OVERNIGHT IN MBANGWETA
- “Overnight” = a technical term meaning an all night “Prayer Meeting”.
- “Prayer Meeting” = this does not mean that we only do prayer the whole time. No! It is a long meeting broken into many varied activities – testimony times, intercession times, singing as we dance in a circle, if there is a sound system there may be a recorded song played loudly while people come up and do crazy dances, some food and tea breaks, some brief sermons, perhaps a Jesus Film… An “overnight” is a great social time, especially for youth and young believers.
- “All Night” = the event may be advertised “ From 8pm until Halleluiah!” – meaning, we will see how strong we are and if we can have a quorum last until morning. If not, it may go till 3 or 4AM.
- “Mbangweta” – a village out in the middle of the bush where nearly a year ago our Zambian church worker Joshua went with the message of Christ and they gladly embraced it. Now the one-year-old village church, along with Joshua, full of newfound joy and zeal for the Gospel, have reached out to start churches in Tilagizule and Fallsway Villages. These churches have been carefully untouched by “outsider” influence and are finding an authentic indigenous church movement rising up!
Nothing can adequately describe such an event – out in the wild of the African night, driving into this remote village in the dark where a car will rarely come – trying to find the small path – then we break thru to a clearing and there is someone out under the stars with a generator and a video projector!
A full meal is brought out to serve us! These people so poor and impoverished from the drought, yet they give us what they would never eat themselves! I estimate about 80 people, yet they all seem to have eaten!
I love watching and hearing the responses of those viewing the Jesus Film in remote Africa. The chorus of ooo’s and ahhh’s when a miracle happens, laughter when Jesus puts the religious leaders to shame, the quiet weeping as Jesus is whipped, and the hushed silence when he rises again and ascends to heaven with a command to take the gospel to the whole world. Most of the people come forward to affirm their desire to give control of their lives to Christ. We have a great time praying and prophesying over the people for a time.
A good start to a long night… With many ebbs and surges the night drags on – sometimes loud and happy dancing in a circle when the slumbering would waken…. Later, muted intercessions and pleadings and proclaiming as the real soldiers continue to press into the meat of the event…
During the night I found myself interceding for One person – whether in this group, or in one of these surrounding villages – One person, whose life would be transformed thru this time of prayer. Then I felt the nudge – could it not be Two? Yes! And then 10? Finally I was able to settle in my spirit with Jesus – I was praying that 36 people might have their ligves radically transformed tonight as the Spirit of Grace swept over the villages around us. I trust we will see them rising up.
As the dawn broke over the forest and some sleepy heads roused and the soldiers high fived for their endurance, Joshua promised me there would be many more of these. There will be an awakening in these villages thru our warfare in the night. (Already, two days later, we got an invitation from another village to come with the Jesus Film and show it to them!)
- Sustaining Businesses – Owen, our new Operations Manager, has forged forward with his desire to see us making some money so we can eventually sustain our ministry. He has made working in the garden a competition and fun. He is also rebuilding our chicken industry. He will soon make a plan where we can invite investors to capitalize a large industry that can carry us substantially.
- Twashuka Community Center – in Feb. we dedicated the new building to the community. They are having youth events, children events and work parties leveling the grounds for sports events. It has truly become a center. At the same time, the church planting efforts there have exploded – we don’t have accurate estimates of the number of people coming to Christ, but it is a work of God.
- God has showed us again His amazing care – in Dec and Jan we could see that our finances were getting to a critical low. I sent out an appeal to our prayer team to pray. Still it kept shrinking. Our staff began more earnest times of petition – learning to pray in deeper ways. We were determined not to publicly ask for help apart from our prayer team. It was a testing time like we have not had since our early years. But then came the answer, and how sweet it was! $20,000 in the bank! “…and all these things WILL be added unto you!”
- Regina and Dan went to America for a brief 2 week visit in March – to build onto our blossoming DOVE Church family connection in PA, and to meet with our tremendous Board in Michigan. We have two new Board members – Larry Reimer of Manitoba, and Randy Catlett of All Nations, Kansas City base. We are encouraged to see that as our African side grows, so God is adding to our American side as well.
- We are praying for many more families to “adopt” a child in FAMILY TABLE sponsorship program. It is really working! Many very vulnerable kids with little chance of real Life, now have a chance. And we find more and more! Our hearts break for lack of sponsors and lack of interns willing to come and serve them. We need 2 interns for a year to come and serve this program.
- We are also praying for a long term family to come and manage the Base – a fun Pioneer Living kind of project – building something cool out of nothing… Pray about it. Talk to your non-conformist Jesus loving friend about it.
- Zambia is experiencing a terrible drought this year. The majority of the village dwellers survive thru the year on a corn crop they plant in nov, at the
beginning of rainy season, and depend on the rains alone for their growth. This year of drought means there will be terrible hunger thru the year. Already the govt is talking about shutting down schools in vast areas because kids come hungry and have no energy to stay awake. We are beginning to respond as a church to our members – helping them with gardens and businesses. Pray for wisdom for how we should respond. The
crops are already ruined – no remedy there. How can the church of Jesus respond to such a crisis? Pray for us. We are starting with our church members – helping plant gardens, helping create a carpentry business.
- Pray for our six full time Gospel Workers who are volunteering with no income. I am amazed at their walk of faith – sacrificing so much for the work of God. If God puts it on your heart to sponsor one or more of them financially, or to be a prayer partner for one, it would be so appreciated. Look on our website for their pictures and names.
- Pray for Dan’s health as he has some ongoing difficulties in the past year.
- Pray for the two small, struggling churches in Komonyana and Siamate Villages that are led by very poor and uneducated village leaders who face such daunting life issues. Pray that they may experience such an abundance of Life and Overcoming Joy.
- And pray for four other village Bible Studies that are just beginning in very distant villages – with God’s
grace they may soon become churches.