treat Helvetica, sans-serif;”>Our whole focus was on reaching children between 4 and 14 years old, teaching them about the Holy Spirit, teaching them how much God loves them. It wasn’t really in my sights that God might use this event to rock a teenager’s world, but that is just what He did.
17-year-old Johan was walking by the church where we were holding the Supernatural Kids event when he saw the sign that said “Supernatural School”. Thinking it was a paranormal conference that would teach him about witchcraft and the occult, he walked through the church doors just as one of our children’s pastors was giving a short sermon on how the Holy Spirit is our best friend and how to accept Jesus Christ as Savior. The church looks like a giant warehouse and is open on two sides to streets. Nothing about it really marks it as a church.
Johan listened to the sermon and God touched his heart. He came forward for prayer and accepted Jesus into his heart. One of the visiting team members prayed with Johan and took him into a separate room for about 30 minutes to pray and listen to his story.
Johan has been living as a homosexual in a city called Armenia, Colombia. He had been deeply involved with drugs and alcohol. He’d been spending his time going to a park in Armenia where many of the LGBT community hang out and do drugs together.
While there, a girl approached him and asked him to buy some cocaine. He told them to give him the money and he would go purchase it, but saying they didn’t trust him to come back and not run off with their money, they suggested instead that he go with them to make the purchase. They walked together into a bad neighborhood and he made the purchase.
The girl invited him to a party they were going to have near the city and he accepted. While at the party he met a man named Andrés, he could make great money if he would let them take nude pictures for them to create a calendar to sell to the homosexual community, but he’d have to travel to Medellín to take them. Johan agreed to travel and be in the pictures.
They brought Johan to Medellin but once he arrived he realized they were going to make him do things he didn’t want to do. He ended up being with a group of other young men chained up, abused, used and sold as a sex slave for several days. He spoke of the horrible things they had made him and the other boys do.
On October 31, he was walking through the streets heading to his next “assignment” when he came upon our event. When he entered and prayed, the men praying with him asked what they could do to help him. He was terrified to return to the people who had been keeping him but didn’t know what to do next. Our team member, Trinity, said, “There was no way we were just going to leave him to go back to where he came from.” A local pastor helped call his mom and tell him where he was. She said she had been very worried about him and would send a bus ticket to get him back to Armenia. The team members took up an offering to pay for a hotel room to get Johan safe and away from those keeping him captive for the night until he could get onto the bus to Armenia.
This young man who was escaping a nightmare and thought he was finding a witchcraft conference ended up finding an encounter with God. The next day Johan got on a bus to go home with a new heart, a fresh start and saved from the life of a sexual slave. The pastor who helped spoke with his mom and she said, “The person who returned is not my son who lived here before. He is a new person, so different, so full of joy. He is a changed person!”
After all of the chaos leading up to this event, all of the months of work, if nothing else good would have come out of it (which it did, all kinds of great stories!) this testimony would have made it all worth the effort all on its own.
|Left to Right: Trinity (visiting from Iowa), with Johan and Christian, the translator.|