Day 1: It is so hot, we are driving past villages and every house seems to have a mud brick works in their front yard! The landscape has some trees and the brown dirt is being hoed into ridges in preparation for the rainy season which could be here in a few weeks, with this comes the growing of corn maize and, unfortunately Malaria. Every house has white corn meal drying on mats outside which I had seen from the airplane and wondered about. This is the staple food - Nsema - we eat with our hands. As we pass each village there is usually a well with women and children lined up with brightly colored containers to carry back to their homes on their heads. We stop briefly at Lake Malawi and see a hippopotamus.
Week 1: We are here for three weeks and the village know we have come to pray for them so there are a lot of requests! House after house we hear the tragedy and heartache of different families and their needs. This little village of Ekwendeni near Muzuzu has it's problems with drunks and prostitution, some of the men take another wife secretly - even the Christian men - which causes untold problems within the families. Life is very hard for the women if they do not have a husband, as they are harassed by other men and find it very difficult to survive. They work so hard, walking up to 15 km to find firewood once a week, with the water also carried on their heads. The electricity and water get turned off at random times. We bathe out of a bucket. The houses are simple and clean, people walk everywhere, there are very few cars. Everything is done by hand. The children run around in tattered clothes and some have extended bellies. The weather has been so hot and there is so much dust. One day we all suffered from dehydration so that even our local interpreter Peter ended up in hospital - I am drinking 5 liters of boiled water a day.
We started by praying for a young man who was the son of a Presbyterian Reverend. The young man was rebelling and stealing, drinking, smoking, etc. The pastor gave him a challenge and he repented with tears. He gathered all the inappropriate items in his house and he burned them. It was beautiful to see the reconciliation and forgiveness between mother and father and son. He then came and joined our Bible worker team for a while. The second family we prayed for had five children, two of his children were taken by witches at night and reported being turned into animals. Soon all the neighbor children were gathered into the house also praying for repentance. It is not their choice to be taken and they do not like it.
A witch lives only a few doors up the road. The witches often demand that the children curse or kill their parents and are punished if they do not. One of the children admitted to cursing the father and he could no longer walk properly. So many people seem to be under a spiritual curse here. We pray for hundreds of people. Day after day. I write a prayer list out in my diary for each person. I also ask God for specific texts for each person and He is giving me texts that describe why they are sick and what to pray for with lots of promises to encourage. Each person is so grateful and find Bibles afterward to study these scriptures.
For three weeks a local evangelist Golden Lapani and a team of dedicated Bible workers are running a Jesus campaign. There are songs, classes for the children and families, the Jesus Movie is a great hit in their local language and then Golden speaks powerful messages, seven nights a week. Some of the people were asking if it could go for another month! We have put on events for the orphans, and widows giving out food, soap and toothbrushes. One family chose to stop brewing beer and broke all their pots. During the day Tania and I go out with the Bible workers and pray for people in their homes, then each night we pray for people at the meetings. This has been a powerful time of spiritual warfare with many muslims coming to the meetings and enjoying them.
I am shocked to find that 90% of the children under 10 in Ekwendeni are taken by witches every night. Even the children of Christians. They are afraid to go home to sleep each night. Some of the local church leaders of different denominations are not really aware of the situation or do not believe in witchcraft and wonder why we keep praying for people involved in witchcraft and satanism. I think the same thing happens in America. A lot of Christians don't believe in voodoo or spells or curses or demonic activity. The truth is we do not have to be afraid of it because demons run and every curse can be broken with Jesus' name. There is spiritual warfare in every country in the world. A friend from Florida had a history of demons coming to him at night sometimes trying to choke him. He was a Christian. Unfortunately no one had taught him how to pray in this situation and the power that was available to him.
The next few weeks were challenging with spiritual attacks on my health but we still saw the most incredible answers to prayer. Every time we prayed for children they would no longer have witches come and take them during the night. We broke a lot of curses off families that had a history of involvement in witchcraft or sexual immorality that had opened doors to demonic activity. We anointed people for healing and their houses. The most powerful thing I was involved in was teaching the children how to pray in the name of Jesus - to say 'No. In the name of Jesus Christ - GO AWAY! I am covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in me, God's angels are protecting me and Jesus is my friend!'
Week Three: Yesterday a lady walking on the road near our evangelistic meeting was killed by a falling tree. She was on her way to a funeral after having attended another funeral. Such a tragedy... So much blood has been spilled in this town. Many people have abortions, affairs, second marriages, prostitution, HIV, diseases, many visit witch doctors for healing that make scars, people put curses on each other, many are involved in satanism or witchcraft and drink blood. There is a lot of poverty here and a lot of demonic bondage, witchcraft and cursings.
I can see clearly the attempt by the devil to pollute and destroy the Blood Covenant here. We continued to encourage people to pray that the many witches living in the village would be either converted or leave. If the people keep praying we will see a transformation in their spiritual lives, their physical lives and even the ground would be changed. "If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place." 2 Chron 7.14
One day the pastor brought Tapiwa who was an Adventist Christian to us to continue praying for. She was an 18 year old girl who had been heavily involved in satanism. She had killed her 16 year old brother who had just received a scholarship to a school in Japan. For the last few months she could not talk, or swallow properly or move her body. She was locked up inside. Her eyes were piercing and she looked very dark yet we knew that she wanted to be free. She repented and broke off the curses over her life and God gave me these texts for her: Ez 16.53-63, 2 Chron 21.12-15, Psalm 49.13-17, Ez 33.15-16, Hab 1.5, Luke 11.13 and Is 35. The second session she was smiling, had more movements, her thoughts were clearer and she was singing and brighter. When she was baptized she ran out of the font. Her mother and father were also baptized and they report a complete transformation in her life, Praise God.
One night we anointed so many people, I could not count. A few people were healed immediately. On the last day about 60 people were baptized and I taught over a hundred children how to pray against the witches. It was an incredible three weeks of ministry. I saw the value in praying for people and teaching them how to pray. Discernment is the most valuable tool we can teach people. I believe that real discipleship continues after the famous preacher and foreigners go home and the meetings stop. It was such an incredible time to teach our interpreter Peter how to pray. His passion and dedication is amazing. I called him on the phone a couple of months after we left and he said that there have been more people healed returning to work, but some of the children were taken and whipped by the witches for repenting. He reports that every time he teaches a child how to pray powerfully in Jesus name, the witches do not come back. He also said that one witch has left the village. Please keep praying for the freedom of Ekwendeni. If you would like a prayer list please email me.
It took me many years before I understood the need for a proper understanding of the Blood Covenant. I didn't quite understand why blood was used as a sign of God's love and power, why circumcision was a symbol then and not now, why people married more than one wife in the Old Covenant but the New Covenant it was just one and how marriage vows today are a parallel with the Hebrew Blood Covenant. Basically I did not understand why Jesus had to die or why his blood was so important. If you would like to know more information about the Blood Covenant or breaking curses through prayer please contact me or see my website:
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Whats Coming Up?
Nicki is also needing to raise support for 2010. She continues to live her life as a disciple, listening to God's voice and following him to the ends of the earth sharing the gospel and setting people free through prayer. She needs the help of the Body of Christ to do this as she lives only on donations. Would you be willing to sponsor her $20 a month? Her US Tax 2009 Income: $4000 including cash donations.
Her next mission trip is to India and to different churches in the USA to help change their culture of prayer.
She is currently writing a book titled: A Pocket Guide for Travelers - Everything I wished I Knew Before My First Mission Trip. It mixes travel tips and cultural awareness with discipleship guides. It challenges the way mission trips are currently done and calls for Biblical discipleship to be the way we evangelize overseas.
A similar report from a YWAM Discipleship School in Nigeria. The team courageously prayed for and disarmed 900 Taliban-trained militants armed with the latest weapons. One leaders testimony reveals: "My job was to kidnap white people." He smiled. But he said, "I wasn't rehabilitated, I was transformed by the power of God." Prayer can change countries! Click here for full story.
I look forward to the coming adventures of 2010 and I pray you do too! Have a life changing year, drawing closer to God every day, listening to his voice and being abundantly blessed by a God who adores you.
The picture above is of me and Rajab at our open air meeting in Ekwendeni. Rajab stole my heart. He was a tiny boy with an extended stomach and he was always hungry. He was seven years old but the size of a five year old. He was a Muslim but loved Jesus. When the Jesus Movie was playing the scene where Jesus died, he exclaimed, 'but don't worry it's going to be OK because Jesus wakes up!'
* Please pray for Ethiopia in a horrifying situation similar to 1984. Starvation is facing 6.4 million people after a drought wiped out the harvest. www.cbmus.org
* January 2010 is Slavery and Human Traficking Prevention Month. Pray how you can help bring justice into our world. Stop the Traffik.