How do 12 strangers from all over the United States meet in a country they have never been before 9,000 miles from their home and fall in love with the country, it’s people, the poor, the lost, the broken and most importantly each other? That’s what happens when you go with the heart of Jesus to do the works of the Father. It’s like the leaven in the bread. It gets mixed into all the bread. The same as how this love gets all over you. All over the team. All over those around you. Like the bread, it’s inside you. It’s not coming out. You are just different now. You don’t know the how or the why or the what, but you know it’s good.
Flying from many locations, our team met up in Johannesburg South Africa. We stayed at the very nice, Southern Sun Hotel overnight. We got our rooms and then we had dinner together starting the “getting to know each other” process. In the morning on Monday, we had breakfast and headed to the airport. We arrived in Maputo about mid-day, cleared customs, and then began our ride to the Zimpeto orphanage. The 45-minute ride from the airport to the orphanage let us know we were clearly in a different place. I coined a new word in my vocabulary and that is “nothingness”. As we rode to the orphanage our hearts were already breaking.
When we arrived at the Zimpeto base the staff gave us a tour of the surroundings which was large sprawling compound of sandy walkways and sand roads. The base housed 230 children and many staff. There were school rooms, dorms, church/lunchroom, prayer halls and staff quarters. We received our schedules and then had dinner that was rice and beans. Every day for dinner we had rice and beans. Sometimes with the beans changing with a leafy mash or something we couldn’t guess what it was. Breakfast was always bread and tea. For some of us, who never eat rice it was interesting. At 7PM we had our orientation. We ended with prayer and praise. Our fearless leader laid hands on everyone. Some cried. Some got hot and began peeling off their extra clothes. We were “one” now.
The day started at 7AM where the children had intercession. All these young children volunteered to pray and intercede for everything that was happening at the orphanage, friends or family. At 9AM, we went shopping at the Shop Rite store that is quite a distance away. Only a couple people can go so you have to place your orders with the ones who can go. Our first street ministry was in the afternoon. Eight boys came out of the rubble of broken-down buildings. We had ministry, worship and singing. We would soon learn that wherever we went no matter the conditions or status of the people everyone knew how to sing, dance and worship the Lord.
In the morning we went to the Hulene dump which is the mountain of garbage where the ministry of Heidi and Rolland began. People living on the edge of the dump, picking scraps and recycle to survive. We gave them food and ministered with them. Then we traveled a short distance to a new church where we did street outreach to the those who lived nearby. In the afternoon, we played with the children at the Zimpeto base with balloons and frisbees that the team brought with them. In the late afternoon, we headed out to an abandoned soccer field where we did ministry. There were concrete bleachers that haven’t seen life in years. Within a short time, there were more than 25 men, boys and young children. We prayed, worshipped, and each team member gave a message. Then our leader set up the perfect Holy Spirit moment. He spoke of Jesus` healing power. Then he gave his own testimony of a miraculous healing when he was four years old. He said that the healing of Jesus still existed and that anyone that needed healing, whether it was pain or injury, to come forward. Three men came forward. Two were completely healed and one was 50% healed. Adding to this was the joy of a team member experiencing her first healing and feeling the flow and the heat of the Holy Spirit in her hands and arms. Woohoo!!
We had more outreach opportunities. Some of the team chose to go to the local hospital and pray for people. During the week, three team members had the opportunity to teach to the adult Bible school that had about 50 men and women studying to be pastors or teachers. Today was a lesson on identity, teaching them who they really are when they give everything to Jesus and take on royal garments and the armor of God. This led to more meetings, to understand their calling and gifting. So many were encouraged. Prophecy was spoken to many.
The team was gelling now. We knew each other‘s giftings. Intercession prayers were more intense. The Spirit was falling. Powerful! The base kept us busy with children’s church, games, the baby house, the special needs children, prayer, packing gifts for the children’s day. Packing food for the street ministry, ministry trips, and yes resting.
Friday and Saturday
Friday brought a new outreach the overnight outreach. Four people chose to do this outreach. They took their tents, sleeping bags, snacks and water and headed out to the more distant places. They told us what it would be like, but it was not what they said. It was more. More worship, less sleep, more walking, more love, more healing, more friendships than we could have imagined. We arrived at 6PM in time to set up our tents before dark and then they fed us like royalty. They brought everything from a mile away. The table, the chairs, the food, the tea and we ate by the light of a flashlight. We finished eating about eight. They said we could go rest for a bit because we would have church at 10PM. Church went from 10PM till 4AM. It was very cold that night with the only light to be a round flashlight hanging from the wall. In the dim glow, the prayer, worship, singing and dancing was wonderful. And they had the team members give messages during the night. After a quick four hours of sleep, we were off. Breakfast and then prayers for the Mozambican team and one-man’s hearing got healed and our cook who had pain was healed. We then headed out and down the sandy trails and sandy streets. We touched many lives including a witch doctor. Miraculous healings of pain and cancer. We were using the Mozambique team and pulling them into activation. If you have never heard a Mozambique team in a prayer song of healing, you are truly missing out. The presence of the Spirit was strong. We headed back to the church near the end of the day. The Mozambique team pastor wants us to worship and pray with them at the church. Our team shared visions of the church and gave their team words of prophecy. It was a very energizing and uplifting time for all of us. The Mozambique team shared some of their dreams so we could help them understand them. We ended it all with a fire tunnel.
Sunday morning was fast. We had to break camp and eat breakfast and catch a ride back to Zimpeto. A bus that was able to seat 25 people ended up loaded with 50 or 60 people. It was a special Sunday. The first Sunday of each month, several churches all come to Zimpeto to worship and have lunch. It’s a big deal for many of the people.
Later in the day one of the counselors asked the four outreach team members to come and have tea and debrief with her. Well it was a Holy Spirit blasting for all of us. We told her about the trip. Then the prayers, the visions and prophecy began and the joy of the Lord fell on us all.
Monday was our city trip. A day off. We ministered and prophesied to each other, to the waitresses and the people we met. That evening Papa Steve shared his testimony with us. Truly amazing. A couple that answered the call to follow Jesus, quitting their jobs and leaving their country. Just amazing.
Tuesday was like other days with outreaches. The team had bonded, but now had to separate. We are trying to pack and say goodbyes. We were buying last-minute gifts made at the orphanage. Prophecy and words of knowledge were flowing. The evening was the debrief and sharing testimonies. No one wanted it to end. The presence of the spirit was very strong.
Wednesday we headed home.
When people have nothing to give, they just give love. Isn’t that what Jesus taught us? Amen.