We are briefly home, before setting off on another trip. I was going to say “adventure” but as my husband’s prayer for “everyday an adventure” was thoroughly answered, we will gladly settle for a trip.
We saw God move in amazing ways, every person we prayed for was healed and we are eagerly waiting for news from the couples we prayed with for additions to their families. We heard incredible testimonies, for example from a hearing impaired man who was visiting his daughter on another island who testified to feeling that he had to come home, only to be told that she didn’t have any money to pay for his boat trip. By faith, he went to the wharf to wait for God to do something. Father did come through – a man came up to him and gave him enough money for his fare. On the boat he heard that we were arriving in his village and he sat through every session, furiously taking notes. After prayer his hearing improved and we have faith that he will regain all of it. God is so good.
We saw people come alive to Holy Spirit and be empowered to take up their authority in Christ. One couple went home after a session, only to see their daughter manifest a demon. They promptly dispatched it and stirred up everyone else to take responsibility for their own families. We worshipped with our new friends until sweat was pouring off us all, we laughed and we cried.
How flabbergasted we were to be told that of all the pastors in attendance, only one was able to attend a Bible school. They had been praying and longing to be educated and their prayers were answered when we “brought Bible school to us”. No amount of hardship, sickness or sleepless nights can take the shine off watching God work mightily and miraculously in people’s life.
You might wonder when I am going to get to the spiders…well, the wait is over. In order to appreciate the story, I have to explain about what the locals call the “charismatic road”. It’s a 45 km stretch of road that takes 2 hours to traverse. We decided it was called the charismatic road, because you can throw the worst pagan or heathen on the back of the truck (the only mode of transport) and by the end of the journey they will have found Jesus, confessed and repented of all their sins, been baptised in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. I am not exaggerating, it’s a frightening stretch of road.
One day we were sitting in the house, where there is no electricity, therefore nothing to eat or drink that’s not served at room temperature, trying to recover from fevers, throat infections, sinus issues and extreme heat. I jokingly asked our coordinator to go to town to get us some ice cream, knowing full well the 4 hour journey that would ensue, making it an impossible feat.
The very next day, as we come out of the room where we dropped our bags after another long day of teaching, there on the table sat three ice cold Cokes and a tub of vanilla ice cream. A miracle, right in front of our eyes! Someone had gone to the trouble to load up a cooler box, travel four hours on the worst road, bought ice, Coke and ice cream to bless us. We understood not only the tremendous effort, but the financial implications of the gift. It was worth more than gold. We promptly set about to share the drinks between five mugs, added vanilla ice cream and introduced our island friend to spiders (floats in other parts of the world).
As we bonded over cold drinks, I mused about the goodness of God, the significance of having a servant heart and how we can reflect Jesus to a dying world by going the extra mile, or in this case, many extra miles. Sometimes the love of God looks like two ladies traveling far, at great expense and personal cost, to bring hope and revelation to a far-off village and sometimes it looks like an extravagant gift from someone who can least afford to give it.
That spider reminded me of an alabaster box broken over the feet of Jesus, of the fragrance filling a house and an act of kindness forever capture in our hearts. Let us seek out opportunities to bless abundantly, love extravagantly and to indeed go the extra mile.