Following a series of missed flights and the eventual recovery of lost bags, the team of Dr. Michael Lanier, Tom Stoy, and Harrison Hunter made their way to the beautiful African nation of the Republic of Malawi. (Tom and Harrison have some interesting insight on Ethiopian Airlines. Beware.) Although the better part of the week was given to jet lag recovery, one significant event worth noting occurred on Friday evening during the journey from Lilongwe to Blantyre. About halfway through the 4 hour drive in a passenger car, the belt that charges the car’s battery broke, forcing the driver from that time forward to frequently shut off the engine and coast when going downhill. After about 20-30 minutes, the team came to Ntcheu, a small community, where they slept overnight in the car until a new belt could be located and installed the next morning. Ray’s car will forever be referred to as the “rolling hotel.” Actually, God used the event to create a bond between 5 men that is certain to endure over the years.
Saturday morning, upon arrival in Blantyre, the team met with the Assistant Spokesman for the Ruling Party of Malawi. The goal was to see what extent the government would be willing to work with IPICM and its future endeavors. There was no disappointment as the doors of opportunity were flung wide open and a meeting with the Senior Special Assistant to the State President was scheduled for later in the trip.
Saturday afternoon marked the beginning of the team’s 5 week campaign. An afternoon event was held at the Champions in Christ Church, Blantyre, pastored by Happy Gondwe. Following a sermon, a man with bad knees was healed; a lady with pain in her eyes was also healed; a lady with a 3 year long struggle with a throat blockage was immediately healed; and a prophecy was given to a young man struggling with drug issues that led to his salvation. Several similar wonders also occurred. The day’s events would give only a small foretaste of what was to come—beginning with the next day’s 2 services.
Sunday morning began with Harrison ministering to approximately 175 children. Michael gave the morning sermon which was followed with a time of healing ministry. A lady suffering from breast and back pains over the previous month, was instantly healed; a lady that had seen Harrison in a dream the night before declared she knew she would be healed when he prayed for her backache, itching, and pain in her legs (and her healing came to pass just as she had dreamt); and another lady with back pain was healed.
Sunday afternoon was even more eventful. As the team arrived at the church, Michael called Pastor Gondwe aside to show him the fulfillment of a vision he’d shared with Happy 2 months prior to arriving in Africa. (During one of their Skype chats, Michael asked Happy if the road that ran in front of his church branched off to the right shortly beyond the entrance to which Happy responded “Yes.” Michael then stated he saw a young man standing to the left of that side road wearing a horizontal stripped shirt, and that he and many like him along the roadside needed to be reached for Christ.) As the 2 men looked in the direction of the side street, there was the young man in the striped shirt standing in the exact spot according to the vision. This young person and many like him are the next generation in need of the Gospel.
In the afternoon service, Tom brought the sermon. Following the message, the team prayed for the sick. A lady with pain in her hips and numbness in her legs was healed. Another lady partially blind was able to see clearly as she declared “Now I know something was wrong but now it is right.” With that, she accurately described team members’ facial features. Enson, a pastor from another church, told the team he had a “dead” kidney according to his doctors. With it, he also had back pain. After receiving prayer, the pain was gone. (The next day when the team saw the pastor, he declared his pain was no more.) Another lady returned to the church service having been there the day prior so she could receive salvation.
For clarification for this and following entries, please note what is meant by the terms prophecy and healing. Prophecy, like Old Testament, New Testament, and early church prophecy, is a proclamation that is given by the Holy Spirit for the expressed purpose of ministering to group and personal spiritual needs. Whenever prophecy is uttered, the question is always asked “Is this true?” or “Is this correct?” Absolute care is taken to avoid presumption. The same holds true for healing. After praying for healing, the recipient is always told to do something they couldn’t do before receiving prayer. In the case of blindness, the healed person is asked to describe something they see. As for deafness, recipients are told to repeat words spoken to them. In the case of pain, the healed person is asked to move in ways he or she couldn’t moments prior.
While many marvelous things occurred the first few days of travel, they pale in comparison to the events that are yet to be posted.