I have been AWOL! That means I left this blog without saying so much as a goodbye. Again! And that was almost two weeks ago. For this reason I feel extremely indebted to ask my faithful readers’ forgiveness. You have been extremely kind to me. These days, though, much of the time I travel without my laptop, which ends any writing plans I might have – until I get back home.
But, that aside, I have been to the most awesome place ever. For one, it is the hottest spot on earth; or, to be fair, certainly the hottest place I have ever been to. Here, the sun comes up earlier than normal and, by 8 a.m. the walls are already hot to the touch. By mid-day, when the sun is supposedly hottest, you are already toast. Everything is white and you cannot see clearly. If someone is coming towards you, say, a hundred meters or so away, they seem to be floating on air. Much like the preacher whose video has been circulating on the net, if you’ve had the misfortune of seeing it.
You would think things couldn’t get worse. But late afternoon, evening and the entire night brings even hotter tidings, and you go to sleep simply out of fatigue.
The town is called Kishapu. It is a small place in the municipality of Shinyanga. It is dirt poor. And it is far from any form of civilization.
But there are God’s people here and this was the reason we chose to host our regional ZGACT ladies’ conference here. Our regional churches comprise those in Shinyanga and Singida. We had ladies from both these regions attending.
We also had an outdoor crusade, which was held late in the evenings. The preachers were Majura and Boni Mkami, both renowned evangelists within our church. Pastor Eli Mpule was the key speaker at the ladies’ meetings, together with the women leaders.
At night, Evangelist Mwakitalu showed Christian films to large crowds.
The conference and crusade ran for a whole week. Far from what you might be thinking, what made Kishapu interesting was not the heat; rather, it was the presence of God. God’s presence was incredibly powerful in these meetings. God was at work, saving and healing people’s bodies and hearts. I, for one, was so blessed I did not want the meetings to end in spite of the unbearable heat.
Every day, during the crusades, people gave their lives to Christ and many souls were added to the Kingdom of God. And the ladies’ meetings were so full of the presence and anointing of God. The teachings were solid teachings meant to bring God’s people to maturity in the Spirit. The key to spiritual maturity? Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow Christ. It was a message meant, not just for women, but for every man and every young person also.
The resident pastor, Pamfile, had also invited the local pastors, many of whom attended the outdoor meetings for every one of the seven days that the meetings ran. On the last day, we had a get-together dinner with these wonderful men of God and their wives, where Pastor Mpule had the opportunity to introduce the gospel of the cross to these great men of God. It was poignant to see such men declaring they had never heard such words in their lives! And humbly pointing to the deep divisions that existed in their midst. It was the first time ever for them to come together. Some were even not on talking terms with each other!
Kishapu was the place we ALL ought to have been!!
Below, in pictures.
- The ladies’ conference was powerful and edifying. Pastor Eli and Mrs. Boni ministering the gospel of the cross
2. The outdoor meetings were packed to capacity
3. And the praise and worship team was simply awesome
4. Many pastors from neighboring churches came to share in the blessings
5. The incredibly gifted man of God, Boni, prepares to go to minister
6. Every day, souls came forward to receive Jesus
7. All the pastors who attended were at hand to minister to the sick and needy
8. Sometimes the meetings went way deep into the night
9. Only God knows what could have been going in the heart of this little boy
10. “Let the little children come to me.” Appropriately enough, the children heard the gospel while seated on Jesus’s donkey cart
11. In the evenings, it was time to watch Evangelist Mwakitalu’s awe-inspiring films
12. The only way to escape Kishapu’s sizzling heat was to stay buried inside the church building… or six feet under
“Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!” What God allows you to see and experience is grace to me (as well).
Dear David, your words are music to my heart as well! What power there is in the gospel!! And what grace in all who love the gospel of Jesus Christ.