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Venezuela, August 2002

--145 Teachers
--29 Teams
--438 Evangelisms
--26,215 Heard Gospel
--16,154 Salvations

On weekday mornings, I seek God walking in the parking lot from 6 to 7am. Walking in prayer in Texas, I asked the Lord repeatedly, "Is our next country Panama, Costa Rica or Ecuador?" Again and again for weeks I asked this question, telling the Lord, I can't move ahead until you give me an answer. Finally while walking under a light post (I remember the exact spot), I heard the Lord say, "Venezuela". I laughed thinking I had not even asked about that country.

The planning of the Venezuela Conference was done after our first Conference in Nicaragua. We were new in planning and unsure of some things, yet had joy from the results of Nicaragua. I saw the Conference location and "stepped off" the sanctuary to see how many chairs that we could get in inside. I figured that we could get 800 seats. I said, "Let's do it!"

On my last day in Venezuela on my planning trip, while talking to the president of the Evangelical Alliance (the organization in which all denominations come together) in Caracas, VENEZUELA, he asked, "Who are you and why should I trust you to bring anything good to our people?" I was taken back, but answered, "All I know is that we had great success in Nicaragua, showing him pictures, and that God had told me to come. He responded after that saying that his influence was little, because sadly the denominations did NOT interconnect well and that I needed to visit each one individually. Sadly I returned to the US and then made plans to return for a second planning trip.

In that return trip I visited 15 denominations in a three week period. While talking to some of the US ministers there, I had heard numerous times that one denomination (I will not say which) probably would NOT receive me and that the overseer didn't like new activities and had no interest in children. I prayed and prayed and was all ready for my meeting with him. When beginning our talk, I spoke with confidence and hope. To my surprise he said that I would not have any problem and that they would cooperate completely. PTL!

During the Conference we were thrilled with the attendance. With 800 seats we had 1050 in our night Conference. With good response from most denominations, the students were so desirous to not be just with their own friends or denomination. The two largest denominations in attendance, Church of God and Assembly of God, decided to make every other seat in a different color. They told their denomination to sit only on one color seat, making everyone sit next to someone from another denomination.

In those days we actually had a 3-Day Conference and a 2-Week School. We actually had some students so hungry on learning that they told their bosses that they were going to attend our 3-1/2 week ministry and hope that they still had their job when they returned. Also in those days all 150 students received a puppet and then half received mime outfit and other half clown outfit.

We were extremely amazed at the intensity of their learning and their abilities in the Evangelisms; over 16,000 prayed for salvation!

© 2004 Beyond Ourselves.