Ivan resonated with the message given by our Canadian Seamless Link church pastor. The pastor had come with one of his board members to provide leadership and soul care training for our Caribbean Island national leaders of an Alliance house church movement. Ivan is a local church pastor who also oversees leadership training for the churches in the Eastern District of the Island. He is passionate and sacrificial in his leadership, on this occasion spending about 30 hours—one way—in bus terminals and uncomfortable trucks to travel across the country to receive this training.
Ivan, like so many of our house church pastors, gives everything he has to follow Christ; but, also like so many, he was a wounded leader. He approached us after the message about the need for healing of wounds and forgiving those who have done the wounding. He asked if we could pray for him to find healing in his relationship with his father, who was ill and living in a different province. He explained that he loved his dad and had a deep desire to be with him when they were apart, but he felt emotional distance whenever he went to visit him. The Canadian pastor was already praying with someone else, so his board member and I sat down to pray with Ivan and to invite Jesus to reveal any wounds that he wanted to heal. Quickly, Ivan was reminded of a time when his dad, a shoemaker, refused to teach Ivan how he did his work. Ivan had sat down at the sewing machine and asked his dad to teach him. Sadly, his dad responded angrily and hit his son instead of granting the request.
We asked Jesus where he was in this memory. Jesus showed Ivan in a vision that, as Ivan sat there crying, Jesus had been standing there with His arms outstretched, longing to give Ivan a hug. Ivan was deeply moved by this vision and went over and embraced Jesus. After we finished this powerful time of prayer in Spanish, the Canadian man (who had not understood all that we had prayed) stood up and gave Ivan a big hug—just like the vision we had just prayed through in Spanish! It was a deeply healing moment that transcended all culture and language barriers. Jesus healed a wounded leader through the embrace of one of His sons.