As we have come into this new year we have felt a strong leading of the Lord to establish righteousness and the power of the Holy Spirit within the churches of Central Mozambique. We have felt that to see this happen we need to spend time in the teaching and demonstration of these things. It’s our desire to join with the local churches and spend time with the pastor and leadership in teaching and practical ministry. To honor this vision we have planned trips to visit churches in the bush every month. We will spend a few days with them and give the Holy Spirit room to bring transformation.
During the last week of February, Lloyd and I took a 5 day trip to the district of Muanza. God moved powerfully! As we walked through the village and ministered house to house, the pastor was able to learn how to explain salvation, lead someone to Christ, how to pray for the sick, and how to build relationships and show the love of Christ in his community. Throughout the days we spent with the community we also held services at the church where there was emphasis on the foundations of the Gospel. We spoke on salvation, baptism, and the Holy Spirit. We relied on the work of the Holy Spirit to teach and bring transformation. We want all that we do and teach to be something that the pastors and leaders can duplicate and see multiply once we leave.
There were so many precious highlights during this time. During one of these instances, we had walked far into the bush just to encounter one old man and his wife. The wife had experienced a stoke and suffered some disability. They warmly welcomed us. We sat under the mango trees while I shared the message of salvation. The man prayed and received Jesus as his savior. After we had taken some time to pray for his wife, the man began to express his true desire to be transformed and set free from his addiction to alcohol and smoking. He also was more that willing to relinquish all his items of witchcraft. We prayed for his deliverance from these things and then took him to the creek and baptized him. It was a beautiful display of humility and true repentance.
Another powerful transformation that we witnessed was from one of the women of the church. She volunteered to help cook for our team during our stay. From the first time I talked to her I had noticed a heaviness on her. She wouldn’t raise her eyes or smile. As she encountered the truth of the Gospel and was baptized, God began a powerful work. During the ministry time of our last session, Lloyd had a word of knowledge about some that were under the influence of the demonic because of involvement with the witchdoctors. Two women came forward confirming that they were experiencing the type of manifestation that Lloyd had called out. The first woman manifested violently when confronted with the name of Jesus. She was set free! The second woman was our downcast cook. In a powerful demonic manifestation, she jumped to her feet thrashing wildly. Within minutes she was set free also. She instantly began to testify about what had oppressed her and her excitement for being free. She said that she had entered witchcraft because of pressure from her family. The next morning, as we were preparing to leave, she testified again, with a full bright smile, that she will no longer submit to pressure that her family put on her to participate in witchcraft and that she only desires more of the Holy Spirit! How amazing is the work of the Holy Spirit!
As I had personal time with the pastors, I asked what they were learning and experiencing. The first thing that the local pastor said was that the things that they were seeing (regarding what the Holy Spirit was doing) he had never seen before. They also expressed how seeing a practical example of evangelism through relationship will be a great help in the future. They also loved the truth that was taught and demonstrated with baptism as it revealed some doctrinal errors that had limited the experience of baptism within the church.
We are so pleased with the increase that the Holy Spirit brought to the churches, communities, and individuals that we encounters deep in the jungle of Muanza. God be glorified as He continues to multiply all that was established!