South Africa Story Part 2

God always moves ahead of us, preparing the way He has called us to go! As Pastor Martin Kim and I flew into Johannesburg, we prayed that the bishop would pick us up despite the fact that he had cancelled the meetings to which he had invited us.

Amazingly, the bishop and his son met us at the airport and flagged down a taxi to begin what was promised to be a three hour drive to the village where Pastor Kim would lead in prayer and I would lead with preaching and discipling. Three hours later, I asked the bishop if we were close. He assured me that we were getting close. Two hours later I asked again. He assured me we were getting close. About eight hours after beginning our drive we reached his home. A few hours later we arrived at the village where we were to have our meetings.

For the next week we stayed in a very small school with a tin roof, a light bulb, and an outhouse perfect for kindergarten kids! Baths were in a little, round tin tub with a bucket full of water for pouring. Every day we walked or rode through the village in the mornings to disciple children and adults to Jesus and in the evenings to preach Jesus and His life-giving power.

Jesus drew the people to Himself as we called the people to prayer, to live daily as His disciples, and to prepare for His coming. The people came from villages scattered across the region, some driving from far away with hunger to know how to live for Christ with His power.

One woman, a lay pastor, drove with her sister from a very remote mountain village. They stayed for several days and begged and pleaded with us to come and teach the people in her church to walk with God and to be ready to meet Jesus when He comes. All we could promise was that if God opened a door to come to her village, we would come.

A few days later God did that very thing. We had observed both the hunger of the people for Christ and growing opposition from the local leader. God told me in the middle of the night to take our team and get out of the village quickly well before it would become light.

“Where should we go?” I asked God.  He answered, “Go to the remote mountain village where the lay pastor invited you to come. Go quickly!” We left swiftly in the night.

The little Pentecostal church in the village surrounded by mountains was so excited to have us come! Every morning the children, teens, and adults came to be discipled to Jesus. Every night they came back to hear Jesus Christ preached. With raw spiritual hunger young and old gathered each day and night to know Christ and how He is our Righteousness and our Life.

Showdown Between Good and Evil

Forces of darkness were watching as the Savior was breathing His Truth into the hearts of those the demons claimed as their own. For centuries demons had held the people in the village in fear with their power. The villagers feared that their dead ancestors would come and haunt them as their evil spirits. This fear often led to Christians worshipping both Christ and demons. We were rapidly approaching a showdown between good and evil. Christ and the devil both placed a claim on the congregation.

On the sixth night I preached about Jesus’ soon return. The people were greatly moved with the clarity and power of God’s Word. They eagerly looked up each text I preached to see, like the Bereans (Acts 17:11 NLT), if these things were so.

As the people received the message of the second coming of Jesus, the Holy Spirit abruptly called me to preach the power of Christ over the grave and His truth about what happens when we die. I knew that this truth would directly confront the power of Satan over this village. This would be a pivotal moment! I prayed for strength and power from the Spirit of God.

As I began to proclaim the power of Jesus Christ over the grave, a storm hurtled down from the mountains and smashed against the little church with its tin roof. The little lights went out. I raised my voice as the winds lashed against the windows and the rain on the tin roof competed for attention.

I asked God what to do. He said it was not a normal storm, but that it was a demonic storm. He told me to preach louder. The storm grew louder. I was soon impelled to yell the message at the top of my lungs, but the storm now raged like a screaming, mythical monster. People a meter away could not hear a single thing.

I Will Teach Them Myself

“Oh God...!” I prayed. “I have done everything I could. I can’t yell any louder. What do I do now?” The Holy Spirit instructed me to gather the people into small groups, each group with at least one Bible and a light to see. He told me to give each group a text at a time to read together. He said, “I will teach them Myself.”

The children, teens, and adults huddled close with their heads bent low to hear the one in each circle reading the Word. All I did was to keep providing the next Bible passage for them to study, and the Holy Spirit did the teaching. For nearly an hour they studied the Word in this way with astonishing focus, passion, and hunger to know the Word for themselves.

The Spirit of God coached me to ask, “Is the Word of God clear that Jesus is coming again soon and every eye will see Him?”

“Yes!” they chorused.

“Is the Word of God clear that Jesus has all power over the grave and demons?”

Again, they cried, “Yes!”

With my heart thumping in my chest, I cried out in the storm, “Who will take your stand right now for these truths of Jesus and turn your back on the teachings and power of the demons of this valley?”

Call to Action: Stand for Christ

Outside the church the wind howled and moaned. The darkness was sinister. Every face was turned up in full concentration. No one moved. Everyone knew there would be a cost. To reject the gods and spirits of their ancestors would lead some to be cast out of their homes and families. They would face the loss of friends, family, and possibly their jobs. Then one young person took their stand, then another, and another until every child, teen, and adult had stood to their feet.

When they took their stand for Christ, the raging storm abated like a defeated foe. The howling winds died immediately. Satan knew he had met much more than a match. The Prince of Peace had quietly stood up in the storm, raised His hands, and silenced the winds.

Click here to read the South Africa story Part 1.

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