Reflections on a modern-day miracle by Peter Jenkins
During his time on earth Jesus was always looking for people in need: healing the sick, raising the dead, helping those in poverty. He seemed to sense in his spirit whenever there was a need and then went out of his way to meet it.
I wish I was as sensitive as Jesus. Unfortunately, many times I am far too busy with my programme to listen to the voice of God guiding me into His programme. This story is an illustration of how God will use us even when we’re too busy to listen properly:
We had been doing a lot of training on Cell Groups and Discipleship in Zimbabwe and Zambia. After a couple of years of implementation on the ground I wanted to visit the churches in many parts of Zambia to see how well this training had been applied. As a result, I set up a fairly hectic visitation programme, together with Richard Samalama, with the goal of visiting almost 50 congregations in 30 days. Our tight schedule meant that some days we were visiting two or three congregations, wherever they were close enough to make this possible. We had reached Solwezi in the Copperbelt, in the north of Zambia, and had been meeting church leaders there.
Having spent the night in Solwezi, we were preparing to set off to visit Kabompo, 360 km to the west. As we were saying farewell to Pastor Samu, he informed us that Pastor Kasanga at Kawanda school was expecting to meet us later on that day. This was not on our program and I was irritated that he had taken things into his own hands and changed our plans! The road we were to travel on was not good and we needed to get to Kabompo before dark. I told Pastor Samu that we would not be able to stop at Kabompo. He informed me that Pastor Kasanga would be waiting by the side of the road to meet us, I asked him to call ahead to warn him that we would not be able to stop. Instead we wouldbut would just greet him by the side of the road.
It was our custom every day, as we got into the vehicle to drive to the next congregation, to pray for our journey according to Romans chapter 12. So, we presented ourselves to God as living sacrifices to be used in his service and asked God to bless and protect as we travelled. Then we set off for Kabompo.
After a number of hours of driving we reached Kawanda School, and there was Pastor Kasanga, standing by the side of the road to meet us. We were glad to stretch our legs, but informed him that we would not be able to stay for long as we had to get to Kabompo. He told us that the whole congregation had been waiting since the end of the Sunday morning service to see us at the school. So, with a heavy heart we drove across to the school to go and great the believers there. Of course, being in Africa we first had to sing a few choruses and say a prayer for one another, and then I made a brief speech explaining that we had to be leaving soon. Again my determination to get on the road was thwarted, this time by the ladies in the congregation, who informed us that they had prepared lunch for us. Not wishing to be rude, we therefore went across to enjoy the meal. We did our best to eat as quickly as possible, then rejoined at the congregation to say thank you and farewell.
I thanked the congregation for their hospitality and explained that we would have to leave after I prayed a blessing. Once more my plan was scuttled as Pastor Kasanga asked that we pray for one of the sisters in the church. I said we would gladly pray, and asked what the problem was. I was informed that she was demon-possessed, and again in my heart sank. I knew this was likely to be a lengthy process, but Richard Samalama and I duly began to pray for the young lady. I must admit it was one of my shortest prayers for deliverance from Demons. There was no obvious sign that anything had happened so I asked the young lady how she felt. She informed me that she was fully healed and could now see.
I was shocked by this statement and asked her what she meant. Pastor Kasanga told us that the girl had recently been married, but her husband had been abusive, and had complained to her parents that she was not a good wife and should be taken to the witchdoctor. They did this, and she was given a herbal ointment with which to anoint her eyes. When she followed these instructions she lost her sight and became demon possessed.
I was amazed at the miracle that God had done. It was so wonderful to see this girl and her family rejoicing and thanking God for His mercy, His healing power and deliverance. Suddenly our journey did not seem so urgent, and we spend some more time worshipping and thanking God for his mighty power to cast out demons and to heal blindness. We finally drove off about two hours behind our schedule rejoicing in what God had done.
I learnt a really important lesson: I had set out weeks earlier on this trip, which was definitely what I was supposed to be doing. But having set off with God’s guidance, I then assumed that He would approve and bless the busy programme I had sent to all the churches. The truth was that He had a few little details that He wanted to include. When He becomes Lord of our lives, this is a moment by moment walk of obedience, not a one-off decision!