We arrived safely back in Bamako last night after an 18-hour
drive from Timbuktu. We will soon tell you about that adventure,
but let me first forward to you Alex Achuti's report on the week
in Bamako he wrote just before we took off.
What a week in Bamako, Mali!! When the plane touched down in Bamako,
I sighed with relief at long last. Mali is a landlocked ocuntry
and situated in the heart of West Africa. It was colonized by the
French and the majority of the people speak French. In Bamako alone,
we have also the tribe that speaks Bambara and the word Anitie is
to greet someone.
In the past week, we had a pastors conference in the mornings and
an open air crusade each evening. Cliff dwelt on Ezekiel 20:5 about
God who was once near but now is very far. God's chosen people had
turned away from God's ways and were worshipping other gods. But
God could not destroy them because because it would ruin His reputation
among the other Egyptians -- It would ruin His name. Some Bambara
worship gods, sacrifice to them and believe that by doing so they
are near their god. They circumcise both male and female to give
reverance to the queeen of heaven. They have gods of fertility and
health and protection. When men worship other gods, the Almighty
becomes very far from them.
Every single da at the end of these building up lessons, there
were prayers for this men and women of God. The first day was hard
as there was not much response from the pastors who numbered about
60. The second day they had opened up as we all sang with all our
hearts in praise of our God. Hallelulia eeeeeeh!! came out powerfully
as the Lord camedown to manifest His presence.
Randy saw four horses and knights reeady toi mount the horses.
Alex saw them punch holes in the heavens and the presence of God
could be felt in the room. The pastors became more and more free
as we imparted to each of them each day.
I watched their faces change from gloom on the first day to pure
bliss on the last day as they were ll smiles ande joy mingled with
tears as we spoke words of life (may God be gracious to you and
bless you. May the face of God shine upon your faces and may His
ways be made known on earth and your salvation amongall nations)
Tears rolled down their faces as they absorbed the words spoken
unto them. Praise be to God.
The only problem we had was in the time taken to translate from
English into French and then into Bambara.
The open air crusade (evangelism campaign) did not follow the pattern
of other crusades we have been a part of. The music begins around
7 pm. Their are chairs arranged in a huge semi-circle, leaving space
in the very large center for salvation and healing. We learned however,
that the large center space is really for the whole crowd to join
together in dancing to the Bambara songs of praise. They dance in
this large circle, normally in one line, but often in many lines
depending on the speed of which the dancers move. At times their
were four and five lines of dancers moving about in the circle in
From the first day, Cliff cenbtered on the message of healing the
land, that we are the representatives of God here on the eaerth
and are to affect even the earth. God desires to heal the land,
but first the inhabitants must turn to him, seek his face, pray
and turn from their wicked ways. He will hear them, forgive them
and heal their land. Atthe end of the crusade there were several
salvations and we prayed for many people. Many who desired to come
forward feared to do so openly for they could be disowned by their
family and friends. There can be great danger in becoming a Christian
in this overwhelmingly Islamic land.
On th second day, there were many more people in attendance, perhaps
300. Cliff gave us a chance to encourage the people from scripture
--I chose Psalm 24:1-4. This night, the response was better. The
Lord had given me a vision back in October regarding a man wearing
a grey suit and brought in by two people who supported him as he
could not walk by himself. Cliff saw him from the stage and directed
me to him. Yes!! He was the one I had seen!! God touched him powerfully
and he was able to go home without the support of the two people
who had been helping him. Praise the name of the Living God!!
The fourth day, Cliff called for those who desired to be filled
with the Holy Spirit. Abouit 300 came forward. As I encouraged them
from the microphone on stage and encouraged them to press in for
more, the Spirit of God rained on us all. I could hear screams and
sounds of groanings as the team reached them and touched them. It
was a unique experience as th people here do not show their emotions
openly, yet, here they were with tears in their eyes as God was
touching them so very powerfully.
We prayed for many hundreds over the four nights of the crusade.
We know there were 3 people whose eyesights were restored and testified
that they could see. There were two tumors that were reported to
us as having been disolved. Two people who began to walk properly
when they could not before.
Many of the people came to be healed but wanted nothing to do with
Jesus in the Islamic nation. The number of people who came for healing
and deliverance before and after the crusade as well as the meetings
and on the street were very many. While Jesus would heal all who
came to him, we do not know how many were healed that would not
come to him, only wanting to be prayed for by the visiting evangelism
We know there were many initial salvations, but there has been
great difficulty in determining the actual number. Again, even if
people did come forward and did pray for salvation, they would not
always allow their name and address to be taken by the counselors.
We are now on the way to Tombouctou, many hours by car. We will
arrive there in two days. I will write more then.