After our daughter had returned back to America, we had scheduled a trip to South Africa. Jonathan had visited Malawi to see what God’s Echo was doing. The conclusion was to move forward in South Africa with pastor training and Bible distribution. We were prompted to go there to help encourage Jonathan and support their efforts. Bubba was the name of the gentleman that was helping Jonathan and knew the local language, Zulu. We were met at the airport by both of them.
Whenever I go to a new place, I am always on a fact-finding mission. All who have been around me know that they can anticipate a barrage of questions. Once I have gathered information, I usually ask more questions. I try not to draw assumptions or conclusions based on my opinions but rather information that is given to me. This sometimes makes people feel uncomfortable and that is completely understandable. The importance of having complete transparency and functioning as a operating body of Christ is very important, especially in the day and hour that we are living. Because of my line of questioning, I caused Jonathan to be in a defensive position. I should have been more discerning about how the question and answering sessions were going. Altering my approach would have resulted in a more comfortable position for everyone.
Because of my actions, I created a stumbling block for my brother. Please forgive me Jonathan for not being more sensitive. Romans 14;13 NKJV, therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. The situation in South Africa continues to unfold. We will see the hand of God direct us as to the path that we shall take. Martin and Kelvin also went to South Africa after we did. They were able to understand things much deeper and came to the realization of the great need for Jesus in that area. Had I done a better job assessing the situation, my conclusion would have most likely been different.
Life in South Africa is much different than Malawi. The danger level is considerably higher and racial tension is also escalating. Whites are being kicked out of their homes, and there are shanty towns with whites and Blacks living together in poor situations. The value of life has diminished significantly. Sexual promiscuity is rampant. Prostitution, drugs, and alcohol are everywhere. The need for Jesus Christ is great and turning our backs on such a need would be disobedient to our Master. Kelvin is staying in South Africa for a few extra weeks. He will be assisting in areas that are necessary. Also this gives them the opportunity to grow into the role of mentoring and monitoring many locations as God chooses for Echo to increase. God is already moving his echo to other continents. The need to have a continual chain of trained-up leaders is imperative.
One of the more touching times of our journey was when we went to an orphanage. They cared for disabled children. They even had a patient that was 32 years old and was severely disabled. As we walked around, praying and interacting with them, we were moved very much in our hearts. A sense of love and compassion that flowed from Jesus was powerful. This moved me in a very strong way as we communicated with them. The Orphanage was very clean and well organized-probably the best I have seen in Africa so far. They have a significant need for new beds, however they are specialized and quite expensive. Jonathan and Bubba were going to look into getting the beds at a more reasonable cost. We will be praying for God’s direction in this area. There definitely is a need.
Back in Malawi, we were working on the purchase of some new property. Certain issues were coming against the purchase of one that we had selected. I felt that it was important for us to cut our trip short to South Africa to return to Malawi. We have purchased and received brick making equipment as a sustainability project for Echo. Our intentions were to be able to get this equipment operational on this trip. Unfortunately, we have not been able to resolve the property situation yet. We are confident by faith the Lord will provide the proper place. There is an industrial area that would be well-suited for our needs. Again there is opposition coming against us. I was talking with some of our brethren regarding Echo. There has been many visions and dreams from pastors and staff concerning our direction.
Several people that had no idea what we were up to have told us things. Some of the trusted spiritual leadership shared with me that the battle is very big for Echo. The forces that are coming against us are not weak demons. They are principalities and powers. This has been a strong indicator to those involved with us what we are up against and how important God views it. Without Christ we are totally insufficient for this battle, however with him we already have the victory.
I will share some photos from South Africa and also about the factory that we are trying to complete acquisition. I am blessed beyond belief to be associated with such a body of believers. Without their strengths, it would be exceedingly more difficult for me to overcome my weaknesses. Because of how well they demonstrate Christ in their lives, I know that He can do the same work in me.