It’s so hard to believe, but the Holy Spirit Encounter (HSE) is over and everyone has gone home. Rev. Blake Lorenz and his team (Nancy, Jack, John & Kim) from Orlando, AND Rev. Michael Mosley, UMC Mission Society missionary from Ghana, all did an outstanding job. Over 200 pastors and key church leaders (wives and kids too) came. It was not just United Methodist pastors, but also all denominations came. Some traveled days to get here. We also provided food and sleeping quarters like no other place they have been before. It was a full week of two to three sessions each day on some of the most powerful and anointed teachings I have ever heard on the Infilling of the Holy Spirit, the Covenant we have with God through Christ, and the importance of Building Integrity in our faith, family and the church. Wow... it was truly wonderful-wonderful!
I know I’ve shared this with you before, but let me recap on why these annual HSE are so important… To start with, Sandy and I are the resident missionaries for what is known as the NKANA district. We work very closely with our Bishop’s assistant, Rev. Jean Kalonga and his wife. This is in the CopperBelt area of Zambia. The United Methodist Church is just getting started in Zambia after many years of being in limbo. Our focus is to build the proper foundation for the church to grow on. It all starts right here- right now. In this district we only have twelve congregations. Most of our pastors are still in seminary school and pastoring the church at the same time. Some of them have two churches. Far to often real encouragement and spiritual teaching falls behind. The church becomes only a place to go for singing and praying and the message ends up with the pastor telling you how hungry he and his family are (and they are). That’s a bit bleak, but true.
The real purpose of the HSE is to bring in the best teachers and evangelists we know of to pour out their lives and ministry experiences in any way they feel lead. Their witness is a great encouragement and example to our pastors and church leaders. Months in advances our preparation includes experiencing God through fasting and prayer and believing that the anointing of God’s Holy Spirit will fall all over our meetings. And that’s just what happened! We’ve seen, year after year how this anointed time is changing the focus and directive power of God in Zambia. It is so very exciting to be here right now. Sandy and I truly thank God for letting us be a part of this great foundation growth. We still have so much to do, but when you know you are running the good race and fighting the good fight, all we can say is bring it on!
At every session (meeting) someone was either being healed from something, OR set free from some bondage in their life, OR just in awe of how God’s Spirit was moving and changing lives. Yes, pastors need to be set free from bondage, or healed in their body, family, or ministry. Did I hear you say AMEN? So often pastors around the world take on too many responsibilities in the church that leave them dry like old bones. They need encouragement. They completely forget their model is Jesus Christ. He preached the good news of salvation to ALL mankind. He cast out demons and healed the sick, and that doesn’t just mean from physical disease and deformity of the body. It includes all kinds of mental disease and bondage. Then, He taught them to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Remember, the veil was rippled from top to bottom. We are now free to receive ALL that God has for us.... Alleluia!!
Also, I want to mention another special event that took place. Rev. Mosley saw the need of a dormitory here at New Life Center and gave a $10,000 gift towards building it. It will take at least $20,000 to complete it. This gift of love is a wonderful example of how our two United Methodist mission originations can work together…. Amen!
We want to thank all of you for the emails, prayers and the finances given that helped make the HSE such a special, Spirit-filled time. We also thank those who traveled far and wide to be a part of the HSE team. We are already looking forward to next year!
Now, let me close this with another special prayer request. James (our son), Kellie, Charles and William have been here ministering with us for the last year as independent missionaries. They will be leaving this Tuesday (May 9th) for the United States. They believe God is calling them to full time service here in Zambia at the New Life Center. They need God to lead them in how to do that and take care of all their personal concerns. Please pray with us that God would open Heaven’s floodgates and make it clear and possible to come back in a timely manner. It has been wonderful having them here. I don’t know what would have happened last year while I was so sick in the USA with hepatitis, and with the HSE if they had not been here. With love and teary eyes we say we’re going to miss them tremendously.
With Love from Zambia,
Delbert & Sandy Groves
• Please remember to support New Life Center-Zambia through the Advance Special. New Life Center #15057A