This was quite an interesting day. Our intentions were to go to Tony and Rhoda’s church. Earlier in the week, we had met Deverious and Mary. Heidi found it interesting that Mary’s mother actually called her Maria, as that is our daughter’s name. Deverious is the pastor of the church. I learned some interesting details today. Before I came to Malawi last December, the pastor had a prophetic dream concerning Tony. He said that God was preparing him for something special. When Tony went back to his pastor and told him about EchoAfrica, his pastor replied “This is what God has chosen you for.” Heidi and I were actually astonished today as we left the ghetto. We realized that God’s movement here in Africa started with people from one of the most poverty-stricken areas. This is where God reached down into humanity and selected some humble, spirit-filled individuals to lead many to the proper understanding of the Word.
Something unique happened when we arrived at Rhoda’s house. I am still pondering the nature of this coincidence. After we parked the vehicle, a lady approached us and indicated that Rhoda had sent her, and we should follow her, so we immediately began to follow her. We slowly weaved our way in and out of a maze of houses and small buildings. Before long, I had lost any meaningful bearing of where we were. I thought I had been to the same building back in December, but it was not. As we entered they repositioned us up near the front. We continued to look around for familiar faces, but none were to be found. Finally, Heidi recognized some women that had attended the women’s Bible study. Nowhere in sight was Rhoda, Marvelous, or the pastor and his wife.
We surmised that we were at the wrong church, but had no idea how to get back to the right one. Besides, maybe this was God’s will for us to be here for some reason. They acted as though we were messengers from God, and that we had a special word for them. In a sense, we did, since we always love to talk about Jesus and His love and mercy. I do not believe that God has called me to preach, but occasionally, He will stir me to say a few words. Heidi felt led to share a brief story, but in the meantime, Rhoda had somehow found that we were there. The pastor met with us at the back of the church and we explained the misunderstanding. He still wanted us to share briefly, if we could. Had we not heard Pastor Deverious’s sermon and had a conversation later with him, we would have thought that God purposely detoured us to this church for some reason. Now, I am wondering if it was a tactic of the enemy to deter us from God’s mission. Satan always tries to disguise his actions as something good.
Heidi had made a connection with Mary that I believe was ordained by God. She is able to form many relationships that seem to have resulted in a deep connection almost on the first visit. On top of that, the pastor specifically prayed to God concerning our visit. I will not reveal what the detail was he included, but if we were there, it would be confirmation for him. As he began to describe the prophetic understanding that had been revealed to him, I found myself weeping. The reality of how awesome God is and the opportunities he gives us are at times unfathomable. This same message has been repeated to me on several different occasions; not only in Africa, but also America. All praise and honor and glory to the King.
This is where the dilemma is concerning incidences such as this. Had we not successfully made it to the church we intended to visit, the prophetic word would not have been confirmed in the heart of the pastor. The possibility that this was just a weird set of circumstances does exist. My intentions would never be to read something in the situation that is not of God and truthful. The reality is that if Satan detects movement in a direction that could interfere with his worldly kingdom, he will likely try to thwart them. There was no question that we felt the supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit at Deverious’s church.
Pastor Rick preached at a different church today with Joe by his side interpreting. Rick has thoroughly enjoyed his time here and particularly loves the interaction with the EchoAfrica staff. Apparently, the location of this church is in an area where there is much witchcraft practiced. Many times during prayer, witches would surround the area and try to cast spells. The necessity to be fully armed with all the proper tools of spiritual armor is critical. Only when we take our responsibilities lightly and do not dedicate our lives in service of the King, is when we become vulnerable. Keeping ourselves from the influence of the world and remaining steadfast in the influence of God’s word means that God’s protection for us is guaranteed.
After we left the church, we stopped at a Mexican restaurant. It was only half a kilometer from the teaching house. I had walked by it several times during my morning exercise. The elements of interest that we discovered there for our daughter were significant! Not only were there some family members close to my daughter Maria’s age, but they spoke fluent Spanish and English and a few other languages. On top of that, they had German Shepherd dogs which our family has enjoyed for many years. I had the distinct impression that God was saying “There is even something here for your daughter.” Since she is doing all of the editing of this material, her connection to what is going on here is very close. In my heart, I believe these prophetic words that I have heard will come to pass, but it is only by the will of God whether they are revealed to anyone else or not. I am just eternally grateful to see God’s will in action.