– by Raúl Ríos

This meeting of RIA leaders has brought me great experiences and has left challenges for my life. The Lord has shown himself to be great and I am grateful for that.

I was happy to greet brothers that I met at the Worship Conferences who have now become coordinators of their communities. I met others and we have kept in touch after the meeting. The prayer times were enriching and motivating as we saw the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst. The fellowship times also served to get to know other brothers even better, to learn about their struggles and victories, their hardships and consolations.

Personally, the “Power from on High” retreat was like living a new Pentecost. Through the talks and times of prayer I was able to confirm that the Lord can and wants to use us to spread his merciful love with the outpouring of his gifts and charisms. As I prayed for other brothers, the Lord gave me a word of knowledge for them. When my turn came, the Lord gave word of knowledge to those who prayed over me. The Lord is preparing me for a special mission and is equipping me with the gifts that will be necessary for it.

The Lord delivered me from a sinful spirit that had clung to me for several years. I clearly saw a shadow with sharp teeth and claws that screamed as it separated from me while saying “Why?, I have had him for many years!”. Then I saw the hand of the Lord Jesus coming out behind me, showing his wounds and pouring his blood over my head, and then he said to the unclean spirit: “I paid for him so that he would be free”. Since that moment I have experienced freedom and I have been strengthened to fight every day.

Another experience that also left its mark on me was when Rafael Cuenca, at the end of his talk, prayed for everyone to receive a double portion of the Holy Spirit. I could see how a red mantle was placed over me. Years ago, I had prayed to the Lord in that sense and that day He answered my prayer. Each day I am becoming more open to the moving of the Holy Spirit and more confident that He will do the things that Christ has promised.

In the following days I have experienced a renewal in my personal prayer, in my service, in my communion with the Lord and I know that He will use me according to His purposes.

I continue to be thrilled to discover all that the Lord expects of me: how and when I should use the gifts He has provided me, to improve my service in the Community, to encourage others to be open to the action of the Holy Spirit in their lives, to be more creative in evangelization, to be attentive to the promptings of the Spirit to direct my life and ministry.

Thank you Lord for your love and loyalty. Here I am to do your will, not with my strength, but with the strength given by your Spirit and the charisms that you have given me and that you want to give me.

Raúl Ríos is a member of the Incienso de Dios in Xalapa, México

Photo: Raúl (5th left to right on the top row) with the evangelical brothers from the Arbol de Vida community and other coordinators from the region.