I sit at the home of Rolf and Lizzie Weichardt this morning. The wind is blowing hard and it is cold. We found many dead baby birds blown from their nests by the gusty breeze yesterday. Cathy and I both are dressed in layers of clothes to keep warm. I just never dreamed it could be cold like this in Africa.
Last Sunday morning I had the joy of attending a poor farm workers church service. The church was crammed with hundreds of people. A special program was planned with the children of the local primary school. What an experience.
I cannot speak Afrikaans but the entire service was in the native language. I thought to myself that I am going to see how body language speaks to me. Rolf gave me some guidance by telling me the scriptures read and a few comments by the Pastor.
I have learned certain Africkaans words such as baie dankie (it sounds like “buy a donkey” to me and means thank you very much). What caught my ear was the spontaneous singing by the crowd. Songs were started by various people throughout the room and everyone would stand and clap. No musical instruments. What did I hear constantly in many of the songs? Dankie, thank you Lord. Thank you Jesus. I was deeply blessed by their gratefulness.
Three rows in front on me a man would stand and dance while he sang. He wore patented leather shoes, a blue pinstriped suit coat and Khaki pants. Nothing matched but it was probably handed down to him from others. Their average income is $100 a month. Their broken smiles and attitude never betrayed their financial station in life. The lady sitting next to me began to breast feed her baby about half way through the service. Imagine that in an American church service.
I spent time with Buyela this week debriefing them before taking them home. They had completed nine months of service and funds had run dry. They had to stop early. Their experience this year had many of the characteristics of the disciples of Jesus. They had been sifted by Satan in a powerful way and several members left the team. The ones who completed the year had many stories to tell and had grown in significant ways. I was thankful to be so close with them and hear the special ways that God did work.
Last night I met with a former Pastor who shared stories of his ministry years. He was pushed out of the Methodist church because he came to believe the Bible and baptism by emersion. What caused your turn toward the Bible I asked? It was my first experience with demons that did it to me. He caught my attention!
He talked of a mother who had a baby that could not sleep. It was always crying and fretful. She asked him to come pray over the baby because the doctors found nothing wrong with the little girl. He remembered walking into the child’s room and the cold feeling that struck him. He had never had any training on demons or demonic issues in Seminary. He said that the thought stuck him as he walked across the floor to speak these words, come out in the name of Jesus. He said the child’s body reacted violently and convulsed. He opened the window and said be gone in the name of Jesus and the demon left the room. The child went limp and fell asleep.
He went to his study and pulled down a concordance to read everything in the Bible related to demons and angels. He said, I realized the Bible was true and that God works as He sees fit. Over the next hour I heard fascinating stories of various events. I was amazed! The spiritual war is so overt and open here.
Please pray as we return to Cape Town this week to stay with another missionary who is having surgery. We will also teach Bible to volunteers from several countries. I am also preparing to speak at the YFC staff conference the following week in Magaliesburg.
Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.