I’m so sorry it’s been almost a month since I’ve blogged. November has been one crazy month! The things I’ve seen, felt, and experience can only be summed up as that, crazy! We were in Lindley, South Africa from October 30th to November 18th. I hope you’ll be amazed, inspired, challenged, and encouraged by my crazy stories of what happened.
I’m going to break it down by location/activity because those three weeks were jam-packed.
Clinics– I can’t even count how many days we went to the clinics. Ha, a huge waiting room is a great way to get a captive audience! The clinics here are so different to the U.S. The nurses, doctors, and staff are very open to Christians coming in and never set a time limit. So some days we’d be there for 25 minutes, and other days for 1½ hrs. We always followed the same pattern; introductions, opening prayer, worship, preaching, salvation, & healing. Every time we went at least 10 people dedicated their lives to Christ. I’m honestly telling you I can’t even remember what I preached about from the Bible when it was my day. The Holy Spirit just completely took over and 19 people were saved that day! There was one day we were walking around the black community and this lady stopped us to tell us how her arm had been instantly healed one of the days we went to the clinic, and then she went around telling all the people in her neighborhood about it. Ha, God is great. Everyone who became a Christian gave their information to one of the Pastors so they could attend church and grow in their new faith.
Schools– We went to the schools 4 or 5 times in those 2 weeks. They were all public schools but shew, can they praise the Lord! They looooove to sing and dance about their Savior! There’s one photo of me preaching at a school in Lindley to the middle schoolers. It’s always a privilege to preach, especially to kids because they soak it all in. I taught them from 1 Chronicles 16:11 & 2 Chronicles 16:9 about how if they seek the Lord, he will give them strength. It was really special when I got to hear 150+ kids yell out “Lord, I seek you!” J Because that’s all God really wants from any of us, that we seek him with our whole hearts. If the kids get that from when they’re young, this world has nothin’ on them!
Prisons– Call me crazy, but I love prisons. I love the prisoners, I love talking to them, I love singing with them, I just love being in prisons. If you’ve never been in a prison, don’t judge. I wasn’t supposed to do anything inside the prison because it was an all male prison, and our rule is the men do the program in men’s prisons, and women in women’s prisons. But as I read my Bible the night before, God put a word in my mouth to speak. It’s Mark 13:26&27. The day we went to the Prison the sky was a perfect, clear, and beautiful blue. I told the prisoners blue represents hope and peace, and that’s what we have in Christ Jesus. This passage says that the Son of Man will come on the clouds one day with great power and glory, gathering his chosen ones. I told them that when they look up into a blue sky like that day, to have hope and remember their Savior is going to come back for them one day because they have chosen Him! It was a really powerful moment and I can honestly say I was filled with the Holy Spirit. (I’m not trying to sound super spiritual, that’s just the honest truth!)
Crusades– If you saw my photo of the people lying on the ground, you’ve only gotten a tiny glimpse at what happened. There are no words to even describe the crusades/tent revivals we helped with. There were 2 of them that we did, and they were completely different! One was all about prayer and worshipping the Lord no matter how long it lasted (seriously, 5 hours was too much for me…) And the other was all about dancing, singing, casting out demons, and manifesting the Holy Spirit. For me, these crusades were the most difficult part of our mission trip. Mentally, relationally, spiritually, and physically they were exhausting. We were walking 16 km/10 miles every day to these crusades and back. We had a lot of problems with the Pastors we worked with because they had never been trained or educated Biblically. Spiritually there was a lot happening. At one crusade, we were really facing problems with the people because they lied to us over and over again. We would do house-to-house evangelism and they would promise to come, and then never show up. At the other crusade many people were demon possessed and shouted, kicked, and cried for hours. One man was contorting so violently, he broke the light bulb and we were in darkness for about 10 minutes. Other people were manifesting the Holy Spirit and falling on the ground weeping, or jumping up and down, or speaking in tongues non-stop. It was just a lot to experience spiritually. For me, I didn’t feel peace with this for several reasons so it was exhausting always trying to discern whether these things were really from God or just from humans. But there was a lot of good as well. Many people came to Christ, many people really were healed and freed from Demons and received the Holy Spirit. But it was pretty crazy for me, coming from a nice n’ cozy, westernized sit down & listen church…
Prayer– By far my favorite part of our outreach was our prayer times. Morning prayer, prayer walks, prayer at the mountain, nighttime prayers, anointing prayers, and prayers for healing. We prayed SO MUCH during this mission trip and that’s why I believe God really worked within me and used my team. We prayed every morning before going anywhere after our own quiet times. We went to the mountain twice at 5am to shower the town of Lindley in prayer and do spiritual warfare. This was really powerful, and really early. 😉 We prayed every night as a team before going our separate ways, thanking God for all he had done that day and committing the next day into his hands. We prayed for healing in the clinics, in people’s houses, at the crusades, in churches; everywhere we went we prayed. There was a man we got to know named Henderson. He was attacked 3 years ago and had no ability to function. The doctors told his wife to pull the pug because he was a “vegetable who will never be able to respond” but God healed him and for over a year he had to relearn everything, from how to move his eyes down to his toes, how to eat, move, walk, everything! About a year after recovering God challenged him to walk 500 km across South Africa telling his fellow countrymen of how our God is a miraculous, gracious God! We met him when he was 7km outside of Lindley and escorted his entry to the city. When we met him it was a hot, sunny day and within 10 minutes it was raining with nickel-sized hail. Afterwards my whole body was red with being beat down by hail with just a t-shirt and shorts on. But it was neat to walk him into his next town and just lift him up in prayer as we walked with him. A few days later we washed & anointed his feet and prayed over him. It was really a blessing to be around him. He is a gentle and kind man who knows what it means to be thankful for life. We held a Pastors meeting the last day we were there and leading up to it we prayed every morning and evening for this (separate from our normal morning/evening prayers.) We had a ram’s horn we blew 7 times in every direction of the town. It was a symbolic battle cry that the walls of division, racism, and spiritual pride are coming down and that pastors of all kinds are being called forth. The pastors meeting went really incredibly and it completely fulfilled our prophetic battle cry! I think this was the closest in my life I have come to doing 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” God taught me a lot about prayer and through prayer. There was one instance when our host told us, “We must pray for 12 chairs because the group from Argentina is coming tomorrow and we don’t have enough chairs for them.” I actually laughed at this because I thought, what a dumb thing to pray for… chairs. So we prayed and that was that. Then next morning, the pastor living in the compound with us announced, “I want to thank God because I got a phone call this morning that some men have donated 100 chairs and several tables.” He didn’t even know we had prayed for 12 chairs last night. Not only did God answer that prayer but he gave us over and above what we asked for! I was so convicted and humbled afterwards because I thought it was dumb to pray for this, and God still answered the prayer! Prayer is powerful, because God is powerful!
I feel like I’ve said so little about this mission trip, and yet my post is already huge. So I just want to finish with this; God is an incredible Father who shows his love to us every minute of every day. I’m so thankful God goes before me, and yet he never leaves me. Amen.
Psalm 111:2-4,7& 10 “How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. He causes us to remember his wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our Lord! All he does is just and good. Praise him forever!”