Open Doors, Strong Confirmations & Fishers of Men

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With joy filling our hearts and faith in the promise of the word that all our steps are ordered by Yahweh, Robert and I boarded the flight to Zambia in early November.  We knew that there might be a possibility that we wouldn’t be allowed in the country, however, we had seen Yahweh move mightily on our behalf before and we were content to just be led by His Spirit – wherever those steps may lead us.

You see, per the law in Zambia, if you have entered on a business Visa you are allowed one 30 day visit in the 12-month calendar before returning.  We had applied for a temporary work permit on our previous trip, but it had expired.  So, we weren’t sure if we would be allowed back into the country.

While in South Africa, we inquired with the Zambian immigration officials to see if there was any way that we could re-enter.  We were informed that all we had to do was come prepared with all our documents needed and that we would be issued another Temporary Work Permit upon our arrival.  Of course, we know that what is said and what actually happens – here in Africa – can often be the total opposite.  So, although we were confident, our confidence was in the promise of Yahweh – that all our steps are ordered by Him.

In the meantime, we also received word from our host Pastor that his neighbor worked for the immigration department in Livingstone and that they would be ready to greet us at the airport and help us should we encounter any passport control issues upon our arrival.

This would be the first time we entered the nation of Zambia through Livingstone.  As we arrived, they took us to an office bordering the small immigration lobby.  We explained to them our situation and said that there should be an immigration officer waiting for our arrival to assist in any way.  After about 30 minutes of sitting and waiting on them to communicate with each other, they finally told us that they would issue us a 3-month temporary work permit – just like the one we had before.  We rejoiced that the Father had opened wide every door and made a way for us to come into Zambia and with our work permit in hand!

It took about 3 hours before we could depart from the airport and most of the delegates that had come to greet us upon our arrival had already left.  However, we were blessed to see Pastor John (our host pastor) and to be greeted by Pastor Joseph – whom we were meeting for the first time.  The men then took us to our host’s home to settle in for the 2 weeks we would be in ministering in Livingstone.

The first time we met the Kristafor’s was at a State House Fellowship service in Lusaka around May of last year.  We were late to the service on that particular day, however, the usual place where we are seated just happen to be vacant (in a room full of believers) and we were ushered to those seats.  Upon our departure that day, Robert introduced himself to Stan, as we had heard they were from Livingstone and we knew we would be visiting Livingstone soon.  Stan then gave us his phone number, but somehow over the next several weeks we had misplaced the card that had his number written on it.

When we arrived in Livingstone in June – just a few weeks after we had initially met the Kristafors – we departed our bus and the first familiar face that we saw was Stan as he was at the bus station taking care of his own personal business.  Robert ran over to him and greeted him and told him we had lost his number.  Stan provided his number again and generously offered accommodation to us, if our planned accommodations did not work out.  At first, the lodge that Pastor John and his team arranged for us was beautiful and very much sufficient.  However, the lodging we had booked ourselves – via Air BnB – just a few days later – simply didn’t meet our needs.  So, we then called Stan and asked if the offer was still available.  That is how we ended up spending the last several days in Livingstone with the Kristafor family before returning to the US.

Fast forward to November and we would find ourselves in need of accommodation during our 2 week stay in Livingstone.  We phoned Gladys (Stan’s wife) and asked if they would be willing to extend hospitality for our 2 week stay.  They graciously and generously received us again!  Gladys and Stan went above and beyond to make our 2 week stay with them truly like a 5-star lodge.  Every need we had they made sure was met.  When we needed a vehicle, they handed us the keys to one of theirs.  They fed us soo much yummy food.  Stan even arranged (with great expense) a day of fishing for us on the Zambezi river (more about this adventure later).  We are grateful for everything they did for us and thankful to call them friends and family in Messiah.

Our two weeks in Livingstone were packed full of ministry.  We started out our first two days ministering at a 2-day conference that Pastor John and his ministry team had arranged.   It was a success and we continue to minister with Pastor John.   During this time, we also were invited to minister at Tabernacle of Glory where Pastor Joseph is the shepherd. On Sunday morning, Rob brought forth our life message, “The Power of Deliverance”.  (You can read the full book and / or listen to the audio online.)

Throughout the week we continued to minister in the evenings.  Rob and Pastor Joseph (along with other leaders) would gather at 5am for prayer out in the bush wilderness – while I opted to stay behind as I’m just not a morning person (just ask my husband 😉 ) and also because there is no place to sit down out in the bush.  Rob even commented a few times about the elephant tracks that they passed while going to the small hill in the bush to pray and that he always prayed, “Father, do not let the elephants come while we are here.” Ha-ha.

It was obvious to both Rob & Pastor Joseph upon their first conversation that there was a great spiritual connection between them.  They continued to grow in fellowship throughout the week and Yahweh was doing amazing things through their connection.   On the third day of the week, as they were leaving the bush, Robert asked Pastor Joseph a question.  When he asked him the question, it brought to remembrance a dream Pastor Joseph had just a few weeks before our arrival.  He then began to relate the dream with Robert.

He said that in his dream, a white man from America had come to him and asked him the question that Robert had just asked him and then that same man opened his computer and started teaching him how to apply principles to see the growth of the assembly.  He then stated that he knew by the spirit that Robert was the man from his dream! He then went on to share that he had a close friend in Lusaka who was the only other person he had trusted in the pulpit at the assembly.  That this friend and himself had walked in close relationship for many years and that he felt Robert was now going to be fulfilling this very role in his life now.  As if that wasn’t enough, Yahweh was about to supernaturally confirm the connection!

On the first night of ministry, Robert shared the testimony about how he had supernaturally received his copy of the Scriptures (You can read the testimony here).  Following their prayer time and fellowship, Pastor Joseph took Robert to his home and then he told Robert that he had a Scriptures Bible as well.  He then retrieved his copy of the Scriptures and handed it to Robert – who then opened it to look at it.  Upon closer inspection, he immediately noticed three names written in the front.  The first name he didn’t recognize and the two other names he recognized, however, none of them were Pastor Joseph’s.  So, he then inquired as to how Pastor Joseph received the Scriptures.

Joseph then testified that he received it from his wife’s Uncle in Zimbabwe.  The Uncle had showed it to him and he asked him where he could get one like it and the Uncle then told him he could have that copy.  The other two names written in the front were of the two women who had presented the Scriptures to the Uncle as a gift.  Normally, this wouldn’t be unusual, but the one name stood out to us.  It was the name of our very dear friend, sister in the faith and co-laborer – Mama Helena from South Africa.

Later, we were able to confirm that in 2011, Mama Helena (along with the other woman) had presented that very Scriptures Bible to the Uncle who was their spiritual father at the time.  At that time, they submitted to his leadership and covering for ministry purposes.  Amazingly, he was greatly offended by their desire to walk in the truth and dismissed them as his spiritual daughters a short time afterward.  Within a year, we were meeting Mama Helena for the first time and she told us that Yahweh had spoken to her that we were to be a spiritual covering for her and she began faithfully tithing to us.

Now, four years later, we were meeting Pastor Joseph who had just told Robert that he felt Yahweh was calling them to walk in spiritual authority together and not only had Yahweh confirmed that through a dream weeks prior to our arrival but also through this Scriptures Bible.  WOW! WOW! WOW! We marveled in great amazement in how Yahweh was working.  He was writing the next chapter of the testimony of the Scriptures!  We are looking forward to seeing all that Yahweh is going to do through this connection!

Remember that Zambezi fishing river trip I mentioned earlier?  Well I don’t want to leave you in suspense.  Stan and his son, Joseph – went through a lot of work putting together all the equipment to go fishing.  Stan also had to purchase a permit for fishing.  So, we loaded in the car with the big boat hitched on the back and all the equipment along with some food and drinks for the trip.  After arriving at the boat club and getting the boat in the water, they couldn’t get the motor to start.  They kept trying and trying to no avail.  Amid trying to figure out why it wouldn’t start, rain began to fall – so, we all took cover under the outside sitting area.

So, here we were with a boat that wouldn’t start, and two drunk men who were loudly arguing and physically scuffling with one another, pouring rain and you would have thought that the day could be considered a complete waste.  BUT Yahweh!!!  Oh, He had a much greater plan for that day.  During all the chaos around us, Robert opened the Word and began to share the Good News with four men that worked at the boat club.   Each man bowed his head and prayed to receive Y’shua as their Savior and then allowed Robert to lay hands on them and pray for the gifts of the Spirit to be stirred up in their life.

None of them had a Bible, so the next day we set out to find them one and when we returned for our fishing adventure we would present each one with their very own Bible.  We went to be fishermen, but Yahweh decided on that day that we were going to be fishers of men.

We are continually humbled and grateful that He uses us despite ourselves! All praise and esteem to Yahweh for all that He does through us; mere frail vessels.

Shalom and much love,

Jenn (and Rob) McDuffie

Ps.  The reason why the boat motor wouldn’t start is because the clerk who filled the petrol (gas) tank, filled it with diesel instead of unleaded which is what she was told to fill it with.  This is a great illustration of what happens when we mix doubt with our faith.  The motor wasn’t ruined, thank goodness – but we sure weren’t going anywhere that day!

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