Back to Mambasa
The return trip from Isiro to Mambasa was very difficult. Again, we saw the hand of God’s favour upon our travels. Once our truck had negotiated most of the bad road, heavy rain began to drench the roads. Joshua said that he saw upturned trucks in many of the ditches. It was by His grace we got out before the heavy rain began.
We then experienced another blessing of God upon us, which showed the care that He takes over His children and His work. A strange fault had developed with the oil pressure; this finally and dramatically blew the cap off which resulted in litres of oil being spilled. We found that a pressure control valve had been damaged, but we managed to glue the diaphragm in place and get the system working again. This caused us some delay in our journey. In the natural, it seemed that everything was against us, but the Lord knew what He was doing. Unknown to us, part of the road ahead had been barricaded with burning tyres whilst a riot took place. However, by the time we reached that area, peace had been restored and we travelled on without any problems. Our make-shift repairs lasted until the truck returned to base in Kenya!
The journey to Mambasa was quite an experience. We had not even left the town when we were stopped by police asking for our documents. We were convinced that all our documents were in order and had even been assured previously there was no problem. Well, arriving at a checkpoint, far into the bush and again no mobile phone network, we were arrested and taken back to the town of Kamando. The car was put into a compound, which made it very obvious that we had been impounded! Surrounded by rough soldiers, all fresh from the conflict in the area, it was not at all a place we wanted to be. A soldier approached the car, “Driver, bring your licence! Come!” Joseph was marched off towards the hostile-looking cells – complete with rusty iron gates and lined with grim faces holding the bars. But we walked past the gates and into the chief’s office. The documents that we had presented (and were assured were all in order) were not in order; they had expired. Fortunately, we could pay the penalty and pay for the new documents. Soon, we were prayerfully and happily on our way once again. The delay only took around three hours, but we were so glad to be away from that place
We arrived in Mambasa where there was a huge presence of soldiers – a military operation was in progress about sixty kilometres from us – not far from where our truck had broken down!
We were just about to start the meeting, when we were told that we could not start, because we had not presented our passports! This was duly done and the afternoon meeting went ahead.
Mambasa had a different atmosphere to the two other cities. The people seemed to be much harder. Nevertheless, we sold Bibles at a greatly subsidised rate. We were located next door to the District Commissioner’s office. One day, an old lady came and bought a Bible; she said that it was for her son – the District Commissioner!
The seminar for church leaders and workers was very powerful. It stirred them to become active in soul-winning and seeking the lost. I truly felt that God had drawn only those to the meeting who would do something with what they had heard, and that the church in Mambasa would arise. The message was based upon
- John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
I gave a very strong call for the church to start busying themselves in rescuing the lost. The challenge was well received. When we prayed for the baptism into the Holy Spirit, it was surprising to hear the honesty of some – they had not known what to make of the strange language that they heard; was it the language of Israel? But, when they understood that it was tongues from God, they readily embraced it.
What really surprised me were the antics of the witch doctors. They threw leaves and potions on the field, trying, with their hocus-pocus, to hinder what God was doing! It obviously did not work as, after every altar call, our special area was packed with people truly calling on the name of Jesus.
There were not many miracles of healing in Mambasa, which was such a contrast from Isiro, but it did not hinder us from praying with compassion for all the sick.
The final meeting loosened up considerably – where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. God’s Holy Spirit once again prevailed, and took the word preached and made it alive in the hearts of the people, many of whom responded under this conviction of the Holy Spirit, and gladly called on the name of Jesus – the only name by which men can be saved, We were also able to pray for the baptism into the Holy Spirit after a short exhortation.
I believe that irreversible damage has been done to the kingdom of darkness and that God’s Kingdom is being expanded throughout the DRC.