We continue to get the teaching house in order, but the power has been off many times, as much as 10 hours or more! This causes things in the fridge to begin thawing, so we have purchased a small generator and hope that we will receive it next week. In the meantime, Nazer was kind enough to loan us one. When we met with him and his father, Abdul, it was warm and cordial. Honestly, they treat us like family and try to help us out anyway they can. I have a great deal of love and respect for this family. I believe from the very beginning that God ordained me to meet this Muslim family for reasons that I have yet to fully understand. The pleasant feelings that I have for them will ultimately lead to a deeper discussion about Jesus.
Nazer’s wife just gave birth to a baby boy. I asked him if he would send me a picture of his first time holding his son. I believe that this kind of care and love in building relationships gives us a marvelous opportunity to talk about Jesus in a peaceful way. Heidi has been invited over to their house to spend time with Nazer’s mother.
Transportation-wise, we should be able to pick up the motorcycles soon. The teaching house is on a pretty quiet road and would serve well as a training area. I continue to be humbled and honored to be with such a gifted group of disciples of Jesus. Being in this environment is unique. To hear African praise and worship songs periodically throughout the day is quite uplifting. The Holy Spirit continues to reveal additional aspects of what is to happen here.
My time frame was 25 years to really be all-in and fully committed. I desperately wish I could rewind time and recapture all the missed opportunities to serve God in a complete way. Tony continues to be a joy to be around all day, every day. The consistency of his character is impeccable. He seems to receive unending joy out of serving others and making people feel like family all the time. Heidi and Rick both understand fully why he captivated Josh and I in our first visit. The rest of the team that Tony has assembled is equally as pleasant and cordial.
My thoughts of Pastor Elijah and Pastor Douglas continue to be influenced by prayer and reflection on God’s word. You would not believe this unless you were with me, but driving in Malawi now seems tame compared to Nairobi and Kisii, Kenya.
There have been several inquiries from people wondering how they could get involved with supporting the pastors. The results that we are experiencing here only can be attributed to the power of God’s Spirit. These training facilities make great sense, and potentially will have a major impact on Africa. The idea has been floating in my awareness the last few days.
Could it be that God wants Echo to have a similar type of training in America? With God’s provision, we could probably offer the service for free. The reality of the body of Christ operating as one unit, giving each member the opportunity to input, is far more powerful than a singular personality. If someone is fully committed to serving Jesus Christ, and God directs us to do many training facilities, the result could be staggering. I do not believe anyone that has the presence of the Holy Spirit in them could come into this environment without leaving as a changed person.
Pastor Duncan’s thought and actions have definitely had a lasting effect on this facility. Even Pastor Rick commented that he did not want to set in the same chair the following day. I had some brief conversations with Heidi concerning him. The Holy Spirit impressed upon me “Move on... I have revealed more than enough to you.” Literally it seemed like a bit of chastisement because I was dwelling on it. That evening, Heidi woke me up out of my sleep because I was mumbling things that made her feel uneasy, although I did not have recollection of a dream. The following morning, Rick came into our room and informed us to be praying for protection for us and our family. I have complete faith that God has surrounded all of us with extra angels for protection, not to the point of cockiness, but confidence that God is in control.
Witchcraft, charms, spells and almost voodoo-like tactics disrupt the faithful people who are employed here. Before my first trip to Africa last fall, I had several recurring dreams. There were 20-foot tall angels flanking me on either side. They would be with me throughout this journey and I did not even need to look side to side to see if they were there. This dream occurred at least three times and the distinct impression I got was “If you have faith, nothing will touch you or your family.” There have been a few troubling times I have experienced, but I have always known that the Lord was with me. The fact that lives are being changed already is a marvelous thing to observe.