Africa Memoirs: Tanzania

I just got back from Arusha , Tanzania and hope to share some of the pictures with you on my next update.  Arusha is a tourist town close to Mt. Kilimanjaro , the largest mountain in Africa . Unfortunately, when we drove to the town of Moshi at the foot of Kilimanjaro, the top of this huge mountain was shrouded over with clouds.

My hosts were Bishop Stephen Mbata and his wife Faith of six Mt. Horeb Churches , Tanzania . My first two days were spent in Arusha doing a seminar. African Christians have a great hunger for the Word of God after hearing for years much preaching but little teaching. We saw powerful manifestations of the power of God especially in the impartation of the healing gift. People extended the palms of their hands forward and at the slapping of the palms everyone either was flung back or fell down under the power.

On Thursday we boarded a bus to Mabati a town three hours away in rural Tanzania . We were to do a four-day seminar in Kisangaji twenty miles from Mabati where Mt. Horeb has some of its branches. Upon our arrival, the last bus to Kisangaji had already departed. Two pastors came to greet us on bicycles, the main mode of transportation in these rural areas. They suggested that I would ride for one hour on the back of a pastor’s bicycle. I frowned really big at the Lord. I knew that my disapproval was apparent to all. Then just like the story of Abraham and the ram cut in the thicket at the impending slaying of Isaac, I met Jehovah Jireh. As I looked up, a truck that would take Kisangajians to their destination for a small fee was ready to leave.  I was packed in with another twenty people and sat on top of rice sacks. God gave me a rope to hold on to as we laughed and swayed back and forth like jello on these bumpy roads.

In Kisangaji wonderful Swahili speaking Christians who did not speak an ounce of English came out to meet me. There was no water or power, and the shower was a little circular stall made out of sticks covered with towels and a bucket of warm water inside the stall. Needless to say, I did not bathe for four days.

The first night I did a short service at 8:00PM under the lights of a kerosene lamp, which was followed by a prayer session in which two people got delivered from demons.  We then had dinner with other pastors under the Tanzanian stars, a cool breeze, plastic chair, and our kerosene lamp. That night I shared my story about the bicycle. The pastors laughed and laughed. From that time on a cycle started that when we were not ministering we were laughing with the joy of the Lord.

Another conversation that generated tons of laughter, even to the point of tears, was the issue of dogs. In Africa , dogs are considered mere brutes and dirty animals. In America dogs are considered pets. The thought of Americans having dogs living inside people’s homes is un imaginable and unthinkable to Africans. I asked the men of God,  “What will you do when American pastors invite to preach in the USA and you find dogs living inside their homes?” Other pastors imagined American dogs wearing little sweaters when the weather was cold or going to a vet to have a surgery. Their reactions brought us all to points of hard laughter. These starlit conversations were filled with incredible manifestations of the joy of the Lord amongst people who possess nothing material.  Every night as we left the church with the kerosene lamp in order to sup, many stayed behind in the building and praised the Lord for over an hour in utter darkness. When walking 45 minutes in the hot sun to baptize three people in a small river, those that came, leaped and danced before the Lord with African drums all the way to the river, and then all the way back to the church. Others pastors drove bicycles for six hours from other villages to hear the teachings.

This week Jose preached at the Gospel Outreach Assembly in Kitengela as part of their three and a half-year anniversary and Mary preached at another church by the name of Jubilee Center .  He had a vision of a mosquito biting an arm. He called those that were suffering from malaria to come forward. Four came to the altar and fell under the fire of the Holy Spirit. One lady later told us that when she got to the church service she was very sick and weak with malaria. She was instantaneously healed and was now serving food to the guests.

In Narok Kenya we got a word of knowledge for those that had stomach problems. The fire of God hit those that came up for prayer as they fell down in the Spirit. A week later the pastor of the church wrote and told us that one lady that could not eat potatoes and vegetables for 16 years was miraculously healed as well as a number of others with stomach ailments.

Mary and I were invited to preach at two churches of The Revealed Gospel Churches of Kenya . At Kibera we ministered at an outside church under the bright sun. Kibera is the second largest slum in Africa after the one in Soweto , South Africa . At the Revealed Gospel Church in Gomongo there was no power. The service wound up in the dark and found Jose praying and prophesying to people without being sure if it was man or woman. Gomongo, Kenya 2006

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