We are excited about what lies ahead for the day: ministering to hundreds of people and fixing a few wells will be exhilarating. Unfortunately, I had some technical difficulties, so I decided to drop my computer off at Malawi Apple Store to see if they could get the airdrop to work. We thought that the four of us would be riding together, but at the last minute, Duncan said he would be driving his car. I had an odd sense at this time, yet I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me to keep my mouth closed until Sunday. I am not exactly sure what will come of it, but we will see.
Our arrival time was slightly delayed. However, start time most likely does not mean the time the event will start. Worship is a significant part of honoring God. Their simple straightforward approach is mesmerizing. Today, they introduced a sound system and piano. The audio quality was a bit muffled, and occasionally would have a large crackling sound. This did not seem to dampen their enthusiasm one bit. I noticed a man here who had also been at the previous conference.
He had caught my attention because of his one eye that stayed closed almost continuously. Whenever he opened his eye, it was like cracking a window shade only to reveal a small portion of what was on the other side. Apparently, this was a condition from his birth. The thought had crossed my mind, “It would be amazing if this man was healed.” Because of his lifelong visible condition, it would be hard to deny the power of God if He chose to heal this man. I have faith to believe that He could do it with a simple thought, word, or prayer. Josh and I were able to anoint twenty or so people with oil while praying for them, and a couple people received Jesus as their personal savior. All praise, honor, and glory goes to our Heavenly Father for being able to watch the Holy Spirit work.
Anytime objects are given out, the children are the first to gather at the source. Certain items such as soccer balls, Frisbee rings, or basically any toy are fought over. Tomorrow we will be distributing some more items, and there’ll probably be 300+ children. As the conference moves towards the weekend, the numbers of people attending are increasing substantially. I would estimate 150 Thursday, 250 or so today, and possibly 400 or more for Saturday. I suspect that half or more will be children. One challenge is finding an effective way to minister to the children. Josh brought up the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic, and has warned the people that much of it has been spread by uncontrolled lust and sin. The Holy Spirit even prompted a man to come forward and confess his sin of polygamy.
Josh is going to discuss the issue with his father, Pastor Rick. He is a great friend of mine and I miss our frequent interactions. I believe the Webbs will continue to be a significant tool of God to minister to these people in Africa. I keep praying that if we are not taking the right steps to fully be in line with God’s will, that He would redirect us. The puzzle pieces are falling into place like a supernatural masterpiece. A few months ago, I never would have imagined how radically changed my life would become. The faces of these children have been chiseled into my heart. Escaping them will be an impossibility.
I am not sure what it was, but the morning teaching session did not flow like the others. Before we were dismissed for lunch, I asked Josh if he sensed something. He indicated that he had, but neither of us were able to pinpoint the issue. I believe something will be revealed because of the significant awareness in our spirits.
During lunch time, I spent the majority of my time playing with the children. All we needed was a 2 inch long stick to create great joy and laughter. I would have them place their hands about 6 inches apart. Then I would hold the little stick about 6 inches above them. Once I released it, they would try to catch it before it hit the ground. Just as they gathered for gifts, they did the same when playing games. As the stick dropped in air and escaped the flailing hands, the children would burst into laughter. Nearly every activity I enjoyed with the children involved whatever was available. It is becoming more difficult to interact on a one-to-one basis. Certain children instantly warm my heart. One little girl who was about three years old did that with me. During the time that Josh was teaching, she walked right up to me and sat on my lap. That was God’s gift letting me know that I am part of the family. As I reflect on this memory, tears roll down my cheeks and my heart aches with concern for these children.
Our goal was to try to fix some additional wells, and the first one we viewed today was completely nonfunctioning. The same older gentleman that had helped the previous day had already disassembled it with the assistance of three young men. When I began to examine the failed parts more closely, I realized that ingenuity existed in trying to obtain the most basic necessity of life. Since two dollars was not available for the primary seal, they had used a section of a bicycle inner tube. It was not nearly thick enough to function as needed. They reassembled the well and in a short period of time, it was producing water again. We moved on to the next well and it came apart easily. Once again, in just a short time, the water flow had been restored. The third well was exceedingly more difficult.
We could not retract the pump rods for the life of us. Our repair team continued to struggle with removing them. The tools that were available to us were drastically limited. Having worked with my hands for my entire life, God allowed me to develop a couple different solutions. Once they finally let me help, God gave us success. At that point, they were slightly less hesitant to receive my assistance. A few minutes later, another dilemma occurred and God inspired me with a different solution. I am thankful to be able to help them fix their wells.
After removing the pump rods, we saw that somebody had replaced the seal with something from a shoe. It was much thicker than what the original equipment should have been, so it was challenging to remove. Two of the three wells that we restored today had improvised seals because the two dollar part was unavailable. It is devastating to think that a well would not be functioning for two dollars, and thousands suffer in this way. We give God all the glory and praise for participating in His will of restoring water to many.
When I returned to the church, Josh was being used by the Holy Spirit in a powerful way. The energy level was gripping and contagious. Many people were moved by the words that flowed through him. There was a large group of people that came forward for prayer, healing, salvation and rededication. Even the mountain behind the church is powerful in its majesty. Oftentimes clouds will be hovering near the summit, blocking the view. Josh and I would comment, “It would be amazing if God would dwell there during these revival efforts.” Suddenly we realized that He was, but He’s here in us, and in our African brothers and sisters. Revival breaking out in the heart of Africa, the least become the ones with the most.