WEEK 2 | Team South Africa

Hello from Nelspruit! 

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Before we dive into the past week, here’s a brief testimony from some of our hospital ministry last week: 

“During the second week of our trip, I had the privilege of attending Themba Hospital to minister to the patients there. Instantly at the door I was greeted by a patient there named Daisy. Our team had seen enormous breakthrough in her the week before. And we got there, we discovered she had been awaiting our return. She had the kind eyes of Jesus. She greeted me with a kiss to the cheek and told me how much she liked my beard (those are few and far between in Africa, hahaha). She took my hand and led our team to her room in Ward 3. Our team ministered in Ward 3 for quite a while. Ward 3 is the mental illness ward. I felt this growing desire in my heart to sing over her as we prayed for her, but my timidity held me back for a moment. I analyzed what the cost of boldness would be and I felt as though the Lord took me back to a memory at 15 where I first encountered his embrace through worship. I remember how that very moment changed everything for me. I knew the Lord had extended a shift for not only Daisy, but myself as well. I mustered my courage and sang the Bethel song, “Jesus, We Love You” over Daisy. After just one choirs, to my amazement, DAISY BEGAN TO SING ALONG TOO! And when we stopped, she didn’t! She had an encounter with the Father. We watched her countenance change, peace fill the room, and tears fill her eyes. It would seem that her breakthrough wasn’t just for her either, but that our entire team had been impacted. As we left this Ward to move to the next, this sweet encountered happened time and time again. Worship broke down barriers. It was a moment where the Lord turned my fear into faith. The risk had been worth it. I’ll never forget the presence in the rooms that day. It felt like it had the power to change anything. It was sweet and tender. We all had been clothed with a fresh blanket of love. Remember that the hospital was called Themba Hosptial. Themba in Siswate language means “Hope”.  Hope was ours that day. We took it boldly and it never left us after that.”

-- Worth Peppers

On Friday the 16th, we got to go door to door in the town of Backdoor, ministering to residents alongside several local pastors who attended Pastor Surprise’s bible school. Here’s a testimony from one of our team members.

“We were doing house visits in Backdoor which is this town like community on the top of a mountain. Our guide was named Pastor Jefferys and he was the most loveable human possible: he visits these homes in back door once to twice a week. Back door is recognized as the “lower income” community near Nelspruit. Pastor Jefferys had us experience the vastness that is Backdoor as we went through red dirt hills and large thickets to get to some of these homes. Now all of us are good for our monthly workouts- so thanks, Pastor Jefferys. :) 

We went through many homes- believing and praying for loved ones in the hospital and men needing energy and strength. We approached one house that had this amazing women who shared with us what her son was experiencing. He was out of work due to a work injury. His whole left side was unable to fully function. The part of the team that was there gathered laid hands on the man and we saw him instantly healed. It was amazing. He just kept thanking us. It was the sweetest experience seeing his eyes change from hopelessness to hope just by encountering his Maker. Our faith was building as we went from that house and say more people encounter the love of God through healing and encounters. We released prophetic words as we went declaring all that heaven had for these sweet people of Backdoor. Going over two more giant hills, Pastor Jefferys shared with us that we will now be heading to the local witch doctors house because she is ill and we needed to bless her. It was beautiful to see our team accept the news like it was part of our daily life- like walking into these homes and seeing people healed is just part of our DNA. We approach the witch doctors house and walked in, going through different hallways to get to her. She was laying in her bed with eyes of fear and frustration as we walked in. Her company welcomed us coming in to pray for her- for she needed a miracle. Some stood around her, some knelt at her feet and we spent the next ten minutes interceding on her behalf. The thing is- we don’t have to battle for what we have already received. We knew Gods heart for her. After the 10 minutes she shared reluctantly that her arm was starting to feel better- so we kept going. After another 10 minutes- we sang over her, we loved on her and we watched as she decided to vocally proclaim Christ as the ruling voice in her life. Half our team in tears- we watched as fear and anger left her eyes and hope filled the room. A witch doctors house went from heavy and dark to a dwelling place for God himself.”

— Brittany Hamilton

Friday through Sunday marked the last of our days at the Gutshwa revival. By the time Sunday came, we felt like family, since we’d spent every night of the week together. During our last few nights there, we got to minister in deliverance and those who had been dedicated to unholy spirits were released from bondage. Judah taught on allowing the Lord to minister to us in the midst of mourning, and many were able to access parts of their hearts that had been hidden for a long time. 

On Saturday, we spent much of the day doing door to door ministry in Guyshwa before the evening service. At the local bar, our team got to see eight people miraculously healed. A woman whose spine had been curved had it straightened before our eyes. Several backs and knees were healed. One young man whose knee was healed was so excited about his pain being gone that he tried to offer our team money! (We refused it, for the record haha). 

The children of Gutshwa knew our names and wrote their names in our journals and took cell phone pictures with us! Members of the church asked us to stay with them indefinitely! We were given seats of honor at the church’s three-year celebration! God is good, and our family is growing larger day by day. 

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Monday through Wednesday of this week, we got to spend time ministering to the mamas, missionaries, and children at Michael’s Children’s Village, where we are currently leaving. Some of our guys helped missionary Michal build the foundation for his house, dozens of us babysat the kids at different intervals, Worth and Blake led worship at a morning meeting, and we all prophesied over the kids on Wednesday night. Here’s a little story from one of our team members:

“On March 13th, we walked the streets, to share the love of Jesus, with a ministry called “Dignity Project.” They cultivate relationships with women and girls in brothels and love on them. A lot of them have come off the streets as well! 

We had a meeting before we went out with three ladies with the ministry. We had a time of worship and prayer before. After worship, they told us to ask the Holy Spirit if there was a vision, name, or word for someone in the streets. 

Everyone closed their eyes and asked, including me. When I asked, I had a vision of a young adult girl in a pink shirt. It was very detailed that I could even see her face. In the vision, I was holding her and singing “You Are My Sunshine.” At the time, I didn’t know what it meant. I didn’t know if I would actually have to hold her and sing to her, or there was a word behind the vision. Maybe even both. But for myself, I do not sing. At. All. Even when I’m in the car with friends, and singing my heart out, I’m mouthing the words! So for me to sing would me dying to myself if we are being honest here. But I knew whatever He had planned I would say “Yes!”

After the meeting, we walked the streets. By the end of the day I did not see the girl. But I knew to trust Papa God. So I waited everyday until I knew. She was “The One” for me. 

On March 21st, we had a time of worship with everyone in the Michael’s Children Village. Before we started, I had someone come up behind me and give me a hug. I turned around and it was the girl from my vision! She even had a pink shirt on! 

We’ve been here for almost two weeks at this time and never crossed paths with her. I said to her, “I don’t believe we have met yet! My name is Mackenzie. What is your name?” She replied and her name was Sunshine! My mind was blown. But, I did not say anything to her about the vision I had. I felt like I was supposed to wait. So I did just that. 

Later that evening, MCV had a Family Night with all the kids and mommas there. We didn’t know what we were doing there until an hour before. Judah told us we were going to prophesy so everyone would get a word. I knew I got the green light from the Holy Spirit then. 

Now, it was time to prophesy. I went up to her and asked if it would be okay for me to give her a word! She shook her head and said, “Yes.” I proceeded to tell her about the vision I had a week prior. While I’m telling her, I have a conversation with Jesus in my mind. 

Backstory, whenever I talk to the Father, He always calls me, “His Sunshine.” The song “You Are My Sunshine” is very dear to my heart, and He always says that is our song. 

Continuing on, I asked Him what I should do. He said to me, “Share our song with her just like the vision.” So I asked her if she ever heard the song before and she shook her head no. I told her I felt like Jesus wanted to share the song with her just like He would. I held her in my arms and sang her the song. After singing the song, I gave her a prophetic word the Lord laid on my heart for her and it all intertwined with the song. I was about to let go but she held on tighter. I heard the Father say, “Sing it again.” I did three more times. As I let go, a tear from each eye streamed down her face. 

At this moment, I knew why I was here in South Africa. I was here for her. I was here to share His love to our MCV family, people on the streets, and more. But I knew for a fact that she was “The One” I came for. I knew I was here for her. 

I fought with the Lord many years that I would not come and here I am. And from the beginning to end I have seen His faithfulness. As the saying goes, “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.”

— McKenzie Barton

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Thursday was Ellen’s birthday and the first day of our safari in Kruger Park! Even though it was unseasonably cold and rainy, we saw every animal we had hoped to see, including lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes, hyenas, leopards, and baboons. We even had the pleasure of having a few monkeys steal food from our safari truck while we were at a rest stop!

Love, #SouthAfrica2018

- Written by Lisa Muloma, Photos by Killian Rose