THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING

The Holy Spirit was present in the classes this week:  saving, healing, delivering, speaking, touching, enlightening, directing and transforming. Everyone appeared to move up a level in their awareness of God and in their relationship with him.

One of the ways to evaluate our training efforts is invite student testimonies of the transforming work of God’s Spirit in their lives.

Following are excerpts from several testimonies:

ABRAHAM reported that he comes from a church that does not much regard the Holy Spirit. During the week, his “eyes were opened” to a new view of Scripture and a new view of the Spirit. As he shared each day’s experience with his wife, they began to experience a change. “I am praying with my wife (in a new way). The Holy Spirit is now in our house. The Holy Spirit is now with us. I am so thankful.”

BENARD said he almost didn’t come to school this week, but at the last minute did. On Tuesday when Doug prayed for him individually, God spoke to him, lifting off chronic depression and filling him with a spirit of joy which has continued all week. God assures him he will be filled with joy no matter what happens in the future.

DAVID reported that he has long taught on the Holy Spirit as a life message. But as we went through the teachings this week, God began to unleash things in his heart and into his wife’s. “The teachings have made a mark in my life and will make a mark in the lives I teach. This week has turned my life around—I am going through the Bible examining each text on the Holy Spirit. I can already see a change in my life and in my congregation.”

JOHN (champion marathon runner) told us that all his life people have naturally followed him (no pun intended). This has carried over into church youth ministry. But he has struggled to understand the Bible and to understand his proper role in ministry. “I have been overwhelmed in my life.” But, he went on to say, confusion had lifted during the week and he was beginning to see clearly God’s place for him in ministry.

MARY BAHATI (wife of Bishop Ben Bahati) told of a Transforming Prayer session she had with Richard and Doug some months past. During that session God identified the root of a great bitterness in her life, and Jesus enabled her to forgive as never before. Now she is enjoying life and ministry in positive way. “God can use anyone, anywhere, anytime. Keep learning. The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth.”

PHYLISTIA first recalled what happened when Doug prayed for her on Tuesday. Although she had not shared anything with him, Doug prayed by word of knowledge to reveal her bitterness toward those who had severely hurt her in the past. She reported a breakthrough (as she forgave). She reported that during the week she had a vision of Jesus on the cross dispensing water—then she saw the cross move into our class where Jesus had been looking down on us all week as the teachings were dispensed.

PASTOR GODFREY told how he took what he was learning about Transforming Prayer home each night to share with his wife. One evening she told him of a sick neighbor, so they went to pray for her. “I started to pray for her as I would normally by loudly rebuking the demons of sickness. But then I remembered what I was learning about dealing with demons by finding the root of the problem.” He decided to try the new prayer model. They quietly talked and prayed with the neighbor until a serious issue was discovered and resolved in prayer. The woman’s physical illness completely left her.

JOSEPHAT reported that God has changed him during the week. An inner conflict about ministry was resolved. Richard’s message on forgiveness impacted him. And Lydia’s encouragement to welcome the Spirit without fear opened the way for God’s peace and joy to fill him. As a bonus, in the night he was released with a prayer language.

ROBAI told how she had been falsely imprisoned for two years. She lost her job and her finances. Her children were badly hurt. Legal recourse did not seem the way to go. She was left with great bitterness toward the policeman who had arrested her. But as Doug prayed for one of the other students in a demo prayer, she heard the Holy Spirit speaking to her as well. She reported the burden was pulled out of her spirit and by midnight was completely gone. “Now I can’t even remember the pain!”

When asked how she would feel if she encountered the policeman toward whom she had had such bitterness, she replied, “I would shake his hand and lead him to Jesus.”

GEOFFREY told that God had done a tremendous work in his life during the week. He decided to come because “Doug is a fine teacher – slow and quiet.” As a result of the spiritual gifts inventory, he now has confidence he is in the right place in ministry. He also reported the healing of a great inner pain. He grew up in a chaotic family situation: seven children, each from a different father. During Transforming Prayer he was able to forgive his parents and the pain left.

GEORGE reported that when Doug prayed for him to receive an impartation of the Spirit, he experienced a change in his prayer life. That evening he prayed on his knees for what he thought was 30 minutes only to discover hours had passed and he had missed supper! That experience was continuing, and he reported with joy he had received a prayer language. “I am refreshed.”

PASTOR JOSEPH OMONDI (Director of the Bible School) told the students how Transforming Prayer has changed his ministry. He told them of encountering a man who was on the way to murder his wife! The man was fed up with trying to live with her.  Joseph asked the man if he could pray for him before he killed his wife. The man agreed, but made it clear that prayer would not deter him.

As Joseph prayed, the Holy Spirit spoke to the man, saying, “Your wife is not the problem with your marriage. You are.” The man was so impacted, that he allowed Joseph to share the Gospel and committed his life to Christ on the spot. (The man went home and told his wife the whole story! Joseph and his wife Carin visited the couple and the wife also embraced Christ. Outcome of a Transforming Prayer encounter:  A new Christian home instead of a dead woman and a man on Death row.)

JOSEPHINE told of growing up in a Muslim family. She had a deep desire to know God. So much so, that as a young person she made the pilgrimage to Mecca three times. In the end, she came back bitterly disappointed, having discovered that there was no God in Mecca with whom to have relationship.

A Christian friend told her how she could have relationship with God through Jesus and his Spirit and she was saved. Since then, she has planted several churches, initiated a significant women’s ministry in a large prison and is sacrificially caring for nearly 30 orphans and abandoned children.

During one class Doug was demonstrating how to minister in the gifts of the Spirit. By word of knowledge, Doug spoke that someone in the class had an internal illness—something they may not have realized they had until now.

Josephine responded, saying she had had a dream a few nights previously in which she was told she had something wrong in her left side (a cyst?). She awoke and tuned in to a pain in her side that she had been ignoring.

As we prayed – in three segments – the pain diminished and then stopped. By the end of the week she was able to report all symptoms were gone.

I am happy to tell you God is alive and well. His Spirit is present and powerful–as much as he has ever been. The Spirit of Jesus is saving, healing, delivering, speaking, touching, enlightening, directing and transforming.

God invites you to welcome his Spirit. To discern what his Spirit is doing.  To agree with his Spirit. To cooperate with his Spirit.

And in so doing, you will surely find yourself each day “doing the Jesus stuff with Jesus” and “will eventually see even greater things” as you walk by his Spirit.

Thank you Holy Spirit!

Posted in East Africa Ministry July 2012 | Leave a comment

THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES TO SCHOOL

This week I (Doug) – with the assistance of Richard and Lydia – taught two classes in the Global Field Evangelism Bible School in Eldoret, Kenya.

BISHOP BEN BAHATI OPENS CLASS

Forty eager students tackled two challenging subjects: THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS AND THE SPIRIT WHO GIVES THEM and INTRODUCTION TO TRANSFORMING PRAYER.

The students come from Kenya, Tanzania, Congo and Uganda. About one third of the class is women. Most come from very poor socio-economic backgrounds, but nearly all are intellectually sharp and full-on passionate lovers of Jesus.

The first class was designed to give a Biblical overview of the triune God whom we worship; the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament; the Spirit in the life of Jesus; and the Spirit in the life of the Christian community.

DOUG TEACHING ON THE HOLY SPIRIT

We focused on the four primary lists of “the spiritual gifts” in the New Testament:

The 7 Motivational Gifts (Bill Gothard) in Romans 12:1-8

The 9 Manifestations of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:7-1

The 8 Ministries of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:27-30, and

The 5-Fold (or 4-fold) Gifts of Leaders in Ephesians 4:11.

In a majority of writings on the spiritual gifts, these lists are merged. But in fact, each is a separate, distinct list. I explained how each list coordinates with and supplements the others.

STUDENTS

We had a great time doing a spiritual gifts inventory (Romans 12:1-8) on the 7 Motivational Gifts. We looked at the positive and negative ways these gifts manifest in the life of a Christian.

Many commented that the results helped them better understand their life issues and their spiritual calling.

We discussed how the ‘gifts’ are the tools God provides for us to do the ministry of Jesus. We emphasized that “apart from the Holy Spirit we can do nothing”. That was the life-declaration of Jesus and is necessarily the template for our lives and spiritual activities.

We also emphasized the practical aspect of living a life of humility (Phil 2:5-8) in the Spirit (Romans 8). Our goal (in the language of John Wimber) is to live “naturally supernatural lives.” We showed how the Spirit downloads into God’s People the CHARACTER of Jesus as well as the COMPETENCIES of Jesus.

MORE STUDENTS

We tried to be practical in each matter, explaining how the presence and power of the Spirit are essential to effective worship, prayer, witness and ministry — “apart from the Holy Spirit we can do nothing”.

We discussed how life in the Spirit begins in each individual believer but necessarily merges into the life of God’s People – that being where we find our functional places in “the Body” of Christ.

We wrapped everything in the Greatest Gifts: Faith, Hope and Love. Faith enables us to develop and maintain relationship with the invisible God—Hope (the certainty of what lies ahead for those “in Christ”) enables us to persevere with grace through suffering and danger—Divine Love the distinctive attribute that sets our faith apart from and above all others.

Concluding, we gave the class members permission to go forth and “do the Jesus stuff”. After all, no one who has been born again and filled with the Spirit of God can be released from this responsibility nor can they be denied this privilege!

LYDIA ENCOURAGES THE CLASS TO WELCOME THE HOLY SPIRIT WITHOUT FEAR

“Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing….” Jesus – John 14:12a.

THE AFTERNOON CLASS was an introduction to Transforming Prayer. Our prayer model is a practical application of the principles developed by Dr. Ed Smith whose landmark training is available through www.theophosticprayer.com.

Transforming Prayer enables trained Christians to practically and more easily do the ministry of Jesus • Evangelizing the poor • Healing the physically sick • Healing wounded hearts • Peeling the darkness off the oppressed, and • Demonstrating that God’s grace and favor are “in season”. Jesus – Luke 4:18ff.

RICHARD & JOSEPH OMONDI LEAD DEMO PRAYER

And, we are able to demonstrate how this ministry is quite do-able in a wide variety of life settings: • In the Workplace & Business settings • Prisons • Hospitals • Travel venues: hotels, airplanes, restaurants • In Casual conversation • Even in church!

Although time limitations precluded a full, formal training, we were able to do a number of demonstration prayers in front of the class. Each participant experienced the presence of Jesus and came away with some definitive healing.

MARY BAHATI DISMISSES THE BIBLE SCHOOL WITH EXPRESSIONS OF LOVE

One young man – new to the program – encountered the resurrected Jesus for the first time in a Transforming Prayer session in front of the class and was born again. In group prayer, many students reported an encounter with the living Christ that refreshed and re-focused them for life and ministry.

A FINAL NOTE: Much ministry education in America and in Africa is academics-oriented: i.e., the transmission of information. This approach to theological education has two deficiencies: • Failure to match spiritual formation with academic achievement, and • Failure to provide hands-on training in the competencies of Jesus.

As a result, many students finish their education with a information and a certificate while still lacking the spiritual maturity and practical competencies required to  properly do the ministry of Jesus and to functionally equip God’s People to do likewise.

So, in all that we did this week, we concentrated on properly wedding • Academic progress • Spiritual formation, and • Ministry sk

DEAN WYCLIFF PRESENTS AN APPRECIATION GIFT TO DOUG

ills.

The swelling presence and power of God’s Spirit from Monday to Friday dramatically testified to God’s favor on this effort. We were all deeply affected.

Thank you, Holy Spirit!

 

OUR CLASS

Posted in East Africa Ministry July 2012, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“ON A JET PLANE” TO KENYA

(Doug)

I met Richard and Lydia Cazzell in Dallas and we flew out for Kenya on July 4th. The flight to Amsterdam was uncomfortable and tedious. Coach seats these days are designed to elicit a confession from the most hardened criminal.

We caught a nice breakfast in Amsterdam before boarding our flight for Nairobi.

A few hours into that flight, a passenger began to have a severe nose-bleed. Four doctors tried unsuccessfully to stop it and the man appeared to be dying.  Richard and I went and prayed for him as he was stabilized enough to be carried to a seat.

All that to say, we made an emergency landing in Cairo where the man was offloaded for transport to a hospital. We learned later that he had survived the ordeal, but we got into Nairobi two hours late and didn’t get to bed until 2 a.m. Friday the 6th.

Friday afternoon we had a ‘divine appointment’ with a missionary from Tanzania at the

METHODIST GUEST HOUSE

Methodist Guest House – Steve Lyons – who gave us a two hour orientation into their ministry of evangelism. They tell   37 narrative stories which take the listener from Creation to Christ. They are having great success among people groups that ordinarily resist a conventional Gospel presentation. So looks like we’ll soon have another arrow in our ministry quiver.

On Saturday we had meetings with three ministries with which we have had long relationships regarding future joint ministry activities. One looks especially promising, so it was a productive day.

MEETING WITH LONG-TIME MINISTRY FRIEND EMMANUEL CHAI

 

On Sunday we each went to a different church to preach.

After an hour drive through Nairobi, I arrived at the GFE Spiritual Life Center buried in a wretched slum in the Tassia area.  Tassia is wedged between the Nairobi-Mombasa highway (to the north) and the Nairobi Game Park (to the south).

KIDS AT CHURCH

I was met by Harrison and Christina Mmaitsi who have pioneered a dozen congregations amid the urban squalor. Harrison works full-time in evangelism and leadership training. Christina works as a customer service rep for a regional airline.

The church building is a ramshackled metal building with a thin veneer cement floor. Some 150 worshippers were packed into the 3rd service of the morning when I arrived. The worship was exuberant and the presence of God in the meeting was apparent. I always enjoy the worship hear. There is such a spirit of joy—the music rocks—the people clap and shout and dance—and everyone participates.

The visitors were welcomed with hugs and kisses, and then my turn came to speak. I introduced myself, taught the “5 Minute Bible” and then ministered to the emotional pain in the people. Africans live with a high level of emotional pain, but they talk little about it and seem to have limited language to do so. Perhaps the lack of a ready remedy makes it pointless to try.

Afterward I ate lunch with the pastors. We discussed their hopes for constructing their own building and a primary school. Although the couple has very little financial income, they have managed to open a ‘feeding school’ where they do pre-school education with 50 slum kids and feed them one meal a day. Several of the kids are surviving on this one meal. When funds are available, they plan to go to twice daily feedings and increase the number of children they are able to care for.

After a side trip to a local housing project with our host Ben Bahati, we arrived at the airport with one minute to spare to catch our flight to Eldoret. As soon as we got in the hotel Sirikwa, we hit the hay, knowing we’d be up at 5:30 a.m. Monday to prepare for the first day of the Bible School.

It’s good to be here.

(Lydia)

It’s hard to believe that a year has already passed and now I find myself back in Kenya for yet another God-breathed adventure. I am a blessed woman. With each conversation I have, whether around the dinner table, in the car, or at the church or an orphanage, I recognize even more how blessed I truly am.

 

SUPPER WITH WILLIE AND DADDY OWEN

The high caliber of people that I am constantly surrounded by continues to blow me away. Their otherworldly passion and extreme determination to see the lost found and God’s kingdom established on earth is just…wow – there are no words. I soak it all in, learning from each person that I encounter.

Saturday night, while having dinner with the world-changing Mambeleos, my dad nonchalantly tells me that Ben Bahati has arranged for me to preach the next morning during a GFE church’s Sunday service.

Most people would freak at this moment, being unprepared and all; however, I have learned to be thankful for just an hour’s notice let alone a full night heads-up that I will be preaching. After dinner, I simply prayed for God to speak to me and speak through me. God, being the kind gentleman that He is, granted me my request and within an hour and a half I had my sermon ready.

The following morning, Ben and I took off in the opposite direction of Pop and Doug, out of Nairobi just past the national park and to a small town that I, unfortunately, cannot remember the name of.

When we arrived at the church, Ben warmed up the (tiny) crowd with a couple of his original songs, then introduced me and I began to preach the Word God gave me. The people were very enthusiastic and received the Word. Forty minutes later, 2 girls gave their hearts to Jesus and 7 people received prayer.

Being from a large American church, it is refreshing to experience the Spirit of God move in such a powerful yet uncomplicated way within a simple church of 25. One thing I have seen is that at the core of all humanity across the Earth, we all crave the same thing – “For He has set eternity in the hearts of man.” Ecclesiastes 3:11.

Bwana Asifwe. Praise the Lord.

(Richard)

The flight to Kenya was another test of physical endurance which is just a requirement to reach the prize, not unlike hiking up a mountainside at 8000’ elevation to shoot a bull elk.

We had a nice 3-day stay in Nairobi at the Methodist Guest House (MGH) which was a large compound with a nice restaurant and decent internet.  We all “jet lagged” through Friday by sleeping until 2:30 P.M.  That meant we cat napped through Friday night and yawned our way through 3 separate meetings with friends on Saturday.  Fortunately we crashed Saturday night and got some really nice sleep.

Friday night we had a very nice dinner at a restaurant in the Westlands shopping mall with Daddy Owen and Willie Andabwa plus other friends.  Daddy’s Christian music ministry has propelled into real fame throughout Kenya, although he remains one of the most humble guys you’ll ever meet.

A waitress recognized him from music videos that are played frequently on national television, and got his autograph.  It’s nice to know these Christian entertainers, and exciting to see their impact.

SUPPER WITH ALBERT AND NANCY

The Saturday meetings started with breakfast with Nancy & Albert Mulemi who pastor Faith Chapel church in Nairobi.  We are doing a pastor’s conference with them in Webuye, western Kenya, on our final 3 days in the country.

A little before lunch we met with our long-time ministry partner Bishop Emmanuel Chai from Mombasa along with two leaders of his church, Simon Menza and Anderson Musyoka.  At supper we had George & Susan Mambeleo over to MGH to dine with us.  George is getting gray hair in his beard but is still travelling all over Africa and Asia training pastors and leaders with Life Ministries International.

Sunday morning Bishop Ben Bahati met us for breakfast at MGH, and we loaded our luggage in one of his GFE vans and smiled as Joseph Simiyu drove on off to Eldoret with our stuff.  Ben took Lydia to one church to preach, and took Doug to another to preach.

FAITH CHAPEL - A TYPICAL KENYA CHURCH STRUCTURE

I remained at MGH until 11:30 when Albert Mulemi picked me up to preach in his church.  He had suggested that I teach about “the family as a Christian witness”, which after praying about it, decided to go with that.  The message was a curious combo of raising kids according to the Book (Ephesians 6:1), coupled with doing the Jesus stuff found in Ephesians 4:12 and Luke 4.

Being that this was the church’s second service for the day, coupled with my finishing in 55 minutes (including the Swahili translation), the group received the message really well.  Albert then led a powerful prayer time.

THE FAITH CHAPEL FOLKS

 

Of course I had a lovely Kenyan lunch after the service and then greeted all the kids in the church with some sweets that Albert had bought.  By 3:30 we were off to Jomo Kenyatta airport where I bought Jetlink airline tickets for our flight to Eldoret.

While waiting for Lydia and Doug to arrive I had a restful time sitting on a sidewalk with a bottle of water enjoying a gentle cool breeze like we might see in early November in Arkansas. The temperature was about 67.

(Doug)

The real work begins Monday morning at the Bible School, and we’re ready to jump in.

Posted in East Africa Ministry July 2012 | Leave a comment

FINAL JESUS SIGHTINGS IN KENYA & HOME – January 17, 2012

The GOSPEL OF JOHN CLASS concluded on Friday afternoon and there was a natural tendency for me to start to relax. But the Holy Spirit encouraged me to stay focused and to prepare for teaching and ministry in two churches on Sunday.

The second church in which I taught was the Fountain of Worship Center in Langus slum. The sprawling commercial and squatter area outside Eldoret, Kenya is impoverished, crowded, crime-ridden, dirty and dangerous.

God Invades Langus Slum

Three years ago a disputed national Presidential election exploded into tribal violence and genocide in several areas of Kenya. One of the worst places was Langus slum where people from local tribes hunted down and murdered tribal minorities who had immigrated into the area.

The open field adjacent to the church was used as the killing ground. Many people were butchered—their bodies burned—their decapitated heads displayed on the church’s picket fence. Many other minorities were driven from Langus.

Into that chaos the Global Field Evangelism team rushed, setting up public worship events in the midst of the violence.

Pastors Joseph and Phelis Mbae

Under grave threat to their own lives, the young men and women conducted lengthy outdoor praise and worship sessions.

Eventually the violence lessened. But the church property was abandoned as its members and leadership fled for their lives.

A young ministry couple named Joseph and Phelis Mbaye also prepared to leave the area. But the Holy Spirit intervened, telling them to use the empty building to evangelize, worship and pray in the smoldering aftermath of the month-long violence.

WORSHIP AT FOUNNTAIN OF WORSHIP

So they stayed in Langus with little security and even less financial support.  With love and faithfulness they now pastor about 75 people.  Through their devotion, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is taking root in difficult and bloody ground.

Sunday I preached at Fountain of Worship Center. The small building is constructed of rough poles covered with used metal sheets. The floor is dirt. The people are grindingly poor.

JESUS STAKES OUT HIS CLAIM IN LANGUS

But their spirits are rich in Christ. They welcomed our team with love and their voices were filled with joy as they worshipped in the presence of God. I truly enjoyed the lengthy praise time and was sorry when it ended.

At the last moment, the Spirit instructed me to teach on “The 7 Signs of Jesus” in the GOSPEL of JOHN.  The Apostle John selected those seven miraculous works of Jesus from among many to reveal the divine nature of Jesus.

About half way through the teaching (which the people received enthusiastically), the Spirit directed my attention to a woman with a crippled leg.

Patrick Does a Great Job Interpreting the "7 Signs of Jesus"

He instructed me to pray for her. I made a mental note to do so at the conclusion of the teaching.  A few moments later, the Spirit told me that my moment of opportunity to pray for this woman was passing.

So I stopped teaching and asked her if she would want us to pray for her. She said yes, so I met her in front of the platform with my interpreter.

I wondered if God intended to heal her leg. But as I listened, my instructions were to pray in such a way that God himself would speak a needed word to Mary.

This I did and in the quietness of the moment. God did speak to her and she began to cry quietly. She told us she felt peaceful and that God had assured her that everything would be alright.

I finished teaching and there were other prayers and an offering (money, food and other items being placed in a big bucket at the altar).

After the service the pastor and his wife expressed their amazement at the accuracy of the ministry to Mary.

Turns out her eight year old son had gone missing. She had been verging on an emotional collapse for two weeks while the church helped her search for the missing boy.

When we prayed, Mary experienced peace for the first time in two weeks and she received the assurance that God had not abandoned her. We are still praying for the return of her son.

When God brings Joseph and Pelis (and Mary) to your thinking, please pray for them. They are in a pitched battle for the eternal souls of the people of Langus–with very limited resources.

That afternoon I started the long trip home. I flew to Nairobi on a small commuter jet. Then a midnight British Airways 777 for eight and one-half hours to London. A four hour transfer, a nearly ten hour flight on an American Airline 777 to Dallas. Another three hour

Only 21 Hours on 4 Flights to Reach Home!

transfer and a one hour flight and I was finally in Little Rock.

When I got out of bed this morning, Betty asked me how I was doing. I told her I felt like every inch of my body had been pounded with large fish.

But my enthusiasm is high as I reflect on the stupendous way the Lord began 2012 and as I consider the best is yet to come.

I know many of you prayed for me the past few weeks. Your prayers provided a secure spiritual covering over this entire process.

The meetings were infused with God’s presence, lives were transformed, people were healed and a perceived threat to my safety was easily averted.

God’s grace was in abundant supply and I am one of the recipients of his grace.

Your financial giving provided the logistical platform on which God did what only God can do. I couldn’t do this without you.

Thanks to each one of you.

BONUS TESTIMONY:

PASTOR SHADRACH Doug & Bishop Ben Bahati

 

I didn’t want to finish without sharing the closing day testimony of Pastor Shadrach (who cheerfully reminded me that his name comes from the man in The Book of Daniel who was FIRST to enter the King’s fiery furnace—and survive!) Shadrach is a former military man who is bright, disciplined and bold.

He told the class that earlier in the week he left class for home after I taught on “Doing the Ministry of Jesus”. On the way, God told him not to go directly home, but to find a place to meditate on the day’s lesson and to read passages in JOHN for the next day.

He spotted a nice shade tree in front of a gas station where he sat down to meditate on ‘doing the ministry of Jesus’.

After a while, a large cross-country bus packed with people pulled into the station. The driver got out to run an errand. The Spirit said to Shadrach, “This is an opportunity to do the Jesus stuff.”

So he got up, entered the bus and introduced himself to the passengers. He asked if anyone would object if he shared with them about Jesus. No one did. So he preached a short, powerful message on the JESUS WHO IS.

After which three people gave their lives to Jesus.

The pastor prayed for them, the passengers pressed a small offering on him, the driver returned, Shadrach went back to his tree and the bus proceeded to Nairobi with three new citizens of God Country.

Jesus calls us his FRIENDS—those of us who love and obey him—and he daily invites us to join him in the work he is always doing around us.

I hope you will be available to him. I hope you will be active in doing the Jesus stuff along with Jesus.

And…

I hope you will enjoy The Great Adventure as much as Shadrach and I do.

 

(a final Trip PS to follow)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in East Africa Ministry Jan 2012, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

JESUS GETS BIGGER – The Jesus of the Gospel of John Emerges – January 15, 2012

The Teacher Takes a Break

For five days we plunged into the Gospel of John to answer two questions:

Who is the JESUS WHO IS? and

Why does the correct answer to that question matter?

As we moved deeper into JOHN—section by section and theme by theme—something began to happen to our perception of Jesus. And to our faith. And to our lives.

Everyone has some idea of who Jesus is. That perception of Jesus is the Jesus to whom we relate. But none of us has fully comprehended the JESUS WHO IS. Our faith and practice are thus limited to the caricature in our imagination.

As the week progressed, the JESUS WHO IS began to emerge out of the fog of our false and incomplete notions of Jesus.

After we went through the seven I AM sayings of Jesus—by which Jesus identifies himself

Pastor Samuel from Embu (Mt. Kenya)

with the GOD of Moses and burning bush—one pastor blurted out, “I have known and preached Jesus as our healer and provider. Now I am seeing…he is my GOD!”

Like Thomas before him who actually walked with Jesus for 3 ½ years, there came that moment of brilliant revelation of the JESUS WHO IS:

  • The Son of GOD who created the universe (John 1:1ff);
  • The Son of Man whom the Ancient of Days entrusts His absolute authority & power over all (Dan 7:16ff);
  • The Lamb of GOD who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29ff);
  • The Messiah, GOD’s Anointed One, who only does what he sees the Father doing and only speaks the words the Father has given him to say. (John 7 – 8)

On and on goes the revelation of the JESUS WHO IS.

  • I and the Father are one.
  • Before Abraham was, I AM.
  • My kingdom is not of this world.
  • I AM the way, the truth and the life—no one can come to GOD without passing through me.
  • I AM the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will never die.
  • Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you do not have life in you!

Jesus is Getting BIGGER!

Each morning I asked the students, “Does Jesus look a little different today from yesterday?” Each morning the answer was, “Yes, he is getting BIGGER!”

On and on GOD’s Word enlarged and clarified our perception of the JESUS WHO IS. But something more was happening. The gradual transformation taking place was more than an intellectual upgrade.

On Friday one of the pastors testified, “When I came into class on Monday, I (was a bit surprised) to experience the presence of GOD. And each day as we have discovered more and more about the JESUS WHO IS, the presence of the Lord has become stronger and stronger. Until this room is now filled with the presence of GOD.”

This Room is Filled with the Holy Spirit

 

We prayed as well as taught.

An older pastor reported that he had suffered a serious shoulder injury thirty years before that left his arm crippled. After several years he heard the Gospel and was born again, at which time GOD restored the use of his arm.

But, he reported, he still experienced considerable pain and was presently in pain.

So I ask if there were any students who could feel the mercy of GOD rising in them for this man’s healing? Three did. I asked them to come forward and pray quietly for his healing which they did.

Shoulder Pain Gone After 28 Years!

Within five minutes the man reported the disappearance of his pain. Each day we would ask him how his shoulder was doing and he reported each day that he had full motion without any pain.

7 Month Old Son Healed After Doctors Gave Up

A church planter from Tanzania reported after class on Monday that his seven month old son was in the hospital in Eldoret in very serious condition.

The boy had been suffering for a month with a GI infection that had resisted all known treatments (tried in three different hospitals). The child was in danger of dying from the effects of chronic nausea and dysentery.

Three days before, the doctors had admitted defeat and told the mother that there was nothing remaining to be done medically. The minister asked me to go to the hospital with him to pray for his son.

But even as he asked me, the Holy Spirit told me, No. So, I explained that I was not supposed to go, but we should in our separate places that evening pray one more time for his son.

I did that, praying fervently at bedtime, awakening to pray during the night, and then again early before I rose.

At the mid-morning break on Tuesday, Patroba came to report to me that during the night the boy was healed and his mother was even then boarding a bus to return to their home in Tanzania. A check at the end of the week indicated the child was completely healed and doing well.

As the class rejoiced as GOD’s great mercy and power, we returned to our studies. The next lesson was the story of Jesus in John 4 refusing to go to the bed-side of a man’s dying son, saying there was no need to go because the boy was already healed.

The Holy Spirit is our teacher. But more, he is GOD with us.

As we are filled with him and submerged in his presence, he does the miraculous and transformative ministry of Jesus in our lives that marks the journey of those whom GOD has given to the Son.

There were moments of joy as the detailed handiwork of Jesus’ care for us was demonstrated.

One woman testified that she had recently been released from prison after two years.

Jesus Answered My Prayer for a Teacher

While she was in prison one of GFE’s evangelistic teams visited and led her to Jesus. They also gave her a Gospel of John.

She and other inmates read and re-read JOHN and discussed the stories with each other, trying to decipher the message of the little book. But they had difficulty, so she began to pray, “GOD could you send someone to me to teach me the meaning of the Gospel of John.”

To her amazement, when she was released from prison, she was invited to come to the Bible School, only to discover that GOD had sent a man from America to explain to her the Gospel of John.

Now I understand the insistence of GOD that I come to Kenya to teach JOHN!

Hint: If you want to find GOD, he lives in prisons. A GFE team Thursday came back from a visit to a local prison where they had preached and prayed. They joyfully reported fourteen men had embraced Christ.

THE JESUS WHO IS.

You might want to check your Jesus.

  • Is the One come down from heaven who is one with the Creator?
  • Is the One who now holds the entire universe together by the power of his word?
  • Is he GOD with us in his Spirit?
  • Is he the Good Shepherd who daily speaks to his ‘sheep’ who hear his voice and follow him?
  • Is he the One who will judge the nations and every individual who ever lived?
  • Is the soon-to-appear King on whose shoulders will rest the government of the nations?
  • Is the ONLY one who can take away the sin of the world?
  • Is he truly your only hope for Resurrection and Life?

You might want to check your Jesus.

We just checked ours during the past week.

And we’re so glad we did.

Our Jesus Gospel Team

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THE JESUS WHO IS – Teaching Begins – January 14, 2012

MONDAY – 1st Day of Class

I began with “The 5-Minute Bible”.

What God is doing in the world. THE BIG STORY if you will.

When a person understands GOD’s BIG STORY, they can more easily discover how their LITTLE STORY fits purposefully into the larger scheme of things.

So I began, “From GENESIS to REVELATION, what is the unifying theme of the Bible?”

What single thread manages to weave sixty-six books–written by dozens of authors, over a period of fifteen hundred years, situated in several different countries, using dramatically different literary styles, in three different languages—into a beautiful tapestry revealing to us the heart and intentions of the universe’s Creator?

Here’s the thread:

Out of a heart of love and with an intention of love, Bible-GOD created the entire universe and everything in it.

Created in Love with a Purpose of Love

The Father imagined, designed and planned it—the Son oversaw and directed its implementation—the Spirit in a micro-second did it. BAMM!!! Everything–all space, matter, time and energy—from nothing suddenly was.

And near the center of this stupendous universe (billions of light years in width), GOD perfectly hung in space our beautiful little world. And then he filled it with every imaginable (and unimaginable) form of life.

Then finally as the crown of his creation, he created humanity—male and female–unique in our identity because GOD created us alone in his own image.

Created in HIS Image

That we are created in GOD’s image means many things, but fundamentally it means we are hybrids. We are hybrid beings designed to live and function simultaneously in the visible PHYSICAL universe and in the invisible SPIRITUAL universe.

And we are designed for a specific purpose.

For it is from within humanity that GOD is creating a PEOPLE for himself. A PEOPLE called by his name. A PEOPLE filled with his light, life and love. A PEOPLE in whom he can come to dwell, now and forever.

That’s it. That’s THE BIG PICTURE.

From GENESIS to REVELATION the unifying theme of Scripture is that GOD will create and is creating—from every nation, tribe, race and tongue–a PEOPLE for himself. He is resolute and will not waiver until his PEOPLE are complete.

From Every Language, Tribe, People & Nation...

 

Among all the world’s peoples, GOD’s PEOPLE are unique.  We are a PEOPLE who

 

 

  • Know him
  • Worship him
  • Love him
  • Obey him
  • Serve him
  • Represent him, (and who)
  • Enjoy him now and forever.

The GOSPEL OF JOHN testifies to this reality in un-ambiguous and non-negotiable terms.

The GOSPEL tells the reader how GOD is accomplishing his purpose and how each person can and should find their place and function in this astonishing drama of Love.

And what would our place be?

First, we are recipients of the ministry of Jesus. In his Mission Statement, Jesus tells us what the Father sent him to do (Luke 4:16ff). GOD the Father ‘messiah-ed’ Jesus to do FIVE things:

Luke 4:16ff Doing The Ministry of Jesus

  • Announce to the poor the GOOD NEWS that GOD Country is breaking in and is accessible
  • Heal the sick (give sight to the  blind)
  • Make broken hearts whole (send away having been crushed ones in release)
  • Peel the Darkness off people (set the captives free), and
  • Declare the acceptable year of the Lord, i.e. an open season on GOD’s grace and favor.

But there is more.

Jesus was faithful to this GOD-calling, and within a year began delegating this ‘life in the Holy Spirit’

  • To his twelve disciples (Luke 9)
  • To seventy-two disciples (Luke 10)
  • To ALL of us in Christ:  “Whoever has faith in me will do the things I have been doing….” (14:12a)  Whoever.

As beneficiaries of the ministry of Jesus, we are also privileged and accountable for the ministry of Jesus.

More about this next time.

Right now I want to wrap up this bog with a two TESTIMONIES from among scores:

How did 42 Bible School students chance to come together for the study of THE GOSPEL OF JOHN  this week?  Their stories are varied and interesting.

A Modern-Day Jonah

One pastor told us he heard about the school and at first was interested and even had the impression he should attend. But the more he thought about it, the more he concluded he didn’t really want to study THE GOSPEL OF JOHN.

So after preaching in his church on Sunday morning, he made the final decision to skip the JOHN class.

In the afternoon as he was walking, the ground gave way and he fell into a deep latrine. (Millions of people in Kenya still use outhouses–each is constructed over a deep pit.)

He could not climb out of ‘the miry pit’ and no one heard his cries for help.

Time passed and he began to fear for his life. After five hours he began to wish he had decided to attend the Bible school. He determined he would do so if he were still alive by Monday.

At which point he was discovered and rescued. He arrived EARLY Monday morning ready for class.

I was encouraged by this testimony—encouraged to know that at least one of my students prefers my teaching to death in bottom of an outhouse.

A woman in the class told us until recently she had been unable to walk or even feed

From Paralysis to Praise!

herself for seventeen years!

Recently a local pastor dropped by her house and shared the Gospel with her. After  receiving Jesus with joy, she got up from her wheel chair and has been fully functional since.

Note: Jesus does such beautiful work. He is so good at what he does.

Anyway, she considered afterward that her knowledge of Jesus was quite small. So she began to pray for an opportunity to study the Bible and get to know Jesus better. Someone told her of the Bible School and she cheerfully joined us.

By week’s end she could testify that she had come to know the JESUS WHO IS.

(to be continued)

 

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THE JESUS WHO IS – Eldoret, Kenya — January 13, 2012

The past five days I engaged the primary purpose for my visit to Kenya, namely to teach THE GOSPEL OF JOHN in the Global Field Evangelism Bible School. For thirty hours this week I walked forty-two students through the entire GOSPEL.

The class was composed of men and women varying in age from nineteen to sixty-three. They are church planters, veteran pastors, young evangelists, youth workers and even a few new believers. They represent several African tribes.

Most come from western Kenya, but one pastor traveled more than four hundred miles from the Mount Kenya area. Two came from Tanzania. One from Uganda.

Most are poor–some living in breath-takingly difficult economic circumstances. As the week concluded, half were still struggling to pay the US $12.50 school registration fee.

But they all came with a serious desire to study the Bible and to get to know Jesus better. As students go, these folks are bright, inquisitive, responsive and quick to learn.

The stated course objectives were three:

  • Offer an academic introduction and overview of the GOSPEL OF JOHN,
  • Introduce the students to the JESUS WHO IS, and
  • Provide an environment in which each one might have a fresh, deeper EXPERIENCE with the resurrected JESUS WHO IS.

The study of an entire book of the Bible is a departure from “sound bite teaching” so common in many Kenyan churches and—well–in many America churches, too.

Engaging an entire GOSPEL provides the opportunity to grasp the continuity of what God did in Christ, to see a clearer picture of the JESUS WHO IS and to more accurately understand the one and only apostolic Gospel that flows from him.

I must confess the task was daunting.

The fourth quarter just past is my profession’s busiest season of the year. My travel and work schedule provided little uninterrupted time for study from mid-September until I got on the airplane December 28th.

But finding study time was less the issue than determining how to compress a thirty-eight year personal relationship with JOHN and his GOSPEL into 15 English-teaching hours (30 with Swahili translation). In the end, what do you leave out?

And even beyond that challenge was that of discerning how to teach and conduct the class in such a manner that Jesus would have complete freedom to walk among the students while I taught: speaking to them by his Spirit–touching their hearts—healing their wounds—lifting their vision.

Could I teach this class in such a way that spiritual transformation would give life to academic information and result in a new degree of spiritual formation?

The week began in the midst of a major cultural distraction.

The school year in Africa runs January to December. So as the week began, everyone with children was preoccupied with the annual opening of school.

That is no small preoccupation. The logistics of preschool through high school in Kenya resemble those of sending a child off to university in America.

Parents scramble to find an adequate school for each of their children. They must first find a school willing to accept an application for their child, then slog through a laborious, time-consuming admission process. Most parents apply to multiple schools for each child hoping one available seat will be there on the first day of school.

And then there are the school fees.

Public and private schools in Kenya are not free. They charge tuition and fees like colleges in America. Most high schools are boarding schools (a reflection of British educational culture) and consequently quite expensive.

Some parents—especially those with three, four or more school-aged children–were faced this week with mandatory annual school fees equal to or greater than their annual family income! If I had had a spare $50,000 I could have easily dispersed that amount in short order to help with school fees.

So we started the class amidst the annual educational crisis, but as the week progressed, the students’ focus gradually shifted from family survival to spiritual and ministry formation.

Language is always a challenge.

Most in the class speak fluently their tribal language as primary,

Fellowship and Food are Universal with God’s People

then Swahili as a second language, then English as their school language.

Those who could pay the school fees through high school are very comfortable in English—those who made it through Standard 7 handle basic conversational English well enough—those without much formal education depend almost totally on interpretation.

Our class was blessed with several excellent interpreters. The daily six-hour teaching blitz tended to wear them out, so they translated in shifts.

I enjoy teaching with good translators. I’m able to fashion each statement while the

I have all the Fun -- They do all the Work!

preceding one is being translated, and for bi-lingual students the double presentation of each thought has a strong re-enforcing effect.

 

We began with JOHN’S purpose—answer two questions:

 

  • WHO is the real JESUS? and
  • WHY does the correct answer to that question MATTER?

I’ll slip you the answers up front.

  • The GOSPEL OF JOHN was written “…so that you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God…” and
  • That in believing “…you may have LIFE in his name.” (20:31) Authentic GOD-Life now and forever.

But simply providing someone with the answers to the two questions does not guarantee that this revolutionary truth will sink into their heart—sink into their heart to produce the eternal transformation so necessary for a soul to move from Death to Life.

No, there must be a fuller introduction to the JESUS WHO IS and an opportunity for the

100'000s are Embracing JESUS in East Africa

Spirit of Jesus to accomplish his unique, super-natural work within the thoughts, spirit and heart of each person.

So we plunged into our study.

(continued)

 

 

 

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MORE JESUS SIGHTINGS FROM EAST AFRICA January 10, 2012

Filled with Jesus -- Filled with Love

Tuesday evening Willie and Janice joined me at the hotel for supper . They brought their active three-year old son Goodell. He is about as cute as they come–except for my own grandchildren of course.

I was looking forward to seeing Willie and Janice after more than a year. Over a meal of fish, rice, fresh garden vegetables and fruit, they caught me up on what God has been doing in their lives.

I was struck by the radiance of Jesus shining off this couple. The presence of the Lord at our table had a profound effect on me.

On the home front, Goodell has just started nursery school and is quite unconvinced that his school will not allow his Mom to attend with him. And Willie and Janice are happily expecting their second child in February.

To say that Willie and Janice have been fruitful in ministry in recent years is an understatement.

Goodell Helps Richard Check In on an Earlier Trip

Willie is an accomplished musician who has produced amazing Christian music videos. The evangelistic teams of which he is a leader present the Gospel in music, dance and proclamation  to children and teens in school assemblies.

Young People Like Jesus

So powerful and transformative is their ministry as part of Global Field Evangelism that they have been encouraged by a Member of Parliament to share Jesus with every student in every school in Kenya.

To date they have presented the Gospel to almost 1 million students. (There are 10 million school children in Kenya out of a population of 40 million people.)

Willie reported on their activity during 2011.

Music, Dance, The Word & New Birth

By count they shared the Gospel with 118,000 kids in 380 schools. He said with regret, “It was a low year, but I’m sure that we will do better in 2012.”

A low year?

Their teams work on an impossibly small budget. They share an old van that frequently breaks down before they can get to their locations. They have enough school invitations to keep three teams on the road full-time.

They are also a sound system short, often forcing them to choose which school they will attend and which one will have to wait.

How they do this is beyond me. They often have nowhere to sleep but the cement floor of a classroom. Sometimes there is nothing to eat after a full day of ministry. How they pay their rent and feed their children is beyond me.

Yet they are filled with joy and their only frustration seems to be their inability—because of logistical limitations– to respond to all of the invitations from schools ready to welcome them.

Over 1 Million Orphans in Kenya Needing Love and Care

Right now they have access to most schools in Kenya and everyone senses this moment of opportunity may not last long. Islam, Satanism and secularism are also making their appeals for the hearts of an entire generation.

I asked Willie how the students respond to the message of Christ?

By count last year, he told me, 75% of the students made an initial response to follow Jesus. As did many teachers and school administrators.

A low year.

One school was particularly memorable. Willie had scheduled this school four times previously, but each time they were prevented from going by vehicle breakdowns, no money to buy fuel or sudden strange circumstances.

Kids Kids and More Kids

On their fifth attempt (this past year), their loaded van stopped a few miles out of town and could not be restarted. Nevertheless, they were determined to make it this time.

So they unloaded their equipment, stood on the side of the road, joined hands and began praying for God to intervene to provide a way for them to make the three hour trip through the mountains.

After some time a friend called Willie on his cell and asked, “Are you needing a van for something?”

After another delay, they loaded the borrowed vehicle, made the hazardous trip in the dark and finally arrived at the boarding school at 9:00 PM – ten hours late.

But the students and staff were still waiting for them! So they quickly set up and began to minister.

Soon the Holy Spirit settled on the group and the teens began to weep–began to confess their sins—began to plead with Jesus to save them—until their cries were so loud the formal meeting had to stop.

During that night and the next day, every student in the school but one came to Christ.

Welcome to Kenya!

Two individual stories from that meeting.

The girl who initially did not respond was Muslim. She wanted to embrace Jesus but rightly feared for her safety should she do so. The team encouraged her pray and ask Jesus what to do.

The next night she slept and to her amazement Jesus came in the night and began to take her fellow students by the hands and lift them into heaven–until she was left all alone.

In her dream she was terrified, realizing that she was about to miss her opportunity to know and live with God.

Finally, she cried out to Jesus not to abandon her–to come and save. To her relief Jesus returned for her, took her by the hand and began to lift her into heaven. She awoke–a new creation in Christ Jesus.

She went home but said nothing to her parents. But they soon began to press her, “Something has happened. You are different. You are not the same person.”

I know this will run...I know this will run...

She began to fast regularly and lock herself in a closet to pray for her family. After four months her mother also met Jesus and confided to her daughter that she was now saved.

After a few more months of fasting and praying together, her father announced to them
that he had also met Jesus and was now saved.

Meeting Jesus is glorious. Following him is Life. But new life in Christ is not without its complications. The family had to move to another city to escape the threats of their Muslims neighbors who discovered their new birth.

The second individual story was that of a young girl who confided to the team that she had been a part of a group of students secretly worshipping Satan.

She told them Satan alerted them each time the team was planning to come to their school. Each time they engaged in fierce witchcraft to prevent the team from coming.

80% of Kenya's People have been Born since we Began Ministering there in 1981

Four times they were successful. But the fifth time, when they tried to pray against the team, a wall of fire rose up against them and they were scattered.

So the team arrived safely. The Spirit of God descended. The Gospel was preached. And in the end, every student came to Christ.

What about follow up?

The teams are partnered with Christian Union which is in many schools in Kenya. Together they establish student fellowships in each school where the teams have lead kids to Christ.

The new believers—with official school support—meet early every Monday morning for worship, prayer and Bible study and again every Friday after school for the same. Tuesdays through Thursdays the students meet informally at school  for prayer.

Willie says they are hoping for better year this year.

When the old van runs they make it to their Schools

I am hoping for God to rasie up a team of folks with Richard Cazzell and me who are interested in providing proper logistical support, dependablee finances and 100,000 New Testaments to super-charge this ministry and enable new teams to prepare to similarly carry the Gospel of Jesus Christ to neighboring African countries.

The doors are wide open.

The young people are waiting.

The clock is ticking….

Millions of Young People Can Be Reached with the Good News

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KHAYEGA TESTIMONIES — 2 More Jesus Sightings

January 8, 2012  KHAYEGA, KENYA

The testimonies from the Khayega conference continue…

Testimonies of what GOD was doing just kept coming...

PASTOR DANIEL NGOSI (Pentecostal Evangelical Church of Africa) told of having an amazing experience with the Lord since the previous day. Some years ago a man managed to steal the title to an important piece of Daniel’s land and sold it out from under him. No legal remedy was forthcoming. Consequently, he had harbored anger and bitterness toward the man ever since.

But during the night, God continued to confront him with the

and coming...

necessity of forgiving the offender and fully releasing him to God so that GOD might deal with the man and his crime.

Before Daniel had been unable to forgive the man. Could he do so now???

As he struggled in the night Daniel concluded that he wanted to be free of the great hindrance that his unforgiveness had become, so after much effort, he broke free and forgave the man.

Later in the night Daniel’s cell phone rang.

and coming...

Calling was a friend who had similarly lost land to the criminal. He cheerfully announced that the thief had suddenly taken ill, had been rushed to the hospital and it was thought the man’s medical condition might be terminal.

Instead of celebrating the fall of his enemy, Pastor Daniel suddenly found himself praying passionately for God to heal the man and bring him to salvation in Christ Jesus.

Daniel was in fact leaving the meeting to travel to the hospital to pray for the man in person to be saved and healed. (Stay tuned)

I decided to do the 'Jesus stuff'

FIDEL LAMISI (local Baptist church) was most captivated by the idea that we think at two levels: in our head and in our heart. When the two thought processes are not in agreement (which is common) we are discover that we are ‘double-minded’ (James 1).

He went home with the realization that he was a double-minded man when it came to the issue of ministry. On one hand he was a declared servant of God—on the other he confessed he was really pursuing his own ministry.

I am re-thinking my understanding of ministry

By midnight the reality of his situation had fully settled on him. He became weak—cold—distressed. He wondered if he were having a medical crisis. He wondered if he should go to the hospital? Eventually he managed to fall asleep.

In the night he had an encounter with God in which he confessed that he had been serving God in his own way.  But as for the future, he declared to God, “Let Your will be done.”

He awoke this morning fresh and happy. “God has heard my prayer and our hearts are now together.”

He is no longer a double-minded man.

 

The most startling testimony of the meeting came from a lovely young woman named VIRGINIA.

Another encounter with the resurrected Jesus

Virginia was impacted by the Luke 4:16ff message of the ministry of Jesus and the realization that God had called her as one of His children to participate in that ministry.

In the afternoon she began her long walk home repenting of unforgiveness and of her previous attempts to conduct ‘her’ ministry.

She became very determined to put into action what God had shown her in the meeting. She prayed, “God please give me an opportunity to do the ministry of Jesus—today—even before I reach home.”

We Pray -- God Heals

No more had her prayer lifted from her heart than she came upon a road-side store where there was a great commotion. A crowd of emotionally distressed woman were filling and spilling out of the store.

Virginia approached the fringe of the crowd and soon learned that a woman had brought her two small children to the public place desperately seeking help. The children were extremely sick and both had fallen into a coma.

Virginia realized God was answering her pray, so she pushed through the packed crowd to reach the  unresponsive children. She took charge, telling the mother and the woman, “Let’s pray.” She prayed by the Spirit over the two dying children and then proclaimed the word of God to the distraught mother.

...and heals...

Finishing, she went home.

In the morning she had the impression to check on the condition of the children before coming to the meeting. She found their home and to her delight discovered the two small children on their feet and playing.

The mother said, “I remember you and I remember what you said to me.”

The Word and Works of Jesus are inseparable, after all.

Virginia concluded her testimony matter-of-factly, “ I determined to do the ministry of Jesus practically and JESUS did it.”

(to be continued)

 

Jesus has been with us

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KHAYEGA CONFERENCE — TESTIMONIES 1

The Women were Quiet But They 'Got it'!

January 7, 2012 – Khayega, Kenya

This afternoon Peter Wafalu and I finished a three-day church leadership conference in Khayega, a small market center along the Kakamega-Kisumu highway in western Kenya. Some 80 leaders participated representing dozens of diverse church groups.

One of the best LeadershipWoship Alive!

Meetings … Ever

I think the best way to report on the conference is to share some of the many testimonies which highlighted the meeting. The proof is—after all—in the pudding.

BENNETT MKISIS (The Lord’s Table Church) told of serious work and family issues that had created bitterness in his life over eight long years. He had determined not to attend the meeting, but the Holy Spirit compelled him at the last moment to bathe, dress and come.

When we taught on FORGIVENESS as being distinctive of and central to the Christian faith, God showed him that his personal bitterness was the single major factor limiting his life and ministry. He spent the evening struggling with unforgiveness until God broke through and forgiveness flowed from his heart.

At midnight the Holy Spirit filled him afresh. Also filled with the joy of the Lord, he prayed aloud until dawn. He told how God renewed his calling through the night—but only after he began to bless those who had so deeply wounded him.

PASTOR CHRISTOPHER (International Victory Centre) shared that he had been most affected by a story I (Doug) told the previous day.

Things Starting Happening from the First Day

In short, I recalled a day in 1983, while living in Mombasa, when I took my four year old son Matt to watch the mining operation at the nearby Bamburi cement factory.

We sat in the hot sun watching massive front loaders continuously fill a string of enormous

Show and Tell: The Ministry of Jesus

dump trucks with many tons of coral stone to be driven to the nearby factory to be processed into world-class cement. Bamburi-Portland cement is used for high quality construction.

One truck stopped and the driver climbed down the long ladder from the cab to come over and say HI to Matt. I laughed when I saw that the man was about 5’ tall and surely weighed no more than 100 lbs!

I asked him how he could possibly drive a truck with tires bigger than our car?
He smiled and said, “Oh Bwana, it is very easy. I have power steering. Power brakes. Automatic transmission. I don’t even sweat because the cab is nicely air conditioned. I sit there all day in complete comfort while the lorry does all the work.”

Later at home, I had the impression to walk across Beach Road to look down into our small neighborhood quarry. There people moving into the city from rural areas were permitted to freely mine coral to build makeshift houses for themselves.

Pastors and Their Spouses live Sacrificial Lives to Reach the Unsaved

A dozen people were chipping small chunks of coral from the rock face using pieces of steel re-bar as picks. When each person had filled two ten gallon buckets with stone, they began the back-breaking walk under the blazing equatorial sun to their squatter slum where they would continue to work on their patch-together, stick-mud-rock dwellings.

I considered the dramatic contrast in the two mining operations I had observed that day–the radically different human labor involved—and the radically different volume of output.

At which point the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “You can serve me the rest of your life…either way. Your choice.”

That startling revelation helped propel me out of a life of religious labor into a life infused with and bourn along by the Spirit of God. Within months I would come to full stop, repent of MY ministry and began a search to learn how to do JESUS’ ministry.

I had challenged the pastors the previous day: You can labor in the hot sun carrying buckets of stone the rest of your days OR you can repent of YOUR ministry and embrace the ministry of JESUS who offers to do ALL the heavy lifting while you ride along in comfort.

Back to Pastor Christopher.

That evening the Holy Spirit confirmed the truth of the message to him. He said, “I now know if I will let God do the work, life and ministry will be much easier.”

PASTOR JOHN CHABUKA (African Israel Church) told us how his ministry had become quite low. He also (as were a number of others) greatly affected by the challenge to repent of HIS ministry so that he might fully participate in the ministry of JESUS. He thought to do this.

In the night as he slept, the Lord confirmed that he had taken a big step.

Forgiveness sets a man free

In the morning he awoke with a call to action. He felt a great desire to go through the bustling market (after the last session of the conference) to pray one by one with willing people in order to give the Spirit an opportunity to speak to them in order to bring salvation and healing.

“I now understand the ministry of Jesus and I am ready to do that ministry.”

(to be continued)

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