Archive for June, 2008

Disciple The Nations (The Final Message)

Posted in Adventure, Africa, Healing, Journey, Love, Miracles, Missions, Photography, Travel, Unreached People on June 19, 2008 by Heiko & Anita in Africa

A Double Portion of God’s Love Poured Out

It is our last night with the young men.  If you count Sasha, Virginia, a UK missionary and myself, then tonight Sasha’s wish of each of us having 12 disciples came to pass.  There were 24 of us this night.   I had miraculously managed to find them all a bible by tonight.  For the first time they all had one with their very own name written in it. 

 

I prayed and worshiped all day.  I wanted tonight to be really special for these guys.  I spent hours of my day baking a chocolate cake and I prepared cola flavored water.  But my heart was saddened.  I did not want this to be the last night.  I wanted to stay here forever and watch these young men continue to be transformed into men of God. 

 

This morning I had a vision of all of the guys singing and dancing.  That is my most favorite thing to experience in Africa.  To dance among the indigenous and listen to the power in their voices worshiping God.  It is a completely uninhibited sound and feeling of worship I have never experienced in America.  I must say this is one of the things that keep my soul longing to be in Africa. 

 

Last night after bible study I had to pull aside some of the problematic troublemakers, rebuke them and encourage them to walk in a righteous path.  I felt bad about it afterward, especially because this was not how I wanted to end my time here.  Then the Lord very sternly reminded me that He disciplines those He loves.  Then I felt peace about it.   My hope now was that they would still come to the final meeting and celebrate with us.

 

They did come and Sasha and I spoke to the group to encourage them all that God had a purpose and a plan for their lives and to never lose hope but keep their eyes set on Jesus; and dream Big.  Then we had prayer and shared the cake I made for them. 

 

We dished it out and there was a small piece left.  We handed the plate to the young man who had been stepping up in leadership.  All of the guys surrounded him and in a matter of seconds the plate that was once covered in a layer of frosting now looked like it had been washed clean.  Sasha and I stood in amazement and laughed.

 

We then all gathered in a circle and started to worship.  The guys took turns leading in song and dance and we all gathered in.  We had so much fun, I did not want it to stop.  I just imagine this is how worship is in Heaven and I could feel the Lord smile down on us from above. 

 

The night was coming to a close and Sasha and I stood in the middle of the circle as the guys prayed over us.  Afterwards we had to say goodbye to the guys.  The young man that was stepping into leadership asked us if we could tell the group he wanted to start assisting with the teaching.  A guy from the UK had arrived a few days earlier and said we could pass the torch off to him while he was here.  So we informed the group they would both be taking over the bible study group.  The guys started to oppose their peer but he stood firm and told me he would teach even if only one showed up.  I was very proud of him and I trust the UK missionary will teach him how to walk in the shoes of a leader through the Holy Spirit.  I can’t wait to find out what happens.

 

As I was about to say my last goodbyes I began to fight back the tears.  In that moment I said to the Lord, “Lord I would give up all my dreams, my desires, my life, joyfully, rejoicing, if only you would let me stay here and show your love to these young men so they can change this nation.”  That was the cry of my heart and I meant it with all my heart, my entire mind, and all my spirit.  I would give everything to stay here with them and pour out God’s love. 

 

Then the Lord spoke to me.  He reminded me that my prayer from before I arrived here was to experience a double portion of His Love.  He said, “This is My double portion, my pure heart, and I am pouring it out and giving it to you, this is what it feels like.  When you can lay down your life willingly with a joyful heart, mind and spirit, for the life of another.  This is my true heart and love and I am imparting it to you.  You will always know whom I have called you to by this outpouring of my love.  You will experience this with each one I send you to reach.  And you will impart my love to them through My Holy Spirit.” 

 

I was completely wrecked.  The pain I felt in my heart to leave these guys that I loved more than my own life…I just don’t have words to express what I felt in that moment, even now.  All I know is that I have been gloriously wrecked.  I am not the same person.  In an instant I am the remains of a person who has seen a glimpse of the Father.  My life will never again be my own.  I give it all to Him to do with as He pleases.  I will go anywhere and do anything He asks of me if only I can experience more of this flesh shattering love.  Everything else seems so meaningless.  Only His love has meaning.  Meaning that those who have had a glimpse of the Father can truly understand.

 

With His pure love the Heavens open up and the supernatural becomes the natural and the world as we know it slowly begins to fade into the landscape.  On earth as it is in Heaven becomes manifest where we can access it through the guidance of Holy Spirit.  My hunger and thirst has just become even more unquenchable.  Thank you Abba Father for your pure love, for drawing near to me as I draw near to you.  For answering my prayer and teaching me that your ways are so much higher than my own.  I will chase after you all the days of my life until I can finally be held in your arms. Nothing else matters more.  Here am I Lord, I am all yours, do with me, as you will.  Amen.

 

Tomorrow is my last day here before I journey to Zambia on my next mission.  I can feel in my spirit something powerful is going to happen tomorrow.  With a very humble heart and extreme anticipation I wait for tomorrow to come…for Holy Spirit to come and to answer my second prayer when I arrived here, that I may have the key to access the Kingdom of Heaven while I am here on earth…in faith I believe He will answer…so in anticipation I wait for tomorrow to come…

A very cool thing happened when we began these studies.

(Here is a passage from Sasha’s journal):

At the end of one of our teachings, we broke off into three small groups to pray.  One of the guys who is quiet and we don’t know too well yet, said that he had seen an Angel and had a message to share with us.  He spoke through a translator and said to Anita: “I saw an Angel stand before you and he looked into my eyes. As I looked into the angel’s eyes, the angel said to me: The Holy Spirit is with these girls.  God has given these white women the teachings in their hands. The angel instructed me that all of us guys should listen to what you have to say because He had given you the words to speak and poured into your hands all the teachings that you would impart to us.  The angel told me that the time is short so it is very important that we listen to all the words that you girls have to say because you will have to leave soon.”

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.” (Acts 2:17-18).

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Disciple The Nations (Part Three)

Posted in Adventure, Africa, Healing, Journey, Love, Miracles, Missions, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized, Unreached People on June 12, 2008 by Heiko & Anita in Africa

The Last Supper

It has been three weeks of bible studies.  Nightly the group grows.  Holy Spirit comes with Fire from Heaven and meets us in this place.  The other night Sasha led the study teaching about Communion.  Here is Sasha’s journal entry, enjoy:

 

We had fifteen guys in our discipleship group tonight, and seven visitors.  It’s awesome to see how the other visitors have taken an interest and are joining our Bible Study.  I love that this is such a move of God and it is greater than just Anita and I leading a Bible Study! 

 

Tonight, I taught on Communion from 1 Corinthians 11:23-32.  I talked about the Last Supper and how Jesus talked to his disciples about his sacrifice for us, and how much He loves us.  I also talked about the importance of confessing our sins, and God’s promise that He is faithful to forgive us (1 John 1:8-10). 

 

Afterward, we asked the guys to go off on their own and spend time in prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to examine their hearts.  Then they were to repent and receive forgiveness.  Once they were done praying, each guy came and took Communion from us.  It was really powerful.  All the guys took it seriously and prayed quietly.  In our communal prayer time at the end, various guys would take turns leading in prayer, and several of them were slain in the Spirit and one of them got baptized with Holy Spirit laughter! It was awesome. 

 

There were times when I was uncomfortable because the praying would get loud and in my mind somewhat obnoxious, but I was reminded that Holy Spirit was in control and who was I to say how He should manifest in another.  So I just surrendered to Him; I never want to put the Holy Spirit in a box or confine Him because I don’t want to miss out on the fullness of what He wants to do in my life. 

 

The prayer time turned into spontaneous worship, which was wonderful and powerful also.  Holy Spirit, thank You for being faithful in meeting with us.  I am so excited about the work You are doing in each of the guys.  I surrender to You and the will of the Father.  Amen

Disciple The Nations (Part Two)

Posted in Adventure, Africa, Healing, Journey, Love, Miracles, Missions, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized, Unreached People, Visions and Dreams on June 9, 2008 by Heiko & Anita in Africa

 

Fire Fall Down

 

 

It’s our fifth discipleship group today and the group has grown to about 12 (I jokingly say to Sasha, we have the 12 disciples, and she replies, we need 12 more because there are two of us.).  I woke up today with an excitement in my spirit.  As I began to worship this morning I knew that I knew the Holy Spirit was about to do something amazing tonight in our group.  I worshiped all day in anticipation.

 

Yesterday our topic was baptism in the Holy Spirit.  We prayed with the young men to receive the Holy Spirit.  (This culture is very interesting.  I have been learning that the Western world gets very excited about miracles, signs and wonders.  While here in Africa when spiritual things happen it is so very matter of fact and it is nothing to get excited about). As we prayed fervently it seemed as though nothing was happening.  We kept praying for a long time until I said to one that I was praying with I would continue to pray for him and he should keep seeking until it happens.  About 5 minutes later this young man walked up to me very calmly and said he needed to tell me that he saw the Holy Spirit like fire underneath the Baobab tree and while we prayed it rushed across the garden and entered him and went into his heart and it felt like the hot burning fire entered his body.  He then very calmly walked away as if nothing happened. 

 

As I began to prepare for the topic of study tonight, Holy Spirit prompted me to teach on servant hood.  What it means to be a true servant of Christ.  I was given the scripture John 13 Jesus washes His disciples feet.   I had a vision as I prayed and saw all the young men washing each other’s feet.  I knew tonight was going to be powerful!

 

There have been many demonic attacks on our group, before during and after each session. Holy Spirit has been teaching me that we must stand in the authority given to us through Christ, this is a spiritual war we fight not an earthly one. So Sasha and I have been taking authority over the prayer hut prior to our sessions and praying in covering and peace and it has made all the difference.  This night there was a strong presence of peace throughout the prayer hut, as if we were somewhere else entirely.

 

Tonight I knew it was such an important night.  We prepared 4 basins of water and I placed them around the circular prayer hut.  I spoke to the guys about true servant hood and explained why Jesus washed His disciples feet and told us to do the same.  I asked them if in remembrance of Him and His command to serve one another if they would like to wash each others feet and to pray for one another while doing it.  At first they were a bit hesitant, a few of the problem guys in the group just sat there with their arms crossed and silent.  Then they all agreed.  I strategically paired them up so that the rivaling guys would wash each other’s feet.  As I assigned them to a basin they sheepishly walked over.  I did not know what to expect but what happened next I will never forget for the rest of my life.

 

The moment the guys put their feet in the water they began to pray fervently for one another.  As the other began to wash the feet, spontaneous prayer and worship broke out from the guys waiting their turn.  (Definitely not the usual goofing off that takes place any quiet chance that arises.)  The prayer was intense, so intense the guys were taking their time washing each other’s feet so they could soak in the presence of the Holy Spirit even longer.   Then the true worship began.  Some of the guys began walking around the prayer hut praying in tongues, praising the Lord, while other’s were slain in the Spirit on the ground hands up in worship.  Others would finish washing their feet and then grab their bibles and with an excitement they began to show whoever was sitting next to them a scripture they just stumbled upon and they intently began to read it together.  While yet others were flat on their faces and could not move. 

 

But the most powerful of all was when the peaceful silence of the prayer hut filled with spontaneous singing that would jump from one of the guys to the next and to the next.  I was filled so much with the presence of the Holy Spirit my legs went week and I fell to the ground laughing and in tears as the voices of these young men echoed like angels in heaven and I am convinced that is exactly what they sounded like. 

 

There was a young man there that the Lord told me we needed to lift up and encourage as a leader.  For the past several studies he had been stepping up and taking the lead with translating, praying for the others and giving messages.  Tonight he had helped me translate and during this whole event he laid hands and prayed for each of the guys as this all went on.  He was the only one who had not had his feet washed.  Holy Spirit prompted me to wash his feet.

 

I knelt down and began to wash his feet and the presence of the Lord was so strong I just started weeping and praying in tongues.  The young man began to be filled with the Holy Spirit and his body just jolted about.  Sasha saw me washing his feet and began to walk towards us to lay hands on him and pray.  She made it to only three feet from him and was slain to the ground in the Spirit.  The Lord showed me he would be the one that would lead these young men when we leave.  That he would equip and raise up his people to reach out into the nation.  

 

As I finished washing his feet and proceeded to walk away, I fell to the ground unable to move.  I couldn’t even speak as I realized I was watching the heavens open up right where we were and the lives of these young men being filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit.  Tears streamed down my face.  One right after the next, being slain in the Spirit, making heavenly melodies with their voices, devouring the word of God, and praying with all their hearts for one another.  It just wouldn’t stop.  It was the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed in all my life.

 

This night I was gloriously wrecked.  We all were gloriously wrecked.  And we knew this was only a taste of what was yet to come.  It was just a glimpse of the Kingdom of Heaven…I hungered for more.  This was the night I began to pray to the Lord for a supernatural hunger and thirst that would be unquenchable, keeping me always longing for more, until the day I will actually see His face.  A new hunger had begun…

 

Disciple The Nations (Part One)

Posted in Adventure, Africa, Healing, Journey, Love, Miracles, Missions, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized, Unreached People on June 5, 2008 by Heiko & Anita in Africa

 

My prayer since before I arrived in Pemba was that the Lord would show me His heart and pour out His Love on me, a double portion.  My heart was seeking intimacy with the Lord before I left.  I did not know what to expect at Iris.  My desire was to just get closer into the presence of the Lord. 

My first week here I spent playing with children, worshiping with the Mozambiquans, feeding the village children.  As I drew closer into His presence, Abba Father drew closer to me too.  Holy Spirit taught me how to usher in the presence of the Lord through pure hungered worship.  My roommate Sasha and I pray together and His presence comes, Holy Spirit comes, Jesus comes.  In ways I have never imagined.  Some say there is an open heaven at the base.  I beleive there is a hunger at the base that ushers the presence of the Lord right into the midst of our worship.

It can be overwhelming here.  So much busyness, so many children conditioned to beg, lie and manipulate the visiting missionaries to get things from them.  They have been supplied all their needs at the base abundantly and yet the orphan spirit that consumes Africa still abounds in the minds of these little ones.  It can harden visitors hearts when they arrive and try to love on all these children that really only care if you give them something and when you don’t they have nothing to do with you.  It makes it hard to share the Love of Christ to those who would rather have an ipod.  But in it all Christ is so much bigger than the orphan spirit.

So my first week I spent seeking direction from the Holy Spirit.  I could either be very busy with doing many things with the children I think would be good or I could be guided by Holy Spirit to do the mission I was called here to do.  So I waited for my mission and it arrived. 

The second Sunday as I prayed Holy Spirit told me to go into the village to minister to the local community.  I asked a few of the Village boys that the base uses to translate for the missionaries if they would like to go with Sasha and I to assist us.  

We managed to gather 5 young men to come along.  As we headed into the village Holy Spirit told me to let the young men lead the ministry and Sasha and I should assist them with whatever they needed us to do.  I informed the young guys of this and they were very excited.  Normally they only translate and pray with the missionaries.  Now they were doing the ministry.  They took us to all of their families first to pray with them.  Then I encouraged them to go door to door.  They nervously approached people and began to share with them.  I quickly realized that these guys had no clue what they were doing.  They did not even know the story of Jesus for themselves.  Holy Spirit told me I needed to teach them so I began to show them how to minister from the bible and then I watched as they eagerly wanted to learn more.

That day marked the beginning of my mission at the base.  The Lord showed me I needed to teach and disciple these young men.  They were all saved, water baptised, had a testimony and been conditioned to be prayer warriors, but now it was time they had an intimate encounter with their Father.  

It is very taboo for single women to minister to young men in Africa.  Especially in Mozambique where sexual things are taught to children as young as 4 and encouraged throughout their youth.  It is a very permiscuous society.  I was a bit hesitant when Holy Spirit said we should teach these young men.  It could cause the wrong message to get passed along amongst them and the message of Christ could be missed entirely.  But Holy Spirit told me if I trusted the Lord, He would stand in the gap and communicate the true heart of the Lord.  So in faith I stepped out into the unknown.

Holy Spirit gave me the first bible lesson and kept speaking to me that they would be the ones to lead the study.  All I knew was I needed to be there to organize it.  Sasha and I told the guys that came with us to the village that we would have a bible study for them and their friends if they were interested. 

Monday was our first night, 5pm (or in Africa time 5:41pm).  Eight guys showed up anxious to learn and only two had a bible.  Sasha and I wrote down their names and thus started our mission to get each one of them a bible even though we were told there were none to be purchased in Pemba due to a shortage. 

I spoke about God’s Love for them explaining breifly from creation to revelation.  At the end I gave them an assignment to reach out and love on someone that was hard to love and report back next study what happened.  Holy Spirit reminded me that they needed to lead how the study would go for tomorrow so I asked them all what questions they would like answered about Christianity.  The list began to flood in and so did Holy Spirit.  The hunger had begun…