T. Austin Sparks said, "We just don't know the opposition there is to a man's soul." What he meant was this, there are legions of demons and other demonic forces that keep us from salvation. Some days even I think that God is a little slow to move, or on vacation - but then He surprises me.
On my third trip to Brazil I was part of a movement to transform cities and countries by the power of public worship, testimonies, prayer and fasting. The event in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, was named "The Call Brazil." There were churches from all over Brazil that came to pray at their nation's capital. The informal national day of fasting and prayer took place from 6 am until 6 pm on the "mall" surrounded by federal buildings.
Our team of about 10 Americans had arrived a few days before the event to pray and get to know the Brazilians that we would be serving. Each day before the event, we prayer-walked the perimeter of the mall area in groups of three or four. At one end there was a bricked plaza near a museum and other monuments. It was nearly 90 degrees in the shade and probably 100 in the sun. At midday very few people ventured outside. We probably should have done the same.
Teamed up with a couple of others, praying as the Holy Spirit lead, we walked the square. A few hundred yards away, there in the shadow of one of the monuments, was a lone ice cream vendor. I decided I should probably get some water as I had run out in the intense heat. I approached the young man and spoke to him in Portuguese telling him that I needed a bottle of water. He took out one bottle and told me the price. "Duis reis (2 Reis)," he replied. I only had a $10 Rei bill and asked if he had change. He said that he didn't have any change because there was no business yet today.
I felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit. If you have read some of my other stories on FireAndGrace.com, you know I am not very good at talking to people in public about Jesus. Not to mention that my Portuguese is barely acceptable.
I tried to remember some of my Portuguese lessons for ordering at a restaurant and conjured up my best Christian-ese in Portuguese.
I told the vendor that he didn't have to make change for the $10 Rei bill if he would let me pray for him. He tried to offer me more water then I could carry. I told him it would only be a minute so he relented. I placed my hand on his shoulder and he bowed his head and closed his eyes. In Portuguese I asked God to bless Him and give him a drink of the living water (bebido aqua viva). I felt a supernatural heat in my hand and he started to shake a little in the presence of God. I prayed in the spirit for a minute or so as the peace of God came in waves over him. When I took my hand from his shoulder, and as he opened his eyes, there was a Brazilian woman standing there that we did not know from our team. When I had thanked him for the opportunity I handed over the bill that I had promised and got my a bottle of ice cold water.
The woman who seemed to appear from no where (I pray with my eyes open), waiting her turn just behind me, began to preach the Gospel to Him. She told Him that by the blood of Jesus, God would save his soul that day. "Agora! (Now!)," she shouted. "Aqui! (Here!), she said in a loud and passionate voice.
He bowed his head and began to cry out "Jesus," as tears ran down his face. He just stood there sobbing in the 100 degree heat. He accepted the Lord and gave her a hug. He turned to me and gave me the "thumbs up" sign.
5,000 miles from home, God was at work. The strange woman and the gringo... I believe the opposition can be beaten. How about you?