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Archive for April, 2016

Ahhhhhh. Three days off! One to travel from Kitale to Kisumu, and two days to do absolutely nothing! I feel like a rich man with time to squander however I want.

Kitale was the same experience as so many other places. Hungry for God to do something special in their lives, they come expecting a miracle. Because I am not like all the other American preachers, they get something they didn’t expect, but once they taste it, they want more.

They expected a soft message of peace and blessings – which is always nice to hear – but they got one of repentance and price, and they recognize the difference. I have found that their understanding of scripture and of the ways of the Spirit are often more sophisticated than we in the West expect. They get the difference between the old fashioned gospel from 50 years ago and the modern gospel they are hearing from us now – as evidenced by their exuberant “amens” when I hit certain points.

They know the truth; they just need someone to inspire them, and only the Holy Ghost can do that. He is the One they are waiting for. Once the fire is lit, however, get out of the way! It is like standing in a field of wheat that is so dry it has turned white and brittle, striking a match, and then dropping it into the wheat. The results are always explosive.

That is what I am experiencing out here. I am getting phone calls and messages from the places I have just been to over the last month or so telling me that the fire is still burning and that souls getting saved. Nothing unusual about that; the message works. Always has.

As I was leaving Kitale after three days of meetings, I stopped at the Challenge Farm, an orphanage run by Cheri Thompson, an American woman who came out here, fell in love with the kids, and never left. She has turned a dream into a sprawling reality. There are hundreds of kids running all over the place, smiling, playing, studying, and growing up as strong, productive Christians. This woman has accomplished something incredible.

As for me right now, I am trying to turn off all the switches and just coast. My batteries are run dry and my spark of inspiration is dead. I need to just shut it off for a while until I can catch up to myself again. I hardly come out of the room. I’ve already seen Kisumu so what is there to see? I’ve been to enough restaurants in my time and seen enough sights, so leave me alone. I’m fine right here. Is this what it is like to get old?

I have heard from the lady pastor at the church I will be going to tomorrow. They are praying. What else can you say? They are praying. God, she says, is faithful and will direct me to meet the brethren of the Lord who are patiently waiting for me. They are praying.

That’s all it takes to rekindle my fire – they are praying. They don’t know who I am, but when has that ever mattered? They are waiting for Him. And He will be there.

 

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After Nakuru, I headed up to Eldoret. Eldoret is a busy city. Imagine all the noise, honking, dust, and clamor of a circus of wild animals and clowns gone wild. That would give you a picture of the downtown streets of Eldoret.

The White Castle Hotel is right in the middle of all this melee. It’s the same hotel I stayed at in 2010 when I was here last. At 16 bucks a night, you can imagine what it was like – clean and basic, but a bit Spartan in comfort. But hey, there was hot water in the shower!

Services were in a small church on the outskirts of town. Typical African church with corrugated iron roofs and walls. Somebody has made a fortune on iron sheets because they are as ubiquitous as dirt across Africa.

The pastor is asking for me to give two services today. While I am not exactly feeling frisky right now, it is hard to say no. These people, like all the others that I have ministered to, are hungry to hear about revival. It is like a dream for them that will lift them out of what they have now.

It’s not the poverty or the drab conditions of their lives; neither is it a discontent with their church – it’s the dream of reaching through the realities of this life and being able to not only touch God, but to immerse themselves in His presence. They need God. And they are looking at me to introduce them to Him in the excitement of revival.

I’m not sure how I’m supposed to think about that. I just keep pressing out this message that God has given me, over and over, place after place, meeting after meeting. No matter how many times I have worried about getting stale and repetitive, it is always new and exciting to them. I get to have the crowd in my hands for an hour each time, and watch their excitement grow as they grasp what I deliver to them.

And then we passed out the Bibles!

I asked how many have Bibles. I think there were three or four out of the whole crowd. How am I supposed to lead them into battle if they have no swords? How will this message find any traction in their hearts without the Word of God to establish them? What good is “be thou warmed and filled”, if you want them to grow into strong warriors in this battle for human souls?

One thing I’ve learned – you never have enough Bibles. I had given the pastor a case of 34 Bibles but they got sucked up immediately. So we dug into a second case, which had been earmarked for another church. Oh well. I guess I’ll have to worry about that tomorrow.

Right now we have some very hungry and insistent people to feed the Bread of Life to.

 

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Where was I? Ah yes, Tsavo, where the man-eating lions were. Not to worry, they’re all gone now, replaced by progress, people, and roads. Kenya has changed dramatically in the ten years since I’ve first been here. I suppose it’s for the good, but there were some quaint cultural things that are either gone or commercialized for the western tourists.

The town I landed in is Mwatate (mmwaa-tah-tay). Pastor Evans ministered with me on my very first trip to Africa, 12 years ago. He now has his own church here and it is growing faster than any of the other churches in the area.

I can see why. To say his services are lively would be mild. And wow, can his wife Sophie sing!

From here we drove three hours to Mombasa. I have never been to the church here before. The only other time I came through Mombasa, the pastor forgot to tell his congregation that I was coming, so we had a service with 4 or 5 people and left.

But not this time. The place was packed, and half of it was with pastors from surrounding churches. Again, after two days of meetings, the excitement level was through the roof. They keep promising me that they will do everything I have taught them and will take this gospel to the entire area so that when I come back, I will see the fruit.

Actually, I hear this from every place I go. I am told that there is an anointing they feel that I bring with me when I come. I can’t feel anything; so honestly, I really don’t know what they feel. But after a few hundred times of hearing this, I believe it.

God is doing something special with these people – something you can’t see with your eyes or understand from the facts you see around you. The results keep presenting themselves every time I hear about a church I preached at that has now grown exponentially, or pastors who went into the ministry and established strong churches because they heard the message. I think God has taken me on this last final tour so I can get a small glimpse of what He is doing and catch a vision of what He is about to do.

After Mombasa, I did a Sunday service in one of the slums of Nairobi, a church I was at a decade ago. And again, we had an explosive service. The supernatural is becoming routine.

I have done about 50 meetings in about 30 days. It has finally caught up with me and knocked me out for a couple days, but now I am ready to get out of bed and tackle the last leg of this journey.

This may be my final tour. There is a feeling of urgency to press this message of Four Steps to Revival upon these people. Like Johnny Appleseed, I can only scatter the seeds; these pastors will have to take it once it has germinated and bring it to harvest. My part in this process will be done.

It occurs to me, however, that the seeds of revival that will not grow are the ones that have not been planted. That is enough to get me up and going again.

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We were told that the next place I would minister in was Mboni. I have no idea where Mboni is. Mboni is not on the map. And if there is a hotel there, I’m not sure I’ll want to stay in it.

So we were told instead to go to Machakos and call the pastor for directions from there. Now in Machakos, there is a hotel. A nice one. I’m talking hot showers, real food, A/C and no mosquitos. Richie and I are both ready for a break, and the hotel we found gave that to us – a 4-star hotel for Motel 6 prices. Nice.

But the church? It is 1 hour out into the bush. (groan) So off we go as soon as we can because the people have been there since 10:00 am waiting for us. Really? We had to travel for 2-1/2 hours to get here, check in to the hotel, and then travel for an hour over dirt roads to get to church. Did it not occur to them that we were not going to make it there by 10:00?

Not to worry. Hakuna Matata. They don’t care. No white man, especially a white man from America, has ever come out here to preach the Gospel to them. They will wait.

Needless to say, services were great. Translation was tough because they are not used to an American accent, but they got the message. Especially the part about them being able to change the world.

I had to carefully paint that picture for them first. Here they are, little people, poor, and an hour from anywhere. How can they change the world? But as I explain how God always works, and how even the greatest fire can start with a single match, they begin to realize that the process of revival is not dependent on their abilities, position, power or wealth, but that if they can just start a fire here, God can spread it around the world.

I watch as the realization spreads across their faces. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6). “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise;” (1 Cor. 1:27)

Services the next day were pretty much the same, but this time I ended with a healing/prayer line. I don’t do this often because the message is what is important and often it can get lost in the miracles. But I just had this feeling …

At first, it was just a few. And then they came pouring down to the altar. We in the West do not understand or realize the depth of these people’s needs. Like deep waters that seem placid on the surface but hide currents that run underneath, these simple people have needs that only God can touch.

They fill the front of the church, three lines deep. As it happens so often, everyone who gets in line gets healed. Then I came to an old lady who had pain in her legs. I kneeled down to lay hands on her wrinkled, knobby knees and pray. Bang! She is healed. I know this because, not only did I feel the anointing come down, but when I stood up and asked her if she was healed, she began to dance a jig! I’m guessing that means yes.

There were a couple others with dramatic results, but there was one girl in particular who wanted me to pray for her to serve God. But when I asked her to start praising the Lord, she couldn’t. She was locked up tight. A demonic stronghold had taken hold of her and she couldn’t free herself. I could feel the fury and authority of the Lord rise up within me as I rebuked that foul spirit in the blood of Jesus Christ. You could feel a CRACK! in the room as I claimed power in God and declared victory in the name of Jesus. And just like that, it was gone.

I don’t know what will ultimately happen out here. I believe we opened up a new door for them and exposed them to greater possibilities of faith than they have ever known. They know. They see. They get it. But will they march through that door and claim the promises that God has given them? Will they overcome the constraints of “church” and reach out for revival instead?

I don’t know, but I do know that we have planted a seed of hope, faith, and possibility in them, and they can take it as far as they can have the courage to believe.

They can change the world.

 

 Brother Dale, dale@revivalfire.org

 

 

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We are on the road to Tsavo, the area where man-eating lions once terrorized the railway workers many years ago. Richie is driving while I am writing this because I am way too tired by the time I get back to the hotel to write down our experiences. I have to do it on the road.

We just finished two days out in the bush country outside the town of Kibwezi. There is not much rain out here. A dry and gritty red dirt is everywhere, as are the big, fat Baba trees that have trunks that are ten feet wide with little stubby branches. There’s not much water out here, so the roots of these trees are unbelievably expansive and wide, searching for water in a dry and thirsty land.

The church here is a small mud building about 15×30. The walls are red mud packed into a lattice of sticks with the ever-present corrugated iron roof. Dirt floor, no windows, and a makeshift door – this is not your standard, everyday church like we would expect in America. This is the evidence of desperate faith and a desire to worship God where it is not convenient.

I was here with my two girls 10 years ago, and they still remember. They tell me that I am the only white guy who has ever come out here to bring the gospel. (I have heard that more than a few times before.) So yeah, naturally they remember me, but they also remember the Bibles I gave them and the Four Steps to Revival booklets. Some of them still have a copy after 10 years!

And they remember the message I gave. The pastor tells me that the church has grown and they have come from far to see me. He leans over and says, “They are so thirsty!”

I get choked up at that. All the big evangelists can keep the large auditoriums and huge church services. Let me have these little people out here who are so thirsty that they will walk 10 to 13 hours just to come hear the Word of God because “they are so thirsty”. Are they not the ones that the Lord told us to come to when He said, “Inasmuch as you have done this to the least of these, you have done it unto me”? (Matt. 25:40)

Sometimes I wonder how the Lord is going to turn this into a worldwide revival, but He quickly reminds me that He is God, and that’s what He does! Not my problem. My job is to show up; His job is to take it from there. All I can do is plant the seed in the dirt; He is the one that brings it to life. “Who has despised the day of small things?” (Zech. 4:10)

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek;
He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all that mourn;
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;

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Mornings are gorgeous out here in Namanga. There’s a cool, refreshing tropical feeling in the air every morning. And each morning, little spider monkeys come out to entertain us for food. Almost like street kids who dance on street corners for change. They will come and take a banana right out of your hand.

But by mid-morning, they are gone. Back up into the mountain that is right behind us. It makes you wonder what other animals are up there. The whole area looks exactly like west Texas – arid scrub brush littered with short hardy trees – but instead of mesquite, these are acacia trees. And instead of Armadillos, they have monkeys; instead of deer, lions.

We had two more services here today. The afternoon service was full, but the evening service was packed again. These people are serious. Both services lasted around 3 hours, but no one wanted to leave. Not even close. They are determined to have what I have promised them is in the Word of God.

The Massai are a very different kind of people. They live secluded lives very close to the land and the animals. Lions fear them and will leave whenever a Massai is near, but the other tribes in Kenya look down on them as almost sub-human and uncivilized. They are almost correct. The Massai are very different, their culture is very dark, and the Massai religion is very demonic. Nevertheless, when they get saved, they get saved hard. Their transformation from darkness to Light is no little thing and they take it much more seriously than most others.

You can tell. These revival meetings have brought people in from the bush because they have seen what this message has done from when I have been here before, and they are desperate to get more.

It’s not the excitement or the fervor that makes me feel a difference here amongst the Massai. It is a very different anointing from God that I feel. It is hard to describe on paper, but it is almost as if God is a co-conspirator with me, secretly whispering in my ear to not worry, He’s got this. He has brought me here to speak to His people. He has the message and the anointing. All I have to do is show up and open my mouth. He will take it from there.

And He does.

What a service! This is just like last night. Something broke open in the heavenlies. I have no idea what, but everyone here can feel it. God has brought them hope. A real vision for God always has to be planted with a hope in your heart before it can ever be established by your faith.

That’s what He has done. He has given them a Light in the darkness.

Brother Dale (dale@revivalfire.org)

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Revival in Namanga

We made it through Nairobi traffic … almost. A cop stopped us for making an illegal right hand turn downtown and said he was taking Richie to court and impound the vehicle. Right. And do you have a gun on you somewhere that you’re going to make me? But I played the game and offered to pay the “fine” of 5,000 shillings. Anything, just get out of my car.

After picking up 6 cases of Bibles, we headed for Namanga in the heart of Massailand. (I have never been able to figure out if you spell it Masai or Massai.) The need for Bibles has always been great down there. One time I gave a case of Bibles to a pastor and in spite of being illiterate, they were able to read those Bibles. Talk about an excited pastor!

Another time, I gave Bibles to a church where the pastor was the only one in the entire church that had a Bible, and it was ragged and falling apart. They would walk through the dark in the bush where lions roamed to come and take turns reading … just so they could feel how good it was to read the Word of God. Boy, that kind of stuff just flat out gets to you. I gave them some Massai Bibles and a Proclaimer, a talking Bible radio in the Massai language. Wow, did that rock their world to actually hear the Gospel of John coming out of that box in their own language!

So this time, I got them a couple cases of Massai and some Swahili. But, no matter how many I bring, there is never enough. At least we have some to give out as seed that will bring back a harvest.

Pastor Samuel is the young pastor here. He was here the very first time I came almost 10 years ago. He told me that the small churches that I had visited out in the bush on my previous trips have all experienced revival and have now all become big churches. Real revival, he says, the kind that has sent a wave of excitement through Massailand.

There must be something to what he says because our meetings here today were packed. Pastors have come from miles around to hear me talk about revival. While I may not exactly be famous, they have heard of me and want to hear more. They are hungry for a move of God.

Services were incredible. I preached for an hour and a half in the afternoon and again in the evening. Instead of one of us leading them in the closing prayer, I closed by asking them to pray. Wow. They peeled the paint off Heaven’s doors! Twenty or thirty minutes later, they settled down so I could pray over some of them for salvation and healing.

This was a night to remember, for both them and us. God did something here. I’m not sure what, but then, when have I ever known. Years later, we will look back on this night as the point in time when God birthed something very special in these people.

Maybe even the start of revival in Namanga.

Brother Dale (dale@revivalfire.org)

 

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