ON TO MUMIAS–July 19, 2012
Our second Pastors Conference began today in the town of Mumias, specifically in the market center of Shibali (rocky place). Mumias is named after the Muslim King Mumia who ruled this area in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He became wealthy, powerful and famous by selling the local people to Arab slave traders.
Even today there is a recognizable ‘darkness’ over this area characterized by spirits of cruelty, lust, greed and witchcraft. God is telling us he intends to set the pastors free from these intimidating spiritual influences and then through them to set the area free from spiritual and religious bondage.
More than 50 church leaders welcomed us. The host church is buried in a ram shackled market area that reminds us of Dodge City, Kansas in the 1870s. (Just lots of motorcycles instead of horses.) The small church building is constructed of old metal sheets and canvas pieces semi-sheltering an uneven dirt floor.
The meeting began with celebrative worship. We were welcomed and I (Doug) taught first–our foundational material on WHAT IS GOD DOING IN THE WORLD? and UNDERSTANDING THE MINISTRY OFJESUS.
After a leisurely 90 minute lunch of rice, boiled potatoes, and chewy beef (I think) chunks, Richard taught on EQUIPPING ALL OF GOD’S PEOPLE TO DO THE MINISTRY OF JESUS.
The first day of every conference begins with polite skepticism among the participants. You can see it on their faces: Who are these strange white guys and what in the world could they possibly say to us that we would find meaningful?
But it isn’t long before the Holy Spirit breaks through and the people enthusiastically engage the message God has sent us to deliver.
At noon the host pastor said, “Most of the short-term missionaries we have met in the past are tourists visiting churches and trying to help out a bit. These guys are NOT tourists! They have come bringing a serious word from God for us.” Nice complement and true.
To cap the meeting, we sent them out with homework: tonight, do business with Jesus—repent of YOUR ministry—so that you can full take up the ministry of JESUS.
The testimonies tomorrow will tell us what has happened in their conversations with Jesus during the night.
All in all, this was a very productive and positive first day. We are very curious to see what God has in store for us tomorrow (Friday).