Each day in Africa my heart fell more and more in love with the people in each of the three villages we went to. Before going on this particular trip I asked the Lord to prepare in me something new. Through out the two weeks spent living with the people of the Nyawa Chiefdom, I took a step back, I observed and I sought after God’s desire for me in missions as a whole.
Some of you know that I am still very unsure about what specifically I will be doing in missions. I know I am called to work alongside a ministry/organization but I don’t know what that is going to look like yet or where it will be. Thankfully many of you know my heart and trust what God is doing in my life regarding ministry.
Knowing that this position of stepping back would be out of the norm for me I put my energy into other things while being in the bush. I spent time with Amber (one of our leaders from Overland Missions) working in the kitchen and putting all those organizing skills to use keeping the kitchen tent together when I could. I loved spending time-sharing stories and learning from another woman who is so dedicated to pursuing her calling and reaching the lost of Africa. Amber moved to Africa at 21 all by herself to follow what God was calling her to do. Just by hearing that I knew that this was someone I wanted to and had to learn from. I am so thankful to have people in my life such as Amber that pour into me their wisdom and love.
During the two weeks of “bush life” my team and I spent time with our 4 translators walking from hut to hut sharing the Gospel, a testimony and teaching for encouragement and building up. We also spoke personal things that the Lord was speaking to us in our time with each person or family. Our message was simple but our purpose was great as we got to meet and share with so many people who had never heard the name of Jesus or had a small understanding of who He is. When sharing the gospel with someone who has never heard the name of Jesus my heart was fully engaged in sharing with them as much as I could about the immense love the creator has for them.
One major thing the missionaries of Overland Missions come across in Zambia is the use of witchcraft and we most certainly saw our fair share of it in action. On our first day driving 5 hours from the Overland base we came across a witch doctor performing a ritual witch-hunt on a family’s hut/ property. I have spent so much time reading about animism and the use of witch craft in surrounding countries but it is a whole different thing when seeing it face to face. When encountering this in the villages we went we had the opportunity to speak life over the lives of the people who believed in the power of the witch doctor and share the truth that is only found in Jesus Christ. My team and I were able to see the life come into their eyes as they heard the freedom that was found in giving it all to the Lord and surrendering everything to him. We found out how manipulative the stronghold of the witch doctor was over the lives of the people and broke every lie that they were believing.
We had the chance to spend time with a Zionist Church while in Kiangu and had the leaders of this church come to our campsite in the mornings for discipleship. The Zionist Church believes in a mixture of witchcraft and Christianity and uses the “power” of the witch doctor and Jesus at the same time. We found out that most of these beliefs come from a lack of knowledge in interpreting scripture correctly when deciphering the old and new covenant. When some of us on the team had the chance to speak at a church service the Pastor was so excited to share with us about how he was choosing to follow the one and only path of Jesus Christ. He drew two paths in the sand (like the image below).
He spoke about how the church was walking on the path of destruction by believing in the power of witchcraft. He said that he is now choosing the path of Jesus and will lead his church to a life victorious in Christ. He pointed to the wrong path and said that the other path is destroyed. This was one of the most fruitful days on the trip. Being able to see that all we had said was making sense to this man and seeing his passion for Christ. After that he asked 3 of my team members to speak and share a teaching. After the teaching the leaders in the church asked the children to come into the center and the men prayed over them. Watching these men, who just days before were following witchcraft become humble before the Lord and ask him to lead their children rightly was beautiful.
Even now as I write this story it brings me joy knowing that this man is leading his village to the truth. They are no longer lost and misguided but have the knowledge that freedom and love is found in only Jesus. More things like this happened in Zambia and I’ll come back and share additional testimonies soon.
I love you all so much!