Author: Don EasthamIf you ever sail through the New Zealand fjords, you may pass through Dusky Sound and see a small island called Useless Island.
“A Monumental Blessing,” it is the only way to describe this AIM experience in Africa! It has been an adventure and thrill beyond what my wife and I could have realized. It all started with the invitation to teach three months in the Bible College. The anticipation level was high as the big blue KLM plane touched down in Nairobi, Kenya. As the human contents of the plane spilled out onto the tarmac the night air of Africa carried a special odor. It wasn’t good or bad just different. It was the smell of Africa. Then as we departed the airport there it was. A zebra grazing alongside the highway! Something told me I was in for a great experience in this other part of the world.
There is something about Africa that grabs one by the heart. For me it was partly the children. You could depend on them standing by the wayside waving vigorously and shouting mzungu, mzungu (Swahili for foreigner) as we passed by. It was in part the abject poverty seen almost everywhere. People who lived in very rundown conditions. But even more was what I experienced as I began to teach in the Bible College. It was the look on the faces of each eager serious student of the word. And then to see the expressions when I could tell they got what was being taught.
The journeys into the villages on the weekends to hold seminars was a great part of this incredible blessing! People who were hungry for truth would sit by the hour sometimes on a dirt floor to hear words of life. It is an experience like no other when they approach you after teaching and ask to be baptized in Jesus Name! Like the man who spoke to me after one seminar and told me he was going home and re-baptize his whole family. He told me he was a pastor and that he was also intending to re-baptize everyone in his church after he taught this message to them. I saw this same hunger everywhere I went. God is moving on hearts in Africa!
Yes, there is war and disease seemingly all over Africa and there are a few inconveniences. But these are nothing compared to the blessings of preaching the gospel to hungry souls and seeing them respond to it! There is huge need in this place. Like the seminar we conducted in western Uganda. We were teaching in a church with dirt floors, mud walls, thatched roof and no electricity. An elderly man caught my attention as he seemed so eager to be involved with what was going on. When it was time to read scriptures in the local language he was the first to volunteer. At the end of the teaching we opened it up for Q and A. His hand immediately went up. He stated that he had been converted in 1950. Now he realized that all these years he had not been baptized the Bible way. His question still haunts me. He exclaimed he had never heard this message but could now see it to be truth. And then the haunting words, “Where have you been?” We did not have an adequate answer.
Now I am hearing voices. The first one is the Lord of the Harvest saying, “Who will go”? But there are other voices ringing out. It’s the urgent call of a billion souls crying, “COME AND HELP US!”
By Don Eastham, grateful AIM participant in the revival sweeping Africa!