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MISSIONS: Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia 2004
April 28, 2004

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2004, thus far, has been a time of waiting upon the Lord with respect to missions.

Initially, I had planned a January visit to Haiti, but a roadblock appeared, when our translator could not obtain permission to travel (He would have lost his green card application, which was in process). So, he had to remain in the US. Fortunately for us, we had to remain too, for war broke out there during the time we had planned to be there. Praise God!

Then, concerning Kenya and Africa, I had hoped to be there in April, but the Lord has changed my focus, and I feel led of the Spirit to wait, perhaps until later in the year.

Now, after these delays, my hunger for returning to the mission field was growing ever more, as were my inquiries of the Lord. I found myself crying out to the Lord on Monday night, regarding the mission to Colombia. Thus far, I had no word from the Lord about a return trip, and I do not want to travel into such a place: the so called “murder capital of the world”, without certain guidance from the Lord.

Yesterday, I was meeting with a man of God, and the Lord gave me my answer. He said:

“Have I not given the entire Antioquia Departmento” into your hands? Now go!”

So, with that, I purchased my airline tickets immediately, yesterday afternoon.

We will depart June 28, and return August 9, 2004, by the grace of God.

After I purchased my tickets, I pondered that word from the Lord to me. The Lord had reminded me of something He had told me last year, when I was in Medellin. He told me He had given the entire Antioquia Departmento into my hands, and that He had given me authority over every prince and power in that region in the name of Jesus. While I was there, I prayed in that authority, and ministered with signs following that bore witness to that sovereign grant.

Now, I was back there in the spirit, meditating upon what the Lord had said, and I was filled with desire to do some research on Antipquia Departmento. I downloaded maps of the departmento, along with population statistics for the cities there with a population exceeding 1,000.

During my visit in 2003, I visited five of the cities of Antioquia: Medellin, Bello, La Ceja, La Union and Rio Negro. I ministered in four of those. While there, however, I had no time to do research about the contents of what had been given to me by the Lord. How many cities are there? Where are they? How big is this departmento. Yesterday, I obtained those facts, and I will share them, as the Lord spoke to me as I was doing this. He said: “Lift up your eyes. I want you to minister in these other cities as well.”

The latest estimated population estimate for the country of Colombia is approximately 43 million persons. Antioquia Departmento, which is one of 33 Departmentos in Colombia, had a population of 5.532 millions in 2002.

Departmentos are the regional divisions of Colombia, that resemble the state government structure in the United States.

The twenty largest cities in Antioquia, that rank among the 151 largest cities in Colombia, and their populations in 2004, are:

1) Medellin-1.983 million----rank in Colombia: #3
2) Bello-380,000---rank in Colombia: #11
3) Itagui-269,000---rank in Colombia: #20
4) Envigado-157,000---rank in Colombia: #30
5) Apartado-83,000---rank in Colombia: #49
6) Caldas-64,000---rank in Colombia: #59
7) Rionegro-60,000---rank in Colombia: #63
8) Caucasia-56,000---rank in Colombia: #70
9) Turbo-49,000---rank in Colombia: #82
10) Copacabana-48,000---rank in Colombia: #84
11) La Estrella-48,000---rank in Colombia: #86
12) Chigorodo-46,000---rank in Colombia: #88
13) El Bagre-39,000---rank in Colombia: #98
14) Segovia-39,000---rank in Colombia: #99
15) La Ceja-35,000---rank in Colombia: #104
16) Puerto Berrio-34,000---rank in Colombia: #107
17) Sabaneta-33,000---rank in Colombia: #111
18) Marinilla-24,000---rank in Colombia: #143
19) Girardota-23,000---rank in Colombia: #148
20) Yarumal-23,000---rank in Colombia: #151

As I look at what has been given to me, I can feel the weight of the responsibility. Certainly, I will need to work in concert with many people to reach just these twenty largest cities. There are a few million who do not reside in these large cities, but they live in many, many smaller ones.

I have a listing of all the populated places in Antioquia Departmento where more than 1000 souls reside. There are 94 such named places.

Lord, thank you for the gift of life and breath today, and for the transformations you have already effected in my life. Thank you for the privilege of being in your service, and accomplishing your purposes for us each day. Thank you for all the co-workers you have given us, and for what you have already permitted us to accomplish on your behalf. Fill us anew with your Holy Spirit, and guide us by Thy mighty hand, in Jesus name, Amen.

1) Pray that God would clearly reveal to me which of these 94 places I should reach in this coming 43 day missionary journey.
2) Pray for favor with the Church I am working with in Medellin: Iglesia Cruzada Christiana, that God might raise up teams from there to minister in some of these other cities.
3) Pray for the abundant blessing of God to fall upon Pastora Luzmilla. May god give her wisdom and health, to guide this flock in difficult times.
4) Pray for my ministry in the national prison in Antioquia, that I might obtain all necessary permissions, and have favor with Prison Fellowship there.
5) Pray for abundant finances to bless this work, and the health and safety of all who will work, so that I might be a great blessing to all we work with, and that I might be able to leave a financial blessing behind to all we meet who are hungry, without electrical power, or who need some other form of assistance to cook their food, repair their homes or obtain medical care and medicine.
6) Pray that God would guide our footsteps, so that we do not fall into the hands of evil men, kidnappers, criminals or other opponents of the Gospel. May we walk to the left when they are turning to the right.
7) Pray that all of our existing financial needs in Florida will be met while we are away in Colombia, and that God will raise up assistance for us with these matters, and that my financial ministry responsibilities here in Florida and the United States might be coordinated, and met in the times allotted prior to and after our trip.
8) Pray for Joseph Cook, to be able to moderate the Watchmen Prophets Assembly in my absence, with great wisdom and discernment.
9) Pray that we might be able to bless our cooperating church with a new vehicle for mission transportation.
10) Pray that we might be able to establish a modest educational scholarship fund to help young people better themselves and to escape the cyclical lifestyle of poverty.
11) Pray for divine appointments unto salvation in our street missions work, and that we might have great boldness to minister in areas where mere men shrink to enter in fear. Grant us wisdom in choosing which areas to minister in, and the times whereby it will be safe for us to minister.
12) Pray that we might have discernment to recognize those who beg merely to spend their money upon drugs, alcohol and their own selfish desires, and to also recognize those with genuine needs.
13) Pray for open doors to hold many home meetings, whereby the full gospel may be preached, and souls may be delivered from bondage, and that we may be able to plant home cell groups.
14) Pray for great miracles, signs and wonders to follow the ministry, whether we minister in the churches, the streets, the prisons or the homes.
15) Pray that doorways for ministry on radio and television may be opened to us during this trip.
16) Pray that wherever I minister the word of God, that I might minister with the powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit, that my words may go forth with power, that men may be saved.
17) Pray that my translator may have strength of voice for translating my preaching, and that this work may be done excellently.
18) Pray that I am able to avoid needless contention over minor doctrinal issues, and to keep the focus on our risen Lord, and his sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.
19) Pray that I may have a dynamic prayer life, anointing to fast, and have exciting, dynamic and productive times in studying my bible while I am there ministering.
20) Pray for the churches where I serve here in the United States: Harvest Fellowship, Buenas Noticias De Fe, and Equipping the Saints Ministries, that they will suffer nothing during my absence.
21) Pray that God would grant us vision, and new, creative ideas to reach this Departmento with the gospel of Jesus.
22) Pray that the results of our work will be far reaching, life changing and permanent in the lives of those we reach and touch for the sake of the cross.

Stephen L. Bening

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