Doug Van Devender & Richard Cazzell
The meeting began with encouraging testimonies. Then Doug introduced the Transforming Prayer model & we proceeded to demonstrate by having individuals come forward for prayer. Richard, Joseph and David Mgomba (meeting chairman) prayed for two leaders with positive results.
Then Doug tag-teamed Richard to pray for three more. We enjoy teaching as we pray as God does such a wonderful job of ‘show & tell’.
After another wonderful lunch of Coastal favorites (Doug was honored with the gizzard today!), we broke into four large groups and prayed for about four people in each group. Again, the aim was healing prayer (a la Luke 4) and training God’s people (a la Ephesians 4) simultaneously.
As we have prayed our way across East Africa the last three weeks, we have been struck by several things. The people in general have a high level of emotional pain. Domestic chaos is common. The desire for physical healing motivates most prayer sessions. The people’s vocabulary to describe emotional activity is limited. Demonic activity is frequent.
While current ministry models are sincere and enthusiastic, they are often directed at the presenting ‘smoke’ instead of the underlying ‘fire’. Throw in multiple languages and diverse cultural norms and you have some makings for some challenging and interesting prayer encounters.
In Richard’s group all participants began by asking for physical healing. As he prayed, the Holy Spirit revealed the need for deep forgiveness. When the ladies forgave from their hearts, they not only experienced deep emotional healing, but also physical healing.
Doug had similar prayer sessions. One was particularly challenging and one of those rare instances where he had to stop and instruct the prayee to do some business with God before we continued. (I am happy to report she returned the next day having done just that and went through a transforming healing experience with God in session two.) All of the other prayer recipients reported emotional and physical healing.
We ate supper at Eden Roc hotel and watched an orange, just-after-full moon lift out of the Indian Ocean behind waving palm trees. Sometimes it is just good to be alive –although all three of us were wishing our wives were enjoying the supper with us.
After lunch Doug reviewed and pulled the week together. Then he concluded with a word from Revelation 12-14 reminding everyone time is precious and that the events which must precede The End should not discourage, frighten or impede us.
The meeting concluded with ten testimonies of what God had been doing in the lives of the participants during the teaching & ministry sessions. The majority of the testimonies were given by older Giryama women in their native tongue – which was then translated to Swahili — and finally into English.
There was an explosion of joy as the testimonies crescendo’d. One poor, rural woman’s testimony was met by cheers, applause and joyous laughter. Mama Jacquelyn enthusiastically declared, “Where else where can you attend a conference meeting and they pay your way to come, provide lodging, feed you really good food, pay for you to go home, and in between you get totally healed!”
I (Doug) am amazed at what we are seeing. The contrast in the body of Christ and leadership level on the Coast from thirty years ago (when I began ministering here) is nothing short of phenomenal.
The meetings concluded, there were reluctant goodbyes, hand-shakes and hugs in abundance as the People began to dispurse.
With Dr. Ed Smith’s assistance, we have been able to leave behind basic prayer training materials which will almost certainly serve as fruiful seed for a fresh, bountiful prayer movement in East Africa.