We decided to take a three hour drive to see Lake Malawi. Our anticipation level of what the Lord would reveal continues to heighten. Daily we seem to have opportunities to spread the Gospel. In addition to that our accelerated training continues at a ferocious pace. Through the chain of events that started a few months ago, the next training material has been put before us. We are only interested in Bible-based material that somehow just seems to appear before us in the right order. With that said, I want to make sure I emphasize that there is a connection between all of it. The best thing is that it clearly points back to the Bible and increases our understanding of things we previously did not know. For those who want to go much deeper, please consider the audio series by Watchman Nee. He has been anointed with very insightful and direct revelations concerning the word of God. Anyone who listens and then validates it with the Word of God will be blessed.
Many of us have been watching it and have been very impressed. Most likely this will become mandatory viewing for all Echo leadership. You have heard me mention many times how vastly advanced these young men in Malawi are in their spiritual understanding. They have received much insight and confirmation concerning God’s plan for Echo. I have believed for some time that they were holding back, as if directed by God to wait until I was ready to receive. Yesterday I met with Jeffrey and Joe, the primary teaching staff for the pastors. These men have been involved in incredible deliverance ministries since they were quite young. Only through much prying and questioning could I get them to talk. They are very humble and do not find it necessary to tell others of the battles they waged in the Army of God.
I have been in home Bible study groups with the same story that had been told several times from three or four years ago. I am guilty of the very same thing. When things begin to happen supernaturally almost on a daily basis, the need to tell others vanishes unless the Lord calls us to share for specific reason. In my previous blog reports, I shared many many things. Most of it is not reported any more. Most of it would probably not be believed. By faith, I continue to be prompted to write. If the Lord ever wants a more documented report, I have laid down the skeleton to help remember all the details I have not shared.
For those of you that read this and care enough to pray for what God’s Echo is doing, I will share this. When I was talking with Jeffrey, he cautiously shared something with me, “The small little demons that irritate us most are not what we are dealing with.” As he rose his hand from the floor to the ceiling he said, we are dealing with much much bigger forces that are coming against us. Powers and principalities know that what is happening with Echo is something different and is ordained by God.” Then he went on to share stories of visions that village pastors had concerning Echo, things that these men could not possibly know. There has been many such conformations of the battle that lies ahead and that prescribed will that God wants to be fulfilled. Only through the power of Jesus will these things happen. This means I must have 100% trust in God, and not my own abilities.
Through the sifting process that God allowed me to go through, more weaknesses in myself were uncovered. The process was painful and humbling as I had hoped my walk with the Lord was further down the path. All the things that I have learned, all the experiences that I have lived, all the changes that have occurred in the last several months have taken away all trust in myself whatsoever. This however is exactly the way the Lord wants it to be. Any reliance or favor of our self, the flesh, is disobedience to the Lord. The reality is that the Lord’s ways are so far beyond our ways, and total surrender is the only way to enjoy the peace that He provides. If we do not choose this path, we are in a constant state of restlessness. Caught between relying on our own understanding part of the time and only turning over to God what we think we cannot handle. This is a place I have found myself many times. The much preferred path that I am now trying to focus on is yielding completely all aspects of everything that I am. In place of that complete belief that Jesus is much more capable in every area of my life by far.
Every day we choose active duty to serve Jesus. At Lake Malawi ,God had prepared all the situations that we came into for His glory. We were able to play a small part in leading some Muslims towards the understanding of Jesus. The Muslim village chief wants to convert to Christianity. We ended up talking to around 40 people in four days who all had a great interest to know Jesus. Never once did we try to forcibly convert anybody or demonstrate anything but love. We just presented the love of Jesus and His great power. The last day that we were there I had Tony come up with several boxes of Bibles. We met behind a house with around 25 people. I believe the majority of them are Muslims. There was a young man there that had just started a ministry. Last week he told us he had 16 Muslims convert to Christianity. His big dilemma was the ability to get Bibles. He was shocked to learn that we had brought over 100 Bibles with us. He was praising the Lord for this provision.
I just want to make sure I make one point very clear. We have several Muslim friends in Malawi. We never argue, debate, or tear down their faith. We tell them about Jesus because it is our responsibility, but never demonstrate anything but love, which is all that is necessary. When the Holy Spirit is working on their hearts, conversion may occur. We have no power in ourselves to convince anyone. We just present and the Holy Spirit works. Many things are beginning to happen in that area. We are sending another team up there in a couple days.The opportunity for things to explode very quickly in that area seems probable.
Another interesting thing that happened is with the cottage that Heidi and I rented. It was right on Lake Malawi and once was a leadership training facility for Bible training. There are still remnants of the painted signs around the cottage. The cottage has four bedrooms, two baths, a large porch, kitchen and a beautiful beachfront. I was shocked to learn that it was only $62 a night. That included a full-time staff member to cook all the meals and clean. In addition to that, there were four guards that monitored the property around-the-clock. We were able to witness to all of the people there and give them Bibles. We shared several meals with them and we were saddened to hear that in the 10 years they had worked there, no one had ever done that. No one had ever talked to them about Jesus. It was a very memorable time. Here is the kicker-the cottage normally goes for $180 a night. I was unable to find any references anywhere that the price was ever $62 a night.
Couple this with all the other things that happened, and it was very obvious that God had ordained all of it. He is so merciful, and in my weakness, He restored me through His strength. He showed me how important the work of Echo is and the countless opportunities He has already laid out before us. I was feeling a bit defeated because of my deficiencies in the leadership role. God graciously showed me that it is not my strength but His. I need to continually remind myself of that and watch Jesus do miraculous things.