Waving all goodbye at home, we knew that our two month trip spanning three African nations would prove challenging as well as uplifting. We had not been to Kenya for four years, and Tanzania has waited three for our return. In 2015 we had a taste of the extent to which the music Vinesong was known, but this time around it was the main course.
Many people had testimonies of how the Lord touched them through the songs in their early days of being saved. It was an incredible encouragement, indeed humbling, to see so many remember songs like “Let Your Living Water Flow”, “Holy Spirit Move Me Now”, “Jesus Your Love”, and “Worship the Lord”. In our meetings, so many sang every song from memory, from the depth of their hearts and remembrance of their early walk with the Lord. As a team, God made it evident how pleased He was to receive this depth of worship by so many in one accord.
We often tell people that we minister from prisons to palaces, and this trip to Kenya was the epitome of that saying. Over the course of 6 days, we ministered at 12 different programs. Each morning, we would drive far out of the city to a prison (or in one case, a girls rehabilitation centre), and in the evenings we would drive all the way back minister at a church.
About halfway through the week, it was safe to say that we were absolutely finished, but the Lord was true to His word. When we were at our weakest, then He is strong. There was this incredible grace that came over the team, and we all felt like we were running on all cylinders. At the end of the week, we were surprised at how good we felt.
We finished that week with four programs on the Saturday and Sunday at two locations, but because of the scheduling, we had to break down our equipment and set up again after each one.
From the Sunday morning service came the opportunity to minister at a palace: one brother was a part of the weekly bible study that was held by the Vice President’s wife at the presidential estate. They asked if we would minister on the following Monday, which is normally our only day of rest! We knew we had to press in for this opportunity and push through one more day. It came as no surprise that the Lord had us there for a reason. The Chief of Staff and several ministers of the government were in attendance.
The Chief of Staff had been extremely sick all week, and was actually planning on heading straight for the hospital that morning. She later told us that she felt she must just go to their regular bible study (she didn’t even know that we were coming!). In the middle of the worship that morning, she was dramatically healed to the glory of God! She said to us, if you take nothing else back from this morning meeting, at least you will take a testimony from the Chief of Staff that God healed her during the ministry! We thank God for how faithful He was during that week. Below are some photos, but we regret that many of the prison photos we are not able to share for reasons of privacy and security.
In Tanzania, the Lord was faithful again through our friend Pastor Absalom Mwalubalile, who organised many meetings for us within the Assemblies of God churches and a few others outside of the denomination in Dar Es Salaam. Once again, the Lord was so good to us, and blessed our many programs in and around the city.
The capstone of our two week time of ministry was at the very end, when we were invited to minister in Zanzibar. This small island off the coast of Tanzania is 99% muslim, with an Islamic government and quite a level of persecution and exclusion in society. The church that hosted us was something of a headquarters for Christianity on the island, and our time there was incredibley blessed. We met some wonderful people there, including a couple of missionaries who are there under a professional guise, but secretly share the gospel with their coworkers and neighbors whenever they get the opportunity. We had such a wonderful time as we listened to their stories and just really got a chance to absorb some of the wisdom from their life experiences. We are grateful to the Lord that he brought us safely to and from the island and the country, and that God touched many people during our time there.