We arrived in Mombasa on Monday after a two-hour Kenya Airways delay. One of the engines on our plane made a terrible noise on starting. After two periods of repair the engine sounded a bit less distressed so we took off and obviously made it to Mombasa without mishap.
We were met by Bishop & Mrs. Emmanuel Chai and many old friends. This week marked the 30th anniversary of Doug and Betty’s first arrival in Mombasa. We retired to the White Sands hotel and crashed after a wonderful supper.
Tuesday began the first day of our 4-day equipping conference. Over the course of the week we would teach on WHAT GOD IS DOING IN THE WORLD? (The 5-Minute Bible) THE MINISTRY OF JESUS EQUIPPING GOD’S PEOPLE TO DO THE MINISTRY OF JESUS TRANSFORMING PRAYER AS A TOOL TO DO THE MINISTRY OF JESUS NEW TESTAMENT GIVING AT THE HEART OF THE BLESSED LIFE PRIDE, AMBITION, COVETEOUSNESS & LUST IN THE PEOPLE OF GOD and FORGIVENESS AS A KEY TO FREEDOM.
The numbers of attendees grew as the week progressed until there were about 600 present. The meetings were quiet with a powerful sense of the presence of God. As we progressed with group prayers, the meetings became more and more serious.
On Friday we had four demonstration prayers in front of the group, inviting people with a serious need for prayer to come forward. Our goal was to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Transforming Prayer model at doing the ministry of Jesus (Luke 4:16ff).
A woman named Mary came forward and requested prayer for the resolution of a land dispute. The moment we started to pray, the environment for prayer turned adverse: the power went off, cutting off lights and amplification; two babies started to scream; a group of children playing outside escalated in volume; noise arose from attempts to start an aging generator; and a woman in the back began to wail like a wounded animal.
Mary was so soft-spoken, no one could understand what she was saying. Nevertheless, Richard and Joseph waited patiently and eventually the Spirit touched the deep pain in Mary’s heart and began to tell her of his love. She reported the internal pain had been released. The session ended with her experiencing considerable healing and the beginnings of joy.
Immediately after our prayer with Mary, two women brought the woman who had been wailing to the front. One helped her up on the stage. The distressed woman, Purity, was blind from birth and asked to receive her sight.
When interviewed, Purity gave a horrific account of being raised in a cage after the witch doctor convinced her father that she was bewitched. When asked how she felt about her blindness and the torment in her life, she responded, “I have given up on life.”
Again, Purity was so soft-spoken that Richard and Joseph had difficulty understanding her responses. Nevertheless, the Spirit took her deep into her pain and she wailed for several minutes. Then Richard asked God to tell her what he thought about all of that. God responded by telling her of His love. Purity became peaceful for the first time.
Having received some degree of emotional healing, the team proceeded with prayer for her eye-sight. If you have read the Mission Statement of Jesus in Luke 4:16ff you will know that the Father sent Jesus to demonstrate His love in five ways:
Proclaiming Good News of salvation to the poor,
Giving sight to the blind (physical healing),
Making whole ‘crushed’ hearts,
Peeling the darkness off people, and
Inaugurating a season of God’s grace & favor.
Richard prayed a short prayer for her sight to be restored. She had tears and she began to shake her head. Then, Joseph prayed a short prayer for healing in Swahili.
Purity began to blink and look around, obviously perplexed about what was happening to her. Joseph asked her if she could see a chair (which he moved around). Little by little her sight returned and she was gradually able to see more detail and then color. After a few moments, she was able to walk unaided through the crowd back to her waiting friends.
The congregation (which had been holding their collective breath) exploded into applause and cheers. Up until the moment of her healing, it seemed like the prayer demos would be defeated by the adverse environment. But God once more made it clear that HE is one who ministers and He is unhindered by human circumstances.
The effect of seeing God do the ministry of Jesus first-hand had an eye-opening effect on the attending leaders. Many commented they were shocked to see God heal a blind person. It was apparent that her opened eyes was having an eye-opening effect on the attendees.
In the afternoon, the team prayed for two men who came with presenting issues of business matters and a serious parasitic illness. After patient prayer, God took each man to the deeper issues of emotional pain and the need to forgive others.
Both were responsive to the Spirit, prayed genuine prayers of forgiveness and experienced great emotional relief. We prayed for the physical illness of the one and he reported an internal change, but we are unsure as to what actually transpired medically.
Jamboooo! It’s me again…Lydia. First of all, can I just say how great it is to be back in Mombasa! It is a coastal paradise that has more ridiculous traffic jams and diesel fumes than NYC—which I found somewhat comforting…it’s weird I know.
After being in the cooler, wet region of Kenya, I was more than ready to embrace some sunshine and that ever-so-lovely ocean breeze. I have even been greeted by many of the resident mosquitoes, who have embraced my return…and my exotic American blood.
While Doug and my dad headed off to the Faith Victory Conference, I took off in the opposite direction to spend Tuesday and Wednesday at two orphanages; the first in Mtwapa, run by Alice Ngetsa and the other in Kilifi, directed by Josephine Kambi.
I am very pleased to report that the children are progressing beautifully. They are continuing to grow up healthy and strong, both physically and spiritually. God’s transforming power is very evident in their lives.
These children have horror stories of what that took place in their lives before some of them were even a year old. From a day old infant being buried alive to a teenage girl being used by her brother-in-law to provide him children,
I am just getting a glimpse at God’s compassion and deep love for the hopeless, and His demand for justice. Just after they told me these stories, they were singing of God’s goodness and their thankfulness for His son, Jesus. Are you kidding me??
I even heard one child pray, “Thank you Jesus for sending Lydia to us.”…yeah, I totally cried. I’ve never seen a place of such deep brokenness be full of so much joy. For the entirety of each day, I laughed and played and danced with the kids. I smiled so much that my cheeks literally were hurting by the time I returned to the hotel.
Yesterday we traveled to Kilifi (up the coast) to visit the Sarahfina Orphans home and deliver their backpacks that friends had given money to buy. Josephine Kambi (the director) and about 20 children welcomed us.
The kids are so bright and happy out of proportion to the suffering and loss they have experienced in their lives. They sang and danced and recited Bible verses they have chosen to memorize.
We were also able to deliver 50 children’s backpacks provided by friends in Fort Smith to the children at both orphanges. Richard and Lydia burned the night oil to personalize each pack and the kids were estatic at their new personal possessions. A small gift goes a long way.
This a.m. (Sunday) Richard preached at Faith Victory in the early English service kindness and giving as Christian virtues. I (Doug) preached in the Swahili service, reporting on the miraculous work of Christ the past two years in Tanzania. God ministered his desire that all become more active in sharing their faith and in living lives of reconciliation.
In between services, we had a very special dedication of a new building on the church property which was just built thanks to friends at Central Christian Church in Fort Smith. The building will serve a two-fold purpose of being a “feeding school” throughout the week, and providing Sunday school class space on the weekend. It was an anointed celebration.
Tomorrow we leave the hotel at 4 a.m. to catch a 5:30 flight to Nairobi. From there we drive into Maasai-land for a two-day conference with a group of young Maasai Christians. We are encouraged by the Spirit to expect God’s presence and for Jesus’ marvelous ministry to continue