Last year I caught a bug in Africa. Many of you will recall the picture of the seven needles I sent you, that a Russian immigrant stuck in me (6 in the arm and 1 in the … well, just below my lower back). Even with my body pumped full of inoculations there was one strain of a deadly virus that I could not resist.
It is the same germ that that Paul speaks of when he said, “Woe is me, if I preach not the gospel.” (1 Cor. 9:16) The apostle begins that verse by saying, “Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach.” I am not sharing this with you to boast. God forbid! I am no better than anyone else! I am simply moved to preach the gospel. I must proclaim Yeshua.
When Eric Liddell, the Olympic runner from Chariots of Fire was confronted by his sister who wanted him to be a missionary, he said, “God made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.” He knew that he was created to run. Some are created to sing. (Many run when I sing!) But dear friends, I was created and called to preach His gospel.
In Israel, where undoubtedly my family and I are called, our outreach is mostly one on one and low-key events (like the effort to help the soldiers, described in the other article). But in Africa…in Africa, Hallelujah, I am free to preach, proclaim and publicly state that Yeshua is Lord and invite people to receive the good news of the Kingdom.
I was deeply impacted by the two trips I took last year. There were three things that stuck out to me.
- I can be in Africa overnight from Israel.
- Since we are within an hour or two of their time zone (depending on the country) there is no Jetlag! Sometimes it can take me a week before I begin to feel normal because of the time difference between the US and Israel…and then, several days once I return to Israel.
- And most importantly, the amazing openness that the African people have to the preaching of the gospel.
Answer to Pray
After returning I began to pray that God would give us an avenue to make regular trips into Africa where we can partner with established works in evangelism and training. For months this has been on my heart. And then, just about one month ago, a good friend of mine who was here in Israel shared something with me over dinner. He told me, “One of your former students is now preaching regularly with Reinhard Bonke in Africa. He loved your classes.”
For those of you who don’t know who Reinhard Bonke is, he is possibly the most successful evangelist that has ever preached the gospel in Africa. Now in his late sixties, Bonke has seen nearly 50 million people make professions of faith. (Pictured: Bonke Campaign in Aba, Nigeria)
I felt immediately that this was an open door to Africa. I called Daniel, the young man who is now working with Bonke, and told him what was stirring within me. He said, “Ron, no one has more contacts in Africa than us and we would be happy to help. But first, why don’t you come be with us at one of our mass campaigns.”
And that was that. The plan is to leave on February 9th for five days. The amazing thing is that I won’t even miss one service at King of Kings! I will be traveling overnight through Ethiopia to Lagos, Nigeria. From there, I will go to the other side of Nigeria to Mubi, where the five-night campaign will be held. I will not stay for the whole campaign, but long enough to build relationships for the future. In addition I am confident that the Lord will impart something deep in me to bring back to Israel.
This trip will not be cheap, but it will be invaluable in terms of what the Lord wants to do to us and through us in the future. I do believe that one day, even if not now, the Lord will release that same type of anointing in Israel that we see in Africa. One day soccer stadiums in Israel will become Sanctuaries for the Lord’s healing power. I have no allusions; we are not there yet, but I believe the day will come. The scriptures prophesy about a mighty turning to the Lord that will take place in Israel, as Zechariah says, the Lord will, “…pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.”
I am going to need your help to get there. We have budgeted $3,500 for this trip, which includes, flights (international and local), visas, meals, hotels, security and local transportation. This will be in addition to our normal budget. In other words, I am humbly asking that you consider giving over and above your monthly commitment if you are a regular partner with Messiah’s Mandate and if you are not, please consider sending in a gift this month.
I am 100% confident that the Lord will provide for this important trip. I believe it is a priority. He loves souls and this trip will equip me both for future soul winning in Africa as well as for outreach amongst my own people, here in Israel.