6 – 16 June 2014
It seemed as if the ear-splitting music, especially the bass, caused the whole building to shake again and again. Sweat ran down our faces and, mixed with the mosquito spray, made the dust really stick to our skin. But the African joy and enthusiasm in praise didn’t leave us cold. One cannot resist it. So we danced with young and old, in every imaginable way. What joy! Whenever we’re in Africa we rejoice over the gift of worship and celebration which God gave this continent. This is in spite of the not easy circumstances in which many of these people live. For example, on the day we arrived, our “contact pastor” learned that his wife had cancer and was expected to live only a few days. In spite of that he repeated over and over again what a blessing it was to receive us and the message from God. So, when the last song died away, he joined my father on the stage. The camera was installed to transmit the worship service to various east African countries.
Within a short time both had talked themselves into still more sweat. Dad’s shirt grew darker every minute, but the Holy Spirit was strongly present. Africans’ participation during sermons is wonderful. They call out, wave their arms, jump up from their seats and are totally involved in body and spirit.The openness for the trumpet message was tangible. After Dad had explained the three aspects of the wake-up call (back to the first love, back to God’s word, back to our roots – meaning Israel), he and Pastor John blew the trumpets over the African continent, from the east. Then there was a long prayer time for each of the three points.
African worship services last a long time, but they are never boring. The openness for the Holy Spirit’s working makes every meeting an adventure. So the rest of us from the group (eight of us had flown to Tanzania) had the opportunity to tell what God had laid on our hearts; we could pray with individuals and thus often had opportunities to apply our gifts. Next to the long waits (which make Africa to Africa), the whole ten days were packed with highlights. Seminars in two different congregations, visits to the pastors’ homes, a safari with church members, where we wondered at the beauty and variety of God’s creation.We visited a school and enjoyed fellowship as a group as well as with local people. In addition Dad gave the trumpet message over the radio, thus reaching about a million persons in Tanzania.
Many tears flowed when the congregation blessed us in parting. Tanzania left a deep impression on all of us. We are grateful to God for the way in which he encountered us, blessed us and made us a blessing to others. Likewise we are grateful to our African brethren for everything we could learn from them and for the love they demonstrated to us. Three days after we arrived home Pastor John’s wife died. We do not understand it and mourn for her and yet we know God makes no mistakes and can transform the curse into a blessing. We expect and believe that from these few days in which there was so much blessing, but also sad things, much fruit will grow. To the glory of his name and to build his kingdom.