What a joy it has been to return to Tanzania! Each time we come back, we are renewing friendships and making new ones. Yesterday we returned from Mrigo village. We had never been there before and now we have friends there. I was thrilled to receive my first Tanzanian name as we left - they call me Mtemi. Apparently that means something like matriarch or chieftain's wife. It is a name with honour attached and I was very touched and excited. One of the British volunteers here in Kondoa has had several new names given to her and it was a complete surprise for me to receive one. I had given a teaching on deliverance so perhaps the authority which I talked about and encouraged them to believe that they have as Christians, made them believe I had the same.
Three gifts - one hand-carved ugali spoon, one black and yellow kanga and the new name. Plus, of course, the gift of knowing that I had been instrumental in setting three women and a girl free from demonic oppression as well as physical pain and illnesses. My eyes filled with tears as I discussed it with Ian this morning. We had a day off and so were able to slothfully lie in bed until 8am.
It was overwhelming to know that one woman, who had been suffering from the heart-ache of having lost her baby when she went into labour early due to the shock of her parents separating, had been able to forgive her father and received some heart-healing for the loss of her baby. In the process, she seemed to have recovered from the low blood pressure and racing heart that had dogged her ever since the loss of her baby.
I had been sitting in the dust next to her, trying my best to remember the steps which had brought someone to freedom last year when we visited Tarkwa. As soon as we finished, a little girl was carried out of the church, almost unconscious but obviously being touched by God. As we asked God to continue his work and the Holy Spirit to come close to her and comfort her, she was crying and almost writhing and was unresponsive to us. I noticed that she had a severely crippled arm and upon enquiry, learned that it was due to her having been bitten by a snake when she was very little. The hand had contracted back so far that it touched her wrist and indeed, the skin of her hand was welded to the skin of her wrist. Her elbow was scarred and unable to be straightened. As we prayed and asked the Lord to heal her heart, the sobs and tears slowed down. I asked the Bishop, who had come out of the church, concerned, to ask her how things were for her. No answer. Here eyes did not focus and she was mute. So I started to address a deaf and dumb spirit (and others, speculatively). A spirit came out and she started to be able to make sounds, but was still distressed.
Then her mother was brought over and we were able to find out a bit more. I ascertained that the mother needed deep inner healing too, so started that process. In the end, they were both filled with joy and at the testimony time the next day, the mother said that she had not realised that she could ever feel so happy and so free. She and her daughter had been so filled with joy that they had even forgotten to prepare food that night. The child had been healed of stomach pain and back pain as well.
If I had ever doubted that it was a good thing to come to Africa, it would have been allayed that morning. Such joy and delight to see these women finding freedom form deep heart issues that had weighed them down for years- it was so touching. May it bear fruit like the fruit that has come in Tarkwa since we visited last year - over 350% increase in congregation size and the joy of God's healing and deliverance still being celebrated.
Hallelujah! I have a small idea now of what the Bible means when it talks about "Joy unspeakable and full of glory."