I owe you my personal testimony about our latest venture into Zambia…
Many opportunities to witness presented itself and numerous testimonies to the Hand of God in peoples’ lives, were recorded. A few valuable lessons were learnt, challenges faced and loads of introspection done, figuring out what God had in mind with our future.
Both Charles and I left Rustenburg sick with the flu, to start with. On the way and in Zambia more health challenges presented itself because of drinking filtered river water but we learnt to depend on God, daily finding our strength in Him alone.
As we crossed into Zambia, getting off the ferry, I was off-balance, nauseous and quite ill. As I sat at the border post for three hours while Charles was doing the necessary paperwork and payment in a very chaotic system, my cry to God was: “Why bring me all the way here to be this sick? How am I supposed to do Your work feeling this way? I don’t understand!” Gradually we learnt the true meaning of 2 Corinthians 12:8-10:”…I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, ‘My Grace is enough for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefor I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses,… For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Spending time with Dan & Adrie van Aswegen in Kazangula we realised the power of prayer, fellowship, the breaking of bread (communion) and fellowship. All of us felt encouraged and uplifted by our time together, sharing God’s provision and plans with each other. We realised that God may not have called us to become long term, full time missionaries in a remote area, as He did Dan & Adrie, but we have a part to play by encouraging them and sharing their testimonies with as many people as possible. Our calling as “missionary trumpets”, as I like to refer to us, became crystal clear.
Arriving in the Sioma district, drinking the water from the Zambezi river, the next challenge in the form of tummy bugs hit us. Ryan, a young man from the USA working with Reaching a Generation, invited us to attend a church service of other missionaries in the area with him. With only the five of us as a ‘congregation’ of sorts, another Dan, from the USA, preached on healing, not knowing that we were in desperate need of healing. Only God knew and provided perfectly, including communion. As I partook I felt an immediate Touch and instant Devine Healing! Charles describe the bread and wine as taking meds, swallowing it with the grape juice, accepting God’s healing. The following day we started cycling and working hard at gathering testimonies from a variety of people in the area. Our constant and daily prayer was: “My Grace is enough for you!”, praying to God to use whatever food we could stomach and to strengthen us and enable us to be instruments in His hands. We went from strength to strength, encountering so many, witnessing to the daily Provision and Wonders from God.
During the following week we managed to record various testimonies, finding opportunities in between to minister to the people we met. Amongst others we spoke to Pastor Akufuna, originally from Zimbabwe but currently a Pentecostal Assemblies of God minister in Sioma. As Charles recorded his testimony I spoke to his wife, a qualified Social Worker, not being able to work in this remote area. I could share little bits and pieces of motherly wisdom with her, encouraging her to continue putting time and effort into raising their two daughters. We realised that our time together served to encourage them as well as enabling us to be blessed by the encounter. On the following Sunday we attended their church service at which time God opened the door for Charles to lead the service in Akufuna’s absence. Another Devine appointment!
As time passed, the slower African pace gave us time to reflect on God’s plan and purpose for us and we returned home with a clear picture of how God wants to use our strengths and talents in furthering His Kingdom. We have so much to do, so many stories to tell, so many more places to visit!
Acts 1:8 commissions us: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem (here, back home), and in all Judea (in our own Country, South Africa) and Samaria (anywhere in the World), and to the ends of the earth.”
John 15:4 says “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.” As long as we keep our eyes on God, He will use us, strengthen us and send us where we need to be. Lastly we realised the importance of intercessory prayer of fellow believers. We are supposed to constantly carry each other in prayer and should not think twice to ask friends to pray with us and for us.
We anxiously and eagerly look forward to whatever God has in mind for us next.