At the Presbyterian College (Montreal), they have one major chapel service on Wednesday noon-time (11:30am, actually) which is followed by Lunch. This chapel, I think features faculty members and visitors, and is different from the Monday afternoon chapel which is led by students. One of my plans, while in Montreal, is to regularly attend the Wednesday chapels.

I expected my first wednesday to be a ‘typical’ scripture/theology based pre-lunch homily. Instead, the 8 Oct chapel featured Pastor Melvin Vasquez, from El Salvador (and who is also working with Nicaragua mission), who’s Spanish sermon was translated into English! Imagine my surprise to see/hear Spanish added to the Anglo-French bi-lingual Montreal!

Anyway… Pastor Melvin’s talk was more a testimony of what God did in his life… and partly he told us about his current ministry with youngsters in El Salvador using Sports (mainly Soccer).

His story is quite striking… and a summarised version… he was basically a “good” boy/teen while growing up, but once he was married and no longer dependent on his parents, he made his own decision to move out of the Christian faith and soon became an alcoholic. One day he had a horrific accident where, in his own words, his “head split open,” and his eye was popping out. And his ‘final’ prayer was for his family, for God to take care of them, and of repentance. But God didn’t let that be his final prayer and miraculously (in a hospital, but miraculous nonetheless) healed him completely. When recovered he asked God why he was given a second chance, and his answer was to serve the young people of El Salvador. He now has a vibrant “sports church” that caters to teenagers and their families, and is doing some amazing work with the Lords help. One of the amazing things in the church is that they have witnessed remarkable answers to prayer… even miraculous healings (like Cancers/tumors etc). When a foreign visitor asked him why does his church have so many healings his response was, isn’t it normal for all churches to see this kind of healing? (Nooot!) Anyway, the secret seems to be that is that many in his church wake up at 3:00am to pray… every day… for various issues/needs. Yes, that’s 3:00am! (he says, it’s not a recipe for success, but it works for them to really ‘touch the heart of God’).

Anyway, needless to say, the chapel service was hardly boring or ‘usual’, and certainly stirring. I hesitate to say, “encourage” because one can’t help but feel guilty about how God is doing such amazing things through so many people, but “not me”, and/or not where we are.

It was also interesting to see how Presbyterian College had a global mission focus, whereas in India, we simply have an “indian” focus. I guess, there are positives to the “indian” focus at SAIACS, but it sure was stimulating to see God’s work around the “world”.

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