Most of the Mozambican students are fairly new Christians, fresh out of villages dominated by a syncretistic mix of Islam and witchcraft. Most had come to faith in Jesus after witnessing or experiencing miraculous healings and freedom from demonic oppression, together with teaching and preaching by committed and passionate Mozambican pastors who are part of move of God’s Spirit that is sweeping
One pastor-in-training told how he decided to follow Jesus into pastoral ministry after a long process of God working in his life. First he was healed of blindness after his wife led him to a village pastor for prayer over a three-month period. Then after fleeing to
We went out on an overnight outreach with Heidi Baker, other visitors and a humble pastor, Leite, who has already established eight churches along a long, increasingly narrowing dirt road that went on forever into the bush. That night a whole village showed up to watch the Jesus film, probably the first film ever shown in this remote village without electricity. Unfortunately, the generator-powered system failed that night. Even Heidi and others' preaching could barely be heard.
Luke and I wandered at the back of a crowd of disappointed onlookers. I began talking haltingly in Portuguese with a man who smelled like he’d been drinking. I talked about farming as best I could as he and other laughed, and then a fluent Portuguese-speaker showed up to interpret for me. I asked a young man if he suffered from feelings of terror in the night and he looked surprised and said “yes, every night.” I told him about how my 12-year-old daughter Anna has been calling out for Jesus to help her at night for years, experiencing relief. I told him how Jesus was victor over all evil powers, sickness and death through his death and resurrection. I assured him that Jesus was there with us right then and we he could call out for help and Jesus would hear. Even with his Muslim skull cap in place this man was desperate enough to try. He asked Jesus to save him, and then let me pray for him. By then a small crowd had gathered around. I asked if there were others who suffered from terror at night. “All of us” someone replied, and every head was nodding agreement. I invited them to call out for help from Jesus and then prayed for them. One woman came forward needing prayer for pain in her thigh from a farming accident in her field. We prayed and Jesus immediately healed her. The next day Luke and I learned that a form of cannibalism is practiced by the witchdoctors in this village that likely underlies people’s fear.
The next day we also helped Heidi and pastor Jose pray for a five-year-old boy who was deaf from birth. After a few minutes of prayer the boy was able to hear for the first time! I was amazed by how desperate and receptive these impoverished villagers were to ask for and receive direct help from God. It is exciting to witness God’s Presence bringing relief.
Holy Given school students from Western nations come all the way to
I am happy to be increasingly engaged in recruiting, equipping and empowering people for direct ministry, whether that be right here at Tierra Nueva’s People’s Seminary, in Mozambique, France, Cincinnati, Austin or anywhere. I am also glad to get home and back to our life and ministry here.
Last night in the jail in one of our bilingual Bible studies Chris and I prayed for healing and saw Jesus come and touch everyone. We began by inviting a small group of inmates to put out their hands. “God wants you to see that you don’t have to be all righteous and perfect in order for God’s healing presence to flow into you for yourselves and others,” I said. Several of the men commented that they felt heat, tingling, coolness or nothing at all as we invited the Spirit to come on their hands. I invited the guys to place their hands wherever they were feeling pain, as four were suffering from pain. Each man received immediate healing: from chronic pain in a collarbone, neck pain, pain in the back of the head and another from a swollen knee from an accident in the jail. We prayed some more for the guy with the bad knee, as his healing wasn’t 100% at the beginning. He said he felt the ace bandage loosen as the swelling went down right as we were praying. He got up and started walking around without a limp. A Mexican man whose collarbone was healed told us that a month before after we’d prayed for his lower back he’d experienced immediate relief. “For eight years I couldn’t work or run, and was unable to sit without pain. Since that day I've had no more pain,” he said with a smile. I asked an inmate to pray for my head ache and felt heat flow from his hand and the pain go away. All of us were moved by Jesus’ generous, healing presence, some to tears. We ended by inviting people to put their hands over their hearts and welcome God’s love deeper and deeper into our beings.
Please keep us in your prayers:
· For our five-day course, "On Earth As In Heaven," on the ministry of Jesus and the Kingdom of God, July 8-12 at Tierra Nueva (see www.tierra-nueva.org)
· For funding for our retreat center New Earth Refuge http://bobekblad.com/donate.html.