Friday, March 30, 2007

Adventures In Africa! – Part IV

We sped off into the darkness behind the hospital. We were secured into the back of the truck by 6 armed men. Ak-47’s were in our face and we didn’t know where they were taking to us or what they were going to do with us. Thankfully, the suspense didn’t last long. They asked us how we arrived at the hospital and we told them by taxi. They drove around the hospital to the front driveway, which was now totally cleared of people. They began to tell us through an interpreter that we would have to pay for their time and effort to come out. We agreed and asked how much. $60 for our release. I saw Edouard bristle. He had some righteous indignation that we would have to pay them to be released, but my thought was, “pay them whatever they want!” So we paid them the $60 and a minute later, a couple of the police officers from behind the hospital showed up. One of them realized what we were doing there at the morgue (going to raise the dead) and was impressed. He asked Edouard where his church was so he could attend Sunday service! We hailed a couple of taxis and got the heck out of there!

At this point, we were all elated that the Lord had delivered us from such a hairy situation. We called our families and we rejoiced together. We were getting a quick bite to eat when the reality of the situation hit us. Edouard’s baby was still dead. We had preached the Gospel of the Kingdom and there was instant retribution. Edouard and his guys were getting all the details together of when we could legally get in there to pray for the baby. Edouard agreed to come by our hotel early in the morning on the way to the morgue. We decided to stay awake and pray all night. If we were going to have a chance at the child, then we wanted to be as ready as possible. We worshiped and we prayed our hearts out that night. We wept and called out to God for grace and mercy. At home in Atlanta the church was praying, they even had an emergency prayer meeting. Several folks stayed up all night with us, praying for resurrection power to come to John Wesley. We communicated the urgency of the situation. This move of God in this location was in its infancy. It was necessary for God to raise this baby from the dead. We were asking ourselves, would they be shaken and back off the message if the baby didn’t get up?

Our emotions were toast. We had run the gamut of emotional highs and lows in the last 24 hours. Edouard showed up early the next morning with all the details on how to get the baby out so that we could pray for him. They needed money, a lot of it, about $600. For them, this was a very steep price but we took up an offering to cover the expenses for them to release the child to us. Edouard and his guys were tired from praying late into the night but Edouard declared, “We will get the baby and return him to his mother”.


The Lord had shown them in prayer that the witch doctors in their district had cursed his child, causing premature death. We agreed, in prayer that night I had seen a demonic assault on the child. Over the phone we were given the message from Bob Jones that the water spirits in Africa drown people in their own fluids (pneumonia). The witch doctors did not like the message that was being shouted to their district, but they HATED the fact that the church had been released into power ministry. Ministry had been multiplied and the Kingdom of darkness in that territory was crumbling. John Wesley went from healthy to dead in 24 hours from pneumonia, which simply does not happen! Here we were faced with a startling reality; the curses of witch doctors had killed Edouard’s child because of the Gospel we preached.

Edouard and his guys headed off to the morgue while we waited for the call to come and raise the baby from the dead. A few hours later the news came in that because it was a Saturday, they could not release the body to us, but it would have to wait until Monday morning, two days later! We talked with Edouard about how this would affect our plans for the weekend meetings and outreaches. He told us that many from the church would not be there so they could be with his wife in mourning. But he also insisted that we move forward and preach the Gospel!

That Saturday afternoon we had a service. Understandably, many from his church weren’t there. Even his worshipers were in shock and grief, but not Edouard. Edouard had to start the song service and worshiped and praised God with all his heart! Just watching him, we all fell to pieces, weeping openly. Here was a guy whose child has been dead for less than 24 hours, worshiping and praising God with all his might! The church started to fill up, not with church folks, but with new believers and people from the market the night before! In the insanity of the day’s events we had almost forgotten what we had experienced in the market the night before. They were eager to hear more about the Kingdom of Heaven and we were more than happy to tell them. Through tears, we told them of the King and His Kingdom, calling them to give their lives for the sake of the Gospel. The power of God fell in that meeting and it was one of the most powerful meetings we have ever been in. The worship of God in the face of tragedy was the purest and most intense worship we had ever experienced. They brought us the sick at the end of the meeting and every sick person that we prayed for at that meeting was healed.

As we were leaving the meeting we spoke with Edouard, He told us that his in-laws, most of them unbelievers, thought he was crazy for not mourning the loss of his child. His response was, “I will not mourn until God has had the last word! And if the baby does not come back, I will weep and I will shout saying, ‘see you in Heaven’. But then, the Gospel must be preached!” We were in awe of the strength he was displaying in the face of such a difficult circumstance. What else can you do? How can you mourn when you are actively engaged in believing God to bring your child back? His in-laws also accused him saying, “You must not love your child”. Edouard told us, “No, that’s not true; I love John Wesley more than anyone on earth”.

Sunday came and went. At that service we encouraged the church to press on, in spite of circumstances. We told them that our Gospel is based on the raising of the dead, in fact you must believe in the resurrection of Jesus to be saved! We also commissioned several pastors there to take this Gospel of the Kingdom to their churches and to their cities. Edouard asked us to pray and impart to him. Never have I felt so unworthy to pray for someone than at that time, but pray we did. We worshiped, we prayed and we wept together. But not Edouard; he was a rock, even in the face of growing persecution of his decision to pray for his baby to be raised from the dead. The in-laws were getting very irritated that traditions were being broken. Normally people mourn and gather for the funeral at the Father’s house. His house was also where the church met and Edouard said, “No, they can mourn at my brother’s house, for the house of God is to be a place of prayer and praise, not mourning”.

Monday was the day that we were going home. It was also the day that we had to pray for John Wesley. From what we understood, we would have several hours to pray for the child once they got his body from the morgue and before they would have to bury him. We packed our bags and dressed, ready to pray for the child and we waited for the call from Edouard. They had gone early to the morgue and were doing all the necessary paperwork, as well as paying the cost for the state funeral, etc. The call came in about noon, they had the child and Edouard was coming to take us to his brother’s house, where they would be holding the wake and where we would finally be able to pray for John Wesley, nearly three days after his death. We got in a cab and sped off.

His brother’s house was a few miles from where Edouard lives. It was off of a main road, in a maze of alleys, many of which were blocked by piles of trash, soft mud and tree limbs. We worked our way through the neighborhood and finally arrived at the wake. There was a large gathering of Edouard’s in-laws, waiting on the side of the home. The courtyard was jammed with people from Edouard’s church and many friends and extended family. Many were weeping and crying. Edouard led us into the main room of the house where there were about 20 mourners, weeping and wailing. There was a small, open casket sitting in two chairs and for the first time since his death we could see the face of John Wesley. Edouard walked us into the room and addressed the crowd, telling them that there would be no mourning allowed in the room where John was and that we were going to pray for the child. The mourners shuffled out, leaving Edouard, a few of his men from the church and our team with the body.

We gathered around the casket and without hesitation, Edouard started worshiping Jesus! We all joined in and began to pray with all of our heart and worship Jesus. I can tell you that I felt more of the power of God in that moment than I’ve ever felt before in my life! We were not hoping that the child would arise; we KNEW that he would get up. For the next twenty minutes we prayed and worshiped with all of our heart until we were interrupted by a very angry young man charging into the room, one of Edouard’s in-laws. He walked straight up to Edouard and began berating him for not letting them mourn in their custom and asking him what was he doing. Edouard’s brothers swept in and removed the man without a word, but that was the spark that started the fire.

A riot had begun.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Adventures In Africa! – Part III

Standing behind us were about 20 of Edouard’s church folks, along with a bunch of neighborhood children. When they heard what had happened, almost on cue, they all fell to the ground and started weeping, wailing and mourning. None of us had ever seen anything like it. I turned to my right and shined my flashlight to see small children as young as four and five years fall to the ground and start rolling, writhing and shrieking. They tore their clothing, they put dust on their heads and they wailed! It was the eeriest sound any of us have ever heard. And it grew louder because in Africa, they mourn as a village and the whole village began running to their house to mourn with them. Edouard and David said, “Let’s go!” and we ran in the opposite direction as everyone else so we could go to the hospital and pray for the baby to be raised from the dead. We had been preaching Matthew 10:7-8 all week and our Gospel commands, “Raise the dead”. Now, the pastor’s son had died. What else were we to do?

We ran up the alley and as we ran the sound grew louder and louder. More people had joined in the mourning and you could hear the sound all the way up the alley. We ran to the street and hailed a couple of cabs, split up and headed off to the hospital, about a 20 minute ride away. I was in the cab with Edouard, David and his worship leader. We prayed in the Spirit and without flinching, Edouard looks at us and says, “We will give the baby back to his mother”. We arrived at the hospital and raced to the infant ward where John Wesley had been earlier in the day. He wasn’t there. Another baby had taken his place. We asked some hospital employees where he would be and they told us that he would be in the morgue, but to get into the morgue we would need the death certificate number that they gave to Edouard’s wife. We ran outside, recharged our pre-paid cell phones at a local merchant and called his wife, getting the information we needed. The morgue was just behind the hospital so we took off at a brisk pace to go see the baby.

The morgue is a large rectangular concrete block building with entrances at either end. The entrances are iron gates that they unlock to let you in and lock as you come in. Edouard showed the attendant his id and told him that he was here to see the baby. They unlocked the big iron gate and let us in. The attendant was very surprised to see eight of us (4 of us white guys and Edouard plus three of his guys). In Congo, they are very distrustful of whites. In the past, whites (or “Mondeli” in Lingala) have conquered and cheated them for years, so you can understand the bias. He went to the giant freezer in the morgue, opened the door and walked in to open a pull out drawer. Several of us piled in behind him and we had never seen so much death! Dead bodies were everywhere! The freezer was totally full, the drawers were overfilled and there were even dead people on the floor. The attendant opened the drawer, made for one child and there were 4 little bundles in there. We couldn’t see John Wesley because they had bundled him up. The attendant compared the number Edouard had to the number on one of the bundles and confirmed that indeed this was his child.

This is where it got interesting.

Edouard told the attendant that he would like to bless his child and this is part of his religion. He also told him that all of us were pastors and could we please have a few moments with the baby. The attendant shook his head no and quickly slammed the drawer with John Wesley shut saying “No!” Edouard appealed to him as a father but the guy would not relent. He led us out of the freezer and was beginning to shut the door when David stood in front of the door and told him that no, he could not close it and would they please give us a moment with the baby!

After this, it was all a blur. The attendants became very agitated very quickly and started arguing with Edouard and David. Edouard, obviously hot because they wouldn’t allow him to see his child just couldn’t walk away. I also believe that because David was white, his act of not allowing them to close the door sent them into the stratosphere. Out of nowhere some guy in a Circuit City shirt showed up and jumped right in the argument. He actually started getting physical, pushing and shoving Edouard and getting right in David’s face. With the little French I know, I could understand that he was telling them that all he wanted to do was see his child. They threatened that they would call the police. A few minutes later all of the attendants walked out of the morgue, locked the iron gate behind them (locking us in) and called the police.

One of Edouard’s guys was our interpreter and he was so happy to communicate with us in English that he always had this dumb grin on his face, no matter what news that he would convey to us. I asked him what they were saying to the police over the phone and with that dumb grin on his face, he told me that they were telling the police we were destroying the place and causing anarchy. They also told the police that we were violent and that we had come to the Congo to cause trouble. They hung up the phone and assured us that the police would be there to remove us by force and take us to jail. I asked Edouard I this was true and he said that yes, they would come in, beat us and take us to jail. He also said that if the Captain was a wicked man, we would be in a great deal of trouble, but if the Captain was a true Christian, we would be ok. We started praying fervently for a true Christian!

I got our little pre-paid cell and sent my wife back home a frantic text massage saying, “Pray, under arrest”. Here at home they sent out the word and instantly we had a bunch of folks praying fervently for our deliverance. We were praying in the Spirit and asking God to bail us out. On the plane ride over to the Congo I had read an amazing book by Brother Yun called, The Heavenly Man. It’s about 400 pages of graphic descriptions of being tortured in third world prisons for the Gospel. As we sat there awaiting our beating and imprisonment I thought, “That’s why God had me read that book, to prepare me for this… gee, thanks God!” All we could do was pray in the Spirit and think about our families back home.

I grabbed Edouard by the shoulders, looked him in the eye and told him what the Lord was giving me which was the Proverb, “A gentle answer turns away wrath”. An armed guy showed up and he was carrying an AK-47. He asked the morgue attendants waiting outside what was going on and through the gate they were pointing at Edouard and David, explaining the story. What unnerved us all is that when he pointed at David, he did so with the barrel of his gun! He also assured us that we would be beaten and sent to jail. We were scared. That was by far the longest 30-40 minutes of our lives.

A couple of police vehicles raced into the morgue parking lot. They were like big army trucks with benches in the bed of the trucks. They were filled with police officers. They were decked out in all black jumpsuits and were sporting nightsticks and AK-47’s. They were angry. When they jumped off the truck they were expecting an angry mob destroying the place and were prepared for a fight. At that point we thanked God that they had locked us in behind an iron gate because if that gate was standing open, we would have bled. They raced up to the gate and stopped. They looked at all of us standing there on the other side of the gate and did a double take. They were expecting crazed anarchists and instead they found a bunch of doves! They looked us over and stepped back to interview the attendants. After a few minutes they ordered us out of the morgue and into the back of the trucks.

They had their guns on us the whole way.

We climbed into the back of the trucks and they started asking some questions through an interpreter. They wanted to know if what we had done was legal in our country. We assured them that yes, we had been with the family many times to the morgue. He couldn’t believe it and ran off fuming. He came back a few minutes later and told us that what we have done is illegal! As we later found out, we had broken the law by trespassing in the morgue and what we deserved was a beating by the police, imprisonment, a trial and jail time.

After more conversation the Captain came back to us in the truck and simply said, “We will not beat you”. We thanked him profusely, “Merci Mingi” (Thank you very much!) He came back and said that they do not have a problem with us and if they had, we would have been beaten and handcuffed face down in the back of the truck. Then he said, “Even though I wear the uniform in the outside, I am just like you underneath, I am a Christian too!” We thanked God and breathed a sigh of relief. We would be ok. He explained that we would be taken to the chief to explain the situation.

Just as we started to relax a bit, another truck pulled into the parking lot. This was an army truck and the men inside were all in camouflage and armed with AK-47’s. Without a word they kicked the police off the truck and commandeered the vehicle, securing us inside. They stood at either end of the truck bed and there were two guys in the middle. They had their guns trained on us and I actually looked down the barrel of an AK-47. Nathan had a rifle barrel jabbed in his side. They sped us away from the hospital and the now friendly police into the darkness.

Where were we going and what would they do to us?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Adventures In Africa! – Part II

The first few days there found us having meetings with the church there and doing limited street ministry, due to our only having one interpreter during the day. The first couple of days there we had a light schedule and we all remarked that we didn’t get this much sleep at home! We were well rested and enjoying the meetings with Edouard, his leaders and the church there. At the meetings Edouard rented a sound system and turned the speakers out to the community, blaring our preaching throughout the entire district.

As we would find out, the witch doctors didn't like that.

After lunch one day we went with Edouard looking for some authentic African clothing to take home with us and on the way we ran across a beggar on the sidewalk. His legs were withered and his back was very crooked. He could only sit up by leaning on a nearby wall or by supporting himself with his arms. We asked if we could pray for him and told him about the Kingdom of God. As I put my hands on his back I was aware that his spine was in an almost “S’ shape. No sooner had I realized this than I felt intense heat in my hands and then I actually felt his back pop and crack! He sat up several inches straighter and could suddenly sit straight up without the support of the wall or his arms! After a few more minutes of prayer he could support his weight for a few seconds without help, but he did not get up and walk away.

While praying for him, a few people stopped by and wanted to see what we were doing. One of the people that stopped was a runaway young boy who the Lord gave us words of knowledge for. We had him kneel down and give his life to Jesus on the spot! He actually came with us to church that night!

We went to a service with his leaders and we were training them to minister the Kingdom of God. We were preaching out of Matthew 10:7-8 and giving very basic instructions and telling testimonies of “doing the stuff”. It was cool because it was Africa hot, it’s a dirt floor, outside, no roof, the stars are shining and we are equipping people by lantern light. I told my wife on the phone that night that it was probably the second coolest thing you could do in ministry, the first being preaching to Gospel to a people that have never heard the name of Jesus.

Within a few hours of that we received a phone call from Edouard saying that they were rushing his baby to the hospital with breathing difficulties. We were surprised and shocked because just a couple hours earlier at the meeting we were playing with Edouard’s baby, little John Wesley and he was perfectly healthy. An hour after that, Edouard, his wife and one of her sisters and little John Wesley show up at our hotel room. We bring the baby in and take a look at him. He was definitely working for breath, but all four of us, all daddies to little kids, were not concerned. We prayed over the baby, taking turns holding him and just worshipped together, believing God would heal him. They had just come from the hospital and instead of treating the illness they gave them some medication to put the baby to sleep! Let me put it this way, you DO NOT want to get sick in the Congo! After a couple of hours of prayer, the baby and his parents had calmed down considerably and we all had a sense of peace about the situation. Truthfully, my kids have had breathing trouble in the past and were far worse than this child. I wasn’t worried.

The next morning Nathan and Danny went to the church early in the morning to go and minister to their worship leaders and worship team. When they arrived, none of the worshipers were there! One of the ladies from the church was there waiting and told them that the worship team and Edouard’s wife had rushed little John Wesley to the hospital. We all headed to the hospital and found John lying in a hospital bed. He was a little worse off than the night before but again, nothing terribly concerning. He was very obviously having pain when he would inhale. They did some x-rays and found pneumonia in his lungs. We and many from the church were at the hospital praying. As we continued to pray throughout the morning John actually improved and began vomiting the fluid and infection out of his lungs. Things were looking up.

We were scheduled to be back at the church in the afternoon and take his leaders out into the market to preach the Gospel with signs and wonders. We were debating what to do since many people were there at the hospital with the baby and we were already late, our daylight wouldn’t last long. Edouard settled the issue by saying, “Even if I have only thirty minutes before or after work, I preach the Gospel. Why? Because those thirty minutes could mean one soul for the Kingdom of God!” That settled it. We arrived at the church and there were about 20 of his people waiting for us, along with three English speaking interpreters. As a group we headed out into the market.

God was waiting for us.

David had an interpreter with him, Nathan and Danny had an interpreter with them and I had an interpreter with me. We walked for a couple of minutes in the market as a whole group. David saw a sick person and stepped aside to pray for him along with several folks from the church. They didn’t move for almost two hours! I took a few steps past David and saw a guy with a cane and started praying for him. I didn’t leave my spot for two hours! Danny and Nathan took a few steps beyond me and started talking to someone. They didn’t move from that spot for two hours!

Why didn’t we move from the spot? Because it was impossible! As we started to pray for the sick, they started to get healed. As we started to prophesy over unbelievers, they would get saved! They would bring their friends back for prayer and curious onlookers would stop by. Each of our three groups had dozens of people around us, pressing in to see what was happening and as someone would get healed, the crowd would get bigger! A couple of folks from the church jumped into the crowd and brought us the sick. Every single person I prayed for was healed! There was not one person that did not walk away perfectly whole! In my group I saw literally dozens of miracles and healings, everything from broken and sprained bones to bent limbs and backs healed, scoliosis, liver problems and pains of every kind vanished by the fire of God! The healing anointing was so tangible that I asked my interpreter where the blind and the lame were, I just knew they would be healed! He told me that they would not come into the market so late in the day (it was almost dark).

I looked to my left and saw Danny and Nathan leading person after person to the Lord, kneeling in the mud! David was a few paces behind me and the church folks in his group began doing the stuff, casting out devils and healing the sick! As someone would get healed we all would address the crowd, telling them that Jesus is healing people and the Kingdom of God had come near to them! One father brought me his daughter, who was demonized and mute. She could barely speak a word, even her own name. We prayed over her and cast out the devil of fear that had entered her as a young girl. A few minutes later we commanded her to say “Jesus is King and His Kingdom is on the earth” in Lingala, her native tongue. She started shouting it, no longer mute and set free by Jesus!

It was awesome. Not only were we seeing this and doing this, but the church folks got on the bandwagon. They were doing the stuff and they were inviting people to church and following up with them. Ministry had multiplied! Instead of the lone man of God syndrome, the church was activated! As it grew darker, the church folks urged us to wrap it up, we would come back tomorrow. We met back at the church, telling testimony after testimony and the faith couldn’t have been higher. Edouard was there at the church, he had come from the hospital and stripped down to an undershirt, praying fervently his son at the hospital with his wife. He told us later that he was interrupted from praying several times because folks in his church kept calling him and telling him what God was doing in the market. We prayed over a handkerchief for little John Wesley and started down the alley to catch a cab to get something to eat.

On our way down the alley, just a few steps from the church we heard the most horrific scream that we’ve ever heard. Mind you, it is pitch black out, so we bust out our flashlights from our backpacks and point them to the noise. I look up and see Edouard’s wife coming down the alley with two men at either side of her, holding her arms and restraining her. I thought they were attacking her! I look over towards David and ask him what's going on. He was was standing next to me and Edouard and simply says, “Oh No!” I hear Edouard’s wife scream, “JOHN!”

Edouard turns to us and says, “John has died.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Adventures In Africa! - Part I

We just returned from our trip to the Congo in Africa a few days ago and all I can say is… WOW. By far, this was the most intense ministry activity that I have ever been involved in. Several times during the trip our lives were in terrible danger. There was an angry mob that tried to kill us and we had to run for our life. The Lord moved dramatically in the market and we saw salvations and a 100% healing rate on the streets. There was life and there was death. We rejoiced with the people and we also wept as we have never wept before. When asked how we would share our experiences with our church my response was,

“It was the best of times and the worst of times”.

It actually started with a good friend of mine, David Dixon. About five years ago he received a call from God to go to the Congo. So he, his wife and two kids sold everything that they had, raised a little support and just went! They were there about a year and having very few contacts there and limited support, the time there was tough. In that time however, David met a young African man named Edouard who spoke English and they traveled all over the country together preaching the Gospel and healing the sick. Their friendship blossomed and Edouard became a sponge for the things of the Kingdom. Even after David and his family left to return to the states four years ago, Edouard took what he learned from David and has put it into practice, planting churches and “doing the stuff!”

So, for the last several years David and I have been talking about going back there, armed with our new revelation of the Kingdom and equipping the entire body to be messengers for the Kingdom. Each time we would talk about scheduling a trip though I would ask the Lord and not get clearance to move forward with it. But that was soon to change.

Last year, my wife and I were praying together at the church before an outreach and she had a wild experience. She was suddenly aware of an angelic presence standing in the room. She looked and saw a large African man in a white robe standing in the room with us. I was totally lost in worship and completely oblivious to the scene. The angel spoke to her and brought to her a Macedonian type call to three places in Africa, pointing at a map of the globe. He also indicated that he would like to speak with me. Then he left.

She told me about the experience and my awareness was piqued. A couple nights later we were getting into bed and she said, “You need to talk to this Angel, he’s in the room right now”. I looked and didn’t see him, nor was I aware of his presence. We started drifting off to sleep a few minutes later and as I was falling asleep I was suddenly aware of a presence standing at the foot of my bed. The hair on the back of my neck stood up and I got goose bumps all over. I opened my eyes and I could see a man standing at the foot of my bed. Without a word he reached towards me and handed me a scroll. I unrolled it and looked at the writing, but I could not read it! Without a word, the man disappeared and so did the scroll.

This happened to me two more times over the next couple of weeks and I became frustrated that I could not read the writing on the scroll. I told a couple of friends about the experience and one of them recommended that I pray in tongues to read the writing. A few days later I was in the prayer room praying before an outreach and the angel appeared again. In the lighted room I could see his form very well. He was a large African man and very tall. He handed me the scroll for the fourth time. Instantly I started to pray in tongues. As I prayed in tongue I could read the writing! It said:

“Messengers have brought us a message but we need a warrior to show us the way.”

It wasn’t until we had been there for some time that I realized how on target that this word from the Lord was, but that is definitely the case. Evangelists have come through the Congo for years, leading many people to the Lord. People like T.L. Osborn and Reinhard Bonkke have been through there several times, leading mass crusades where thousands give their lives to the Lord. What is left is what I call “crusade Christians”. They know how to get saved, healed and delivered, but they really don’t know how to live and walk in the Kingdom of God. That would be our mission, show them how to walk in the power of the Gospel in their everyday life and how to take Jesus with them to work, to school and to their families.

The angelic encounter was all I needed. We booked the trip, made our plans and left a couple of weeks ago for the Congo. Edouard had been hearing the stories of what the Lord had been doing here and he was hungry! We would be working with Edouards’ main church there in a city called Brazzaville, equipping their people to “do the stuff”.

It’s hard to describe what the Congo is like. I have been to some pretty rough places in the world, but this was different. It was hot and incredibly humid. I was prepared for it to be dirty and trash everywhere, but I wasn’t prepared for the smell. We were in Brazzaville, a city of about 800,000 and I hadn’t seen the effects of not having a sanitation department or a sewer system on such a large city. When you don’t take your garbage and human waste away from where you live, where you live smells like a garbage dump and outhouse… all the time! Add heat and B.O. from having no air conditioning and viola’, the smell of Congo.

After arriving at night, getting to bed and getting some rest we got with Edouards’ church leaders, as well as a couple of his other pastors that had come from nearby cities. The guys shared with them some of what the Lord had been doing with us and started prophesying destiny over the leaders. They loved it! You got the feeling that prophetic ministry had never been done there. They have prophets in the churches that tell people what God is going to do and they foretell events, but personal prophecy was unheard of and welcomed! Actually, the African’s reception of prophecy was entirely different than it is here in the West. Here in the west, our attitude with prophecy many times is “well, we’ll see what the Lord does” concerning prophetic promises that the Lord gives us. There, when we prophesied over their church they responded, as one, “we will give ourselves to fulfill the word that you spoke that your words come to pass and that you be known as a true prophet!” Very impressive.

So over the first couple of days the guys prophesied, preached the Kingdom of God and told testimonies of what God is doing at home. The people’s faith was building, as was their comfort with these strange “Mondelis” (their term for white man).

Little did we know that the bottom was about to fall out.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Stories From The Road

Sorry for the lack of updates. There has actually been a lot going on. Lots of travel, lots of equipping, tons of miracles and a whole bunch of salvations! It’s official; it doesn’t matter where we go, if we preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, miracles, healings and salvations break out!


Several years ago, the Lord started speaking to us about Jonesboro, which is a little suburb south of Atlanta. The Lord started telling us prophetically that we would have a work in Jonesboro and there would be a move of God that would break out there. In the Civil War, Sherman’s army tried to break through the Confederate lines north of the city of Atlanta and was repelled. They circled around to the south of Atlanta and finally broke through in Jonesboro! They ended up marching through Atlanta, burning it to the ground.

So we began investing in Jonesboro late last year and have continued through this year, taking teams down there to equip and hungry saints and then to get out on the streets. The stories coming from those outreaches have been tremendous. Whole families have given their lives to Jesus as the secrets of their heart are laid bare through prophetic words and words of knowledge.

I was with a team down there and we had a gentleman with us from a local Baptist church down there. Officially, the church’s doctrine is that the age of miracles has passed away with the death of the Apostles and the giving of the Scripture. That may be so, but the gentleman with me witnessed a NOW demonstration of the power of God as a guy we were preaching to went from having a heart that was stone cold to the Gospel to a heart that was tender, down on his knees, weeping and giving his life to Jesus, and in a matter of a few minutes! He was relating to his pastor at a lunch after the outreach that maybe we really had something that could aid soul winning!

Last year at a conference we were hosting, I met a pastor from a church in Libertyville, Chicago. She had heard about the stuff going on with us and wanted to meet me and see if we would come soon to her church and work with her folks in getting them “out of the seats and into the streets”. The invitation came at the first of the year and off we went, just a couple of weeks ago.

The format was simple; teach on the Kingdom, get people free from bondage and filled with the power of God and set them loose on their community to preach the gospel with signs and wonders. There was a good group from the church that came out, a lot of young people and a few young couples, eager to hear from God and do something with it! The only “hiccup” is that we were in Chicago, in February trying to release people to move out in the marketplace. Which, at -20 degrees wind chill, would only be inside a mall.

Everyone was eager to practice what they had been taught and maybe a little nervous, but off we went. Would you believe it, the Gospel even works in Chicago! What was very cool is that several folks that were very shy and reserved ended up being dramatically used by the Lord, getting accurate words of knowledge to impact the Lost!

Last year, while in Newnan, Georgia, preaching the Kingdom and taking people out on the streets, I met a young man down there who was part of a college group in Milledgeville. He was excited at what we had seen over that weekend and wanted to hook up. We traded emails and have been communicating ever since. He got a place to meet and set a date and invited us down to the college campus to equip there folks in “doing the stuff”. We were more than happy to oblige.

Milledgeville was off the hook! The group of young people there was so hungry and full of fire. The results were predictable, God showed up.

One of my favorite stories was of an older woman whose house a team had entered. As they were talking with a family member at the front of the house, one in the group got a word of knowledge about arthritis in the hands. As it turns out, an older lady in the house was experiencing arthritis pain at that moment. As they prayed for her, not only did all the pain leave her body instantly and mobility was restored, but gold dust appeared on her hands as they prayed. Everyone was freaked out at that one!

Here are some comments on the weekend from John Minix, our main contact down there:


On Saturday morning, over forty people gathered to prepare to invade the projects. (Editors Note: actually, it was 56, I counted) Ryan taught out of Matthew 10:7,8 on healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the leper, and casting out demons and includes many personal and practical examples. Then David Dixon taught about prophetic evangelism while also including numerous personal examples. After a time of soaking, 12 groups are formed and literally swarm two housing projects and a small community. After an hour of preaching the gospel, people begin to return with so much enthusiasm and so many testimonies that many of the people can hardly contain everything that God had done.

There were a total of 12 salvations, and 10 instant healings. One healing was a report from someone prayed for a week earlier that was healed of diabetes. The other healings were ranged from arthritis to back pain to a healing of an ingrown toe nail. There was one lady that experienced gold dust. The word of knowledge was flowing freely through many people that had little to no experience what so ever in operating in that gift.Since then, on Sunday, numerous students prophecy over their waiters and waitresses and a couple of students were involved with giving words of knowledge to three goth kids in a Wal-Mart parking lot and leading one through deliverance from demonic oppression. Monday, one student ministered to a homeless man in Macon who was instantly touched by God.

Praise GOD!!! All Glory To JESUS!!!


More to come, we’re off to the Congo in Africa next week! Pray for us!