Hello family and friends! We are sitting on the porch of our second tiny wooden cabin in Nelspruit, enjoying the cool of the afternoon at the base here. It is quiet and calm, since half of our school is on weekend outreach this weekend. John and I went last weekend, and it was incredible.
Our base is on the outskirts of Nelspruit in the “bush,” and it is gorgeous. We can see the mountains and the city from camp, and have seen zebra and wildebeast from our front porch! Just trotting by the electric fence marking the boundary of the base, which runs right by our cabin. Today we explored a bit outside the first gate, and rested on a huge rock cliff overlooking two lakes. We saw 2 more wildebeast, bush-bucks, a large bright-blue lizard, and a big monkey!
We wanted to share a little bit about our weekend outreach last weekend. Two color groups went together to a very small town about an hour away. We had 3 services throughout the weekend in a tent, and invited as many people as we could. The Iris Bible School pastors also attended – they are local men who are getting trained up in the Spirit and Truth to pastor churches here. We stayed in smaller groups in locals’ homes – on beds, on couches, and on floors. It was amazing to be invited in and welcomed so warmly, and to really see life in the town.
On Saturday afternoon, we went in groups of 4 with an interpreter to walk around the town and meet and pray with people. This was in incredible experience, and I am humbled and honored that I got to be a part. We just walked and prayed, greeted with Jesus’ love, met people, and asked if they would like prayer for anything. So simple, so intentional, and so powerful. God uses our yieldedness matched with our weakness and total dependence on Him. He loves it!!
The first home we approached was that of a single mother, two of her children, and her grandchild whom she takes care of as her own child. Her grandchild, Valencia, has a disability which affects her brain and has locked up/crippled her left arm and her legs from the knees down. She is about 7 or 8, only speaks in jibberish, walks on her knees, and is completely full of joy. Her mother warmly invited us in and was willing to have us pray over Valencia. I held that precious, wiggly one and we invited God into the home. We prayed blessings over the home, and each member of the family. When we asked the Holy Spirit for discernment of how to pray, we followed God’s instructions and cast out demonic strongholds over Valencia, and asked Jesus to fill those places. Though Valencia didn’t walk that day, we know there was victory. Her mother brought her to the service that evening, and let me dance with Valencia and allow her to have fun bouncing and dancing along the front of the tent. It was beautiful. Jesus, continue revealing yourself, your love, and your power to that family! We claim them for you!
We visited several other homes along the way. One particular home we passed by, as 3 men were yelling sarcastically at us in broken english, “Have you come to preach to us? Please come!” They were very clearly drunk. Four women sat close by, not talking, looking numb. Our interpreters said we should pass by as the men were drunk. As we asked God what to do, He told us to go to them, and our interpreter agreed. John ministered to the drunk men, while Karen (UK), myself, and one of the interpreters chatted with the women. Ministry is so simple – it’s loving people with Jesus’ love. Looking people in the eyes, asking them their name, smiling, and serving them in humility. As we chatting and laughed, we asked if we could pray for anything with them. Only one said yes. She said she needed “strong prayer.” When we asked what for, she said, “life.” We introduced her and 2 of the other women to Jesus, and our interpreter (who is maybe 16 or 17, and is a man after God’s heart!) got to lead them in a sweet prayer of salvation in their native tongue. We blessed them and prayed for further revelation of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! Yay God!!
There was so much more, and so much that God is doing in us. Teaching and worship has been wonderful, and we have been so thankful for a weekend of rest. One week and a couple days until we all migrate to Pemba for the last leg of our journey!
Praying for you all as we think of you. We are so thankful for your love and support!
Sam and John