My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit praises His name. For He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant — for the Mighty One has done great things for me. Holy is His name (Luke 1:46 -49).
BOLD AS A LION
Before leaving for Africa, the Lord prepared the way for me through prayer and through the declaration of His Word. While praying for the nations with some of my Lydia sisters, He led us to pray some very bold prayers concerning the conversion and transformation of whole people groups. We were empowered by His Spirit to pray in faith that which sprung from His heart. He assured us that nothing is impossible with Him.
A few days later, I was blessed to receive prayer for the African mission by a Zambian speaker at an Aglow meeting. As she lifted up her voice and cried to God, she went through a spiritual birthing and deliverance in proxy for, or on behalf of, the people of Africa. Afterwards, she turned to me and said that there was no need to worry — I would be protected, and there would be deliverances. Her words were heavy. I rested in them and went forth in peace and great boldness.
I love the Word of God. At times I have had such a hunger for it that I have held my Bible to my heart, envisioning every word of it being enmeshed and assimilated into my heart. (Oh, if it was only that easy!) The Word is powerful and mighty. It is light and life. I have seen it work mightily in my life and in the lives of others. While in Africa, however, I experienced and witnessed a new dimension of its power. I am still in awe, having an even deeper appreciation and reverence for it, as I try to briefly share three incidents of note:
1.) After returning from Africa in March 2000, I felt a deep need to teach the people there about holiness and purity. Widespread corruption and mixed religious belief systems have defiled the body of Christ, and many impure practices and activities have been accepted in the Church. As I prayed and sought the counsel of my hostess, Imelda Bwayo, the Uganda Aglow National President, regarding the first message in Tanzania, the Lord said to raise up a standard against the witchcraft and lay the foundation of holiness.
In the midst of the preaching, as the Word was going forth in power, I began to feel very ill. Weakness and faintness converged upon me, and I could not stand. After excusing myself and sitting down, the leaders laid hands on me and began to pray fervently. We all knew what was happening — the enemy was trying to stop the Word from going forth. In a few minutes, the prayer subsided, and I felt renewed and determined to finish what God had begun. The conviction of the Word was so heavy; it was nearly tangible. The response to it was unanimous. We could hardly contain the people afterward. Praise God, without one demonic spirit being cast out — without anyone laying hands on them — without one prayer being prayed over them — the people were delivered by the Word! Those there remarked that their hearts had been circumcised by the Word. How powerful it is!
2.) One of the most remote places at which I ministered in Uganda was Budadiri. We climbed rugged hillsides, by car and on foot, ascending into the mist of the rainforest, before reaching our destination. When all arrived, there were about 100 people seated inside the little block building and along one outside open wall. Many had walked far across the mountains to be there.
Imelda had asked me to speak to them about intimacy with the Lord and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The people were so hungry for the Lord that they literally cried out for more of Him at the end of the message. At one point, I felt we should bring order to the ministry so that we could pray for those who wanted to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Try as he might, however, my interpreter could not get the attention of the people. In other meetings, when we experienced similar situations, the leaders would begin to sing a song, and that would draw the people together. In this instance, however, the people were so engrossed in the presence of the Lord, they were
unmoved by the singing. I could sense God was doing a greater work than I had previously discerned. As I waited upon Him, allowing Him room to continue His ministry, the interpreter looked over at me with wide eyes and said, “They are receiving! They are receiving! They are speaking in tongues!” I had no idea, because they all sounded like they were speaking in tongues to me anyway. But in this little village, among these hungry people who had not previously been taught about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the Lord was sovereignly moving in and upon the whole group, filling them to overflowing! I was planning to give them further instruction and lead them through a prayer, but none of that was necessary. God had already instructed them by His Word and His Spirit, and they received en masse. It was all Him and none of us. Praise His name!
3.) Our last meeting was with the Mbale Aglow. Imelda again requested that I share with these women (and men) about intimacy with the Lord. Many of the Africans know how to praise and pray with fervency and demonstration, but few that I know have found their way into God’s still and awesome presence in the Holy of Holies.
Though I had previously shared this message, it took on a different slant. There was a time in my life, right after quitting my job and moving to Virginia, that I spent many hours at home in the healing presence of Jesus. It was during that time that I came face to face with many of the issues of my life that had bred insecurity, unforgiveness, judgmentalism, woundedness, and a host of other things in my heart. As I worshiped in His presence, the healing balm of Jesus penetrated every pore and fiber of my being, causing every stronghold to lose its grip. It was like oil being poured over a ball. Once done, one cannot grab the ball or get a footing on it. That is how I felt with regard to the lies and hurt of the enemy. They had no place to grab hold — they had no ground in me. The ground once given to the enemy had been reclaimed, and I was miraculously and sovereignly delivered from so many strongholds as I sat in worship of and in fellowship with the Lord.
As I shared this word, again, the presence of the Lord over the body was so real that He almost seemed tangible. Even as the Word was being spoken, there was a sense that hearts were being healed — forgiveness and deliverance flowed. It was another time when the power of the Spirit and the Word set the people free without prayer, without the casting out of demonic spirits, or whatever. God embraced the whole body and ministered to us as one. How precious and holy it was!
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD
There is so much more I could share with you, but I feel to leave this thought with you: God is moving powerfully and sovereignly in the earth. The ministry of His Spirit and His Word is being multiplied exponentially to reach whole groups of people at one time. Even as all of Nineveh repented and turned to the Lord — even as we have seen whole denominations, like the World Wide Church of God, turn from the error of their doctrine to the God of Truth — I believe we are going to see more and more masses of people enter into the salvation, the healing, and the deliverance of the Lord as one. As sons and daughters of God, He says to us, “Ask of me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession” (Psalm 2:8). I am holding onto this scripture and believing to see its fulfillment. A prophet in Uganda told me last year that God was going to give me that nation. That sounded like a stretch at the time, but I am seeing God move in bigger and broader ways. I am compelled by His Spirit to take my limitations off of Him. I encourage you to let us join our faith together to see whole nations birthed into the kingdom in a day. “Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born (again) in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment?” (Isaiah 66:8). Assuredly, yes! Nothing is impossible with God!
I thank God so much for you and for all of those who gave money, books, Bibles, clothes, etc. to make this mission possible. All of the prayers and support have meant more than you know. Only heaven will reveal the extent to which your giving has been felt. We are all members of the body of Christ, coming together to see His kingdom come, His will be done. As we share in the joy of seeing that come to pass, I pray that the Lord will continue to mesh our hearts together in love, unity, and peace. Multiplied blessings be unto you and yours!
With praise and thanksgiving,
The Spirit & the Word Ministries
Uganda/Tanzania June 2001