The road to Barcelona 2012 took John Hibbert of International Outreach on a 4 1/2 week visit to U.S. churches this fall.
The first stop was the Tabernacle of Deliverance and Praise in Norwich, now a partner in the outreach. Pastor Devin Johnson wants to see churches here unite across racial lines.
In Nashville, we met with Jaci Velasquez, one of the singers for Barcelona 2012. After hearing about the testimonies related to Barcelona, she cried. From the bottom of her heart, she said, she wanted to help in any way she could.
In Houston, we visited the nation’s largest church and met the pastor, Joel Osteen. It was a joy to see in a city of 2 million residents, thousands of people with Bibles in hand pouring into Lakewood Church on a Saturday night. Of all the thousands of people who attend the church, we sat next to a couple who recently visited Barcelona and who promised to pray for the concerts. We returned the next day. With such a large crowd worshipping Jesus in Spanish, we couldn’t help but think of what’s to come in Barcelona.
Earlier in the day we visited Global Advance, a small church in Houston that wants to send members to Barcelona for the concerts.
Pastor Phil Phillips of the Agape Christian Fellowship in Ft. Meyers went the extra mile to host us in Florida. He arranged for John to preach at his church in Ft. Meyers and two other Haitian churches in North Miami. Phil told his church that considering Spain was once the enemy of the Haitian people, it’s a blessing for Haitians here to now be used to support the gospel in Spain.
We met with Ingrid Rosario, who will sing at the concerts, and her husband, Tony, and their newborn. After hearing the testimonies about what God has done in preparation for Barcelona, the couple said they see the event as something that’s much, much more than just a concert.
We then visited the Tabernacle of Glory in north Miami, where services are held in English, Spanish and Creole for about 1,000 people. Pastor Gregory Toussaint once lived in Spain for six months and one month before we arrived his church dedicated time to passionately pray for God to move in Spain.
John also preached at the First Haitian Baptist Church of Dade County, where the pastor and his wife fled Haiti many years ago when their lives were threatened.