Saturday, November 1, 2014

Village Revival Meetings

This past weekend we had the privilege of visiting a village just over an hour from where we are staying in South Africa on missions training. Our outreach team jumped into a shuttle and made our way through the beautiful hills and country side of Southern Africa. Passing wild animals on the side of the road and other small villages we explored the land.
When we arrived we were surrounded by a group of friendly children eager to meet the strangers from afar. The church we are partnering with has been hosting revival meetings in this small village all week. We arrived in time for the last two nights of these revival meetings hosted under two large tents attached together for the special occasion. It felt like something out of a book. For years I've read stories about tent revival meetings in the bush, but to finally be a part of one was exhilarating. The loud music, African dancing and manifest joy filled the air.

The following day we walked through the small village going door to door, praying for the sick and inviting the community to join us for the revival meetings. We saw healing and we saw hope and joy fill the lives of ones with whom we prayed.
That evening we made our way back to the tent for another revival meeting. At this time, I must admit that my humanity started getting the better of me. Suddenly tiredness began to overtake me, the length of this African service started to iritate my North American mind, and the very loud music and yelling of the preacher into the microphone that I had so loved the night before started bothering me. Needless to say, I was ready for bed all while trying to maintain good composure (alternatively, close friends back home know when I hit the "tired wall", I usually crash and melt into tears). The little girl I was holding had already fallen asleep in my arms and I was hoping to do the same.
Finally I looked to my left to see an elderly man from the village sitting beside me. His face bore a smile of joy and content. The blasting music, yelling in a microphone, and wild dancing didn't seem to phase him. He had the look of appreciation on his face, soaking in the moment and praising God for the revival brought to his village. Who knows how long it had been since his town had seen revival, who knows how long he had prayed for such an encounter. In Ottawa we are blessed by conference after conference, and revival meeting after revival meeting. Here I was encouraged by the uniqueness and privilege of the moment. I was reminded of Simeon in the Bible (Luke 2:22-32) who had faithfully waited for salvation who came through Jesus. This man reminded me of Simeon, waiting on The Lord and rejoicing in the revival God was bringing. 

Overall the experience was remarkable and such an honour to be a part of. I tried to capture a few of my favourite sights in the following picture collage: little ones playing in a wheel barrel, ladies preparing meals for us over open fires, another cow just waltzing down the road, and a precious little girl whose smile I just couldn't get enough of!

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