Hello from South Africa!! Since our feet touched the ground we have been going all out and loving every minute. The staff at Michael’s Children’s Village (MCV) are so welcoming and accommodating. We all feel like one big family. We arrived at MCV on Saturday, March 11th and were greeted with open arms and delicious pizza for dinner.
Sunday morning we went to Backdoor Church which is the local all-black church. Pastor Surprise gave the sermon and there was lots of dancing and singing to the Lord. Later in the afternoon, we went to the Iris church in Nelspruit. This is a predominately white church and the service is a little different from Backdoor.
The first place we ministered was Themba Hospital. Themba means hope in Siswati, which is their native language. Comella has been going there every week for over a year to pray for the patients on Ward 7, which is typically women who have had some abuse or trauma in their lives. We were able to pray with several women who were not very responsive at first but after prayer and interaction with us we saw Jesus heal pain, and several gave their life to Jesus. The difference in their countenance was like night and day. One young girl was going to go to a witch doctor after she got out of the hospital, but after receiving Jesus she decided to go Backdoor church instead. On our way out of the hospital, we encountered a nurse who knew Comella. She asked us to pray for a man who was with her, suffering from leprosy. We have so many more great stories like this continued that day. We have been able to go back two more times and some of the same women were there and so glad to see us. We also visited the men’s ward, the babies, and the children.
We have also had the privilege of working with Dignity Ministry in Nelspruit. It was founded about 5 years ago and they minister to girls on the street and go into the brothels to minister to the girls and just let them know that they are loved. Katherine, who works for Dignity, knows a lot of the girls and will let her into their rooms to pray for them. We had a powerful prayer group in the first place and one of the girls got deliverance.The second place the girls took us up to one of their rooms where we sang, they sang, and we all prayed for them and reminded them that Jesus loves them and is with them whenever they need Him.
One day we drove to Ngodwana which is about an hour away. We were working with Katherine and Dignity Ministry. This started as a truck stop that grew into a brothel for girls to service the truck drivers. Eventually, a little town developed. One of the girls came back with Katherine and gave her life to Jesus. When she returned she was so different the others wanted what she had. She now works for Dignity and a church has been established in the little town. We went for a short service and then did the home visits to pray for the people. Everyone is so friendly and open to receiving Jesus and the love He pours onto them. They were waiting for us to arrive and waved goodbye to us as we left.
We visited the preschool children at Hope Village. From there we divided up into two groups and went with local pastors to do home visits in the Backdoor area. That day we saw a swelling on the back of the neck the size of a large grapefruit shrink to the size of a small orange, also a leg swollen with an open sore, shrink so that we could see the ankle bones. So many people accepting Jesus and seeing the change in them immediately.
We have spent several nights at the church in Gutjwa pastored by Pastor Norbert and his wife Pastor Rose. They started the church 2 years ago in an area that has a lot of witchcraft. This was their 2nd Anniversary and held revival meetings Wed., Thurs., Fri., and Sat., and ended with a church service on Sunday that included praise singing and dancing, worship music, guest speaker, and sermon. Lots of activity and celebrating followed by lunch. On Saturday afternoon, we did some home visits in the area. We had 3 teams go out with interpreters. There were many stories of healing, deliverance, and coming to Jesus. It was a very hot day but so rewarding knowing that peoples lives were changed.