Gods Love Making Waves In Mali
God loves through us, God heals through us, God delivers through us, God speaks through us. All we are is His channels, to connect earth with heaven, to bring down the kingdom of God, to bring to pass God's purposes for this place and this hour. For what purpose? That all men would know that Jesus Christ alone is God, that every knee must bow before Him, and that His arms are outstretched right now to receive every repentant sinner, so that the honor of God will be restored in the sight of Muslims and all other worshippers, that His name will be lifted high and be praised by all and His fame spread to every corner of the earth.
Mali is a nation with few Christians, with even fewer who walk in the power of God doing the works Jesus did. Yet Mali is a nation loved by God, and THIS is its hour! All I've ever longed for was to see God pour out His Spirit in this nation, saving the lost, healing the sick, setting the captives free, delivering the demonized, loving the unloved, nourishing the famished, healing the land crippled by droughts, locusts, poverty and sickness.
Looking back over 2004, it was truly a remarkable year the second half so different from the first. Centre Apostolique Malien was established in November and this past week, after God told me specifically to do those two events, on the 25th and the 31st, we have seen even more of the "acceleration" and "multiplication" prophesied this summer. Only today I got more of a glimpse of how this past week the prophesies for 2004 were fulfilled, because God has started to set things in motion. And what God starts, nobody can stop!
CHRISTMAS FOR THE STREET KIDS
Yesterday I spoke to an influential neighbor who told me that everyone is talking about what we did for the street kids on Christmas (see my last update). She said that the whole neighborhood was touched by it! That we would do anything like that, truly loving them and caring for them. They said nobody had ever done anything like that before! Many of the poor neighbors had also come by and received some clothes.
Showing God's unconditional, selfless love has touched all the people around us, this whole part of town! The name of Jesus is spreading! More and more people know me, want to talk to me, and talk about me. In fact, people are ringing my doorbell more and more.
MOVIE NIGHT ON HEALING
The second thing to do God specifically told me was for the 31st Friday, which is when we show movies, projected onto a big screen. People LOVE movies! (Some asked us to show them every day :-) ) But the 31st was to be different. I was to show the one-hour video from my trip to Malawi with Todd Bentley in 2003, where you see plenty of miracles and testimonies. I once showed it to some people a year ago, and the faith being built was tangible!
Being the last day of the year, we didn't have as many people as usual. But many of the street kids keep coming back, and so we had about fifty kids and a few adults. The night before, Simeon, Sekou and I gathered to pray for the meeting. I grabbed my guitar to lead us in worship, and ended up singing prophetically for an hour, with God opening heaven above us and encouraging us with His words. It was awesome! In spite of everything, I'd felt some discouragement, but it was all gone after God spoke about what He was doing and going to do Friday night, inviting us to partner with him. One of the things was that God would send many angels of different kinds, and Simeon actually had a vision of angels surrounding the whole property.
So we started the Friday night "movie" night with high expectations. I told everyone what was going on in French, and Sekou interpreted for me. Sekou, who gave his life to the Lord in November, had never seen anything like it and was deeply impressed. And Hassan was also there to watch. Hassan spends much time here, because he is related to my guard Seybou (who lives on the property). I've had several great conversations with Hassan, talking about the Lord. He is a Muslim student.
When the video was done, I didn't spend much time talking, just telling them Jesus is the same here as in Malawi, and we'd pray for everyone sick. The street kids started coming forward, most of them having bilharzias (a sickness contracted from the dirty river water that causes you to urinate blood and can ultimately lead to infertility if not treated). I had given some instruction to my team beforehand, asking Simeon to always stand behind the person I'm praying for primarily for safety reason, but telling him he could join in the prayer. Little did I know ..
I'm looking forward to seeing "our" street kids again tomorrow in the service, and hearing testimonies of healing. After the kids, and a young man, Hassan came up for prayer, which surprised me. He said he had severe back pains, and asked us to pray for him. I put my hand on his back and prayed, while Simeon stood behind him. When I finished, Simeon spoke up and started sharing what God had showed him about Hassan's life. Hassan listened intently and you could see how it gripped him. In the end he asked how Simeon knew all that! I told him that God had revealed it because He loves him and wants to intervene in his life. We encouraged him to come back and join us for the services. He is often busy on Sundays.
Tonight (the day after), the bell rang and as I went outside, Hassan was at the door. He was full of excitement, telling me that his back was healed! He is 27 years old and had had that back pain for 8 years. He said, after our meeting, he went out to celebrate the New Year and went to bed at 4 in the morning, having danced all night. When he woke up in the morning, he realized something was different the pain was gone! He had never awoken once without the pain! I asked him whether he would share in the service tomorrow, but he has other responsibilities. Please pray that Hassan will have the courage to give his life to the Lord.
Last night, after Simeon and Sekou had left, I decided on the spot (obviously inspired by God) to walk over to my neighbors' house and wish them a happy new year. That Malian family influential and wealthy has adopted me into their family because I'm Austrian and they lived a few years in Austria in the 70s. They greeted me warmly, had me sit down and gave me a plate of great food. I stayed for about 90 min, enjoying my time, having a "New Year's Eve party" after all. It is that lady (who is quite influential and heading some associations) who told me about the impact we've had on the community. She told me about several families nearby who don't even have food to eat (they look for it in garbage cans), who had come last week and who were deeply touched. Then she said she would bring them over Saturday night so I could see who they were.
On Saturdays I never have a program or people over, since I prepare for Saturday, but tonight Simeon and Sekou made a surprise visit again, perfectly timed by God. They had only been here two minutes, when Fanta was at the door in beautiful clothes, with 8 other women, dressed in their best clothes as well. Simeon and Sekou wanted to leave, but I told them to stay. Fanta took the word (none of the women speak French) and said that the women had come to personally thank me for last week and to say how they have been touched. Then one lady said that she had heard that we pray for the sick and asked me to pray for her baby that was on her back. So I prayed for that little Albino baby struggling with diarrhea and vomiting. I also told them about Hassan's healing, to encourage them. When Fanta heard that, she said she also needs healing, so I offered to pray for her right there and then which she gladly accepted. I asked Simeon to join me. After the prayer, Simeon asked whether he could share what God had shown him, and he did. We ended up praying for all nine women, and every time Simeon shared what God had shown him, deeply touching each woman's life. Honestly, the solution for their various problems was Jesus knowing Him, loving and serving Him. All of them said they'd come back for the service tomorrow. Simeon made it VERY CLEAR they were to come every Sunday ;-)
So, you can see, the little drops are starting to make waves. May more and more come to know Him, become disciples, be healed and be touched by the tremendous love of our Lord!
May His power and His glory be manifest in Mali in 2005, and may all of you have this year full of the presence of our Lord!
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