As Christmas Eve drew closer, some pastors left, while others stayed on till Sunday morning, December 24th, unwilling to miss the opportunity of hearing the Word of G-d that they would bring back to their flocks. Furthermore, Bishop assured them He would have me preach in their villages.
The next day, the Bishop, Mama Beninah and I drove to Kitale to attend a wedding. The large church building was a wooden frame, covered with aluminum. One thousand guests were in attendance, eighty of whom were pastors and bishops alongside one white servant of the Lord – me, from Israel. Next to the bride and bridegroom – who came to Webuye after New Year’s to thank me for attending their wedding and to have me bless them - I drew the most attention as the only white guest who, moreover, was taking lots of pictures.
The day after the wedding, we packed into Bishop’s car (we were always at least 7 or 8 persons in a 5-seater car) and drove at high speed on the Nairobi-Kampala road to Malaba, a town on the Kenyan -Ugandan border. Half way there, on top of a long and steep hill, we suddenly rolled to a halt. Clouds of steam emanated from underneath the hood - the water in the radiator was boiling!
Thank G-d, we were beside one of the many bus stops on this highway, with 2 mini-stores on the roadside.
Immediately curious onlookers gathered around us, and children gawking at me as usual. Pastor Peter wasted all the available water on the radiator, which kept right on boiling. I discovered - with disbelief – on a sticker that the year of the car was 1968, and was amazed that it ran at all with most of its interior under the hood gutted. The brittle, plastic container for coolant – a necessity in hot weather and much fast driving - was broken.
Obviously, the car would not drive any further. I suggested we take a bus, but the men were too preoccupied with the car to pay any attention. We waited a long time as buses came and went. But we never boarded one. Suddenly I heard a roll of thunder! A threatening, huge black cloud approached us, flashing with lightning. I urged for us to catch a bus before getting soaked and they finally agreed. But every bus was full. After another protracted wait, we boarded a bus for Malaba while Bishop remained with the car which, if left unguarded, would be entirely gutted.
People met us at the Malaba bus stop and we walked in single file on a very narrow footpath past fields and mud houses to the church. The path seemed endless and my flimsy shoes, improper for this trek, became laden with mud. My frustration grew.
Finally we reached the church. However, nothing was prepared since we were the ones bringing the equipment. As I watched a young man climb in and out the window and up and down the roof placing the wires for the keyboard and sound system, great annoyance set in.
“This is not good,” I murmured quietly to the Lord, “I am in the worst possible mood now after all this inefficiency and terrible waste of time. Just how am I supposed to preach?”
As though my state of mind wasn’t already bad enough, a large group of children gathered, flagrantly gawking at me. All graciousness gone and increasingly annoyed, I waved the children off.
“Lord,” I called to Him now more urgently, “this just won’t work. I need a miracle to preach! I need Your mighty anointing to overcome this whole situation.”
Silence. The Lord was silent. And now it was pouring cats and dogs, the heavy rain drumming on the aluminum roof.
At long last the sound system was ready. I welcomed a sense of relief - but this was very short lived. To my dismay, the keyboardist was playing in one key while the singer sang in another. Neither of them would come into harmony with the other. I cringed. After I signaled to the singer to follow the keyboard, she finally did.
A heart of worship was absolutely unattainable! I was desperate!
“Lord, help!” I cried out to Him silently. “Holy Spirit, I NEED you! I cannot preach the Word like this!”
“Here I am,” the Lord responded, “I am with you. Just lean on Me, look to Me and let not human frailty destract you. Serve Me, the people need to hear My Word. Openly confess your feelings to them but tell them also that you have come because I have sent you. As you stand before them in obedience to Me My Spirit will take over.”
Exactly what the Lord said I did, and precisely what He said would happen happened! To Him be all the Glory!
The Holy Spirit moved so mightily on me it seemed an electric bolt flooded me with power, compassion, joy, and ever so much love. Halleluyah!
My message was entitled Three Keys of the Kingdom:
1. How to give
The words just poured from me like a stream of living water, and the people soaked it up like parched ground. It simply was glorious!
Obeying the Lord in spite of the anger, frustration and irritation allowed the Holy Spirit to blast these feelings away like chaff! This was a whole new experience for me as I marvelled at the effect of simple obedience. And during the salvation call, the old, the young, and even some children came forward and received their Savior, Jesus the Messiah, Son of G-d.
At the end Bishop Bera arrived, praising God Who sent him help. There was much rejoicing and glorifying the Lord. The bishop’s friend, the magistrate, who was waiting for us in his car, drove us back to Webuye.
That night I suffered from violent caughing until morning which kept everyone awake as well and left me limp and drained of all strength. Notwithstanding, I was to preach that day in 2 meetings at the church of one of the pastors who had attended our Seminar. Yet I felt utterly powerless …
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