We arrived in Brazzaville on Saturday at 9:30 in the morning, and went straight through to domestic departures from where I connected with the local flight to Nkayi. At Nkayi, I was met by Pastor Christian and Pastor Roger, and we all drove to Bouansa in the little blue Land Cruiser, which was rather a squash with six in the back and all the luggage. What with the bumps and the dust, I was so glad to be in the front seat! We stopped in Madingou, where a mother and daughter came to see us. The young daughter had suffered with a terrible skin disease, and I clearly remember having prayed for her. The mother had taken her to all the doctors in the main cities, but she was not cured. Now, she was so happy, as the disease disappeared soon after prayer, and today she has perfectly smooth skin.
In Bouansa, I preached at Pastor Christian’s Church. He told me how his congregation had doubled since the crusade there in September 2009. One man stood up to testify how he had been a drunkard and womaniser but was fed up with his life. He wanted to change, but did not know how. On the first night of the Bouansa crusade, he was gloriously saved and delivered. He said, “My whole life is different, now that Jesus has come into my life”.
I returned to the hotel only to be met by five or six drunkards. They all wanted prayer. Well, I preached a short message to them on their need to be saved. Conviction fell and the beers started to disappear – some under the table and others discreetly taken out of the room. The little group bowed their heads and hearts and called on the name of Jesus. This was in the hotel bar!
The technical team hired one of the very few available trucks. It looked like an old World War II truck; the windscreen was long gone and it was dripping oil as they were loading. On the short journey, they broke down and had to change a wheel bearing by the side of the road. After several hours in the intense heat, they were glad to get moving again and arrived in Loutété safely.
Tuesday 23rd The team was just completing the final touches to the set up and needed some extra cable to connect to the local power connection. A local brother volunteered to drive, but on the way back to Loutété, he drove the Land Cruiser into a huge ditch – it tottered and rolled over onto its side.
Fortunately, no one was hurt and the damage to the car was only cosmetic! A passing truck stopped, pulled it upright, and after refilling the oil, they continued on their journey.
Tonight, I will speak to the many dignitaries at the Banquet. The Gospel is the only hope for Congo. The moral decline and the worldliness cannot be cured by any other means. People often ask me, “What tangible help are you bringing to the folk of Loutété? There are so many real issues and real needs, we need real solutions”. Is the unseen Gospel a real solution? Yes, a thousand times yes! Just because it cannot be seen, does not mean that it is not a solution. Some of the most powerful forces in the world cannot be seen with the naked eye. Electricity or radiation cannot be seen, and yet exposure to radiation can be fatal. Just consider exposure to the sun’s radiation, how dangerous that can be, and yet it cannot be seen. Exposure to the Gospel recalibrates hearts, awakens consciences, destroys unbelief and is the greatest faith builder. The Gospel is God’s message of love written to mankind, and it does more to help man’s condition than any other means. When the Gospel is proclaimed under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, it becomes an event in God’s calendar.
Day 1 The seminar was held in Fepaco Church, and it was a good sign to see the church packed, as well as people standing at the entrance listening. The word fell on fertile soil. I could feel the congregation pulling on every word. What a wonderful meeting. They saw their potential to reach their city, and I am sure many will step out to reach the people around them with the Love of Christ.
The Crusade started well. It was hard to gauge just how many people were present; nevertheless, it was a good turn out. People stood near and far, but that did not matter. Our powerful sound system carried the message across the entire area. The Gospel message arrested people in their tracks; they stood and listened intently. When I gave the altar call, it was not difficult, because the Holy Spirit had already convicted almost everyone of their need to have their sins forgiven and nearly every hand shot up. Just a little of heaven’s joy came upon me to see multitudes coming out of darkness into His glorious light. It cannot be matched by anything this earth has to offer.
God confirmed His word by healing the sick. I love the openness of the people. A mother had taken her little girl to Pointe-Noire on the coast, to be treated, because she could not pass water without severe pain. After prayer, the little girl testified how she had tested herself and all pain had gone. Yet another lady had a growth on her leg that simply disappeared. Jesus is indeed alive!
Day 2 Flashes of lightning all around. It looked like rain was rapidly approaching, but God gave us the victory, and the meeting was not disturbed at all. Again, great numbers responded to the clear Gospel message. During the prayer for the sick, I felt impressed to pray for someone suffering with asthma, and later a man came forward to testify that Jesus had totally healed him. As the lightning flashed, I could feel prickles of current all over my body. I know however that the real power was not the lightning but the anointing of the Holy Spirit working so powerfully touching and transforming lives.
Day 3 A rowdy crowd had to be silenced a few times. I said, “Jesus is here. Do you believe it? Then why don’t you reverence Him, and show respect for His word and be silent”. I preached a very straightforward and convicting message and the people heard it gladly. The local radio station is giving daily reports and inviting people to the meeting. The Lord healed one of the well known drivers in the city. He said that he came to the meeting because his wife had given him one of our follow-up books. To his surprise, Jesus touched him right in the crowd, and he was instantly healed of pain in the stomach.
Day 4 Saturday (Above) The wind began to pick up and black and grey clouds hung overhead. It was already drizzling, as I made my way to the meeting. It increased and increased, until the stage was completely wet. Would I be able to preach and hold the attention of the people in this rain? Well, the moment I took the microphone, the Lord gave us a calm – the rain stopped, the crowd picked up, and we had a wonderful harvest of souls. There are just four churches in this town with a sum total of 200 believers. Already, we have seen over 1,300 registered decisions for Jesus. Indeed this is harvest time.
Final Day Sunday We have clear blue skies this afternoon, and it is very hot and humid, but this did not seem to stop the people coming. A huge crowd gathered to hear the Gospel. The Holy Spirit was indeed present exposing the error of the godless view of sin, and convicting of righteousness and judgement. In the altar call, there were very real salvations. A young lady passing by scoffed at the meeting and the word going forth. Well, someone gave her a follow-up book and, as she read it, a scripture convicted her! She said, “Oh, it’s true what was being preached at the field. I have been wrong”. She gladly surrendered her life to Jesus. In total, the counsellors recorded over 1,614 decisions, which is remarkable, as the total sum of believers in Loutété was, at the start of this Crusade, around 200. That means each church can grow up to 9 times with an additional 400 new believers in each church! Oh, pray with me for the ‘new believers meetings’, which the Pastors are beginning this week.
Thank you for standing shoulder to shoulder with us to reach this city.
Roger and Shireen