Feast 2012 in Africa!
Our efforts in Africa, even amid attacks from the enemy, have been crowned with success. Pastor Hugh Potter visited Kenya for the Feast of Tabernacles, and Pastor Robert Scott visited French Benin in West Africa for the same feast.
The great success we have seen in Africa has not been without great opposition. Satan always attacks truth bringers, as he did with the apostle Paul. We cite below 2 Timothy 4:9-16:9 Make every effort to come to me soon; 10 for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service. 12 But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; [Jesus[ will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Be on guard against him yourself, for he vigorously opposed our teaching.
16 At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. 17 But [Jesus] stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth.
Thank God we have not been had to be rescued out of the lion's mouth. We didn't face any lions in Africa. I only saw zebras run across the road when I was in Kenya, and my colleagues visited zoos and areas where they saw giraffes and other wild animals who were either caged or otherwise made harmless.
What was not harmless was the attack from the enemy. We also had our “Alexander the coppersmith” ‘s. One of our advisers said that we needed to spend $100,000 in Africa before we knew who we could trust. Well, we spent a lot less than that and we found out who we could trust.
One was a man who fasted fourteen days call for truth to come to Kenya. When we brought that truth to this prophesied nation that will bring God's light to Africa, this man walk eight hours to see us.
Our experience in French Benin, south of Nigeria in west Africa, has begun in integrity. Our man on the spot, pastor Michael Porter, is a man of spiritual and financial integrity. I was blessed for twelve days with his abundant, African hospitality. I stayed with him, his wife Stella, daughter Peace, 16, and their adoptive daughter Divine, 3.
Pastor Michael has a good reputation among outsiders in Cotonou, Benin, the city where the airport is located. He has organized many conferences over the years in relationships with various evangelists from the United States and other countries. He has consistently given gifts to orphans and widows, and the good works of his ministry have been publicized in Benin newspapers for quite a number of years.
Once he even invited voodoo priests to listen to him at a conference. He offered them gifts as he does with the orphans, and he says that French Africans enjoy receiving gifts and receive them joyously. A greater joy came when several of the voodoo priests accepted Jesus. This city is where voodoo began, and many witches practice in the city.
They even tried to disrupt our feast with their practices, but we stayed in communication with our headquarters in Edmonton, Alberta, where much knowledge of spiritual warfare is released. Our feast continued unhindered by Satan's attacks.
Nevertheless, a number of us in the church, including Pastor Hugh and myself, Robert Scott, were attacked in the teeth by wrong prayers pronounced by a group that is against us in Edmonton. They sealed their prayers in communion, which made it necessary to do corporate prayers for the release.
This proved to be a real trial, being attacked with pain and lacking sleep, but the blessings of the feast far outweighed the attacks. We preached in Godemey, a neighboring church whose adults and children praised and danced in celebration to Jesus almost five hours before we arrived to teach. The dancing and celebration of these French Africans at a feast was a great inspiration to this pastor.
Pastor Michael told me that Africans truly enjoyed praising Jesus in song and dance even, and especially, when trials come. They set a beautiful example for us North Americans who have had dancing drummed out of us in too many cases.
Pastor Michael is presently studying plans for an orphanage in his area. His heart is for the orphans, and we do have several believers here in North America who are interested in helping start this project.
Our Father Love is called the Father of the fatherless, and we are thankful that He has decided to employ some of us to help with the fatherless and widows, whom He defends. Widows abound in Africa because of the AIDS crisis, and God wants the church to do its part. When you give to many of the larger organizations that help Africa, you are not always guaranteed that the money will get to work should go.
We're thankful that the monies given for funds of Freedom Church of God in Africa go directly where the need is. I was blessed to actually see and hug the orphans who we helped with school bags on this last voyage.
Our voyage to the feast in Benin brought much interest. We now have a seasoned pastor and his assistant in Nigeria who want to become part of Freedom Church of God. I had the blessing of meeting with them, and they, along with other pastors received a complimentary copy of our important book, Why Doesn't God Heal Me? So far it is the meatiest book we have written, chocked full of profound principles based on the Scripture and powerful prayers of spiritual warfare.
Our funds were quite low for this voyage, but we knew God wanted us to make it. It was a totally work journey. The Atlantic Ocean was only a five-minute drive away, but there was no time and there were no funds for excursions. The spiritual rewards, however, were great. Africans tend to receive the truth with great joy and appreciation.
I gave sermons in French on a regular basis and spoke the language fluently for the first time in twenty-four years, but God blessed me with ease in speaking French. Michael and Stella are originally from Nigeria, and in the home they speak in a Nigerian dialect called the Igbo. Pastor Michael preached in English, and I in French, translated after every sentence by a competent interpreter who related what we said in the local dialect, called le fon.
Our highest attendance at the feast was 144. Pastor Michael spent fifteen hundred dollars of his own money to finance the feast, and he has turned over the debt to Jesus, whom we know will repay. We gave ever cent of all we had from various donors to finance the feast and to help the orphans, and we were abundantly blessed.
Some of the pastors spoke in English and some in French. Members rose at 6 AM every morning for a group prayer service. Because of financial constraints members were only able to eat one meal a day, and we pastors did the same. It was a big meal however, and there were few complaints. It was indeed a spiritual feast. However, we thank Jesus that next year it will be also much more of a physical feast for these Africans hungry for the truth of Jesus.
I was privileged, in addition to speaking on the first Sabbath after arrival the night before, to give seven sermons during the eight days of the feast celebration. The subjects were, “Power of Jesus’ Name,” “The Benjamin Blessings,” (both requested by Pastor Michael), “Introduction to the Feast of Prosperity,” “Hiding in Jesus at the Feast” (using my prayer shawl as an illustration), a sermon encouraging Africans to jettison the poverty mentality, and two sermons on the Last Great Day.
I rejoiced in the voyage back on Air France to Paris, then to Toronto, and Edmonton almost a day and a half voyage in all. I rejoiced because my wife Lynda had covered me in the blood of Jesus from the attacks on my teeth during a brief phone call on Michael’s cell phone, and while it was constant pain on the way to Paris and Benin, I had virtually no pain on the way back. I arrived in Edmonton to be blessed a week later with free dental care from an African lady dentist who has a ministry in Africa and loves Jesus, His people in Africa, and especially the orphans.
The blessings from this voyage have abounded, and we are confident that the integrity of the group in Benin will attract donors who will receive a hundredfold blessing for their love for Jesus and the orphans.