I have a really exciting testimony to share from my recent mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but I need to give you a bit of the background before I can tell you what happened. On Delron’s last trip to the Congo, he visited a friend of his who, after completing medical school, had taken the challenge of running an underfunded and ill-equipped hospital in a remote area of the country. As he was touring the grounds, Delron noticed a group of pregnant women camping on the lawn. The doctor explained that the women have no way of knowing exactly how far along they are in their pregnancies; so, they come early and wait to avoid having to travel over the rough terrain while in labor. With that explanation, Teach All Nations made the decision to buy the hospital a portable ultrasound machine that the doctor could take to the villages and check the women so he could tell them when they needed to come to him for their deliveries. This is where my story begins; I delivered the machine on this trip and asked if I could witness its first use. Well, it turned out that the doctor picked just the right lady for the demonstration. I watched the ultrasound as I held the baby’s mother head up so she could see the baby’s image on the screen. We could tell there was little movement, and the doctor realized that there were complications that required an emergency C-section. After the operation, he told me that the baby would have died if they had not examined the mother with the new ultrasound machine. Thanks to the friends and supporters of Teach All Nations, a life was saved – and on the very first time the machine was used!! This experience will forever be in my memory.
Although being part of saving a life could be considered a highlight of the trip, my four-hour-each-way trip of the roughest road you can imagine to the hospital was actually nothing more than a footnote to the half-way-around-the world journey to Africa. The real testimony from this trip was not the delivery of a machine that can see beneath the surface of a pregnant woman’s belly but the Word of God that penetrates into the very hearts of men.
I was invited to speak at several churches and do a women’s conference at one of the largest churches in Bukavu, Congo. I had my book, Women for the Harvest, translated into the local language. This is the twelfth language my book has been translated into. Very few women are allowed to speak in front of men according to the Congolese culture. I was able to talk to the pastor about what the scriptures really say about women speaking in the church and showed him where seven women were commended as co-laborers with Paul in Romans chapter sixteen. He said that the Lord had been dealing with him about this, and I encouraged him to read my book to understand the correct context of the scriptures that people use to say Paul said women can’t preach or teach. After I taught that Sunday, I think the Lord showed him that God anoints women as well as men to teach.
The next day was the beginning of a three-day women’s conference sponsored by Teach All Nations. My “spiritual daughter” Julie and I spoke all day encouraging the women to believe in themselves and that they were chosen – as John chapter fifteen says “to go bear fruit” – as well as the men. The first two days were for leaders only with an attendance limited to three hundred and fifty to whom we presented a free copy of the book and taught them on the women in the Old and New Testaments who represented all the fivefold ministry. They had never heard this before. I also went into a clear teaching of what Paul was really saying in I Corinthians 14:34 and I Timothy 2:12 about women not speaking in the services. They were so encouraged and excited to learn that the Lord uses women in all positions in the church. I was also able to present audio Bibles with the scripture in their native language to several of the women who minister in remote areas where most of the local women are illiterate. They will be able to go back to their homes and begin Bible study groups by playing the oral version of the Word of God.
The third day was open to all the women in the area churches, and we had over fifteen hundred participants. I heard that some of the women had traveled by foot for three days to attend the meeting and then had to make the same arduous trip home again. I spoke on freedom from the past. They have never been taught that the Lord can and wants to heal us from emotional wounds and traumatic pasts.
I believe that the women were stirred up to get busy for the Lord as well as the men. They and their pastors came to understand how valuable the women are to the Body of Christ. The truths that I taught on emotional healing where new to them as I explained that we are three-part personalities – body, soul, and spirit – and need to be whole in each dimension. I believe there was fruit left there that will remain for His glory.
In the same way that the ultrasound machine enabled the doctor to save the life of the baby at that village hospital, the Word of God that I shared with the women at the conference, with the congregations in the churches where I ministered, and with the pastors whom I spoke with privately will produce new life in the churches in Africa as the people are healed of their emotional scars and as the women are now encouraged to give spiritual birth. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the opportunity to see that village baby as it grows up, but I know that I’ll see the growth in the churches when I return to Africa on future missions.
I thank all the people that made my trip possible as we had to pay all the expenses of the conference and publishing the books as well as all the travel expenses. God used you as part of His “His team” to preach His Word with great results which will definitely have an eternal impact on the area as a new army of women take their places in the harvest!