Uncertainty is part of trust. To worry in uncertainty is not to trust. And who do I trust? I trust in God. So to worry in uncertainty is to not trust in God himself. Part of the discipline is to trust and handle uncertainty, to know that there is a person beyond yourself, bigger than yourself who is able arrange and direct.
Picture Jude and myself driving 160km in the bush late on a friday evening, uncertain of where we are going, then arriving late. The kids are tired, we are tired. These are our first moments in Mkushi. Despite tiredness and irritation at our getting lost I must present myself properly to the leaders here. The uncertainty in my heart is fever pitch. Have I got this correct? Do I hear from God? All that feeling comes to a crescendo as I get our of my car.
To pioneer is to carry this burden of uncertainty and to trust. I’d be lying if in those first few moments, that my trust did not waver. Questions crowd your mind. Will this work? Will people follow? Is there truly an opening here? Do we have enough time? If you not careful, stress rises from the core of your being and can overtake you.
36 hours later I sit down with two leaders in Mkushi. One, a man who is heavily involved in a small group committed to bush work, the other an elderly village pastor. He tells me of his heart, his disappointment. As we pray, I sense that all is not well in his soul. I share encouragement with him, via the Lord directing me, attempt to heal the words and problems that have wounded him over many years. He tells us of a vision some 20 years old of Mkushi, of groups meeting in the bush every 10km. He tells me how he really believed God’s change and fire would descend. A year ago, a man in Worcester shared with me a vision, a word of God’s fire that would ignite in the bush and that the enemy would not put it out. In April, the same group prayed that God himself would send someone to show them how to reach the bush effectively, to help them. Whether by accident, or more likely by design, I think that person might be me. That can sound arrogant, but believe me it isn’t. I believe it’s my calling, my vocation in life. I really am no-one special, but I do have a task that the Lord wants me to do. This is it.
My God owns the ‘cattle on a thousand hills’. He doesn’t throw lots of money at me, but he does move people. Like a grand game of chess, he directs his people to flank me and support His work. I came to Mkushi with Rammy Singh, a prominent Christian in Lusaka, together with his Pastor. They didn’t have to come, they did so because God wanted them to open the way. Over 36 hours, the Lord has given us a place to live, people to work with and a physical direction to our work. Simply amazing! I have seen this many times before. Its like a conductor guiding a grand orchestra. The trick is to listen to the conductor and play the right tune.
If the truth be told, He has been organising this since the beginning of time. Why is it that despite living thousands of miles away, the Lord puts me in touch with 3 people by different means who happen to know one another and confirm to one another that this is God. This gives me the opening, and the credence that I need to do the work, It is quite something for a group of people to tell you they are waiting for you.
Uncertainty, if the truth be told, in the early days of this trip it has been crushing me, crushing my Spirit and zeal. No more. The Lord is in this, and it is quite literally game on. In 3 locations, Jo working mainly in Chingola, Me and Jude in Mkushi and Cornelius up in Nchelenge and many others beside, its time to take this fight to the enemy. I do believe that the Lords move in rural Zambia is long overdue. Maybe I’m having an up moment but I want to see the whole of Africa changed.
Uncertainty is the enemy of faith and a sign that I am trusting my own strength. Maybe it’s proof that I am simply a frail person. In 36 hours the Lord has given us a doorway that could have taken months to build. Its time to stop being uncertain and to go through with this.