Philippians 1:12-14 (NKJV) 12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
One of the reasons I love ministering in the church in Africa is that it reminds me so much of the New Testament church. Especially here in Midigo. The people here are considered to be by and large unreached with 99% of the population not being Christians. As you can imagine this can make for a very hostile environment in which to plant and grow a church. On Sunday, Calvary Chapel of Midigo will celebrate its 12th anniversary. Their growth in the Lord despite overwhelming circumstances and persecution is so inspiring. They are constantly being threatened and those who accept the Lord are often beaten and threatened with death if they do not recant. Still the church has persevered and reached out in love to the entire region. The spiritual growth of the people despite the persecution demonstrates the power of His Holy Spirit to give us power to be his witnesses in any circumstance. We are encouraged back home to be bold witnesses knowing that it is the same God who is empowering and overflowing from the lives of the persecute believers here.
The church here is so hungry for the Word of God. They want as much teaching as they can get and it is such a joy to see their desire to learn as much as they can. It was really encouraging to see that they were putting the teaching that Chris DeRuyter and I did into practice.
This afternoon Dr. Juventine and I walked around the hospital compound and reminisced about the beginnings of the work here. We went to the mango tree where he first began to see patients and then walked the wards. The Lord has done such an incredible work of grace here. A maternity ward, an operating rooms, outpatient clinics are just a few of the miraculous works God has done. When Juventine first arrived 4 children were dying of malaria everyday. Mothers were dying and childbirth and infants were never being born. Since that time malaria deaths have been reduced to just a fraction of what it once was and maternal mortality reduced by more than a third. God has saved so many lives not just spiritually but even more importantly spiritually as hundreds of people have come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. How humbling it is to be even a small part of God’s plan.
Please continue to pray for the work here. The hospital is in need of many upgrades and funding to continue their mobile medical clinics. The hospital beds need new mattresses and sheets as well as more personnel to keep the hospital clean and prevent infection. We need two Christian doctors willing to do as Juventine did and come here to serve the Lord and the people of Midigo.
I praise God for all that He has done!