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.


MaryAnn M said...

oh....boy....you better be gettin ready to post part 2...and 3....


Paul Ferree said...

Man, I've been anxiously waiting for this update!! Thanks for coming back safely and reporting!

Looking forward to the rest of the story!