Tour of Duty
November - December 2008
We left Edmonton November 15 2008; so much had lead up to this including seven months of waiting.
After twelve schools in seven countries in 2007, we had expected to kick off the New Year with the same momentum as the previous had ended with; at least we expected to be in West Africa by the spring.
Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Liberia among others had been calling us to come; various pastors and church leaders had heard what occurred the year before. However the Lord had other things in mind.
Firstly, there needed to be some “spring cleaning” in the ministry. We had some disturbing news from Nigeria regarding a brother who had brought sin into the camp. This was dealt with over the next weeks and months.
So finally the door was opened for us again, the kick start would be a three day “School of Deliverance 101” in the Home church in Edmonton. This school was well attended, by lay Christians only; however the Lord moved and the three day school culminated in a powerful deliverance service for the school attendance and others who had been invited by them.
We had planned to follow the school in Edmonton with a visit The Cameroon and Nigeria, we had good contacts in these countries although had not been to the Cameroon before we were confident that we could set up a series of three day schools in these countries.
Change of Plan
Jozef called me and said “there is a change of plan; we are going to The Congo, as well.”
This meant that we had to now add The Congo to be list of required visas, no mean feat as we remembered the hoops we had to go through in 2007 just to get two Nigerian visas.
So with no money, no visas but lots of faith we continued planning.
I started working a second and then a third job, we contacted our supporters and we prayed and fasted.
Finally we are ready.
With the Edmonton school behind us, our last visa and the necessary funds arriving just a few days before departure; we still had a very busy schedule before leaving, prayer meetings, invitations, preaching and working at “The Mission” and finally the weekly, Friday evening deliverance meeting the night before we left on the first leg through Minneapolis.
Prior to Friday night’s deliverance meeting we were plagued with enemy opposition, which only tends to encourage us seasoned soldiers, and it was very well attended.
Apart from the usual and amazing miracles, as Jesus was setting His people free, five received their prayer language that night. Mark 16:17
It is hard to come straight out of an exciting service and just turn in, there is too much adrenaline and apart from that, on this night we had to say goodbye to our friends. I got to bed at 2.30 am and was up at 4.30 which was the last time either were going to see a bed for three days, Edmonton to Minneapolis, Minneapolis to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Nairobi, Nairobi to Kinshasa with various degrees of airport hassles and layovers.
We were met in Kinshasa by two brothers, Felix Mbumba and Pastor Bethelamy; Jozef was now looking for the man he thought he knew from Rwanda but realized that he was mistaken and that Pastor Bethelamy (French for Bartholomew) was not the man just had the same name.
So here we were with two strangers the rain falling (we were told it was the rainiest month of the rainy season in the Congo). Jozef is adamant against traveling in the rainy season of any country in Africa as this can bring traffic to a halt and is dangerous to life.
Jozef had prepared me for Congo in this way “It is our first time, so do not expect too much, if we can meet with a few people and introduce them to our program, I will be satisfied”.
What happened next.
Our car came late, Felix who was our interpreter took us for a thirty minute trip into the slums of Kinshasa, (from what I saw, a large portion of Kinshasa was slums) open sewers, kids playing in the dirt, garbage everywhere, broken-down half stripped cars. Our car could only go so far, as the road was broken up, so we walked the remaining few hundred yards.
We turned the corner into a dirty courtyard and were met with nearly a hundred Christian praising The Lord in what looked like a quickly thrown together lean-to.
I was later to discover that this was an actual church and had been especially decorated with fresh paint on the only exposed wall and draped with typical African type curtain material on the other two walls, the back of the church was completely open. There was a typical third world sound system, lots of volume and lots of feedback but sufficient.
The school was good, the rain came down, the Lord came down, dancers danced, singers sung, teachers taught. The people, many of whom were pastors, were very open to the teaching as could be seen by their exuberance and questions.
Time was always a limiting factor, as we have to complete a certain series of teachings before we can move into practical deliverance; “….teachers; after that miracles” 1 Corinthians 12:28
Usually fifteen separate, one hour teachings, these can be trimmed, summarized or blended together but they cannot be left out. So on the third day we decided to just run late and see what happened. By the time Pastor Jozef was on the last teaching “self deliverance”, the sun was set and there were three hundred inside and outside the church.
It was possible to feel the resistance of some as they were looking for an excuse to run, especially the more religious; we knew were this was coming from so we just pressed through.
Mass deliverance consists of powerful prayers of renunciation, repentance and declarations; these lay the basis for deliverance, as legal ground is broken and the promises of God are applied to damaged lives.
People were shouting these prayers, they never had been told this before, and although there were not many demonic manifestations, people were being set free by the Holy Spirit as they came to Jesus with their burdens and problems.
Sometimes it is too easy to get the demons to manifest, this does in no way guarantee they are gone, usually not in fact. The important thing about the school is teaching. “My People are destroyed for lack of knowledge” Hosea 4:6 .
On to Douala Cameroon
The next day was a full day of air travel, seeing that the Congolese airline that was going to take us to Douala had been shut down; we had to go back to Nairobi and get a flight through Yaoundé and on to Douala, where we finally had two days of relative rest, before the next school would begin.
We were joined in Douala by two Nigerian Pastors, Gabriel Eta from Calibar and David Tende from Port Harcourt; they were to help us and to learn to teach us with us.
This school in Doula was easier on us in some ways, hot water in the hotel was a bonus and the meetings were in a decent church building, also we had a wonderful interpreter Rachel. Also we were driven around by Apostle Jonah, who became a friend as he really went out of his way for us. However Douala was a dangerous place and we had to keep close together and be on guard.
We were able to complete the teachings in Doula, there were a few contentions as the subject of “Can a Christian have a demon?” was taught, however no damage was done and the Lord used this to turn things around to the point that on the third day during mass deliverance, one pastor who had objected was praying deliverance for some of his brothers and sisters in Christ.
We filmed this whole school, including the deliverance session; if a picture speaks a thousand words, then the video on the deliverance session is longwinded.
Suffice to say there were many manifestations of evil spirits, many came out and many were set free.
We are now in Bafoussam, I am writing this during the first day of the three day school here, we are conducting this in a bible college, and all is well.