EchoAfrica 2.0 Day 14 - Farewell Malawi
This was our last full day with our African family, so many people stopped by to bid us farewell. I believe we had the highest number of people at the house today since we have been here. Heidi and I were talking about it, and it is almost like a Christian community of sorts. You are living with like-minded people 24 hours a day. It is quite enjoyable, and we have witnessed very consistent behavior by all. That is a wonderful sign that the Spirit is at work. The body is operating as it should; each sharing to complete the whole. At times yesterday, we had over 20 people setting in on the teaching session! The results we have seen in the pastors witnessing to each other are nothing short of miraculous. The beautiful thing about it is that no one is trying to take responsibility for the success, but we are all praising God for the mighty work of the Holy Spirit. This model has a mighty potential because it is driven by God and His will. The possibility for worldwide revival with obedience to the Holy Spirit is real.
There is something quite intriguing about obedient hearts, teachable spirits, and surrendered wills that the Holy Spirit responds to. During some of these teaching sessions that I witnessed, I felt like I was sitting on a shore and the tide began to come in. Wave after wave would wash over me with increasing intensity. All of us seemed to be affected and moved by it. We have had a few pastors come back that have went through the training and have reported powerful awakenings in their congregation, and repeated confirmations that this is exactly what God wanted to go on here. I am so thankful that he took my misguided thoughts of a missionary house and turned it into a teaching house. Every day it just feels “right” here. People come and go with a sense of purpose and anticipation. Man cannot create this atmosphere, but only through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Heidi had the opportunity to meet with some of the people she had been introduced to earlier on, and even a few new ones. Her ability to minister to the women is quite strong and valuable. We understanding that the power of our flesh being as one makes us far greater than isolated islands of self. I now look for opportunities for her to exercise her gifts and then celebrate with her in the outcome.
Tony is a remarkable young man. I wish all of you could meet him. I have literally spent a few hundred hours around him between the first and second trip. There has not been any indication of anything but who he truly is. That is a kind, gentle, and Jesus loving leader that came out of the ghetto of Malawi. Most people would think that it would be impossible to have the characteristics that he possesses at such a young age. This is a clear indicator that God took his difficult life and touched his heart with a unceasing love for Him. Not only that, he has been blessed with individuals around him that have the same characteristics. Much of the influence came from Pastor Deverious. I believe he too will become part of the Echo team moving forward. He is a high-energy Jesus-focused individual that has a great desire to populate heaven.
Annie from Annie’s Lodge, Catherine her daughter, and Bishop Yummie came to experience a teaching session. They were all moved and very supportive of our endeavor. The bishop said that there has never been a missionary group to come and establish what God has done here. She was very excited to understand the potential of what God is doing. We discussed the Bible distribution program, and she thought it was suitable. That is because God had given us the better way to distribute them. When we tried to do it in our own power, chaos was the result. We were then given the insight to have people memorize 10 verses in order to receive a Bible. Since we have initiated this protocol, the process has improved immensely.
God wants us to be so obedient, that when we sense a better way, we quickly adopt it. We are joyful to see where God is going to take us on this journey. I am so thankful that Heidi experienced the will of God for her here also. I do believe the day that Maria steps foot here, she will fall in love with the people as we have. My heart is already beginning to feel the pains of departure. The fact that it is remarkably easy to be around people that have practically nothing is compelling.
In America, we are so caught up in our possessions, homes, cars, jobs, entertainment, and a variety of other things, we have largely missed out on the most important piece- seeking God with all our hearts, minds, souls and strengths. Throw in on top of that “Love God,” and “Love your neighbor,” and you nearly have paradise. Sadly, this is never perfect reality, because we each have sinful natures, and we are so caught up in the things of this world.
I have been to many luxury vacations and none of them can hold a candle to the experiences I have had here in Africa. When you serve others and give to them without any expectation, God rewards us with satisfaction in our hearts that is indescribable. We will still have small teams of missionaries come down here, largely to learn more from them when it comes to simplicity of life and what is important. Empowering them with solid Biblical teaching is already yielding wonderful returns. Most of these men, and a few women, have had little to no biblical training. Pastor Rick has made significant transformations with his teachings. They would love for him to stay.
We were out to dinner last night, and Tony and Calvin had been fasting and praying that we could stay longer. I am not sure what God is going to do with that. I guess we will find out when we go to the airport today. If one of us happen to get bumped from the flight, I will be the one to voluntarily take it. There is a number of things that still need attention that I could be helpful with. One of the bigger ones is training individuals on the use of motorcycles. We purchased two of them to have a more economical way of people visiting the village pastors. I do not believe anyone has any experience on motorcycles. Whatever happens, it is always exciting to be in the service of the King.