It’s been awhile since I’ve had a chance to write an extended update. I have been out in the bush bush for outreaches the last two weekends. Thanks for all your prayers during those trips. I will try the best I can to recount the two weekends since I don’t have my journal with me to go by this time.
Two weekends ago was my first scheduled outreach with my color group. Brandon and Janico, my house parents, are also my color group leaders. We went about 6 hours away. The camion ride was pretty sweet. I was on the very back so there was nothing keeping me from flying off the back of the truck except prayer and my guardian angel – who I must say has been rather mischievous here lately, but that’s another story for another time perhaps. We got there right at dark. The girls setup all of our tents and the guys went to setup the sound system and projector system for the Jesus film. Basically what happens on the typical outreach is, we setup a sound system, projector, and projector screen, and show a 2.5 hour movie that has been translated into Makua, the native village language. You guys have all probably seen this movie before in English, but I don’t remember what it’s called. Anyways, at the end of the movie, someone preaches off the back of the truck and then there is an opportunity for salvation and then healing ministry time. The first night one of our Mozambican pastors spoke. I ran the sound that night so I didn’t get an opportunity to pray for very many people except two belligerent drunks who kept coming up and challenging the pastor and translators. That is always fun. There were some cool healings that night. Notably our friend Brianna prayed for a lady who had a broken thumb and God completely healed it while she was praying. That night we got done and went back to the campsite and had rice and beans for dinner.
The next morning we got up and went out to the village and walked around talking to people and offering to pray for them. Nearly the entire village was completely drunk by 9:00 in the morning. Unbelievable! And actually, the first place we stopped happened to be their distillery – basically someone’s hut with alcohol being brewed outside. One guy who wasn’t as drunk as the rest prayed to receive Christ. We prayed over several others as well. Eventually as we walked around, they came and asked us to go pray for a guy who was sick. We went into his house which was pitch black with no windows. He had a shirt covering his face because any light at all caused severe pain. Heidi had warned us about this infection before – she has had it several times because it’s very contagious and she said it feels like razor blades underneath your eyelids. He had a severe case of conjunctivitis (pink eye) and his eyes were crusted and oozing with infection. We prayed for him for a few minutes and he started getting better. We repeated the process several times – praying and then checking his eyes. By the time it was over with, his right eye was completely healed with no infection, and his left eye was still swollen a bit but wasn’t oozing anymore. We even had him outside without the shirt over his face and had he had no pain with his eyes open. In the end he acknowledged that Jesus was the one who healed him but he wouldn’t get saved because he was the head of his household and knew it would cause problems for him, his family, and the village people. He did say he would start coming to the church some though and checking things out. They talked to him for about half an hour and he was very sincere and open, so we pray that God will eventually draw him to Himself. We took the afternoon to rest and then setup again that night in a different place about half an hour away from our camp. The second night Brandon preached and many people got saved. I believe I sent a picture of the people who were receiving Christ in one of my picture updates. After that he called for the people who needed healing. Everyone that my team prayed for that night got healed. These are the healings I can remember: a man with a hernia, a man with arthritis and joint problems, a deaf child, and several with headaches, back aches and stomach aches.
In case you care, we had tuna spaghetti for lunch that morning and goat and rice for dinner. We bought a goat in the village and one of the girls slaughtered it and they cleaned it. I believe I sent a picture of the goat as well! We packed up and left and got home just in time for Heidi’s daughter’s wedding. There were 3000-4000 people on base at that time, as they had just wrapped up a pastor’s conference the day before, and many people had also come for the wedding.
The wedding was beautiful on the beach. The guys from House of Peace had made a nice bamboo arch and covered it with flowers. Sorry girls but I didn’t take any pictures of the wedding. My friend Jen was crying. We determined she needed to be delivered from the spirit of wedding, so we cast it out. She tried to argue that there was no such thing as the spirit of wedding. However, we know better than that. The Bible says there are no tears in heaven, so if she is crying, there must be a problem. You gotta beat the devil at his own game! Sometimes he is tricky tricky!
After the wedding, we got the joy of feeding everyone. All several thousand of them. Some of them two and three times apiece. The meal tickets apparently multiplied as the food did! It was draining, especially after being gone all weekend. I had a decent time, even though I was tired. I picked up plates and coke bottles, swept, did crowd control, etc. Sunday morning I got to do breakfast duty, which ended up being crowd control. That was a chore, trying to get 3000 people in and out of our relatively small dining hall in an orderly fashion. We ate out that night at a local restaurant and all of us got sick. I’ll spare you the details, but just know it wasn’t all that fun for a day or two.
Last Wednesday we had a nice beach vacation about half an hour away from the base. It was great. I think I sent some pictures from there as well. The place we went was called Il Parata. Murubwe was the name of the beach I believe. You could go out forever and still touch. I bet we went a quarter of a mile out into the ocean and could still touch. I had a lot of fun and that is the day a lot of you got replies to the e-mails you have been sending me. I got caught up on several weeks’ worth. It really was a great vacation day.
The next day I went on outreach again because so many people were sick and they asked for volunteers. I went with Tony Maxwell’s team this time because they were taking a keyboard and wanted me to lead some worship. It was only about 3.5 hours this time and I’m not sure where we went, but it was still the bush bush. We got there a bit earlier this time and setup quickly. We didn’t use the Jesus film on this outreach, it was all worship and preaching. It turned out they didn’t send the power cable for the keyboard, and we didn’t know until the second night that it took batteries (not included). So luckily Herbert our fearless leader, and also the self-proclaimed mayor of Herbville (our camp site), brought another girl’s guitar so I ended up playing for some of our Mozambicans to lead worship. It was an experience, I didn’t know the music to any of their songs but God just provided all the chords and keys of every song as I was playing. After the preaching I sang and played some worship songs in Portuguese. It was a difficult spiritual atmosphere that night. A lot of people didn’t get healed that the people were praying for.
The next morning I woke up and God spoke to me about that – on the last outreach we had prayed together in groups the whole 2.5 hour Jesus film, and the night before we had not prayed together at all. So Thomas and I went and prayed around the village before we went out on afternoon evangelism trips. God gave me some more revelation when we got back. We took Mike and Will with us, two British visitors, and the four of us went and walked around the place and claimed the territory for the Lord. Then God spoke to me and said we needed to go stand in the four corners and prophesy into the land God’s will for the evening. So we went and prophesied His Word about healing, salvations, miracles, etc. Everyone got there and setup and we prayed together during the worship and preaching. We finally ended up getting some batteries that worked and one of the Mozambicans played keyboard, so they took care of the worship completely that night and I got to pray for people that night.
I want to pause here and explain something that I had been struggling with. I have not felt any anointing from God the whole time we were on outreaches and Satan had been using that to feed me stupid lies like I’m not called to Africa, my prayers are not effective, it was just everybody else praying that got the people healed. Stupid, I know, but that’s just how the enemy works sometimes. I prayed that night before we went and asked God to just show me one thing that would prove to me He had called me here and my prayers were effective.
So we get to the ministry time and me, Thomas, Mike, and Abdul (one of our Mozambican translating Bible students) formed a team to pray for people. The first person came and had back problems, and almost instantly got healed. The second person came and had back problems, and almost instantly got healed. The third person came with back problems and we laughed, and they got healed. Then the fourth person, who was a particularly hard case. Her back wasn’t wanting to be healed. It was an older lady. During the time we were praying for her, this guy was being very belligerent and kept poking me and pointing at his head and telling me in Portuguese that his head and back were hurting really bad. I kept telling him to wait and that we would pray for him as soon as we got done praying for the other lady, but he was very persistent so I decided to do what Heidi said and “stop for the one” and pray for him. I put my hand on his head and back and started breaking curses off him and calling down God’s healing power to manifest in his body. Right after that the lady got healed and Abdul asked the guy I was praying for what he needed prayer for, and he was like “nothing now, I’m all better!” and walked off. That was my major confirmation that God was using me. Also, every person except one that came up to us that night had back problems that got healed. The one who didn’t ask for back healing we prayed for anyways, just in case! Some of you will know this about me, but not many. The fact that God sent every back problem my way was a second major confirmation that God was using me. After talking to other prayer teams, I found out that some of them had one or two of all the people they prayed for that had back problems. We prayed for at least 10-15 people with back problems that night that got healed. I don’t know why God has chosen to use me in this way, but back in the States, that has been my major healing anointing – praying for people’s back problems. Almost every person I have ever prayed for with back problems has been miraculously and instantly healed. I can only think of 3 or 4 that haven’t been. So that was another major confirmation, actually God having a sense of humor I think. On a side note, on the subject of backs, my friend Virginie slipped a disc in her back carrying water for the village feeding the other day, and she was in a lot of pain and it was bulging out of her back. I didn’t know it had happened, but God led me over to pray for her one night during worship and she told me about it, and I prayed for her and God instantly healed it, bulge and pain and all. Praise God.
Back to outreach – we prayed for lots of back problems, several headaches, one person with conjunctivitis, a barren lady, someone with pain from their head down to their waist. And this next one was a really cool story. This lady came up to us who was deaf, mute, and crippled with scoliosis really bad. In fact her friend who brought her to had to tell us what was wrong with her (deaf/mute part at least). So we pray for her for a while and she starts to get a little hearing back. We then, for whatever reason, switched to praying for her back. She completely straightened up almost instantly and God completely healed her scoliosis. We kept praying and her hearing started to get better. I opened my mouth to cast out the mute spirit that was keeping her from speaking, and the craziest thing happened. I got to “In the name of Jesus, I …” and the spirit came off on me and I was absolutely unable to speak. I looked around for 3 or 4 seconds and just laughed because every time I would try to speak I couldn’t. Some of you might not think it’s very funny, but I found it quite amusing. I started praying in the Spirit in my head, and it released me, and so again I started to cast it out, and again it shut me up. I laughed for a few seconds again, and then started praying in the Spirit and it released me and I cast it out that time, and the lady could start speaking after that. She didn’t say a whole lot, but she was speaking in intelligible words and completely healed!
I also have to tell a quick story about God multiplying my money. The Mozambicans were setting up for the outreach that night and yelled at me and asked me to come up there. They said the batteries they bought were bad and they needed 150 Mets to go buy some more batteries. I looked in my bag and all I had was 60 Mets. They said that was fine, they would get what they could but it probably wouldn’t last all night. So I unzipped my bag to give them my money and started pulling out money (this was a small pocket guys) and kept pulling out 20’s until I had pulled out 140 Mets! I was like, whoa guys I don’t know where that came from, but take it! So that was pretty much all the money I had except for a few small coins. The next morning I was in my tent and opened up that pocket and found 120 Mets in there, a 100 and a 20! I checked to make sure, and I had not been reimbursed (and didn’t expect to be) – they hadn’t even told Herb about needing to get money from me. So the first stop we made on the way home I ended up spending that money buying snacks and cokes for some of the Mozambicans. The next stop I opened up the pocket to get some coins out to buy a coke, and lo and behold there was another 60 Mets in 20’s in there. Wild huh?
So that’s all I can really remember from outreach. I will try to send some funny Holy Ghost party stories sometime soon for those of you that were interested. Maybe I’ll just subject all of you to that, you just never know.
But anyways, keep us in your prayers. It has been a crazy exciting time. I had an opportunity to go on outreach again this weekend but I declined because I needed the break, and I have promised fried chicken strips and biscuits and gravy for breakfast on Saturday morning to some of my close friends here..