The journey to Africa this time lasted nearly 2 months. In just over a year, we have spent 5 months on the continent, and experienced several advancements for the Kingdom. I want to make it perfectly clear that only by the power and presence of the Almighty have the numerous achievements been possible. Left to my own devices, I would have screwed things up within the first month, then most likely, the progress would have stopped. Thank the Lord He is not looking for perfection because He knows we are incapable of that. However He is looking for total surrender and obedience. When we make wrong decisions, He peers into our hearts to see our motives. If our motive was harmless, and with good intent, we are exceedingly and abundantly granted grace and mercy.God’s gentle hand of correction then re-establishes the course that was set to fulfill God’s will.
Now I have accumulated several hundred hours in the presence of human beings that have demonstrated selfless love to levels that put me to shame. My own mother is the only person I ever knew that was capable of such a feat. I cannot express the eternal gratefulness that I have to be part of this body of believers. I have learned that in several of the most important aspects of being a follower of Christ, I’m still “on milk” (1 Corinthians 3:2). I am only “a meat eater” when it comes to my warrior spirit ready for battle. Now I have come to the realization that unrestrained boldness is actually foolish and shows lack of wisdom. Kelvin shared something quite profound yet easy to understand the night before we left.
He placed two glasses in front of him. One was nearly full of water, and the other was empty. He then said we are represented by these two glasses. Each one is equally important, but they must be managed properly. He poured the water from one glass into the other. He then held the empty glass in one hand. Then he said, “This empty glass represents our unquenchable thirst to know Jesus better.” When we get new wisdom and revelation in this glass we should quickly pour it in the second glass.” Through the power of the Holy Spirit, our mind and spirit become fortified by the Word of God and experiences. This fortification takes place in the second glass. We should not take anything out of that second glass to share with another unless we are directed by the Holy Spirit. If this simple process was followed, many divisions and competitive behaviors would be eliminated.
I have fallen into this trap hundreds of times. Sharing videos with others. Sharing experiences with others. Sharing the latest revelation of Scripture with others. I myself may have been excited about what was presented before me. That however does not mean that the individual that I am sharing with would share the same enthusiasm. My missteps in this area have caused conflicts that were unnecessary. The formula is quite simple actually.
Unquenchable thirst to know Jesus more
Store all wisdom, revelation and experiences
Share these experiences only when the Holy Spirit gives you clearance to do so
By waiting on the Holy Spirit, you know that the other person receiving has been prepared by The Lord. The seeds that you will plant from your storehouse will take root and bear fruit at some point. When we randomly cast our experiences on others, it is rarely fruitful. Why? The soil has not been prepared by the Holy Spirit. I have listened to hours of stories from Kelvin. He is barely ¼ of a century old, yet he has the wisdom of somebody three times that age. Certainly his many years of pursuing God and asking to have secrets revealed to him has resulted in a great harvest. The Christlike characteristics that he demonstrate are quite notable.
We have been looking at a factory to buy for our brick making equipment and pastor training. The house that we currently have will be going up for sale. On January 11 at 6:00 AM in the morning, I sensed by faith that the price the factory would be purchased for was 190. I then wrote this down on a piece of paper and dated it. For a month of negotiation back-and-forth, the price came fairly close to 190. I knew that if I payed one penny more than the price I had sensed in my spirit, I would be in violation to what God had prompted me. Unbelievably through the power of the Almighty, it was delivered for that cost with a 30% reduction in taxes that needed to be paid also. Praise Jesus for His mighty hand. God is showing me that waiting on Him is far better than barging ahead.
Another interesting thing that happened the last day there was that my bracelet broke. Most of you probably do not have a clue what this means. This bracelet was given to me by a man that ripped off Echo for a considerable amount of money by selling us a stolen vehicle. We even took the vehicle to the police station before we purchased it to make sure it was legitimate. Something was overlooked and we later discovered that it had been stolen from South Africa. When I discovered what happened, I took this bracelet off in disgust, vowing not to wear it anymore. The bracelet says I (heart symbol) Jesus. The Lord quickly reminded me that the dishonest actions of others should in no way affect my desire to wear the bracelet. In fact whenever I looked at the bracelet and thought of the perpetrator, I should pray for him. Reluctantly, I prayed for him on occasion. The day the bracelet broke, our attorney made an offer to buy the truck as he felt the paperwork situation could be resolved. We had purchased other vehicles and did not really need it anymore. I wonder if I was disobedient to the prompting if the outcome would have been the same. God has a wonderful way of working all things to the good for those that love Him.
Patiently waiting on the Lord resulted in the building being delivered for 190. As a bonus, a 30% tax reduction accompanied that. Finally we will have a place to set up our brick making equipment and move towards sustainability. The Lord has chosen to open up another facility in Salima. Several of our team members have visited the area and have all come to the same conclusion. The Holy Spirit has gone before us and made the ground quite fertile. There is an extreme hunger in this Muslim community to convert to Christianity. We just present the Gospel of Jesus Christ in love, and the Holy Spirit does the rest. By faith, I believe that tens of thousands in this area will come to know Jesus as Savior.
Another location is now under consideration. A beautiful thousand acre farm could serve as a great sustainability project for all of our Malawi locations. There are many moving parts in the organization now, and Martin is extremely strategic planner to help roll them out. He is nearly half my age, and is extremely gifted in organization and ministry. He will be the global director of Echo and the front person for most everything concerning it. His exuberance and passion to lead for the Lord is unmatched to anyone I have ever seen. He also has a natural ability to become friends with anyone. The mistake of not utilizing him as much as possible would be a direct violation to God’s plan. Thank You Lord for sending Martin. He has been a huge blessing to all of us. We will be launching some initiatives in the US soon. The subject matter will be much different than what we are currently doing in other parts of the world. I will give you a Bible verse that points the direction we are moving. Deuteronomy 30;19 NIV , This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.