In general in Iquitos people just survive. They've experienced so much brokenness throughout their lives that they're in survival mode. So it's exciting to see God at work transforming them and bringing joy and abundant life to their lives. You can see it in their faces.
There was a great crowd last night along with many youth as well. Laura and Dalila are doing a great job leading this new community of Jesus followers.
I was invited to preach in the service last night. It was an interesting experience for me. It's been over a year since I last preached, and it was my first time to preach in Spanish! It was a crazy week, one of the busiest since we've been here. I had two weeks to prepare, which helped. I prepared and then typed the whole sermon in English. The tougher part is the translation. As our North American 40/40's have said, it's very difficult to say what you really want to say in another language. We can all communicate in Spanish, but it's our second language. I don't know why, but the translation part was stressful for me. Maybe it's because the time was closer and closer approaching. Before I went to the service, I went to an internet place to print off the sermon. I've never been a manuscript preacher reading more or less word for word. So trying to read from the sermon in Spanish and speak it in Spanish was more challenging. I would get lost in where I was at, and I even dropped my pages (which weren't numbered either)! I preached on Mark 1:1-15 about Jesus' announcement that the good news about God's kingdom has drawn near in the person and ministry of Jesus. It was so hot yesterday as well, and it's especially hot in the little living room space of a house where the church meets to worship. By the end of the sermon, I was drenched in sweat. I didn't think to wear a shirt that wouldn't show the sweat! Over all, I think it went well for my first time to preach in Spanish. Ultimately, it's the Holy Spirit that brings life to our feeble words and works in the hearts of the people. I pray that the people were encouraged and challenged to follow Jesus with everything they've got.