“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink – even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk – it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen, and I will tell you where to get food that is good for the soul!”
Sweat was running down my back as we finished off the Bible study in Siamate village. Our method is to remake the sermon given Sunday at our main church gathering into an interactive Discovery Bible Study at each of our village gatherings during the week. Once again the message was describing the gospel – God’s too good to be true offer that He would take the guilt of our sin on Himself and give us Life eternal – and the only cost to us is just to believe on Him and His sacrifice. Come, take your choice of wine or milk – it’s all free!
As usual, the people are very attentive and want prayer afterwards. As I am packing up to leave, one of the men asks if he could accompany me on my way back to our base. After some time of silence, walking single file down the narrow path along the river, I hear him say, “Dan, I’ve been living a very bad life. I want to tell the people at our church meeting on Sunday that I’m sorry and ask them to pray for me.” I have been praying for this guy for years – one of the handfull of guys in all of these villages who has gone thru 12th grade, leadership gifts, so much potential – yet wasting it on decadent living “Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?”
Sunday the confessor isn’t there, but another young man stands up and says basically the same thing – the gift of repentance is being poured out on us!
Another young man comes to church that morning – he feels that someone put a curse on him (put some “bad medicine” on the ground and when he stepped over it the curse came on him), resulting in semi-paralyzed hands and feet that required the mysterious ministrations of his mother cutting him with razor blades all night. But deep down this man knows that prayer to God is the best medicine, so he comes and asks for prayer.
We are seeing some young men getting excited about Jesus for the first time here – two of them are going around to all of their friends who are not coming to church and sharing the same bible stories they learned here.
Today I heard that Ken and Mike had a clear sense in the morning that they should be bold, for the Lord had assured them He would back up their boldness with signs and wonders. Sure enough, during a typical village bible study two of the participants were acting sick. Mike was getting impatient for the study to end so he could see God’s miraculous Hand. The ladies gave a polite nod to the request for prayer. But in a few minutes both the severe sore tooth and the crippling sore back were totally healed! And the ladies were hooting and praising God like they had never done before.
Then on the way back from that bible study they ran into another sick person who also got God’s touch of healing.
But this kind of action does not come without opposition of course. The enemy is losing property and is ticked!
Three years we have been praying and working for testimonies like this! God is touching lives and allowing us to be in the middle of His opening of Truth to the Toka people.
- In the final phase of the Mandate Discipleship Schools 6 week Zambia stay 10 of us traveled together to our Luanshya base in N. Zambia. On the way north we picked up our new(er) truck just bought (by generous donations!) and being driven south by Ken. Arriving at 4am in the pouring rain we all crammed into the Luanshya House of Moses children’s home for 4 days and nights. Aaron and Jen Mulenga are saints – raising the 7 kids, working a farm for sustainability, sharing the Word in the village, and living on 2 meals a day without fridge or indoor water or cook stove! We are committing to upgrade them – please join with us.
- Please pray with us – we are being attacked again – accused and threatened by our village leaders. God is speaking to us to be calm and trust Him. But please pray. If you want to be on our prayer team – FOR INTERCESSORS ONLY – please email me.
- We were visited by a team from Crossroads Bible Church who are our major partners in this work – pastor Rod, son Gabe, elder Kevin, daughter Ally, and the chairman of our board, Bruce. Showing off our stuff, brainstorming for the future, tourist enjoyments (including a trip to Chobe Game Park in Botswana), and loads of work on the staff house.
- Another Zambian staff member has joined us – Linda Hichilinga. She has been working on her own program, caring for the orphans and vulnerable kids in villages a few hours away. We are happy to join forces in this Kingdom.
- It’s always good to see a team leave full of God. And it’s a breath of fresh air afterwards to get back to the Lean Machine – just the 8 member SWAT team. The enthusiasm is high – challenges come from various ones: let’s commit to more days in the village, more prayer, more passionate appeals to the lost. We are starting work on a prayer house now. God’s working.
- We are partnering with a village committee trying to continue our Educate Africa Initiative from last year. They have 24 kids they are sending to
school, a field planted, chickens from each child, and a bit of money from each child to start a baking business. Several of them are rising up with vision and commitment to make this work, so we have committed to match whatever they can earn for this year. I have heard they have also started a pre-school in a distant village because of our encouragement, which we may need to support as well. Our method is, when we see initiative from the locals to do all that they can do to improve their lives, we will assist them only as needed until they can sustain it themselves. This is true development – when the locals can be empowered to develop their own programs to improve their lives.
- A huge thanks to all those at Crossroads in Grand Rapids for filling our container with all kinds of goodies. It is now crossing the Atlantic, going south around the Cape, up the coast to Tanzania, then overland to Zambia. We may see it around June. Thanks so very much!