After leaving KC Monday, we arrived in Johannesburg, SA on Tuesday night, and were treated like Kings at the Van Straaten’s home (Burt, Isabelle, Yolandi, and Charlene–Irene). Thank you Kuzaan and Clariene for sharing such a wonderful family with us.
We arrived in Pemba (Mozambique), on Wednesday. Thank you for all your prayers (no payment required for custom on $2,000 of filters—Yes! Praise and Thanks to God. We also got 2,500 worth of filters into Zambia free of charge. Again, praise and thanks to God and for your prayers.) We went through orientation with Cindy and John (lovely servants of Jesus on the Iris Pemba base), and were invited to go into the “Bush Bush” on a village outreach the following day. We said, “Yesssss!!!” We hooked up with a YWAM Team from Harrisburg, VA (doing the Fire and Fragrance Worship Ministry), as well as 2 women from Austria, 1 young man from Denmark, and one women from Germany, another women from Seattle, and a brother from Chicago (as well as the YWAM team). All were hungry to see the Kingdom alive and well first hand. God did not disappoint.
Thursday after breakfast, Ryan and I took a long walk on the beach and went for a swim (beautiful water, perfect temperature) and after having lunch fellowship with many orphans and missionaries we loaded up the Lowry’s (flat bed trucks (no seat belts or seats, just steal plates for our bums, sorry moms–can anyone say mushy buns). With tents and gear, we headed off on our Bush adventure. That night we pitched camp at Nacosa, and set up for our outreach: sharing messages, the Jesus film and finished with praying for the sick. Several people got healed. One boy Ryan and I got to pray for received partial hearing after being deaf. The next day we saw him and he was radiant and believing for more healing.
Friday morning, (rising about 4 am) I took a glorious prayer walk preparing my heart for the day … on the way back I taught a bunch of villagers how to throw a frizbee. It was a huge event. All the children gathered around and elders and younger’s got to experience the unpredictableness of where a frizbee might land. It was a marvelous experience and ice breaker. Later that morning after breakfast we did hut to hut ministry.
My team was invited by a husband to come to his home and pray for his wife who was very sick. She wanted to receive Christ and become a believer and follow him. As a result, she had us throw away some liquid mixture she was given by the local witchdoctor, and had us burn some of the trinkets from him as well. Then we anointed her and her home with prayer and she received some improvement in symptoms but was not totally healed at that moment.
Later that day, before our usual lunch of rice and beans, we (Ryan and I and Becca, from Harrisburg) taught about 80 children how to play “duck duck goose” it too was a great ice breaker and really opened up our hearts with the children (maybe one out of 20 had some kind of shoe to wear). After duck duck goose, which had great amounts of laughter and joyous playfulness, I had an unusual experience. A little boy of about 18 months old came to me and held my hand and then sat down next to me. Then about forty more children came around me and stood in a circle all around me, and just stared at me … and I just smiled and looked back at them for quite some time, praying and asking God, “what does this mean?” Finally, after several minutes I got the thought that I should prophecy over them. I called Antonio (one of the Iris Orphan leaders, of which their were a number of really excellent leaders, amazing really) over to interpret, because He could speak excellent English, Portugese, and Malkua (the local dialect).
He suggested we move out of the sun and under the banyon tree which we did, all the while holding my little boys hand, or rather should I say he was holding mine. There I prophesied over the whole group. i called them into their destiny, to become great leaders and servants of God and to be world changers. It felt like a defining moment.
Friday night, the team decided we would go into the bush bush where we would minister the Gospel to a Muslim Village out in the middle of nowhere. On this trip I got to the back of the Lowry (truck) and stood up mostly the whole way (looking over the covered canopy), getting a panoramic bird’s eye view of the African Bush … it was glorious.
We drove off the road and down a back foot path for 20 miles or so with Bush grass growing on both sides of the path to a height of 8 to 10 feet with all kinds of Trees, and Bushes, and meadows and such in between. We arrived at the village around sunset (just a little before) and the glorious colors in the sky filtered through the trees and the tall grass, villages would open up out of no where and then disappear again. We finally arrived at our Muslim village went to meet the elders (I was asked to go along … possibly because of my gray hair). We set up shop. Gathered a crowd of about 700. Got the crowd going, shared the Jesus Film, prayed for the sicked … and packed up quickly when some of the leaders felt a hostile spirit beginning to develop among some locals, but not before Ryan got to see three people healed of deafness, and one of dumbness.
Early Saturday morning Ryan and I were asked to baptize several believers from the Nacosa village, along with the local pastor and other Iris Team Leaders in the local river. That was a real privilege. After the baptism service we packed up our gear and headed back to Pembe, in time for Lunch. Saturday being the day of rest, we had free time to hit the beach with several orphans, friends, and missionaries … it was wonderful after 3 days of Bush Bush … dirt and no showers, that got washed off our bodies in the beautiful Pemba Bay (which is right across the road from the Iris base). That night we worshipped and shared stories and met the YWAM team from Kona, Hawaii. We got prayed over, prophesied over, blessed, encouraged, challenged, and Happy in the Spirit. It was sweet.
Sunday, I woke early, (3 am) continuing to prepare my messages for Zambia. (I will be speaking 3 times,) See schedule below.* Please pray that these messages with do all the Father intends, and that Jesus will be lifted up and the Body of Believers wqill be well fed on the Word of the LORD.
After breakfast I had a short swim, got packed, met with some Kona folks, left some of my gear with Ashley and Rosalyn (thanks guys). And we went to church together … It was beautiful … great joy, and wonderful voices … rythyms and dancing. In the middle of the service they brought us forward and prayed for us and gave us African necklesses and sent us off … Albino picked us up, at 11:30 am on the dot. (He is so punctual. Both to and from the airport. Right on time!! Thanks Albino!!! BTW–Iris is exceptionally well organized!!!! What they say, they do. I highly recommend anyone half way interested to buy a ticket, come to Pemba, and check this out!!)
On Sunday afternoon, I got to share faith and culture (swapping stories and ideas) with a Chinese Business man for 3.5 hours on two different plane rides back to South Africa. Wang Lin Xi, and i had sweet fellowship. It was an amazing time of freedom to share the Gospel and the History of the Word with him. Please remember Wang in your Prayers. He is not far from the Kingdom of Heaven. (Also Ryan met a brother who invited him to come back in June to do a youth conference in Cape Town, SA, expenses paid!!).
In Johannesburg we had another fabulous meal with the Von Straaten’s Sunday evening, and an early ride to the Airport again, Monday morning. We had lunch went grocery shopping and exchanged currency and arrived in our residence, after visiting and mostly avoiding potholes the size of hippos.
I must go … my time at the internet cafe is about up.
Your Eternal Brother in Christ,