God took over

What do a puppet show, a healed old man, a re-thatched house and rains in the desert have in common? Answer: The OM Africa Trek!

What do a puppet show, a healed old man, a re-thatched house and rains in the desert have in common? Answer: The OM Africa Trek! 

Learn what 15 people – ranging from 18 to 39 years old, representing five countries and four continents – experienced while serving others and sharing about Jesus in Southern Africa during the first OM Africa Trek of 2014.

Rains will follow

During a time of team prayer and preparation, team leader Eduard* received a message from God of rains following the team wherever they went, and it was so. From Potchefstroom, South Africa, to Kang, Botswana, the team drove under heavy rainfall over the Kalahari Desert. From there, waters from heaven accompanied them.

As team member Josh* mentioned, this was taken as a miraculous sign of God’s presence with the team, and for people living in a dry and parched land. The rains stopped every time the team needed to pitch their tents, and as soon as the tents were up rain fell for most of the night.

Every morning by dawn, when they held devotions, the rains stopped and they had sunny days for ministry.

The house will continue preaching

In coordination with local worker MacDonald*, the team helped fix an old Muslim lady’s house. She had been living in another person’s kitchen for 18 months. The team re-thatched the roof with mud and grass, cleaned the yard, fixed the structure and revamped the floor, which took them about four half days of work.  

People in the community could not believe that the “white people” were willing to do the physical work and asked them, “Why are you doing this?” This opened a door for the team to share about Jesus with a very receptive audience.

The old lady was overwhelmed with gratitude. The chief of the village came to them – generally you go to the chief if he calls you, not the other way around – and said that he was embarrassed. “We walked past that house time after time; but you, followers of Jesus, did for our own Muslim people what we have not done for them,” he said.

As Josh said, reflecting upon the experience, “God did more among these people we served through our practical work than through our preaching. Our prayer is that the house we fixed will keep telling them about a God who loves, a God who cares!”

Baptised into healing

In another village, in Kamala, Malawi, the team built a toilet and a shower for a local family with local materials: wood and grass. Here they also had an audience willing to listen to their message.

Inges*, a local worker who came to faith in Jesus at the beginning of 2014, connected the team with the family. He has a Bible study group with the community. The grandfather of the house said, “I want to serve this Jesus! I want to follow Him! And I want to be baptised!”  

So, the team went with him to the river. As they went, the man complained about pain in his back, but after they baptised him and prayed for the Holy Spirit to fill him, he testified about his complete healing.

This man is the father of a chief who has authority over 12 villages, so his testimony of coming to Jesus, being baptised and being healed has the potential to reach many others. This man continues to share his testimony full of joy!

Master puppeteers

A radio station in Mangochi, Malawi, wants to reach out to the community with the news about Jesus. They aim to start broadcasting in November 2014 and need to advertise their project and do some groundwork amongst the community, especially with children.

The radio station team had the idea to start a puppet ministry but didn’t have the time, so at their request, 10 of the 15 members of the Africa Trek team created a stage, puppets and plays, and taught them to local workers.

The team divided the task into three groups: one in charge of the stage, another in charge of the puppets and props, and the last in charge of the scripts. They didn’t know anything about puppet ministry, so they had to trust the Lord. They were amazed at His grace with the resources and the creativity He gave them.  

They created two 15-minute plays: one about Noah and another about David and Goliath. The team taught local workers everything they knew about puppets, and then the locals took ownership of it. They added their own local expressions, and the kids were delighted!

Puppet characters interviewed some of the children about the stories, which will be broadcasted. Hopefully, the children will then tell their parents to listen to the radio station to be able to know more about Jesus and follow Him.

Challenges and highlights

Participant Kathleen*, and some of the other non-Africans, found being in Africa difficult with the different setting, food, culture, etc. Communication was a challenge, but even there she saw God’s hand. Once, while sharing with ladies in a village, she wanted to read Romans 10:9. Her interpreter interrupted and shared with the audience the verse before Kathleen did, not knowing that Kathleen had wanted to also share this passage of Scripture. She saw this as a confirmation of God’s message.

Another team member, Maryam*, heard God tell her, “Are you going to fear man or to trust me?” when she had to lead an open-air outreach, so she decided to trust in Him and let His Spirit give her boldness and speak through her.

Other team members overcame fear, trusted in Jesus and saw God use them to transform lives and turn communities upside down for His glory.

As team member Lieze* concluded, “We did our practical work, and God just took over!”

*Full name not included for security reasons

 

By OM International