My team and I were on crusade this past April in a village community in the Limpopo province of South Africa called Madabani. Hedged in by twenty other villages, the greater area is well-known for its intense culture of witchcraft, including the practice of human sacrifice. In fact, what is known as the “village of witches” exists just a few kilometres from where we held our crusade, a place to which troublesome witches and their families are exiled. What a hot-zone in which to preach the Gospel! From the first service to the last, I felt like we were rattling the gates of hell, demanding the souls of those Jesus died to save. Save He did, thousands calling upon His matchless name and completing decision cards, being then followed up by local pastors. Prayer for those who came ill or in need of deliverance yielded spectacular results. The demonic manifestations were numerous, precious people set free left, right and centre. Bodies convulsed and devils shrieked, unable to withstand the declaration of His name. Spirits of infirmity skedaddled, many sufferers vomiting or describing the pain moving through their bodies, a choking sensation threatening to overwhelm before freedom followed. Months, years and decades of torment were replaced by perfect liberty in a single moment. Walking aids were lifted on high and testimony followed testimony. There was great rejoicing.
One of the thousands impacted was the mother of the chief of Sinthumule, a nearby village. Addressed as Mrs Sinthumule, this precious child of God is revered as a “King-Maker” and loved by all. Since 1985, she had been unable to bend without severe pain. Such so limited her activities that she relied on a domestic worker to help with the grandchildren. During our crusade, three decades of suffering came to an end. “After prayer, when the evangelist asked us to test our bodies, I realised that Jesus had healed me completely,” she shared. “I feel so great, I am so grateful!” What exactly was wrong with Mrs Sinthumule’s back and what the Lord corrected, we do not know. Village communities do not have easy access to proper medical care. There are no x-rays or tests to which we can refer. All we know is this: the debilitating agony is there no more and now, she can fuss over her grandchildren with endless, pain-free devotion.
Her testimony was one of many given but hers touched me even more deeply than the rest. Why? The history of this precious lady and evangelists coming to her area. In 1978, Ev. Reinhard Bonnke came and his team of Christ for all Nations (CfaN). Her prayer was answered during that crusade for the salvation of her son, now Sinthumule’s chief. He received the Lord wholeheartedly and continues to serve Him today. Now, come 2019, the team of In His Name arrives, the Lord using us to answer another one of her prayers: her prayer for healing. This linking of ministry-impact stirred me. CfaN was used to answer one prayer. In His Name was used to answer another. God used the obedience of both ministries to hatch her miracles. My team and I faced many challenges in the planning of this crusade. What if we had shrunk back? What if we had retreated? I have no doubt that CfaN faced challenges as well. Crusade planning is always rife with them. After all, we are invading devilish darkness with the glorious Good News of eternal life. That darkness has to flee but it often kicks as it goes. Nonetheless, CfaN soldiered forward. In His Name pressed on. Neither ministry shrunk back. The result? Thousands impacted decades apart, including one dear lady who received two extraordinary gifts: the salvation of her son, the healing of her body. Perhaps, if either ministry had faltered, God would have sent others to fill the void. However, this is a dangerous assumption. Our response to His will has consequences, not only for our own lives but for others. Consider the disobedience of Adam. Consider the obedience of Jesus.
I want to encourage you today, dear friend. Do not give up. Do not quit. Do not grow weary in doing good. Soldier on selflessly and dutifully. If you have misstepped, repent and correct your course. The Lord will help you. He has promised to cause rivers to flow in the desert and restore what has been broken, even when we have been undone by our own foolishness. Someone else’s miracle is sitting on the other side of our obedience. There are Mrs. Sinthumules waiting for us all, their lives being impacted by believer after believer, ministry after ministry. Let us not miss our God-given opportunity to be the vessels through which He answers prayers, through which He leaves others forever changed.