8 YEARS AGO TODAY!
8 years ago today, Regina and Dan Bumstead, along with Nimisha Lala from South Africa, crowded into a fully packed to the gills double cab Nissan pickup, and started our amazing journey to Zambia (I almost said, “into the unknown” – because so many things at that point were unknown! But we had a few Lighthouse Beacons that were already clearly plotted by our Pilot for us. One of these was – ZAMBIA!).
We had very few monthly supporters at this point. We had only Mike Lungu and Nimisha Lala as team members. We had many, many unknowns! But we did have a “miraculous” down payment on a lovely spot of earth nestled between the villages of Singanga and Lioka Villages. These Toka Leya were our people. We had bright dreams and unrealistic visions of seeing a quick movement of God, sweeping the sinners into sanctified saints in but a few years. We dreamed of orphans raised up to be the spiritual and national leaders of tomorrow. We could see waves of young people coming from the West and having their lives radically altered by the power of God working thru them for the Least and the Lost. We saw scores of other locations where we were partnering with other Africans to lead similar works.
Our reading that morning as we were preparing to read – Streams in the Desert, Dec 7:
We heard God speaking to us, even on the drive north that day, from the book we had been reading; Red Moon Rising, by Piet Grieg, about 24/7 prayer movements. He told us to make prayer and worship a cornerstone of our life and ministry.
Then the Psalms came alive:
43:3 – “It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them. You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob.
37: – “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him… the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity… The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him… The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever… The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
33: – The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love…. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.
34: – Fear the Lord you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing….
And now, 8 years later, God has fulfilled his word. He has been so faithful. Never a word has dropped to the ground and disappointed us. Never a promise has gone unfulfilled. Though we waited many times – sometimes for years! – Yet He has remained True and Faithful.
Now children are full of God’s Favor – real models in the villages. Now the Toka Leya has a church led magnificently by them alone. Now there are movements of God spreading like wildfire thru villages. And how many young Westerners have been strengthened by their presence here?
Thank God for another year. What will the ninth year hold??