A huge THANK YOU to all those who prayed for Robyn and I while we were in Africa. We definitely felt the power of those prayers. We are truly grateful for your commitment to pray for us. We PRAISE GOD for His FAITHFULNESS. We travelled safely, were never in danger at anytime and stayed healthy the entire time. GOD looked after us very, very well.
I can testify to the GRACE of GOD that was upon me enabling me to embrace every new experience with joy!
I am very grateful to Katrina Miller for making at least 600 mini banners for me to take to Africa. As I handed them out they were all received enthusiastically. I know the Lord will richly bless Katrina for her servant heart and willing spirit. The photos of African children, waving the mini banners and eagerly smiling, are a small reward for Katrina.
When we left Sydney the Lord had revealed only ONE contact for us and that was Lynda Stephenson a New Zealander who with her husband has been a missionary in Tanzania for 20 years. You can check out their website at www.joshuamissions.org.
So it was exciting to see the way the Lord connected us with the many divine appointments that He had waiting for us in Africa. We arrived in Arusha, Tanzania on a Monday morning and I quickly made contact with Lynda. We agreed to meet on Tuesday and discuss plans for our stay in Arusha. But Monday night, our first night in Tanzania was when the Lord began to display His flair for organising. It was after dinner and I began chatting to an African woman who came and sat next to me at the table to partake of her late dinner. In the course of the conversation I realised she was a Christian. I offered to pray for her and she readily accepted the offer. When I prayed for her the presence of the Lord became so strong that I knew she was a divine appointment in my life for Tanzania and that I must pursue this “new friendship”.
It was after the prayer time that my “new friend” told me that she would be travelling (on business) for 3 days in areas that practised witchcraft. When she mentioned witchcraft I knew I had to somehow invite myself along on that trip. Breaking the power of witchcraft was one of the assignments the Lord had given me before I left Sydney and so I knew this was a divine assignment. Remember, I have just met this woman and I have not met any of her colleagues. I don’t have much information and I am planning on committing myself and Robyn into the hands of total strangers for 3 days in a country that we are strangers in!!!!
So I jumped right in and said “Is it alright if I join you on this trip”. My new friend said “Habore” (Welcome). This was Monday night and she and her team would be leaving Wednesday morning at 8am. Thank God that we don’t have to rely on our own reasoning…we have the word of God to lead us. Robyn and I sought the Lord regarding this ‘new endeavour’ and later that night He gave us a clear direction from His word in Acts 11v12.
And the [Holy] Spirit instructed me to accompany them without [the least] hesitation or misgivings or discrimination.
How awesome is that!!! We were now free to travel with our ‘new friend’ with peace and confidence knowing that we were in the centre of His will!!!!
This trip of 3 days took us to remote places that tourists would not normally visit. So isolated was one village that kids of ages 2 and 3 screamed and ran away when they saw us. Their contact with white folk was very rare!!
In one village my “new friend” knew the local pastor. So an evening meeting was arranged at a home and members of the congregation, children and adults gathered so that I could pray for them. Christians and Moslems freely received prayer, praised God and gave honour to the blood of Jesus Christ.
We travelled to Dar es Salaam and while there I went to a hospital to pray for a certain child who had cancer. I wrapped the banner of the blood around her and prayed boldly in the Name of Jesus for healing. There were 8 other parents in the room who watched me pray as they sat with their sick children. Those other mums asked me to pray for their children also and only 2 of those 8 were Christian families. What a privilege! What an AWESOME God we serve.
The Lord is a great planner, as the following story reveals. We were driving along one afternoon in Dar es Salaam when we passed a young school girl waiting for a bus. She waved at us indicating that she would like a lift. Our friend stopped to give her a lift and as he started talking to her he found out that she is a Christian. I asked if I could pray for her. She said YES! So I did pray for her and also spoke to her about the blood of Jesus Christ. You can see in the photo I am giving her a mini banner. How loving is our God that He would single that young girl out. She is blessed!
Not far from Dar es Salaam is the town of Bagamayo. This is where David Livingstone started a church. I had the privilege of ministering in a Pentecostal Church in Bagamayo on Easter Friday. It was a very humbling experience as the church was the size of a western bathroom, had a dirt floor and logs for seats. I was overwhelmed when the Pastor turned his pulpit over to me. I taught and preached on the blood of Jesus Christ to a very receptive congregation. When they sang “O the blood of Jesus” in Swahili I felt like I had gone to heaven. My joy continued as I joined in singing with the English words to this song that gives glory to the blood of Jesus Christ. This time of ministering and fellowshipping with my brothers and sisters in Christ, in Africa added a new dimension to my understanding of the BODY OF CHRIST. Indeed I had many similar experiences where God’s presence overwhelmed me as He honoured those who were gathering to glorify His body. I gave a large banner of the blood of Jesus Christ as a gift to the Pastor. It looks great hanging on the wall behind his pulpit.
While in Dar es Salaam we visited an orphanage that takes care of Christian and Moslem children. I was able to talk to all those children about the blood of Jesus Christ and pray the protection of the blood of Jesus on them. Wherever I ministered to children I would tell them that the Lord was asking me to pray for them as I would pray for my own children. I would tell them that sometimes I cry when I pray, but that those tears are tears of joy as the love of God is being released in my prayers.
In Dar es Salaam I was able to speak at a Mom’s in Touch meeting on my favourite subject. Yes! The blood of Jesus. At the conclusion of the meeting some of the women asked me to pray for them. What a privilege it was to be able to wrap them in the banner of the blood and minister to them. All Praise to God. Remember all that happened in Dar es Salaam was because of the divine appointment that the Lord organised on our FIRST night in Tanzania. I think the Lord takes great delight in not only preparing schedules but also watching our faces and listening to our squeals of delight as we see HIS GREAT PLAN unfold before our very eyes.
So we returned to Arusha and connected with Lynda our NZ friend. Lynda has started a school in a town called Magugu. I had the great privilege of praying for all those children and laying my hands upon their heads. I joined with Lynda as she prayed for the teachers of the school. I also had the honour of praying for the students in the bible college that Lynda and Alan Stephenson run. After that time of ministering I was asked by a pastor and a children’s pastor of two different churches to come and minister to the children in their respective congregations. And we only had one Sunday left in Arusha so that turned out to be a jam packed day.
We started Sunday morning by walking to Kaloleni Pentecostal Church where I prayed for the children who attended the morning service. They listened intently as I told them about the blood of Jesus Christ. I prayed over them and laid hands on each of them. They were delighted to receive their mini banners. Worshipping at Kaloleni Pentecostal is an all day experience, so between the two children’s services I met with the Pastor. What a privilege and honour it was to pray for him. He actually asked me to pray for him before I even had an opportunity to offer. The children in the afternoon session delighted me as they sang about the blood of Jesus. Their singing ( well 20 seconds !!) of a traditional song can be enjoyed...
I wrapped each of the precious children in the banner of the blood of Jesus. As I embraced each one I felt overwhelmed by the presence of the Lord enveloping me. Often the tears would flow as I knew the Master had His hands around each of these little ones.Following the afternoon session at Kaloleni Pentecostal Church I ministered at a church located in the heart of the slums of Arusha. The city of Arusha (pop approx 283,000) is full of contrasts just like any other city of the world and although our guest house was in the leafy suburban area there was also the slum part of Arusha. And it was the slums that needed a Christian witness. The Pastor of Embassy of Jesus Christ was given a directive by the Lord to establish a church in the slums. He now ministers to children for two hours each Saturday and Sunday afternoon. I had the privilege once again to teach children about the blood of Jesus Christ pray for them and lay my hands upon their head. Lynda Stephenson gave me the contact details for a strong Christian woman who had started an orphanage in the slums. I called her and offered to come and pray for the children. This proposal was rare and took this woman by surprise. My accent didn’t help matters and so all night she wrestled with my phone call. Did the Australian woman say she wanted to “play” or “pray”, for the children? Apparently no one had offered to pray for the children before. This wonderful woman of God was DELIGHTED when she met me face to face and was able to confirm that my desire was to PRAY for the children. She gave the Lord all the praise and all the glory for sending me to pray for the abandoned children in her care. She knelt before me and asked for prayer. It was a humbling experience as I laid the banner over her and prayed for her.
We left Tanzania stunned by what the Lord had done. All we could do was praise Him and declare that we serve an AWESOME GOD.
So we arrived in Johannesburg with NO CONTACTS. We booked a driver recommended by the hotel and asked him to take us to orphanages in Soweto. We did that for 3 days. Our driver took us grocery shopping for rice, maize, toilet paper, tea bags and juice to take with us to the orphanages. We went to 4 orphanages in Soweto and 2 in Jo’burg. We went unannounced not knowing anyone and were never refused when we asked to pray for the children. How amazing is that!! I laid my hands on every child including babies that were 10 days old. At first I thought how sad that new babies were in an orphanage BUT then I saw the Lord’s perspective. Those babies who were abandoned had the privilege of receiving the protection of the blood of Jesus when they were just days old. What a loving God we serve. They will live all the days of their lives covered by the blood of Jesus Christ.
The Salvation Army are doing a great job in South Africa in looking after abandoned children. Indeed, I had to travel there to learn that their motto is “BLOOD and FIRE”. So imagine my delight as I waved my banner under their motto. I was definitely in the right place! One of the Salvation Army homes also had a school on their grounds. When we arrived at 11.15am and asked if we could pray for the children I was thinking we could come back tomorrow after the executive had interviewed us. But the Captain said we could pray straight away for the school children …about 240 of them. They lined up in the assembly area in rows according to their year group. When I looked at the neat rows I was staggered. It was as though it was pre arranged for me. I simply walked up and down the rows laying my hands on every head. What a privilege!
Wherever we went I always offered to pray for the teachers, helpers and nurses. I was never refused. In some instances people called me over to pray…..they didn’t want to miss out! I give the Lord ALL the PRAISE and ALL the GLORY for what was an outstanding missionary endeavour.
I must also acknowledge that the trip to Africa was a team effort. Supporting me at all times was the constant, faithful and committed prayers of Robyn and Sharon. I know that their prayers put heavens prayers in my mouth. When I spoke words of knowledge it was because they had prayed. A three fold cord is not easily broken.
And what did I see from heaven’s perspective? I saw the UNLIMITED GRACE and LOVE of the FATHER HEART of GOD POURED OUT over the children of Africa. Children of every description. Abandoned, Handicapped, Moslem, Christian and children of all ages loved by the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY. It was indeed a great honour and privilege to serve the Lord.