On this venture to Africa, our team was small, made up of no more than five Americans along with our Malawian host, Happy Gondwe. Our American team consisted of Dr. Michael Lanier, Harrison Hunter, and the father and son team of George and David Dossett.
According to our normal procedures, whenever our team travels overseas for mission work, we depart on a Monday and arrive two days later. Knowing that it will take a couple of days to acclimate to a new time zone—usually seven or eight time zones earlier than at home—and because it seems best to remain nearby our arriving airport to insure our bags make the journey, we limit our first couple of days of ministry to nearby events.
Wednesday afternoon, we arrived in Lelongwe, Malawi, without incident. Even our bags made the trip, exceeding our normal expectations. Our hosts, Happy and Rey Malunga picked us up at the airport as they had on our previous four visits. That evening, we settled in for some much needed rest at Rey’s home. He and his wife Pat are always the epitome of gracious hosts. But that night spiritual battles began in earnest. During the evening, Michael suffered from an unrelenting night-time struggle with accusations, unworthiness, and worthlessness; leaving him completely depressed when we awoke the next morning. It was only after speaking about the matter with George that the heaviness lifted. Our spiritual enemy knew we had arrived and was there to greet us.
On Thursday, the team trekked through the “bush” for nearly two hours to reach a remote village for its first outreach ministry. People from the surrounding area had already arrived and were ready to hear what the men had come to share. So many had gathered in fact, that the service was held under the trees instead of the small church at the center of the village. As a result, 49 persons prayed for salvation and somewhere around 30 received healing for a variety of needs. When finished, the car-load again embarked on its off-road journey; this time back to Lelongwe and to Rey’s house.
By Friday morning, we were ready to travel by public transportation to Blantyre. Later that evening, while praying as a group in Happy’s home, George had a word that a woman that would be present the next day to receive some much needed ministry in the church we were to visit. No one knew the meaning or significance until the event unfurled.
The next morning (Saturday), the team ministered at the Champions in Christ where Happy was the senior pastor. Before the meeting began and during a time of team prayer for the meeting, Michael envisioned the presence of a woman with heavy burdens, hair back, and a striped dress, to which George added that the woman had no hope. As church members were arriving, George saw the woman—as described—sitting near the back of the church. He quietly stepped behind her, laying his hand on her shoulder. Immediately, she burst into tears. George than brought her to front for prayer where Michael prophesied regarding her hearing voices—which she affirmed—and then prayed that she be set free. There were a number of healings that day but no actual count was recorded. The mission trip was off to a strong start.