Yesterday as we drove to our property, as we passed thru the first village we heard the children shouting after us like they always do. But this time they were shouting something different, “Peter, Peter, Peter!!”
The Mandate team (of which Peter was a part) has left after six weeks of being with us. Let me brag on them a bit. This was a very young team in age, but mature in the faith. It may have been the first time some of them cast out demons (see following par.), but I think most of them learned they had much bigger spiritual guns than they knew. Many of them felt uncomfortable sharing the gospel, but most of them found it easy to love people in a way that turned their hearts toward Jesus. And they did – Robeson, after some of the guys spent a night at his house and ate with his family, said something like, “I now know that God loves me, because he sent these people to me.” Now Robeson is a faithful participant in our English and Bible class, and next week will come with us for a week of training on Farming God’s Way in Zimbabwe.
Nomokow knows God loves her too. Nomokow’s grandmother was a witch doctor, who supposedly killed her own daughter (Nomokow’s mother) with witchcraft. Then not long ago Nomokow had a dream that she would be killed by the same witchcraft. Not long after she started getting the same symptoms – paralysis. After prayers from her church leaders (a syncretistic church – the appearance of godlessness with the predictable powerlessness) she was able to move a little, but still had pain and soon became mute as well. This went on for a week or more. So the people turned to those who are emissaries of the only True and Living God. Kingdoms struggled and young students were forced to imitate boldly what they had only seen in Bible print. Eventually with much choking and coughing the demons left and she began to talk again and her pain was gone. This was the power encounter we had been praying for.
Now there are three small D-groups studying the Bible together. We had hoped the team would have also started some kids cluster clubs, but we will do that soon.
Peter and Nessa and Georgina were amazing – they just wanted to live in there full time, so when the others came back to our home for the weekend, they stayed and lived in the village homes, ate their food, bathed where they did, and even drank the river water! Yuck! Jason was a work horse – clearing brush, fixing the shelter, building cool benches and shelves, and building a mud storage shed for us. Natalie and CeCe were constantly playing with the kids and telling them Bible stories. I hear CeCe went off one day by herself and started a bible study in the next village! We are following up on that. Lynn was fearless – finding people and just digging into their lives, making friends and always bringing in her love for Jesus. Liana is so natural among the poor – people know they are loved and embraced with compassion.
A word for each of them:
- Peter is King (Narnia) – but fortunately does not know it yet. But watch out world!
- Cece – a beach ball of joy. It is your ministry, your gift to the body.
- Natalie – a small wedding ring box – not yet opened to reveal the glory inside. Don’t listen to the ancient words that keep you shut. You are a diamond!
- Georgina – a wild fire – passionate intercession. Nuf said.
- Lynn – anteater – not a social butterfly – intensely interested in one thing – digging in for the real thing.
- Nessa – Amy Carmichael – single minded devotion to Jesus, listening only to Him, content with nothing less, yet tender of heart – dying 2 self 2 live 4 Him.
- Kirsty – a perfect reflection of her mother – a grand compliment. Servant of all, friend of all, content in all circumstances.
- Jason – David Livingstone – able to go it alone, indomitable persistence, industrious with every thought – will accomplish what others just dream of.
- Liana – ahh, what can I say? A perfect blend of mom and dad – too humble for her own good (mom), and willing to lead a team thru death swamps without flinching (dad). Passion for Jesus is the dominant trait.
Thanks each of you for your contribution to our lives and those in Singanga. They are all asking when you will return (as am I). Old man Robert said to me yesterday, “That tall one (with tone ascending indicating the extent of the tallness – meaning Jason), I tell him he must come and live here and take care of the madalla (old one = me!).”
- Though in the middle of rainy season it rained seldom when the team was here. But it has rained almost every day since the team left, starting almost the hour of their departure.
- We were able to make our quarterly property pmt ($6,700) yesterday. Thanks to all of you who are listening to Jesus and partnering with us.
- I am learning to farm – have about 9 mango trees, 2 avocado, 2 guava, 2 papaya, 30 other trees, and 9 Maringa (miracle plant) ready to plant on the property. Planting tomatoes and peppers this week.
- Our chicken business is growing – our 100 chickens are 2 weeks from ready to sell. Pray for buyers.
- The chief finally signed off on the land purchase. Now only a few documents to finalize it all.
- Regina’s English class has about 30 students. This week taught how to write their name properly – took about 30 min for that lesson!
- I have told the second Bible story – the Rebellion: Lucifers, then Adam and Eves. Acting it out and discussion afterwards. Much interest with the same 30 as Regina’s class.
- Next week take headman and Robeson to Zimbabwe for a week training for African farming.
- Then when we return the Davis’s, a newly married couple from Grand Rapids, join us for a month or so.