Zimpeto and South Africa
We just left Zimpeto yesterday after almost 3 weeks there. It was the first base we visited when we arrived in January, so it was fun to see familiar people and re-establish relationships we started a few months ago. For me it was a bit of a break from the craziness in Pemba– I got to just hang out with the kids, teach guitar, catch up on some required reading for the upcoming mission school, and encourage the teams coming through the base. As soon as I started giving guitar lessons I was in very high demand, every time I’d step outside our door I would be greeted by at least 3 to 5 eager boys wanting me to bring the guitar out for more playing around. Some of them progressed really quickly, and it was so encouraging to see their hearts for true worship, not just learning how to play an instrument. I learned a lot from them as well.
As soon as word got out that Jon was fixing things in Pemba, there was no end to the requests for him to fix things in Zimpeto too. His major project was getting the internet on the base to work, for which the missionaries were extremely grateful. When we came to Africa, we expected to be living in mud huts in the bush without running water or electricity, so we were both quite surprised when some of Jon’s most useful skills so far have been with working on pretty advanced electronics! But we came to be open and available, whatever that looked like–we’re just glad we can be a blessing even though it’s different than we expected.
Now we’re in South Africa for about a month, and since we just got here we’re not quite sure yet what we’ll be doing. For a few days we’re staying at a missionary retreat house, so we’ve been able to meet some amazing people and hear astounding testimonies. Here are just a few:
* One couple is ministering in the local school — public school, mind you — where revival has broken out among the children. One day the kids just were overcome with the power of God, gathering in little groups between classes and crying, repenting, and praying. The couple here was invited to preach at their next school assembly!!!
* The guy who runs the mission house was just running around town when he needed to get gas. He was right at a station, but felt like God was telling him to go to another station on the opposite side of the city. He drove all that way and arrived at the station immediately after a car wreck, so he jumped out and prayed for the person who got injured in it and they were completely healed! He got to tell the guy that God loved him so much, He sent him all the way across town so that he could be healed. He was so overcome he gave his life to Christ immediately.
* The same guy has also been going into simple market places and seeing God do amazing things. One guy who ran a butcher shop was very discouraged because he was getting almost no business, the missionary prayed for him, then he couldn’t keep up with all the people who were coming in! He invited the missionary to come start a revival among all of his workers because they were all getting touched by God.
* One guy got to attend a Christian men’s conference last week that had 73,000 men attending! It was held under the world’s largest tent–that covers over 5 acres, but it still wasn’t enough coverage and there were seats at least 50 feet beyond the tent in all directions. The conference was run by a farmer-turned-revivalist named Angus Buchan, who has a pretty amazing story as well. If you can get a hold of either his book or the movie about his life, both entitled “Faith Like Potatoes,” do so! Anyway, the coolest thing about the conference is while they were there, a man had a heart attack and was taken to the medical tent they had on site. Within minutes the doctors pronounced him dead, before the ambulance could even arrive. But with 73,000 men of faith there, they weren’t about to let the guy stay dead. Oh no. They prayed their hearts out and he came back to life before their very eyes!!!
* One missionary working in Chimoio, Mozambique, has been doing services and discipleship classes in the local prison, and she said ALL 150 inmates have accepted Christ! She has bought a couple farms so that when they get out of jail, she can give them a job working the farms.
As you can tell, we have been able to listen to a LOT of cool testimonies… this is only a fraction of the stories we’ve heard in the past two days– and most of these stories just happened in the past couple weeks! God is moving so powerfully, and I hope all of your faiths are encouraged as much as ours is. God really does just use common, everyday people to do amazing things– more and more we’re seeing that it’s not the super-heroes of faith who get to do all the ministry and see all the fruit: every single follower of Jesus is called to just listen to His voice and do whatever He says. Most of the time, that will involve loving or helping someone, somewhere, somehow. That’s His heart. And he wants to use you, me, all of us, to do it. Next time you see a person in any kind of need, whether you know them or not, just pray and see if God wants to touch them through you. He probably will.
~Carla and Jon Reinagel