AFRICA REPORT — Kisumu July 23-25, 2010

Doug Van Devender & Richard Cazzell

FRIDAY.

Friday was a split day for the team. Richard and Joseph stayed in Kakamega to do small group prayers to climax that Conference. Doug and Ben raced over the potholes and down the mountain to start the Kisumu Conference.

 We were hosted by Peter and Agnus Wafula at GFE Joy Celebration Center. This is a church plant less than a year old in a city well over 1 million people on Lake Victoria. Kisumu is a bustling economic center which is characterized by great spiritual darkness.

The meeting began late, but Doug was able to complete the first three teaching sessions: The Big Story: What God is Doing in the World; Doing the Ministry of Jesus; and Equipping God’s People to Do the Ministry of Jesus. The group of fifty or so leaders listened attentively, though I had some concern they were not accepting what was taught.

Richard and Joseph arrived at closing time and we retired to the small Hotel Dewchurch Drive. (Very nice – mattresses on the beds and a small a.c. unit in the wall. O the luxury! Abundant mosquitoes provided at no additional charge.)

Richard reported on their prayer times. Joseph prayed for five men in his group with good results. Richard prayed for the women who proved him a wonderful educational experience.

SATURDAY. 

The Kisumu meeting continued with a brief “cookie party” to celebrate Richard’s 59th birthday. (Try as he might, he can’t catch me.)

Richard taught on Forgiveness. I (Doug) introduced the Transforming Prayer model. Then we broke into three small groups. I led the women’s group. Joseph took the pastors. Richard took the other participants.

All reports from the prayer sessions were excellent. There were common themes: great emotional pain; woundedness from childhood; domestic confusion and breakdown; and serious economic and health issues.

Prayer here is challenging: a high level of noise from the street, crying babies, generator noise, soft-spoken participants, and people movement. Still, the people were very intent, and quite frankly, the desperation level in most overrode the distractions.

Doug – in my group most of the presenting issues had to do with physical illnesses: malaria, chronic typhoid and HIV, among others.

As we prayed God began to go deeper, and issues of rejection, betrayal and bitterness emerged. As each person grappled with the issue of forgiveness, the Holy Spirit broke through. Emotional and — it appeared – physical healing flowed.

Two of the women were born again after meeting Jesus in prayer. (NOTE: They came to church Sunday a.m. filled with joy and looking younger and healthier.)

Richard – I had five guys with serious relationship issues. God knocked every problem out-of-the-park, each person breaking through to forgiveness. Great emotional healing was reported. (Sunday they were all glowing with joy.)

The Conference ended with the people pleading for full Transforming Prayer training in order to implement the prayer model on a wide scale. As the Pastor Peter said, “We have been ministering for years to the smoke instead of finding out where the fire is and dealing with that. Now we know how to find the fire!”

SUNDAY.

We got an early start with a visit to the Covenant of Peace Church buried in a slum behind an open African market. Pastor and Mrs. George and Mary Gache welcomed us to their 7:30 a.m. service. After exuberant worship, Doug spoke on The Prodigal Son in Luke 15 and had a group prayer session to give God an opportunity to speak directly to the issue of the second son’s attitude.  He also prayed for freedom as the People repented of that lovelessness.

Two testimonies of God’s miraculous work during the week followed, and then Richard gave an excellent word about laying down your life for the brethren and embracing a humility that does not require man’s recognition.

Then we hurried over to Peter’s Church.

During the first hour we prayed for a young man who been born again a week earlier. He was extremely oppressed spiritually and asked for prayer. The prayer situation was almost impossible — a generator running next to us, the church sound system blaring full-on, traffic banging through potholes, with the added ambience of nearby Africa latrines.

But God was not in the least inhibited. The session was extremely intense as God brought to the surface deep emotional pain and exposed the effects of a lifetime of darkness. After an hour, the young man was exhausted, but reported he was peaceful and — for the first time –was filled with hope for the future.

So, back to the church service where the 3 ½ hour meeting continued. Guest contemporary musicians (led by ‘Porcupine’) taught the church a couple of new songs which they sang with gusto. Richard spoke briefly (a most memorable happening) on Ephesians 5:22. Then Doug told the story of Jonah and made current applications.

Doug and Joseph closed the meeting by praying for God to reveal residual darkness in the people’s hearts which needed to be acknowledged and off-loaded. Half the congregation rose for a time of serious prayer. At the end, a young woman came forward asking to be saved.

When we arrived back at the hotel, Doug had the impression our cab driver, James, was very close to giving his life to Jesus. So, Joseph and I asked him if that were true? He said he had been considering being born again. So, we prayed with him in the hotel parking lot, and it seems that eternal transaction did in fact occur!

In the evening, Peter and Agnus joined us for a time of prayer. They reported the ministry to be very productive for them, and a wonderful time of fellowship was had over supper.

Tomorrow – a run to the airport – flight to Nairobi – flight to Mombasa – drive to Malindi. Collapse and reboot for the five-day Coast Leadership Conference.

Thanks for your prayers. They are effective and we expect them to have a lasting impact on the people of East Africa.   

 More Tuesday evening.

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