Saying our goodbyes to Pastor Unity- Ben, Samuel and I. My mom, Timothy and Victoria had a meeting to go to the day that we were able to spend several one-on-one hours with Pastor Unity. So, Samuel came along with Ben and I. He called Pastor Unity "Jambo". We think that he thought this was his name because when we introduced Samuel to Unity we said, "Say Jambo." Well, he took that as Unity's name being Jambo! And he loved "Jambo" very much.
I have a story to share from our time with Pastor Unity. When we were in Tanzania, our group was split over three churches the first Sunday we were there. Ben and I were taken to Pastor Unity's church. At the end of the service they have people come forward that need prayer. Pastor Unity asked us, as the guests, to come and lay hands on the people as he prayed for them. Now, I have laid hands on people during prayer as a communication of, "I am here with you." This was different. This was Africa. We were laying hands for healing, blessing... and casting out demons.
Now, I as I said in previous posts, I have been on a journey of believing God- TRULY believing God. This "laying on of hands" experience was a key to the door of belief that opened in my heart last year. I have not grown up in a charismatic home, church or culture. I believe in the power of prayer but have been in environments most of my life that have steered clear of "wild" things in a religious sense. Ha. God shook that foundation out from under me.
A young man had come up for prayer. As we laid hands on him and began praying, something started to happen. A low, deep growl started from somewhere. I opened my eyes and saw that the noise was coming from the young man. I looked at Ben. He was looking too. As we prayed the noise increased. It became more demonic in sound (that is all I can say for what we heard!). It began saying something (in Swahili or Demon- I don't know!). Pastor Unity began to pray (as he told us later) that the demons would be cast out in Jesus' name. I remember hearing him say a phrase over and over again... something that included "Yesu". As he prayed more forcefully, the boy began convulsing and foaming at the mouth. If Percy (a man from our team) and Pastor Unity had not been holding on to him I am sure he would have become violent. In a moment's time all was silent and the boy was limp. A screaming sound rushed through the building and was gone.
The only comment Pastor Unity made in that moment, by way of an explination to Percy, Ben and I was, "We see a lot of demons in this Muslim community. God keeps telling us to believe and cast them out. We see many people released from demons and given freedom."
My heart was heavy and my head was pounding. What had just happened? What had I just witnessed? A demon had been cast out. And I had been there. That prayer meeting was unlike anything I had ever seen in my baptist, calm "prayer meetings" where we pray for Aunt Hilda's toe and Mary Jane's hip.
God was saying to my soul, "Jaclyn, did you see that? That was my power."
"Yes, God, I saw. I SAW!"
"Now, child, what do you think of prayer? Are you going to keep praying as you always have? Are you going to keep believe the lie of the modern day church that prayer is a religious duty?"
"Oh, God, increase my faith!!!"
Now, while Pastor Unity was here he shared what God has been doing in this young man's life since that liberating day last January. He became a Christian and shared Jesus with his whole family. All are believers now. They are at church every time the doors are open. He said that this boy has become a foundation for the newly planted church.
I know what you may be thinking, "Ok, Jaclyn, that is great for this African church, but this is America. "
My response would be this, "We see little because we believe little and we believe little because we see little."
Another story is this...
A few days before we left Africa our team leader shared that we had about $1,000 left. We had over calculated and had money to spend or take home. We wanted to spend it! Our leader shared that Pastor Unity had mentioned to him that they needed a refrigerator. It would cost about $700. Our team was excited to give this blessing to the pastor that had been our guide, leader and encouragement. We left some money for his ministries but wanted to do something special for just him and his family.
So we got a card, all signed it and enclosed the money with specific instructions to buy a refrigerator. (We had to tell him what to do with it or he would have bought food for orphans because he is so generous!!!) We gave it to him at the airport when we left.
When he was with our team last week he shared the story of when he opened the card. He said that a couple months before our team had come to Tanzania that he, his wife and his three oldest children had made a list of prayer requests. He said that they keep the list in his Bible as their secret spot. He said that his children run every day to the list and see if anything has been answered. They had seen God answer every request one by one.
The last thing on their list was a refrigerator. He said that when they opened the card on the way home from the airport, read our note and shared it with his family... he started crying.
One of his children burst out, "Now we can mark it off our list!"
He said to us, "My children know how to call down heaven. And God hears."