Hello, brothers and sisters! It is my honor to share with you what our most recent overseas trip was like. Toward the end of July, I spent a week in the island nation of Madagascar. We were partnering with a friend of ours from Tulsa, a fellow evangelist, Daniel King (our contact in Madagascar, Pastor Jules, referred to us as “Wagner” and “King” to avoid the confusion of having two Daniels).
There are few places in the world that are farther from North America than Madagascar. On arriving, we were certainly ready for a good sleep. Pastor Jules’ son, Tank, picked us up from the airport around 1:00 AM, and, while we were driving to his home, he explained I would be picked up at 5:00 AM that morning. I was scheduled to preach in a city a few hours from Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital, and would head there early in the morning. It’s probably obvious to you that I did not get my full eight hours… So, with the sun still yet to rise, I stepped into a small car and met the beautiful young family that would drive me.
You know, I have begun to notice something about meeting other Believers, such as those that drove me to the town a few hours from Antananarivo. Each new face represents a really special opportunity to connect with another person. We are often a little bit uncomfortable with new people. But what I have noticed is how much of a bond we, as Christians, have with other Believers. It is easy to miss it, but think again of the fact that Believers everywhere share a commonality in Christ. We are saved by the same blood and adopted by the same Father! We often use the terms “brother” and “sister” when describing fellow Believers, but it is all too easy for these words to lose their weight. We need to remember that these words hold power, that we really do share a connection because of the Cross. Paul describes the Church as the “family of believers” (Galatians 6:10), and that is what we are.
I preached that afternoon at a small gathering of young Believers, and then we headed outside to engage in some street evangelism. Many of the youth that were there performed dances and skits, and I was privileged to share the Gospel with the small crowd that had gathered. The people listened and many prayed with me to accept Christ.
The next morning, we drove back to Antananarivo and met with Daniel King, who had stayed in the city to teach at a Pastor’s Conference. A little while later, we were on a plane that would take us to a very small island, named Nosy Be, off the coast of the main island. Nosy Be is a beautiful little island. While there, we had a two-day Leadership and Pastor’s Conference, and a three-night Crusade. Both events were truly special. Daniel and I each preached, and we were privileged to see many become Believers in Christ. There were several testimonies of healed bodies each night at the crusade as well. Throughout the week, we were privileged to spend time with many of the local leaders and pastors. It is always such a joy to meet and encourage one another. These pastors and leaders are on the frontlines.
On Sunday morning, I preached in a very small church building that was rather full. The people there were precious. I had preached already that morning at another church, and had not known beforehand that I would be going to a second church. I did not know what to preach, and I asked the Lord what was on His heart for these people. I believe the Lord directed me to share with them on their identity as Believers in Christ. It seemed that there was not much confidence or courage in that little church. As I shared, it seemed necessary to me to ask if there were any there who were not yet Believers. Without the aid of a formal altar call, I simply asked if there were any that needed to be saved. A few acknowledged that they had not come to Christ, and expressed desire to do so. It was really special to be in such an intimate moment. I believe the Lord used that to also inspire and encourage those in that congregation. After service had ended, many asked for prayer to be healed. I laid my hands on them and prayed, and the Lord healed several of them! He is still strong, and His compassion still compels Him to heal.
Throughout the rest of the trip, I continued to meet other Believers with whom I connected. On the way back home, shortly before my flight left from Antananarivo, I met a bathroom attendant at the airport. Her name is Louisette, and we began to talk. She is a Believer, and she shared with me that some of her sons were leading ungodly lifestyles. It was not difficult to see the pressure she felt. She also explained that she had been having pain in her shoulder. I asked if I could pray with her for her family and her healing. As we prayed outside the men’s restroom, she was healed of the pain in her shoulder! She was so grateful to talk with someone about the difficulties she was facing, and so grateful for her healing.
It was a special trip, full of many ministry opportunities. We saw many people come to repentance, and many set free from sickness and disease. We were able to connect with so many precious people, men and women and children who were a blessing to us.
Thank you, my brothers and sisters, for partnering with us through prayer and financial support. We work together for the advancement of the Lord’s purposes on this earth. I love each of you,
In Christ, and For the Lost,