World travel will change your life. If you enlarge your heart, you will also enlarge your world.
12 Compelling Reasons to Go! – Part II
4.Be a liberator and set the captives free. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18).
After I completed Bible School in 1994, I went to southeast Africa to minister. I worked among the people in Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. The level of fleshly discomfort and physical affliction I endured was the most thus far in my ministry. I was deep into the bush where there was no electricity, only water from a well, and thatch huts. I slept in my small tent beneath the stars at night for over two months while touring the bush in these nations. I bathed with a bucket and cup, as there was no running water. I ate with the locals and soon smelled like them too.
My greatest joy was seeing the natives worship God with wholehearted devotion. Nobody can celebrate the Creator like the Africans. They may not have a whole lot as we know it, but what they possess in heart they outdo us all. I watched my African brothers worship God with dancing, shouting and jubilee for hours unashamedly. Our services were mostly outdoors in the dirt, but this didn’t hinder anybody in the least from worshipping God.
Small children would sing, dance and clap their hands triumphantly. One little boy with a bad leg often came outside his hut at night during my hour of prayer to pray with me. Though we didn’t know each other’s language we could feel one another’s heart.
The only time I really suffered food poisoning during those three months was when I ate dried fish in the bush in Malawi. I had not known the fish was dried in the sun. That’s a lesson for you in itself. Always ask. Never assume anything. My deadly assumption was like road runner (the chicken I most often ate) the fish was caught fresh, killed and cooked. I found out later when I was vomiting and had diarrhea that the fish was foul.
I say that because as we rushed Louvores de Adoração back into the city to get me medical treatment, we often stopped at the various markets to use whatever bathroom was available. En route to the washroom I often passed by fish drying in the sun, full of flies and most likely maggots too. I immediately asked my translator, “Is that the kind of fish I ate last night?” He gave a puzzled and semi-embarrassed look and said, “Yes” after which I adamantly replied, “Well no wonder why I’m sick!”
It was then I began asking more questions and was a bit more cautious to eat whatever was placed before me. I always make a point to get clean bottled water wherever I go now because being ill does not further the work of God in the least. Therefore by being precautious I both save myself and help them who are to hear me.
As it pertains to liberating peoples, much of that comes when you earnestly contend for the faith and speak the truth in love. Sadly many nations and peoples are without the truth of God’s Word. It is not uncommon for African Pastors to be without Bibles. Yet this does not diminish their hunger for the Scriptures.