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MISSIONS: Medellin Mission-Days 1-12
July 9, 2004

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Hello from Medellin, the land of the eternal spring.

Today, the temperature is 27C, or about 81F, and it is sunny. Sorry I have been so long in giving a report, but my last four days have been rather tough.

We traveled North to a retreat in the Countryside, where we taught, and prayed much for the 25 people who were with us. There was much deliverance, but apparently, the water adversely affected several of us.

As it is with apostles, those I prayed for were healed quickly, but God did not remove this thorn in the flesh from me, but caused me to survive on his grace, abundantly given. And so, my body has received a very thorough cleansing these last four days.

Our ministry here is to the poor. Thus far, we have distributed about 900,000 pesos, more than $300, to the poor, in the form of food, bibles, transportation and the like. It is very inexpensive to live here, so we have only spent about $70 on ourselves, for food, covering 12 days, and we still have food left over in our stores.

Financially, it seems to me, as I review the situation in prayer, and look at my finances, that another $1,000 US would really be useful, if we continue to give away food and help at the pace we have over these last twelve days.

What we are seeing, over and over again, is young mothers, with three or four children, living in the streets with their kids, and surviving by begging. So far, whenever we meet one, we give them 40,000 pesos, $15, which can buy them about one week of basic food staples for a week, not including meat.

These situations with the young mothers really tear my heart out. The one we ministered to yesterday, Marta, is living along side of a river, in a lean to hut, with three of her four children. She came to our house, and we ministered to her. She confessed belief in Christ, expressed her intention to repent of her sins and fornications, and we baptized her in water and prayed for her.

The attitude of the local church that we worked with last year here has not encouraged me. They have begun to strongly teach the tithing tradition as an imposed law on all of their members, and they frown on us for helping the poor who do not wind up in their church. This attitude is contrary to that which we walk with, and, as such, we will not be working with this church until there is a change. It is so much like what we have seen in America. Now, they desire to buy a 500 seat church building for 600 million pesos, $200,000. They are not in dire need of more space where they are. They are only holding one service on Sunday and Thursday. The pastor was putting much pressure on us to buy this church building for them, and we do not feel it was at all proper, or of the Lord, so we are moving on.

It appears that an opening has arisen to work with two churches that are much closer to the poor neighborhood district where most of the people we minister to are currently living. So, we intend to supply these churches with some food this Sunday, and make a ministry contact in one other Church where we believe the Lord is leading us to go.

Ministry wise, I have had a couple of revelations about certain things, that I will write about at a future time. One interesting one: a little quickie, is that Jesus did not pay the tithe, and neither did his stepfather Joseph. I will leave you with that to tantalize you.

There have been many deliverances from demons: some quite dramatic. God's authority upon me has greatly increased, while I am speaking less. It is a form of "walking softly, but carrying a big stick."

God has given us authority over all the work of the devil here in Antioquia state, and we have been taking that authority in prayer every day here.

Time will not permit me to share all that has transpired, but this one event, that happened on our country retreat, bears retelling.

Mario is a man who has been married to a Christian woman for 36 years. During that time, he has gotten totally drunk, to the point of passing out, twice a week, every week, for 36 years.

When we arrived at the retreat, Teresa had brought Mario, and he had his bottle of Aguardiente with him (the local liquor). By lunch time, he was so drunk he could barely sit up. Our servers were just serving lunch on the first day, and I could see Mario through a window, sitting alone at a table with his bottle.

During our travels to the retreat, Mario, drunk and getting drunker, kept shaking my hand, and praising God, and it was really irritating me. Later, as I sat, eating lunch, watching Mario through that window, I began discussing with someone else how I have seen so many drunks in the church, but so very few get delivered, because the church lacks the power.

Suddenly, I looked up, and Mario was standing to my right, staggering a bit, wanting to shake my hand. Suddenly, I began to pray, and to weep, and I laid my hands upon him and cast several devils out of him. He became as one dead.

Later, he revived, and approached me again. We began to talk, and then I suddenly prayed for him again. This time, I anointed him with oil, and the Holy Spirit directed me to pray in tongues, right up against his stomach. More demons came out again, and they were speaking to my spirit, telling me that they were going to have Mario vomit all over me. I told them, "I donīt care, you are coming out". Mario was knocked out again by the power of God as those demons came out.

As he revived, I was hugging him. The Holy Spirit was having me to show him much love.

As of the latest report I have received, Mario has not had one drop of liquor since that time. Please keep Mario Cardona in prayer, that he will have strength from God to defeat the habit portion of this addiction, that is soulish, and cannot be cast out.

Finally, before I left for Colombia, I purchased my air tickets for my mission to Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria. I will be going for 33 days, from September 3, to October 7. The cost of the air tickets was more than $2,500, and I am simply moving by faith that the Lord will take care of it for me. It is time for me, and other remnant servants of our Lord Jesus Christ, to rise up, and sit enthroned as the kings and princes that we have been made unto God, and His Father.

Many thanks to all of you who have helped us thus far in finances and prayers.

Stephen L. Bening

I will be giving a report on the mission at our October meeting of Watchmen Prophets Assembly at Monteagle, TN.

Registration forms are available at: Meeting WPA Apostolic Prophetic Company, at Monteagle, TN-October 22-24, 2004---

Stephen L. Bening

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