Bare Feet & Open Hearts
Unfortunately, a language barrier with Felix created a miscommunication. This resulted in us being a couple hours late to the conference. We had Felix set up a bank account to make transferring God’s provision easier. Felix didn't understand, so he went to the bank to get the money so we could buy more parts. This is what led to the delay. Praise Jesus that more funds are available for additional Bibles and repair parts for the wells. Felix indicated that the funds were now available, but we did our best to emphasize the fact that we had enough Bibles and replacement parts to get us through until Monday. Even though we were a bit anxious to get going, Josh and I enjoyed spiritual conversation and peace of the Holy Spirit while reflecting on God’s purpose for the Echo team in Africa.
After accumulating more resources, we arrived at the conference. We were greeted with great enthusiasm and joyful spirits. Songs and prayers were offered unto the Lord and we gave Bibles to the congregation. Seeing an entire church hold up new Bibles they had received was very special. Josh and I felt extremely blessed to be able to partake in His provision. Our prayers were that God would multiply the effects of His word through these villagers.
Once the Bible distribution was complete, Josh and Duncan began their first ministering session with the people. Felix and I departed with hopes of fixing more boreholes (wells.) Through God, three more wells were made operational. This time it only took a few additional modifications to get them working. The road conditions were so poor in these areas that walking would have been faster. Many times, children would cut across the fields or through a wooded area and beat us to our destination. The efficiency of restoring these wells would increase incredibly with a proper vehicle. After the borehole repair, we returned to the conference.
Upon entering, I realized Josh was in a small room counseling the man that had confessed to being married to two women simultaneously. Knowing that it was a sensitive topic, my presence there was not needed or necessary. I decided to enter the main sanctuary for a bit of spiritual meditation time. There were only two or three people inside when I entered, so I sat down near the front. A wonderful work of God took place: a nonstop stream of children were following in. Within a few minutes, the entire area in front of me was filled with children. Josh and I later estimated there were over 250 kids. Most of them were dirty from head to toe, and many were wearing clothes that did not fit or were torn up in some way. During my time with the children, I tried to place my hand on each of their heads and ask God to let them into heaven. As our eyes met, something supernatural occurred.
When I scanned the crowd I made eye contact with different children, sensing that God was revealing to me which ones I would see in heaven. The Holy Spirit was confirming that our presence here was ordained by God.
In the decades to come, when all these children start families of their own, only the hand of God will be able to provide. Josh and I are still in the midst of processing all that we have been exposed to. We just want the Lord to clearly show us the path to take.
The unemployment rate is so high that adding jobs is critical. For about three dollars a day, you can employ a Malawian. This would be considered a good paying job. Many work for half that amount or less. So just imagine, for the price of one small Starbucks coffee, you could pay someone’s wages for a day. When we start to evaluate our spending habits in the US, it becomes clear: our gifts to brothers and sisters are multiplied more than we can imagine. Please pray that God would reveal to you what involvement He wants you to have.
After successfully repairing three more boreholes that did not work before - today seven are now functioning as new. One of them was right at a school, so the efficiency of the classroom was compromised. Now the children would be able to focus more on their studies instead of carrying water a great distance. The teacher that had instructed Felix when he was a boy was still there. He was elated that the school borehole was working.
At nearly every well we went to, I was able to meet more children. Three little girls gripped my heart. Two of them were barefoot, and one had shoes on. However, her right foot must have had a hole in it. She had taken a blue plastic bag and placed it over her foot, then put her shoe back on. Can you imagine this little girl’s expectation of a thin sheet of plastic? That’s how desperate their situation is. Anything that can improve their condition is embraced, regardless of how minor it may be. Here, we fixed seven boreholes, and on Monday we will repair some wells near pastor Duncan’s village.
On the way back to our rooms, Josh filled me in on some of the details of the day. He received guidance from the Holy Word and contacted his father concerning the gentleman that was involved with polygamy. His persistence in trying to do the best he could serving God was evident. Josh’s one-on-one effort with this man inspired me. Apparently, the man had fathered seven children from each wife. There is no question that this would be difficult, and I believe the Holy Spirit worked through Josh to achieve God’s will.
Josh also shared that the afternoon session went well. Twenty or so people came forward to be anointed with oil and receive prayer for whatever ailed them. Watching him grow in his faith and ability to deliver powerful messages through the Holy Spirit has been marvelous. The language barrier now almost fades away as Josh and Duncan smoothly exchange words. The same young girl who had sat on my lap now sat on Josh’s lap. We received this as a sign that we had been accepted as family, which was a terrific honor.
Later in the evening Duncan joined us for a conversation. He had met with his board members about collaborating in Africa. He already has a facility that is near completion, which could become a home base in which to branch out from. By June or July 2018 we could potentially be hosting mission trips to assist in the area. Many pieces of the puzzle fit together quite nicely. I hope I never stray from the path God wants me to be on. There are so many opportunities here to work for God’s will, and millions of people can be revived by God’s hand.