The rain was pouring down heavily as I stepped out of the rented 4X4. The other pastors with me in the vehicle made a beeline for the church on top of the hill. It was every man for himself.
A little girl who ran down the hill came up to me and offered me her broken umbrella. At first I thought it wouldn’t help much, but when I saw the expression on her face I realised she was hoping I would accept her kind deed.
Her umbrella was not fully functional, but it was all she had to offer. The spokes on the one side were broken and the umbrella drooped down.
Under the broken umbrella I started up the slope towards the church. She walked beside me in the rain. When I got to the opening of the doorway I handed the umbrella back to her. She took it and ran off to the little house adjacent to the church building.
I stood there for a while and thought: sometimes we get help from the ones we least expect. Sometimes what we have to offer is not much, but the Lord makes use of the foolish things, the despised things to get the job done. Then no one can boast about it. The Lord receives all the glory. Sometimes I feel my work in Africa is just a broken umbrella offered to the Lord. He still uses me in other lands as He had promised many years ago.
Just give the Lord your broken umbrella and see what He will do.
It wasn’t easy to get to Liberia. There are no direct flights. I could either have gone to Ghana, Kenya or Nigeria but there was no time to get another visa so I opted for Kenya where no visa is required. That means I had to fly to East Africa in order to go to the Horn of Africa on the West Coast. It is a long journey and what makes it more exhausting is the fact that you have to fly at round about midnight with a stopover included. So sleep is out of the question.
I had to rent a 4×4 and a driver to get to Soul Clinic Community, in Paynesville, a village about an hour and a half’s drive from Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. Travelling was difficult because of the giant fissures in the roads. Erosion has taken its toll on the sandy roads.
Pastor Roberts Emmanuel contacted me via the internet after seeing our website and asked if I would come and minister to pastors in the area. Apparently I was the first foreigner to ever go to that village to teach and train pastors. They have very little training and most of them go to a Baptist or Methodist training school for a short while before going into the ministry. They asked for our Miracle Bible College training material.
Pastor Samuel built a little church and a small school in Soul Clinic Community. We used his church for the conference. Pastor Roberts uses someone’s house for his church meetings. He lives in a small three bed-roomed tin-roofed shelter with his wife and 5 kids. They gave one of the rooms to a lady in the church that had nowhere else to live. They simply constructed the house over raw earth with large tree roots bursting through the soil.
They have managed to purchase church ground, but in Liberia, if you do not build immediately, they sell it to the next person, and to the next. So one piece of ground can be sold several times over! That’s just the way it is in Liberia.
God gave me a message for the people that I have never preached before. This often happens because only the Spirit knows what people need to hear. I do not take messages with me when I go to a new country, because I do not know what to say to them until the Spirit reveals it to me.
‘You are as beautiful as Tirzah’, (Song of Solomon 6:4) was my first message. What an obscure and strange passage of Scripture! But when I got the full revelation it blessed the people and they rejoiced thanking God for the Word.
Tirzah means ‘delight’. She was the 5th daughter of Zelophehad whose name means ‘shadow of the fear’. He had no sons and feared that his inheritance would be taken away from him. He died with that fear and did nothing about it. But his 5 daughters stood their ground and faced Moses and the elders and demanded that their father’s inheritance should be given to them.
Moses sought God about it and the Lord told him, ‘the daughters of Zelophehad are right. Give their father’s inheritance to them.’ So a new law and statute was made that if a man has no sons that his inheritance should be given to his daughters.
Those girls changed the course of history forever! This is women’s lib Bible Style!
Tirzah was also the place where the Kings of Israel ruled from. It was a beautiful area.
I rebuked the spirit of fear that robbed the people from their true spiritual inheritance and much deliverance took place. Then I decreed that they are as beautiful as Tirzah and that the Lord has chosen to spread His Word and rule from that little village to the rest of the country!
After I worked through our Foundation Course with the delegates, many of them understood a lot of things they never knew before. Some realised they were only sprinkled and not baptised. A pastor’s wife demanded to be baptised that same day.
We went down to the river and baptised her.
I shared some reformational principles from Hebrews chapters 8 to 10 and one of the Pastors told me: ‘I’m going to reform all my sermons now!’
Lawrence, the driver of our 4X4 listened to all our conversations in the car. I kept on teaching the pastors who drove with me all the time. They had so many questions about the Scriptures and the ministry. Eventually Lawrence started asking questions too. In the end he got saved and wanted to be baptised as well. He is now a member of Pastor Robert’s church.
We fed the delegates with Snapper and Rice every day at the conference. Snapper is a small fish that has lovely soft meat but a lot of bones. They love spicy rice.
There were many testimonies of what the Lord had done in five days and the people thanked God that he sent me to them.
‘You brought us the word of life!’ some said.
‘You explained so many things we never understood before. You showed us step by step what to do. You really showed us the ways of God – not the ways of man.’
The mother of Pastor Robert prayed a blessing over me, my family and our church: ‘May God bless you for taking the trouble to come and teach us the Word of God. May God give you more power and wisdom so that you can continue to go to other nations to teach them. May God reward you for what you are doing.’
I received many words of encouragement from Nola, the family and the church members in Cape Town that uplifted my spirit.
Liberia has 360 Kilometers of golden beaches and some wonderful surf spots for those surfers who would want to go with me on my next mission!
Apostle Andre Pelser