For the very first time in my adult life I don’t have an agenda, a list of stuff to get done, a career path to follow, a retirement plan to work for. How strange to have nothing but the present, this day, to think about. Each day waiting on God to tell me what is next, sometimes each hour. It is on the one hand a hard thing and yet very freeing.
The average age of the school students is about 23 and these young people are so fiery and laid down for Jesus. What an amazing group of young people. I am so inspired. There are also a couple of families here with young children and the children are attending the school right along with us. That is awesome.
The Children’s Day was a pretty awesome day. All ages came and heard a gospel message from the Mozambique pastors, then got their hands washed, then ate a huge chicken and coleslaw and rice dinner with a coca cola. When all the children were fed, we formed a long tunnel with all the missionary school people, all the staff, and all the visitors. It was at least 100 of us there. Every single kid got all those hands laid on them and filled with destiny words and candy! Wow! Jesus poured out all this love on us and I never wept so much with compassion as I did right then. Many, many others were the same way because most of these kids were so very poor and destitute. One little girl had this massive skin infection all over the left side of her face, in her ear and down her neck. Her skin was raw and oozing and she was only about 1 ½ years old. She was all by herself walking thru the line, not complaining, not crying. Later I saw her with her grandpa who was in a wheelchair contraption as they were both leaving the base. I am daily amazed at the resilience of these people, how they suffer so much and still have so much joy. As usual, I learn more from them than they ever learn from me.
The next day Heidi taught about what does it look like for me to carry incarnational love? She totally wrecked us with the tenderness of Jesus. Every single meeting, by the end, most of us are crying or sobbing or silently tears are rolling down our faces. I feel like tears literally squirt out of my eyes and wonder how my heart can handle this flood of emotion sometimes. Jesus is really doing a major work in us already and it’s only been a few days! Today she asked us what does love look like? She takes the simplest scripture about love and turns it into this life changing encounter with God. She said love is whatever the person needs at that moment basically. If the person needs clean clothes, that is love. If a person needs food, that is love. If a person needs someone to listen to them, that is love.
I love this place because you feel so safe to try out your wings and walk in such freedom without the fear of being wrong. It is so encouraging. I totally love one of the stories Randy Clark told about the offering buckets in Brazil. This church didn’t have offering plates or bags. They had huge offering tubs. Randy heard the Lord say, “If you feel like you are called to missions, put yourself in the offering tub”. Wow! He said that Iris Ministries is the biggest revival movement in history because Heidi and Rolland have started over 10,000 churches now and ALL are moving in the power of God. He said we are in the eye of the storm here in Pemba bec we are so used to seeing this power that we are unaware of the world effect it is having. It is major. Every country is being effected by this movement. People are going home from here and carrying it back by their testimonies causing people to be hungry for the power and love of Jesus.
His final word to us in the mission field was “spend and be spent”. What are we willing to spend to be spent for the Lord? Rolland has all these diseases riddling his body because of all the years living in slums and poor countries. His body is being spent for the glory of the Kingdom. What are we willing to spend?
Last night this Mozambique pastor came and spoke. He and his wife and brother have raised 8 people from the dead so far in the last 8 years. He told us a lot about the culture here, which helped immensely when ministering to these people. They met someone who had gone to an Iris conference and his wife said he needed to go. It was over 1,000 miles away and they got money from everyone for him to go. He traveled by bus and went (8 years ago) and he saw Heidi on the stage and she said, “There is a pastor here from (his region), come forward”. He looked around and no one moved and he knew it was him. She told him he would be flying home to (his region) bec she needed to go to his house. He had never flown before and he went with her.
Heidi told them to sit and she laid hands on them and prayed for peace to enter their home. When she left, he learned how to love the poor. His life was not the same. He went to visit his brother 180 kilometers away and imparted peace to him. That is when the miracles started and the dead were being raised. He told many other stories including how most of the witchdoctors he witnesses to get saved. It is huge. In the 8 years since then there are now 45,000 believers in that province and 302 churches!
The bottom line is always love and stopping for the one. He was only one and Heidi listened to the heart of God and stopped and went for the one. And now a nation is changed. Today, as you go about your travels to work or the mall or the grocery store, or even a walk in your neighborhood, stop for the one who needs a kind word or a smile or someone to pray for them or put a hand on their shoulder in compassionate love. One person really can change a nation with the love of Jesus.
This weekend we are again feeding over two thousand people, all weekend, for a village conference. People have come for miles and they sleep on mats in the church at night. They are hungry for the living Bread, for Jesus. Wow!
I love you all so much!!! Pray for Jesus to take me deeper with Him so that all of the discomforts of missing home don’t matter. It is all a small thing compared to Him.