I made the decision not to return to Elijah’s church this morning. The primary reason for this choice was the lack of time. The journey back to Nairobi was a good seven hours. On the previous day, heavy downpours had washed large amounts of dirt onto the road, making it impassable. Driving at nighttime is treacherous and not recommended, but we viewed some zebras and baboons from the road today. I again marveled at the number of near misses that did not end in catastrophe, as the driving conditions of this country may make it to the top of the list for most perilous. The degree of danger that someone would experience is pretty significant.
During the long journey, I had a lot of time to pray and talk things over with the Lord. Reviewing the events that had transpired made plans pretty clear in several areas. The first day when we arrived at church, they had music playing quite loudly with a lot of static and distortion. I found this to be very distracting, and robbing from their worship. Pastor Douglas wanted me to go up and touch the speaker. It made me feel very uncomfortable, and I had a catch in my spirit.
I pretty much put that out of my mind until today. When the Holy Spirit hit the rewind button, I felt a bit of a conviction for not taking the catch in my spirit more seriously. When the Holy Spirit reiterated the situation today, it is clear that their priorities were not correct. That does not mean that they cannot be directed in a more effective way. Cautiousness needs to be exercised in conjunction with a different approach being taken. God has provided more money for seeds, fertilizer, and possibly some more chickens. I felt directed to shuttle $1,000 of it to Duke, and then have him contact me. I am not even sure what he’s supposed to do with that, but when I queried the Holy Spirit, something regarding teaching was indicated.
Based on my observation, Pastor Douglas acted as lead pastor. He professes to be an assistant pastor, although he handles nearly all of the responsibilities. His appearance seems to be a big concern to him. The presentation of The Word during preaching was more of an act of showmanship, than words directed by the Holy Spirit. There was a certain cadence to words and phrases that seemed rehearsed. There were moments that I sensed the real presence of the Holy Spirit in his words, but they were few. I believe he is teachable, and could become a great teacher. My impression is that he has watched some American preachers that have conveyed the wrong area of focus.
Pastor Elijah and his wife are precious souls. I believe they have a true and deepening love for Jesus. They also have a great respect and love for one another. We are being directed to continue to help them. With the right training and priorities, he can be quite an asset for their church growth. His wife is a bundle of joy with an open countenance, and love to spread with everyone.
I told Elijah and Douglas that the Holy Spirit had directed me to Duke. If I gave too much detail about that right now, it would be me talking, not God, so I am really not thinking about it much. The Holy Spirit will reveal what is necessary in His timing.
One other issue surfaced. Before the trip, Elijah and Douglas had sent me an email. In that email, they mentioned that the government officials had been made aware of my arrival. When I read those words, I had a warning in my spirit. Two days ago, Douglas stated “We are going to go meet the government officials.” I actually tried to take pictures of the office before we went in, and send them to someone so that if something happened, at least they knew where to start looking. There was not a good enough signal to send anything out anyway. The meeting that we had seemed cordial enough. The security chief said they would be watching over our area and make sure everything was good, then at the end of the meeting, Pastor Douglas told me to give them 2,000 shillings! Instantly, I was disturbed in my spirit by this. At no point was anything mentioned to me about giving them any kind of money. I questioned Doug about it later, and he did not seem to be bothered by it. The following day, I had to see the chief again.
We had completed a discussion time, and were sitting down for lunch when the chief entered Elijah’s house. There was someone with him that caused me to be quite concerned. He had certain twitches in his eye blinking, and uncharacteristic body moves. The very first thought that came to my mind was that there was a demonic presence. He talked like he was a Christian, but when he made certain references to Christianity, the eye twitch occurred. I felt like it was being revealed that something deeper going on. When I got ready to depart, the chief said he would escort me to the vehicle.
Immediately, I could feel that God was calling for the warrior within me. Very precisely, these words where put in my mind: “God will not be extorted for money.” As we walked back towards the vehicle, my resolve to say those exact words continued to increase. I felt as though 20-foot tall angels were flanking my sides, ready to draw their swords if necessary. We arrived at the van and I quickly tried to depart the area. The security chief never asked for money. Dozens of children were surrounding me as I departed. Just a few feet away, the chief stood staring. His motives could have been completely sincere with nothing suspicious whatsoever, but when the Holy Spirit hit rewind today, this was replayed in my mind. My hope would be that I had completely misread the situation, and everything will be fine, however, this does cause great concern.
The EchoAfrica team went to Pastor Felix’s church today. They reported back that after Felix’s weeklong session of training, his preaching has taken on a whole new dimension. Praise Jesus!!! Pastor Rick and Pastor Joe continue to work as one, and have made the interpretation almost invisible. My wife Heidi remarked how seamless their interaction was. Everyone seems to be operating at an elevated level. This 12x40 training program may be a model that the Holy Spirit will implement in other places. 12 pastors 40 hours of hard core training. Rick has a heart for the churches in America. Maybe setting up a 12x40 program at the EchoCenter in Michigan, will be revealed to us. There is not one dominant leader in the EchoAfrica team, because they all display leadership characteristics. After all, that is what the body of Christ is supposed to do, help populate heaven!