Internet in Africa is unpredictable, so I apologize for the delay in my update.
Everything about our July 4th Expedition was unpredictable as well. Our team of 13 headed out to Siabamba village in Chipepo B Chiefdom on the 7th, but we didn’t arrive to the village until the 9th due to engine failure. We camped on the edge of a windy road for two days while mechanics from our Overland staff traveled 12 hours out to where we had broken down. It would’ve been really easy to become discouraged, question our purpose, or debate whether to retreat, but my spirit was determined to cling to the promises of God – that we would advance His kingdom despite any adversity.
Genesis 50:19-20 says, “but Joseph said to them, ‘As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.’”
Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, yet the Lord used him to minister to Pharaoh and many others along the way. The enemy prowls like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8), but my God shuts the mouths of lions, protecting His flock. So when I saw the enemy seeking to discourage and thwart our expedition and the kingdom of God advancing to Siabamba, we declared the Word of God: “What you have intending for evil, my God will bring about good.” Instead of moping, we spent time pouring into the team and praying for the people of Siabamba that their ears would be ready to hear, their hearts would be open to receive, and the soil would be good for planting.
During the days that followed, we established the theme of boldness.
A willingness to take risks or act in confidence or courage;
Not hesitating in the face of actual danger; and
Necessary qualification for the work assigned.
Boldness isn’t faking it until you make it or simply appearing confident. I believe boldness is a supernatural determination in our spirits that allows us to laugh in the face of danger and adversity and empowers us to accomplish the task given to us because the power that raised Jesus from the dead is living in us (Romans 8:11).
In Ephesians 3 Paul proclaims our purpose in preaching the gospel and what happens as a result. Verses 9-12 state, “to bring to light for everyone the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that He has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in Him.”
First, we need to recognize our place in the kingdom: we can boldly enter into the presence of God because of the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19).
Next, we must boldly proclaim the Word of God, the mystery revealed, the good news, and the power of King Jesus which will not only be made known to the people sitting across from us but the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. Our battle is not merely against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).
Our team’s boldness grew exponentially, but so did mine.
On our second day of ministry in the village we encountered a demon-possessed woman involved in witchcraft. She came to one of our night meetings and attempted to hinder ministry, but two of my co-leaders took her aside and prayed for her while our team was ministering. After the meeting ended, I went to see how things were going. While they were praying for the first lady, her friend also manifested a demon. I gathered two team members, and we began contending for her freedom in Jesus name.
The demons taunted us, saying that they were more powerful than us, but I knew what the Word says: Jesus is greater, and He lives in me. I raised my voice, declaring this Word of God over the situation. At one point the Lord made it very clear that although I was yelling at the demons, I also needed to sharing the reality of His love with her. So I began telling her how much Jesus loves her, because love changes everything. Both women were freed from those demonic strongholds.
I look back at our time of ministry in Siabamba, and I can’t help but be overwhelmed by the greatness of the Father’s heart for His children. The enemy intended to keep those women oppressed, but the Lord delivered them. The Lord equipped us with boldness and confidence in the face of darkness, and the full revelation of God was made known to the spiritual authorities in Siabamba.