19 May 2014

Reaching and Touching in the Bush-Bush

And blessed is she that believed:
for there shall be a performance of those things
which were told her from the Lord.”
Luke 1:45

For some years now I have longed to spend time in the Bush-Bush of Africa. Just when it seemed every opportunity was passing me by, the Lord opened the door to

“Reach the unreached and Touch the untouched”

This past week and weekend, I was privileged to join a YWAM group in the Bush of Mozambique. We traveled many hours, over makeshift roads and foot paths, both to visit those who felt forgotten, and to preach the Good News to those who had never heard.

 On Tuesday and Wednesday we went only so far as to return the same night. We visited house to house, showed the Jesus Film and ministered the love of Christ as the Lord confirmed His word with signs following.

On Thursday, we traveled about an hour and a half away. There, we camped out, in the yard of an Iris Pastor and his wife. They brought in some of the Pastors from the 54 churches they have planted. Some near, some far away. They hosted us with much love and care.

That first evening, we went to an area and ministered primarily to one of the church congregations with visits and the Jesus Film. The Lord touched many lives, but my heart was aching to reach the unreached.

Alfonse speaks and understands English. There were two things that he shared with me that had a profound affect on me. The first, affected my heart in a way I cannot describe. He told me how the people were so glad for us to have come the night before. That they had felt forgotten. As he shared the joy of the saints at having been visited, my heart broke with compassion, and I was convicted at having thought we were making little advancement for the Gospel by visiting “churches”. I was reminded that we are a Body and we do need each other. More than we realize sometimes.
The second thing he shared with me was his testimony regarding learning English. He was fasting and sleeping in the church. Seeking the Lord for English as a need to accomplish what was necessary in his life. The Lord supernaturally gave him the language. He bought a dictionary and some other books to enhance his learning, but the Lord totally gave him the language and he speaks with no accent.

Totally Amazing!

That was on Friday morning. As the morning came to life, I took a walk through the village and met a man named Moses. Moses was home in Mozambique, visiting, from Krugersdorp, South Africa, where he now lives and works. I was taken back at having met someone from there, after so long, and so far away.

Friday evening and Saturday were spent in unreached areas. 

Two new church plants were the result of our visit.

Friday some 200 people came to Christ, and Saturday, there were too many to count! Again, the Lord, as always, was faithful to confirm His word with signs following. On Saturday, the crowd was so large and so compressed that we didn't have room to pray for them. Most all of the crowd had just received Christ for the first time, and many, many of them were in need of physical healing. Eric, our team leader, heard from the Lord and began to encourage the people about who they are and the Spirit of God now dwelling within them. He preached a simple message and had them lay hands on the sick near them. As they prayed, one for another, they were all healed and several testified of the goodness of God and the awareness of His love.

The children that had followed us through the village a few hours before, stood before me – one in particular, making sure that I knew, he was healed.

Like many people, I have a soft spot for the children. I love their dirty little selves and want to touch them continually. On Saturday, I had winked at a little girl. She ran away. Then she came back. I winked again. This time she giggled and ran away. Then, she returned with a few friends. I winked a third time. They all laughed and ran. Before long there was a crowd of children following us, each time I would turn to look at them, they would wait for me to wink and then giggle and laugh. 

Eventually, they came close, and began to talk with me. They were showing off as kids will do, “See what I can do?”. Before our journey was complete we were playing follow the leader with silly steps, making funny faces, shaking hands, and having conversations. During the prayer time, they came close for a touch, and let me pray for them, staying close, not wanting to leave.

The night was clear, the stars were bright, and I was alone in thought, with my Lord. Gratitude overwhelms me even as I write this. It seems so many years that I longed for what I experienced this week ~

An opportunity to truly touch the people.

Be encouraged, those things that the Lord has spoken to you, He has not forgotten. He Who called you, He will also do it. Seek Him in the restlessness and you will be amazed at the glory He reveals.

As I complete this post, the team just returned from another outreach. Among the many salvations and healings, three people received their sight!

Below are some pictures of the early crowds. It was impossible for me to get pictures later when there were lots of people present.

Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed,
and was delivered of a child when she was past age,
because she judged Him faithful Who had promised.
Hebrews 11:11

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