Beads of sweat dripped down my face as I shoved my belongings in my backpack once again. We had spent the past ten days doing hut-to-hut ministry in a remote village near Mzuzu, Malawi, and were preparing to depart the next morning to leave for our next ministry location in Nkotakota. As I carefully rolled each item of my clothes and marveled at how my pack always seemed to shrink, I was interrupted by Katy, our team leader. She called our team together and announced that we were asked to prepare a short message to encourage leaders in the ministry. I felt a prompting in my spirit, so I volunteered. That night, as I prayed about what God would have me share, He brought one scripture to mind:
“Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubabbel.” (Zechariah 4:10)
I formed a short message on why we should not despise this day; because although it might look like the day has small beginnings, this time of consecrating yourself is very significant in the spiritual realm.
I had no idea how significant this passage would be…
The next morning, we arose at 4:30am to pack our bags and sit on a minibus for three hours where a chicken was running loose at our feet and there were so many smelly people smooshed together that I only had half a seat. On our second leg of the journey, I had the joy of sitting in the farthest back seat of the bus, where we went over large bumps and my head hit the top of the vehicle. Finally, we arrived to Nkotakota and were ushered out to the site of the Bethel Training Center via bicycle.
As we came around the corner, I saw the leaders of the Timothy Harvest Ministry sitting in the circle of benches around the large Mayeah tree:
We found out that the leaders were fasting and praying for a section of land where they preparing to build a training and conference center. However, they had been experiencing some crazy things happen on the land, such as a whirlwind emerging from the garden and traveling south, which turned into a giant snake when it got to the water. At that moment, another whirlwind came down the shore and turned into an alligator. I kid you not – this is not a type-o or the latest scene from a sci-fi movie – these are the kinds of things that happen in Africa. In this place, the spiritual realm comes alive…
Due to this supernatural activity, the director of the ministry had called a day of fasting and prayer to consecrate the land to God, and our arrival in Nkotakota had coincided with this day. Over the next few hours, our team joined them in a time of praise and worship, prayer walk throughout the land, and a blessing over the maize crops:
As we concluded the day, I was given the opportunity to share the message that God had put on my heart. As I read through Zechariah 4 again, I realized that it was actually a prophecy to the building of the temple of God. I felt that this was very significant for Timothy Harvest Ministries as the prepared to build their “temple.” I encouraged the leaders not to despise this day of small beginnings, and to be confident that the time they had taken to fast and pray was very significant in the spiritual realm. Finally, I shared the scripture that God had put on my heart during the prayer walk – 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
The director announced that he felt this really was a word from the Lord for their ministry due to the way it had been confirmed and that 2 Chronicles 7:14 was the scripture they had used the previous time they had spent fasting and praying!
As the day came to a close, God did something incredible…It had been cloudy and a bit drizzly the entire day. I had prayed that God would shine the sun as a symbol of the work He had done that day in preparing the land for the “harvest.” As we said the final prayer and departed for the day, the most incredible sunset emerged:
The best news is that the story doesn’t end here. The significance of the time we spent fasting and praying became evident in our next three days of hut-to-hut ministry…As our team traveled around, offering prayer and encouragement to families in the area, we ministered to 92 individuals and 37 people committed their lives to Christ! We found that although many people could explain who Jesus Christ was on an intellectual level, they were incredibly hungry to experience God and be in a relationship with Him. There was truly an incredible harvest…and I believe that this was largely due to the time that had been taken to pray and fast over the land. Thank you, Jesus!