2012 Mission to Zambia
After only fourteen hours at home after returning from Belize, Delron was in the airport again. This time, he was headed to Zambia for the regional meeting of Every Home for Christ where he was to help train the national leaders from twenty African nations in the use of the new discipleship program that he has been helping to develop. After being delayed for one night in London because one of the engines on the plane went out on takeoff and a missed flight that delayed him a second night in Johannesburg, he eventually arrived safely in Livingstone, home of the famous Victoria Falls and venue of the gathering of these strategic African leaders.
Delron’s luggage was heavy with tape duplicating equipment that he was delivering to the director from the country of Togo. The last time he was in Togo, Delron delivered a high-speed duplicator and a supply of tapes. This load of equipment included an editing deck and a transfer machine for taking the taped messages to CDs. Since Teach All Nations has upgraded our technology, we decided to give these instruments to the ministry in Togo that is still effectively using cassette teachings in their outreach.
The conference was a great time for connecting with many leaders that we have been associated with for the past several years and for making connections for future ministry in their countries. One really exciting bit of news that he received from the delegate from South Africa was about the eagerness with which People Who Make a Difference is being received there. The owner of a grocery store adjacent to a major university campus has incorporated the message of the book into his personal outreach to the thousands of students who pass through his store each day. Each week, he publishes a newspaper that he distributed free of charge to his customers. Since the chapters of the book are stand-alone units, he is printing one chapter each week for the next eighteen weeks with the possibility of arranging a crusade on the campus with Delron as the guest speaker on the week when the concluding chapter is released.
In addition to the scheduled training for the Be Fruitful and Multiply Bible study method and curriculum, Delron was able to share a free copy of his book The Last Enemy with each delegate. At the conclusion of the conference, he stayed over one extra day to minster in a local church where he had preached during his trip to Livingstone in November. It was exciting to see some of the results of the ministry of the last visit. When Peggy and Delron ministered in the church last fall, the building was still under construction with cement block not quite reaching all the way to the ceiling. They have now finished all the block work and are presently putting stucco on the walls. The windows and doors are still not in, but the building is progressing well with a completion date anticipated this summer. The pastor’s wife, who had asked for special prayer for healing, testified that even though she was still experiencing some lingering health problems, she is improving and has been very busy going around to tribal areas ministering to women’s groups. One of the maids at the hotel had asked Peggy and Delron to pray for her during their stay at the hotel in November. She wanted to be released from bitterness against her mother who had abandoned her as a young child. On this trip, she testified that the bad feelings were gone. AND, her mother was in the church service the night that Delron preached. The young lady also had another bit of exciting news to share–she is now engaged to be married. Her fiancée is working in the capitol city of Zambia, but the hotel chain is willing to transfer her to one of their hotels in Lusaka once they set a wedding date. Delron had one other surprise at the hotel when one morning he was greeted by the manager who had been at the hotel in Lusaka when he was there on the last trip. She had asked Delron and Art to pray for her because of some real problems she was encountering in her job. It just so happened that the hotel chain had sent her to Livingstone to fill in temporarily for the manager there who was going on vacation. On this trip, she was thrilled to be able to share that there had been a marked difference in the situation after that prayer. Praise God for the blessing of being able to see the fruit of the previous ministry!
2011 Mission to Zambia
The 2011 mission to Zambia was birthed out of a phone call from a long-time friend who lived just across the street from us in Indiana. Our children grew up together as we had shared almost every common interest. While we took the road of full-time ministry, our friends turned toward business and became very successful–to the point of developing an international business that took them around the world probably as many times as our mission work has done for us. Although they were regular supports of our work, they had never actually been on a mission trip or seen first-hand what we are doing. Thus, the phone call. Art called to tell me that he felt that the Lord was speaking to him to actually go with me on a mission to “carry my bags” and experience life on the mission field. When I asked him what country he wanted to travel to, I could tell that his response was a “blank stare” even though we were talking on the phone rather than face to face. So I gave him a list of countries that were on my heart and suggested that he would pray over the options. And pray he did. In his prayer time, my friend felt that he would get his answer that following Sunday at church. We went to the service anticipating hearing something from the minister that would help direct his decision. After the service, the pastor asked if he could talk to my friend privately for a few minutes. The objective of the conversation was to ask if Art might want to help financially with a need the church was facing. There was an exchange student from Zambia in the congregation who needed extra funds to get through his education. The minister was wondering if Art and Theresa might be willing to assist. Instantly, Art knew that this request was an answer to his prayer since Zambia was on of the nations on the list I had given him.
At this point I need to back up just a bit and tell you that all this was happening without Theresa having any knowledge that Art and I had been talking about the possibility of his going on a mission trip with Teach All Nations. When Theresa said that she thought that they should help with the Zambia student’s tuition, Art knew that it was time for him to talk to her about what was going on in his heart. The end result was that she agreed and volunteered to come along. The plan was that Art would use the trip as a exploratory visit to see if there were ways he could use his business expertise to help bring some economic development to the Christians in Zambia while Theresa would look into the possibility of fulfilling her long-time dream of assisting an orphanage.
When they called me to tell me about what was happening on their end, I had some exciting news of a development on my end—the bishop who had invited me back to Zambia was coming to the United States for a ministry tour. One of the stops on his itinerary was to be in Phoenix. Although my friends live in Indiana, they own property in the Phoenix area and go there occasionally to check on things. When I asked if they had plans to be in Phoenix, Art answered that they were going to be there in June to clear up some details as one tenant was moving out and another was getting ready to move in. The divine orchestration of the whole matter was that they were to be there the exact day that the bishop was to be arriving. I made arrangements for them to meet and discuss the possibilities of setting up a trip. Before long, all the details were in place for a pastors’ conference with five hundred delegates from all over the country, a women’s conference for the pastors’ wives plus the local Christian women, and the translation of my book Finally, My Brethren in syllabus form since there wasn’t sufficient time to do the whole book. In addition, we were to have plenty of time to visit the home (actually, a whole village) that the ministry in Zambia runs for AIDS orphans and to meet with business and governmental representatives who could connect Art with the opportunities he was looking for.
We spent our first day in the country at the orphanage village, meeting the children, talking with directors and staff, and going over the plans for future expansion with Bishop Peter. One of the highlights of our visit was a game of London Bridges. However, we made a little change in the rules of the game. This time, when the bridge fell down, we grabbed the children and prayed for them. What a blessing it was for us to have time to personally minister to each individual child and also to the staff. By the end of the visit, our minds were spinning with all the possibilities of how the local economic development that Art had in mind could fund more homes and a school in the orphanage village.
The next day, we began the pastors’ conference with delegates from every district of Zambia as well as some representatives from Nigeria and Zimbabwe. I taught the complete course based on my book Finally, My Brethren, and Art shared some practical wisdom keys to prosperity in one session each day. In addition, he would slip away from the conference each day to meet with various businessmen and governmental officials. Each meeting was nothing short of a divine appointment. For instance, we took a different route from our usual road back to the hotel one day; along this route, we passed the Institute of Enterprise and Technology. Art immediately requested that arrangements be made for him to meet the director. This was one stop that was not already on his agenda, but was certainly on the Lord’s program. Although it looked like we had discovered the place by accident, it was obviously by divine purpose. On the way to another appointment, Art asked a random question about the garbage that is piled along the roadsides everywhere. To his utter amazement, one of the gentlemen riding in the car with him turned out to be the director of sanitation in the capital city of Lusaka. Instantly, ideas about reclaiming energy from the mounds of trash were in motion. But that’s not the end of the story. On the plane trip home, the gentleman in the seat next to Art turned out to be an engineer who is working on exactly the same concept with Lusaka as one of his target areas—another divine connection.
In the women’s conference, Peggy ministered from her Women for the Harvest book, which will soon be translated and printed in their local language. In this meeting, she focused a lot of her ministry on emotional healing as a strengthening and preparation for ministry. Almost every woman in the conference came up for personal prayer, healing, and deliverance, but Betty seemed to have been especially touched. She was the one who declared that she felt that our trip to Zambia was especially just for her. And it did turn out that there was a special purpose in our being able to meet her. Betty and her husband are pastors in Livingstone, the second city we were to visit on this trip to Africa. Actually, we had planned that leg of the trip simply to introduce Art and Theresa to the “real Africa” since this was their first time on the continent. One of my friends who has lived her entire life in a major African city told me recently that she never felt that she was in Africa until she went on a safari, so we planned to take our friends out into the “bush” in hopes of seeing some of the African wildlife. For this part of the adventure, we chose the city of Livingstone so we could not only have access to the game preserve, but we could also see Victoria Falls and tour the David Livingstone Museum. Of course, we didn’t want to just do the “tourist thing,” so we requested that we be connected with a church in the city. Betty and her husband had already opened their church to us even before hearing us minister at the conferences in Lusaka. But they were definitely convinced that it was God’s express plan that we come to their church after being with us in the conference—especially after hearing Peggy minister in the women’s meeting. Betty had been suffering from a long list of physical and emotional problems that seemed to continue to get worse and worse rather than better. After hearing the messages about resisting the devil in the pastors’ meetings and then being under the anointed deliverance ministry in the women’s sessions, she knew that she had found her keys to victory. When we arrived in Livingstone, she and her husband came to the hotel for a time of personal ministry and prayer. In addition to the torment she was experiencing, she had had some very obvious external attacks. One example was a really freak occurrence the previous week when her husband was ordained as a regional bishop. She had taken the suit that she had bought for the ceremony to the cleaners. A short in the electrical system started a small fire in the shop, and her dress was destroyed. The really weird thing is that it was the only garment in the entire shop that was damaged! With attacks like this coming one after the other, she knew that she was a deliberate target for the devil and needed to be set free. We prayed with her and broke a lot of spiritual strongholds that were holding her captive, but then a word of knowledge came concerning some medication she was talking. We looked it up on the Internet and discovered that some of the major issues she was encountering in her body were direct side effects of the medication. When she went to the doctor the following day and told him what we had discovered, he reduced her dosage and she began to improve almost instantly. After our tour into the “bush,” we came back to the city, where Peggy preached in Betty’s church. Almost the entire congregation came forward for prayer and received mighty healings, deliverances, and touches from God. One young lady turned out to be the maid who cleaned our room in the hotel. The next morning, we had a special time of prayer for her before we checked out of the hotel and headed back to America.
On our flight home, we had a long layover in Johannesburg, South Africa, where we had arranged to meet with some friends who live near the airport. John and Helen are recognized Christian leaders throughout Africa who focus their ministry in developing leadership among the indigenous Christians. John has adopted the Teach All Nations materials as a basis for much of their training and has introduced it into at least ten different African nations. Even though our stopover was just a short visit, we were able to deliver a new supply of materials that will now begin to filter throughout the continent.
In Zambia, we held a three-day conference in the capital city that was attended by a number of the most prominent pastors in the country. On Sunday, Delron ministered in one of the largest churches in the nation. The host pastor is not only a Christian leader, but also a prominent leader in the nation as well. In fact, several of the national political leaders were present for the Sunday service, which was broadcast nationally on radio and television and via satellite to South Africa. In fact, we were told that the president of the country was scheduled to be with us, but he had a last-minute change of plans. While we were in the country, the government was in the process of rewriting the constitution, and our host pastor was part of the committee involved in preparing the draft. He said the constitution was going to officially declare the country to be a Christian nation and added that Muslims had actually been the ones who seconded the motion!