Our time in Africa has revealed many special stories of God and His grace. It has also stretched our understanding of God’s work.
Riding in a car with two young ministry staff we asked the generic question we have all heard. How did you come to Christ? The answer went outside our box of understanding we had solidified over many decades.
Comfort began to talk about his family and the deep devotion they had for the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) that is so pervasive on the dark continent. It is a mixture of ancestral worship and Christianity. His aunt passed away and her body was placed in the house until authorities could come and get the deceased. Unfortunately, it was to take several days for some unforeseen reason.
Two days into the family vigil to sit with the body of his aunt. . . a miracle occurred. She sat up and came back to life. She asked for food and began to talk about her experience. She told the family about a man who she had been with for the last two days. She described the gate of darkness and the gate of light. She talked about people she heard and saw. She talked of the moaning at the gate of darkness and the joy at the gate of light.
She challenged family members to set aside their bickering and learn about Jesus Christ. She asked her nephew to take some money in her purse and deliver it to the church around the corner. It was a two hours span that seemed like a dream.
She talked of her experiences and challenged the family to move away from the ZCC and accept Jesus Christ. After those hours she stated that she was tired and wanted to lay down. According to Comfort she then finally slipped into eternity.
Christ had reached out to their family personally. I am in the ministry because I can do nothing else, he said. I must follow the living Christ and serve Him while I am on earth.
Some African cemeteries reflect the sacrifice and ancestral values taught by the Sangomas. The picture above is a cemetery in Leroro, Mpumalanga. Cathy and I drove here after hearing this story and reflected on all that we had heard.
We never cease to be amazed at things God might do. Listening to Him requires respectful silence, total attention and an appropriate response. Comfort’s response was to fall on his knees and accept Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah.
Can you imagine what you will do when you stand in front of Him? We love that song by Casting Crowns and hope it’s melody will sing in your heart today.
Cathy and Danny Sartin
Deeper Still Missions
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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.