of their family or friends. It was a joy to bless them since they were so hungry for God. We couldn’t get tired of that.
During some of the preaching sessions, Wes and Arlan asked who desired to accept the Lord Jesus Christ into their life. It was awesome to see hundreds and hundreds of hands raised and hear them pray to ask Jesus into their lives.
On the last teaching session at the church Arlan taught about praying for healing. For the ministry time, he told all the people to break up into groups of about eight people and form a circle. He then told each group to put one of the people in the centre who needed physical healing and to pray for them. He asked the prayer ministry team (us) to go around and coach and pray for them.
It was so neat teach them how to stepwise go through the healing prayer -- 1. first the interview to find out what was wrong;
2. then seek God for guidance, dealing as necessary with any underlying issues such as the need to give and receive forgiveness;
3. then soaking prayer for healing;
4. after a while interviewing the person to see what was happening and whether there was improvement;
5. if there was, blessing and praising God for what he was doing and continuation of prayer for complete healing.
I just went around, coached, and blessed what each person and the Holy Spirit was doing. It was exhilarating to see essentially everyone they prayed for in the circle receive healing!
It was great to be able to tell all of them that the same Holy Spirit that is in us (the prayer ministry team) was also in them and that they could continue do this kind of ministry with each other, their families and friends, and the lost around them. It was wonderful to know that this and other teachings and anointings were truly imparted to them and that they will continue to grow after we’ve left.

The worship

One of the things that impressed us so much was the way these people worship. Mexican people have Fiesta (party!) in their blood and in church they integrate it into their worship. Once they get the worship going, you can’t help but be up and dancing along with them. Picture thousands of people dancing their heart out before God. The church didn’t have a choir. The whole church was the choir.
They had a wonderful dance/worship team which consisted of about a dozen beautifully dressed women with tambourines with streamers, and another dozen with flags and streamers. Their synchronized dance/worship was truly beautiful! It’s also the first time I saw toilet paper used as a worship aid. They would tear off a lengths of it and pass it around to everyone and they would wave it in the air as a streamer and praise God. It reminded me of a football game, but of course it was unto God! Oh, we can learn so much from their joy and worship!

The culture

Mexico City is a huge city; I believe the biggest city in the world - 27 million people. I heard that the entire metropolitan area is about 80 miles x 100 miles. The pollution is quite bad -- Mexico City is at about 6,000 feet and in a mountainous basin which traps the air pollution in an inversion layer much of the year -- quite a brown layer of smog over the city. The traffic and roads are also interesting -- very congested and very bumpy. Hard to complain about our traffic and roads after being there!
Our visit to Mexico City was most interesting from a cultural standpoint. The food was of course a wonderful experience! I found the language barrier a fun challenge. The people of Mexico were VERY warm. They have a gift of hospitality that we have rarely encountered. After a few days with them, it was very difficult to leave them. When we were departing, some of the people gave us little gifts that in themselves one might say they had little value, but considering how poor most of the people are, were of utmost significance to us because we knew how much of a sacrifice it was for them.
For all that our God is doing in Mexico and all over the world - "Gloria a Dios!" and "Mas Senor!"

Source: Global Revival News

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sparky's wife and Jake

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Camping

This is Sparky and Jake out camping this past summer. Sparky, Diane and Jake spent a week up in the mountains just relaxing by a little river. Relaxing is what Sparky does best. Every time Jake would see some one walking by he would bark his little head off til they were gone out of sight it made Sparky's wife upset with Jake. Sparky went hiking every day which keep him from putting on a lot of weight from all his relaxing. It was a very enjoyable experience which Sparky has determined that he will do much more of. The weather was beautiful during the day but a tad cold at night.
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Saturday, January 24, 2009

JAKE

This is Jake he belongs to Sparkys wife he is a dachshund. Jake is spoiled he lives inside Sparkys house and has his own door so he can go in and out when ever he pleases. He has the run of the house and has his own toys which he keeps in his toy box. He even has a king size bed to sleep on at night and several smaller beds to take naps on during the day. He likes toys that make a noise when he chews them. If he finds some paper on the floor he loves to make little pieces out of it and leave them laying all over. This is one of his baby pictures Jake is full grown now in fact he is a little on the heavy side for a dog his size so you can tell he likes to eat. Jake likes to chase cars when some one drives away from Sparkys house he will run out the door and bark and run up and down the fence. Sparky doesn't know what he would do if he could catch one. Jake loves people especially ladies and grand children. One of Jake's favorite things to do is chase birds he will run outside and chase them from bush to bush in Sparkys yard. The birds love it too and they will tease Jake and fly from bush to bush keeping just ahead of him. Sparkys wife doesn't like this so much because she thinks the noise will bother the neighbors. One thing Jake dose that is unique is if some one leaves a sock laying around on the floor he will take it outside and bury it we don't know why but if one of the grand children ever has a missing sock you can be assured Jake has buried it in the back yard.
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Friday, January 23, 2009

Bonnie

This is Bonnie the dog Sparky belongs to her. Bonnie is very intelligent she is much more intelligent then Sparky. Bonnie is not very humble she knows she is a lot more intelligent then Sparky. On most days Bonnie takes Sparky for a jog down her road she loves to make Sparky tired. She takes her run with Sparky early in the morning she likes to be out early. This pictures shows Bonnie with white frost in her fur it was very cold when she had Sparky take this picture.
Posted by PicasaBonnie all so likes to bark especially at night which makes Sparky's wife upset at Sparky. She all so barks when Sparky is late preparing her food but most the time she is happy just being in charge of Sparky. Bonnie has been trying to teach Sparky to learn her new tricks but Sparky is a very slow learner and also terribly lazy, but she has had some success and they are jumping through hoops, laying down,sitting,fetching,catching a ball,shaking hands,coming,rolling over and opening gates. Bonnie hasn't given up and is very patient even if she doesn't have much to work with in Sparky.

Thursday, January 22, 2009



Can you locate Sparky in this photo taken in Okinawa in 1963 ? Sparky was a field radio operator assigned to the Communications Platoon in Headquarters and Service company of the Third Battalion Third Marine Regiment Third Marine Division Fleet Marine Force. stationed at Camp Schwab Okinawa. While in Okinawa Sparky was trained in jungle warfare.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sparks dad hired some electricians to wire the farm which sparked Sparks interest in electricity they had to wire the house and barn and out buildings they even put a pole out between the house and the barn with a yard light on it which was able to be turned on and off from either the house or the barn amazing to the young Sparky. The first time Sparky came close to the power of electricity he was playing in the barn and there was these brand new metal shiny outlet boxes with little holes in them just large enough to stick a nail through which young Sparky could not resist. The sparks flew and the fuse blew and the lights didn't come on after that. Sparky was terrified he knew his dad would be unhappy but some how his dad knew that he was just a curious boy that met no harm.

Sparky Begins

Sparky says welcome to his blog. Sparky is a retired electrician who first became interested in electricity when he was a small child living on the farm. Spark's farm did not have any electricity just a wood stove for heat and another wood stove in the kitchen to cook with. Spark's farm did not even have power poles running pass the property. But in 1949 when sparky was seven his dad was able to convince the power company to extend the power line another half mile to his farm.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

To blog or not to Blog? That is a question any way I am just getting started we will see how it goes..