Gosh, it is a beautiful, powerful, filled with wild animals and adventure kind of river! Is it possible God would actually allow us to secure a place for ministry and home in such an ideal, exotic place? Is it just the American kind of thing to do – aiming for the biggest and best? Or is this Kingdom?
Last December I traveled to Zambia – scouting out the land. I ran across a little village near the Zambezi River, and something inside me leapt – a conception of sorts. Since then I have been pregnant with the idea of having a base on the Zambezi River.
But I kept having these second thoughts – was that just me? Should I be happy with a simple village setting? Does it need to be cool and exciting?
Let me take you back a step…
In 2006, during a prayer retreat Regina and I were taking at the Oregon coast, we turned to this word in our scripture reading and thought it significant. Than 30 minutes later in reading our devotional book, the same scripture was quoted and interpreted. Now I knew it was for us!
Judges 18 “In those days the tribe of Dan (this is really true – read it!) was seeking a place of their own, where they might settle because they had not yet come into an inheritance of their own… “ They sought God about taking a trip to scout out and find some land, and God said, “Go in peace. Your journey has the Lord’s approval.” … so they went a found a good land “that lacked nothing, that was prosperous. And a long way” from any neighbors. Also it was “spacious”. They found the land, settled there and named it Dan, after their forefather!
At the time we read this we were pastoring a community church in Oregon, and seeking God for our next step. We had sensed it was time to leave our family and move to Africa, but this was a clear and convincing word.
But the description of the land was what stuck in my head. Spacious, remote, fertile, lacking nothing!
When I saw the Zambezi, the puzzle piece fit.
So during our 3 months ministering in Zambia this summer, I was on the look for that land – driving back to remote villages along the river, talking to headmen about our desire to serve the orphans and the lost, “feeling things out”.
Then, on the last day before we left, I got the word from Gen 48 that made me confident God was leading, “I am going to make you fruitful and will increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.” That morning I went out and found Singanga Village, talked to the headman about our plans in Zambia, and he offered me a place to make it happen. A beautiful place, spacious, fertile, and lacking nothing – in other words, cool! That was the element I was hoping for, but almost afraid to believe for – but there it is!
But one thing I was not expecting – the headman was not just giving it to me. He wanted $40,000. As we talked and I prayed those desperate prayers – “God, help! Should I accept this offer? Or walk away? I thought it was going to be free! Why this??”
And in the pressure cooker of that pow-wow with the headman and 15 counselors, the Peace of God came upon me, and the Word of Jesus settled my spirit. “Dan, I could have just had him give it to you. But this price-tag is a gift to you. It will keep you dependent on me. You’re welcome!”
So I must say, it has done that. I have had a gentle confidence that God will support this venture. They want a down payment of $10,000 by Sept 15 – that is just 15 days away, and we still need about $6000. But I am at peace. If this is nothing but my “American gusto” then God will not send the money. But if in fact God is in this, he will move heaven and hell to make it happen.
Will you join us in prayer about this? We would love to hear if you have any clear words from God.
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