In the African country of Liberia, Teach All Nations sponsored a training conference for about five hundred pastors and church leaders from the eastern region of the country and the neighboring country of Guinea. The pastors in this remote area are normally not privileged to be able to receive such teaching since training conferences are usually held in the large cities where they cannot attend because of needing to be away from their farms for an extended period of time and the prohibitive cost of travel, lodging, and food for such a trip. Delron had been invited to this remote area by one of his former students from Indiana Christian University who had won his respect by going back to Africa upon graduation – unlike the majority of our students who found jobs in America and forgot the need for the gospel back in their home countries. James has taken the lead in organizing the citizenry to build a school so that the children don’t have to walk an hour each way for school every day – especially difficult in the rainy season when many of the children simply have to stay home. He has also spearheaded building a clinic so the villagers can receive immediate care in their own community without having to travel a long distance after an accident, when seriously ill, or when ready to give birth; a number of the local children have been born on the roadside before the mothers could make it to the clinic in the next town. The decision to hold the conference in Quessemba Town was one more step in his strategy of bringing significance to the village by letting all the pastors in the region – which includes not only the neighboring villages and towns in Liberia but also those across the river in Guinea – come there and see that something good can indeed come out of “Nazareth.”
One special person that Delron got to see upon his arrival in the village was a young lady that he had met when he was in Liberia six years before. At that time, she was severely tormented by demonic power from being involved in witchcraft. After prayer, she was dramatically set free. Today, she is back in her home village living a normal and productive life. Ministry began as soon as we reached the village – even before the delegates for the conference began to arrive. One young man from a neighboring village who had come to volunteer with some work projects to prepare for the conference showed visible signs of some serious problems. When some of the young men of the village asked him what was wrong, he shared that something had happened that had left him speechless – but in this case, this was not an expression; it was an actual condition in which he could barely express himself. When they brought him to me, I began to question him about what had happened. At first, he could only say a word or two at a time – and they were very muffled. Eventually, I was able to understand that he had enlisted the aid of a witchdoctor to protect him from injury when he played soccer. As a result of the Juju incantation, he had become very withdrawn and unexpressive. As I led him in the sinner’s prayer, his speech became clear and strong, and after a deliverance prayer, he walked away as normal as all the rest of the young men on the volunteer team.
The teachings at the conference were translated into two local tribal languages – Kissi for the delegates who did not understand English and Banti for the delegates from Guinea who speak only French and their local dialect. The message of the conference came from his Maximum Impact book – but with a bit of a twist. Since all these pastors were working in isolated and remote villages, Delron added a focus on the fact that we should not ignore, minimalize, or abandon ministry to seemingly insignificant individuals or people groups or non-strategic cities. Emphasis was placed on the fact that Jesus came from the out-of-the-way village of Nazareth and that the little mill-hill town that I came from produced one young man who became the president of Lee University (one of the leading Christian colleges in America), the general overseer of the Church of God (a denomination with over seven million members in nearly forty thousand churches in one hundred eighty-five countries), and the president of the American Bible Society (a ministry that distributes millions of Bibles to one hundred forty countries annually). I also told the story of how the deliverance of a prostitute in the Manila jail precipitated a revival that rocked the entire nation of the Philippines.
Each evening, there was a revival meeting open to all the local villagers and the conference delegates who stayed in the village for the night. About a dozen people responding to the salvation invitation. When he asked if all the people who got saved were from the village, Delron was surprised to hear that several were deletes at the conference. Questioning how they could be considered church leaders if they weren’t even born again, it was explained that one of the churches in the neighboring town never ministers on the salvation experience but simply tells the people to pay their tithes and do good works to earn their way to heaven. Our prayer is that these individuals who responded to the altar call and found the true meaning of salvation will be able to go back and lead their entire congregation to the truth.
In addition to providing meals during the conference, Teach All Nations also gave away two hundred copies of Maximum Impact to the pastors and leaders who could read English. Before returning home, Delron spent a couple days in the capital city of Monrovia where he ministered in two churches and at the chapel service for the staff of the local hospital.