Advancing the Kingdom in Northwestern Zambia, Summer 2017 (Summary)

I (Dr. Michael Lanier) would like to leave you with a few final thoughts regarding IPICM’s most recent mission trip to Zambia, Africa.

Every mission journey is an adventure of its own. (This venture marked my 25th year—a quarter century of service in far-away corners of the world and I can confidently say that every quest is different.) Some will undoubtedly wonder if the challenges were a bit too costly for most people, but as the one that was knocked to the ground by an automobile, and one of several who patiently waited by the desolate roadside while a plan was devised to overcome the challenge of the blown out tire, I think the potential cost (in terms of experience) should never be feared. God provided us with numerous experiences we could never have otherwise encountered—and learned from. Our team was privileged to witness firsthand the wonderful works in which we were invited to share. These are the very memories we’ll forever remember, even with fond recollections after we reach that which lies beyond the boundaries of this life.

No one can ever truly know how many souls responded to a salvation message or even the number of bodies that received God’s miraculous healings. However, to summarize the 2 weeks of ministry, it appears that somewhere in the area of 278 individuals acknowledged their need to make Jesus Christ their Savior. Unfortunately, there is no way to know how many persons may have been divinely touched over the 3 nights of radio broadcasts, but God knows and that’s all that matters. In addition to the salvations, an estimated 625 received healing. Please keep in mind, whenever our team intercedes for the sick, immediately afterward, we tell each recipient “Now, do what you couldn’t do before.” We do this because we don’t want just to hear what God has done–but instead, we want to see the proof. As a result, healings are almost always clearly demonstrated!

While numbers can never be certain, I personally am left with the knowledge that many wonderful things–especially salvations and healings–took place during our time of serving the people of Zambia. Many were restored to a right relationship with God through the acceptance of Jesus Christ, and many more were physically healed.

I pray that everyone who desires, can someday experience events similar to those I’ve tried to describe through the many IPICM posts over the years. You can never truly know the blessings and wonders of a mission trip apart from experiencing an actual encounter. If you ever have an opportunity to go, do what Jesus always did: proclaim the Kingdom of God (remembering that Jesus is the King of that Kingdom) and heal the sick.

Thank you for your prayers. They are the fuel that drives our engine!

 

Dr. Michael Lanier, Executive Director

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Advancing the Kingdom in Northwestern Zambia, Summer 2017 (Week 2)

6/4—6/11

Pentecost Sunday morning marked the third and final day of the conference. Michael P. and Peter shared the preaching ministry with Dr. Michael moving in prophetic ministry afterward. During the open ministry time, 3 men were called forth to receive prophetic words. (Later referred to as the “triplets,” the 3 ministers that came forth had been sharing identical experiences in their lives—unknown to one another—including similar personal struggles and parallel congregational challenges. (The revealing words spoken to them were done so discretely and without a microphone.) Next, a call went forth for younger people to answer their own calls to ministry, to which 36 young adults responded. The morning service concluded with 2 more souls added to God’s Kingdom.

The afternoon was given to a Q and A session, with Harrison, Peter, Michael P., and Wendell comprising the panel. (We find that Q and A sessions are important because they allow everyone an opportunity to discuss some of the most important issues they may face and to shed light on passages of Scripture that often go unaddressed for years–if ever.)

The closing evening session witnessed the most beautiful event of the trip. The service began with Harrison preaching to a collection of about 150 individuals. During the service, the youth put on a skit to which Michael P. joined in, with the crowd joyfully expressing their pleasure with Michael’s performance. When all was done, another 10 prayed to become followers of Christ. But it was what followed that no one will ever forget.

With the meeting ready to close, Dr. Michael took the microphone. After requesting prayer for the upcoming Soweto crusade, Michael then declared, “We’re exhausted. We’ve given all we have. Now, we need your ministry to us.” After a moment of silence, a young lady in the middle of the assembly rose to her feet and began to sing the African hymn, We Need Your Power, followed by What a Friend We have in Jesus. The entire place sang in beautiful 4 part a Capella harmony with leaders and congregants surrounding the team; laying hands on all and offering beautiful heart-felt prayers. A pastor then read 2 Thess. 3:1-4 over the team Everyone in the place then lined up to shake the hands of the team’s members. Some wiped our feet with their clothing while others rolled on the floor—each act a demonstration of utter respect for those who’d came from so far away to share love and life in such a far-away place. Finally, everyone in great jubilation—including the mission team—broke into dance and celebration. What an awesome experience!

The next day (Monday), the team made its way back to Chingola—in the same over-crowded vehicle bopping down the same dusty, pothole-riddled, road. The only difference was the chicken–a new addition to the already crowded vehicle. But the additional rider wasn’t really a problem. In fact, its presence was very much appreciated the next day—at dinnertime.

Tuesday was a much-needed day of rest except for a meeting with 11 pastors. While the meeting was nothing out of the ordinary, a single event warrants mention simply to show the wonders of our God’s love. During the meeting, Dr. Michael mostly discussed the role of IPICM and the way it seeks to augment indigenous ministries. But there was 1 individual present that seemed to stand out to Michael; not because of anything he’d said or done. At the conclusion of the meeting, Dr. Michael approached and prayed for the man, sharing thoughts that could have only be prompted by the Spirit. As it turned out, the man had contacted Dr. Michael earlier in the year seeking a one-on-one meeting. Dr. Michael didn’t know the man, or that he was the one that emailed him seeking a meeting, and yet it seems the matters prayed over the man were matters that were ongoing in the minister’s life. In short, when the IPICM team returns in 2018, 2 services will be held in that pastor’s church.

Wednesday night marked the first of 3 nights of crusade meetings in the township of Soweto. Dr. Michael spoke to a gathering of about 260 persons, of which 82 prayed to receive Jesus Christ; another 24 received healing. Radio station KOKOLIKO, FM 94.9, the largest secular radio station in the “copper belt” region, broadcasted live the night’s meeting.

The next morning (Thursday), Dr. Michael led a pastor-leadership conference of 51 ministers in the very building that had been rented to house the new church that was launched in coordination with IPICM’s Soweto crusade.

That night, Michael P. brought the evangelistic message to a crowd of 450-500 in attendance. Approximately 225 received healing with 77 professing salvation. While the crusade was in progress, Dr. Michael delivered a live message from the KOKOLIKO radio station—a broadcast expected to reach a large swath of its northwestern Zambian listening audience.

On Friday morning, Harrison, Peter, and Michael P. visited the church plant where pastors and a number of new converts met to get acquainted. Everyone was enthused that a number of new believers actually showed to mingle with the team.

That evening, Wendell brought the third and final message to a crowd numbering 550-600 people. Around 60 individuals prayed to receive Christ and about 225 were healed. Like the night before, Dr. Michael returned to the radio station and brought a final 1 hour message to the listening audience.

On the next day (Saturday), the exhausted mission team made its way to the Ndola airport. Gratefully, the journey home was uneventful. As always, lives had been changed. (I refer specifically to the 2 first-timers—Michael P. and Wendell.) When not asleep or navigating some airport, everyone had much to ponder with regard to all our wonderful God had achieved.

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Advancing the Kingdom in Northwestern Zambia, Summer 2017 (Week 1)

For 2 weeks, the IPICM team of 5 Americans and a Zambian national travelled the “copper belt” region of northwestern Zambia, conducting pastoral-leadership training seminars, broadcasting 3 nights of evangelistic radio messages, holding a 3 night crusade in a socially disengaged community and establishing a church plant in that same community, and all while distributing bibles and reading glasses.

Two of the team’s members (Michael Pruitt and Windell Garrett) were new to Africa, while Peter Valenzuela celebrated his return from the previous year. Dr. Michael Lanier and Harrison Hunter were veteran missionary-evangelists, having ministered in Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia over the previous 6 years.

As you’re about to read, God did marvelous works in terms of salvations, wonders, and one occasion, turned the devil’s attempt to slay the righteous into a thing of glory. With regard to the latter, where there are those willing to answer God’s call to serve, our Master’s work will not be thwarted.

5/27—6/3

The team departed the United States in 3 groups over the course of the first weekend, arriving within hours of one another in Ndola, Zambia, on Tuesday, May 30th. With everyone united, joy was a bit muted as it became immediately apparent that some of the bags failed to complete the journey—again—and as it would turn out, at least one failed to find its way to its owner before the last day!

That night, after everyone had retired to their rooms, the degree of the ensuing spiritual battle quickly began to reveal itself: one of the “first- timers” sought Dr. Michael’s intercession; struggling with severe thoughts of unworthiness and accusations. The battle continued the next morning (Wednesday) when Dr. Michael awoke with his own spiritual struggle. A short time later, another first-timer shared how his dreams had been invaded with “provocative” images. As it turned out, all 5 men experienced accusative night-time attacks, clearly demonstrating the presence and hatred of a very real spiritual enemy.

After breakfast, a time was set aside for shopping, but as events played out, no one could anticipate what would soon take place. While the team slowly made its way across a parking lot toward a series of shops, Dr. Michael never saw the car that clipped his leg, knocking him to the ground. It seemed as time had stopped as he lay there writhing in pain, holding his hyper-extended knee. A crowd quickly gathered. When able to again stand, Dr. Michael hugged the driver of the car, assuring the driver that all was forgiven. He then turned to the crowd and proclaimed “what the enemy meant for evil, God meant for good.” (Gen. 50:20) Following the unprompted message, 13 men in the crowd prayed for salvation; some of which later joined the team at a local church meeting. The overall experience was well worth the pain, though Dr. Michael walked with a cane for the duration of the mission trip.

That evening, Harrison and Peter co-preached at the Ndola Bethel Mission church, to an attendance of 53 adults; 3 of which received Jesus Christ. Michael P. and Wendell joined in ministry as the team prayed for healing. (Dr. Michael stayed back to rest and recover.) Among those healed were 4 church members that had cataracts; 2 with misshapen corneas; 1 received restored hearing; and others that had suffered from hypertension, knee and back problems, anxiety, along with a child that suffered from tachycardia.

On the next day (Thursday), the team departed Ndola for Chingola and then Solweizi. Picture if you will, 7 men travelling in a car fitted with 3 bench seats and the vehicle’s back end overly packed with seemingly endless baggage. To add to the obvious discomfort shared by all, the 7-hour journey from Chingola to Solweizi was along mostly pothole-stricken pavement or bumpy dirt roads. Now, add to your imagination clouds of red dust wafting by rolled-down windows, with handkerchiefs stretched across every nose. Truly, missions to the back-side of the world is not for the faint of heart!

After staying the night in Solweizi, the team shared another eventful day (Friday) as they made their way to the small bush community of Kasempa. In many parts of African backcountry, vehicular traffic is uncommon. (Highway traffic—if it exists—is mostly comprised of oxcarts, bicycles, and pedestrians.) The road to Kasempa was all but deserted when the vehicle’s left front tire blew. Thankfully, there was enough tread on the spare to replace another tire, which in turn, replaced the blown tire, thus allowing the team to eventually limp its way to its destination. No one dared ponder the likelihood of additional surprises.

Over the course of 48 hours, 7 congregations completed their march through the bush to converge on Kasempa for the upcoming leadership conference; some believers walking for as many as 50 kilometers (31 miles).

During the opening meeting, the bush came alive with the praise music; the kind that only an African a Capella choir of many voices could offer. Following the heavenly praise, Michael P. brought a message and led 1 individual to Christ. That evening, with most of the conference’s participants present, Peter preached to an estimated attendance of 150, with most present praying to get right with God.

The next morning (Saturday), Dr. Michael taught on the Kingdom of God; specifically, with regard to the role of believers in the Kingdom. An invitation to receive Christ followed with 30 souls professing their need for the Savior. After lunch, a second session commenced: recapping the morning session; including a discussion on the place of spiritual gifts in confirming the Kingdom message; and a general Q and A session.

The evening service was marked with unquestionable power. Harrison brought the message to an assembly of 180 souls, with 10 praying to receive Christ Jesus. Afterward, Peter prophesied that there were people present with medical needs, which he was careful to specify. In all, 6 individuals—1 responding to each specific prophetic utterance—came forward; healing was spoken over each one; and all 6 received their healing. Then Dr. Michael addressed the crowd, speaking healing, to those seeking physical restoration. Approximately 100 persons received healing, demonstrating as much by doing what they couldn’t do just moments prior. Those that didn’t receive healing were again prayed for by the rest of the team with about 35 more healed by the close of the meeting. Some of the healings include a short foot that was lengthened; 2 individuals with side, arm, or leg paralysis were healed; a woman using “witches clay” renounced the practice and was healed; lungs were cleared; many backs, neck, shoulders, ears, knees and more, were healed.

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Powerful Ministry in Northwestern Zambia, Summer 2016 (Summary)

Over the span of three weeks, 52 people prayed for salvation. In addition, the Holy Spirit ministered prophetically in a manner similar to what we read of Agabus (Acts 11:28; 21:10-11). (Our notes indicated a specific count of 27 utterances, but team notes were twice vague on unrecorded numbers. All words were verified accurate by their recipients and many were videoed.) Another 348 received healing, although numerous others were never counted on three occasions. The final tally may have approached 400. And yes, while I’m acutely aware that most Western Christians will never accept such things, try to remember that American Christianity, along with its prejudices, is only a small segment of today’s Christian population, and that most of the Spirit’s ongoing supernatural wonders still occur where the Kingdom of God continues to advance.

In addition to presenting summary figures, I (Dr. Michael Lanier) would like to conclude our ministry posts with a personal touch. While I don’t feel the need to belabor the more supernatural points, I’d like to take a moment to tell you something of a most moving experience. 

I witnessed something I’m afraid I’ll never be able to adequately describe. You’ll need to use your imagination on this one. Somewhere between Zambesi and the end of the world, our vehicle pulled over to a roadside taxi stop so we might greet some of our fellow sojourners from Kabompo. They were waiting for a connecting ride and would soon join us in Zambesi. (Picture a gathering of people patiently waiting on the side of the road for a bus—a metal entity on wheels that has no apparent concept of time or schedule—in the heart of a vast African savanna. And they were waiting without complaint.) Before we could depart our car, everyone, in complete unison, broke into spontaneous song and dance, praising God for His greatness. How difficult it was to hold back our tears. Minutes later, a small bus carrying more church members pulled to a stop about one quarter of a mile behind us. As the bus unloaded and we were recognized in the distance, its travelers immediately raced down the highway—running like a herd of wildebeests—ready to join in the celebration. Soon, everyone was singing and dancing amid the euphoria that only African believers can generate. What beauty! How wonderful it was to experience such joy in such a wonderful people. How infectious! I freely admit, they were not the only ones dancing at the taxi stop. 

Jesus told us we will always have the poor among us, but truly the term “poor” is relative. To try to describe the material poverty of the places we visited would be futile. Even so, material poverty means little from an African perspective. Children playing in dirt roads with nothing more than a toy car made from wound wire and pushed with a stick, or young men playing soccer with a ball made from bound plastic bags, is an everyday thing. No one seems aware of their material poverty. Their richness is something quite different. 

I’ve traveled far and wide over my 24 years of doing mission-evangelism and I can say without doubt, African believers are truly rich in ways westerners often fail to comprehend. In truth, they may know little about Christian doctrine, and many don’t have access to a bible, but they know how to celebrate life more than anyone I know. Imagine watching competing congregations singing and dancing their expressions of adoration under a big-top tent illumined by nothing more than a single solar charged light. Now, still with song in ear, step away from the tent and add to your imagination the majesty of our God’s starry overhead display in the black of night. Yes, African Christians are truly rich—and they are blessed!

May we never tire from serving such a wonderful people. 

Dr. Michael Lanier, Executive Director

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Powerful Ministry in Northwestern Zambia, Summer 2016 (Week 3)

6/5—6/15

Monday was a day of travel to Kabompo where the team met and stayed with their host and pastor of Word of Life Church, Steven Kajila. For the remainder of the mission trip, Harrison, Michael, and Stephen would minister in the “bush.”

Tuesday marked the first day of ministry in the northwestern and furthest stretch of the mission trip. In the single street township of Kabompo, several church congregations from outlying communities came together that afternoon. All met under the large tent that had served the needs of Word of Life Church for some time. Ninety-nine souls were in attendance for the seminar presented by Michael. Two prophetic words followed, but without a time of healing.

On the following morning (Wednesday), Harrison preached to a gathering of 64, with one individual praying for salvation. Following the meeting, the team packed their belongings and journeyed to the end of the highway—literally—marking the furthest extent of the road system in northwestern Zambia. The team would spend the next two days in a village outside the township of Zambesi; so named after the nearby river from which the nation of Zambia also received its name.

The night of our team’s arrival, Harrison preached to an estimated 125 in attendance; under a tent in the heart of a village dotted with abundant mud brick huts with thatched roofs. Picture attending a tent service without electricity (the village was without water and electricity) with only a single solar powered light to dimly light the speaker’s platform and you’ll begin to what most evening services are like in Africa. Following the message, approximately two-thirds of those present received demonstrable healings. (As at all times, IPICM’s policy is that anyone claiming to be healed is asked to prove their claim of healing is true, if their affliction is of a nature that can be demonstrated.) Healing was first spoken over those in need, but as is common, a small number (fourteen) did not receive healing when it was spoken. They were quickly invited to come forward to have hands laid on them and healing was commanded a second time. On the second attempt, all fourteen received their healing.

Many testified of their healings at the close of the service, but because of its unusual nature, only one will be mentioned here. The pastor’s wife had suffered from a twisted, dislocated stomach for 11 years. At the moment everyone was told to place their hands on the part of their body in need of healing—which she also did—as the command for healing was spoken, her stomach miraculously snapped back into its normal position. Psychosomatic? Hardly!

On Thursday morning, 45 persons heard Harrison bring a message. Later in the day, with their work done in Zambesi, the team returned to Kabompa and the Word of Life Church. That evening, Michael spoke to a crowd exceeding 200, with 35 of those present praying to receive Jesus and God’s gift of salvation.

On the following morning (Friday), Michael taught the final Kingdom of God seminar lesson to an attendance of 209 church leaders and members from various communities.

In the afternoon, a number of pastors met with Harrison and Michael for an informal question and answer session. If was then that Michael was first struck with how little many pastors truly understand of the basics of Scripture. Cultural beliefs, as noted in many of the pastors’ questions, were clearly inserted and deeply embedded within Christian doctrine. Furthermore, roughly half of those present didn’t possess bibles and of those who did, some couldn’t read theirs’ as they had no reading glasses.

Also in the afternoon, the team witnessed a group of pastors attempting to cast a “demon of affliction” out of a woman. The woman was lying on the group with several men standing over her shouting, “Come out, come out, come out . . . .” There was no noticeable result. The team did not interfere. (It wasn’t until the next day that the pastors asked the team if they could help, that a simple word of healing was spoken and the woman rose to her feet, healed.)

Stephen Kaindu, the Regional Director of IPICM and fellow team member, brought the evening message with over 200 believers present. Following the sermon, 40 were healed when the command for healing was again spoken. In addition to the healings, two people were saved during the service.

Saturday marked the final day and night of ministry in Kabompo with the usual number in attendance. Harrison spoke in the morning. Stephen brought the afternoon message. Later in the day, Michael held another information question and answer session with 7 pastors.

In the evening, Harrison preached the final service at the Word of Life Church with more than 200 present. One received salvation with another thirteen receiving healing by verbal command. Five individuals did not receive their healing. Those that didn’t receive came forth for additional ministry. Michael had the ten pastors present to divide into teams of two; lay their hands on their person; directed them to command healing; and when finished, inquire whether healing had come. With the one exception that was more a counselling situation, all testified they were healed at the hands of local pastors.

On Sunday, the team began their homeward-bound journey, with a stopover for the night in Solwezi. Then the following day, they made their way to Ndola where they spent the night. The next morning was the day of their departure. By Wednesday, Harrison and Michael were home with their families.

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Powerful Ministry in Northwestern Zambia, Summer 2016 (Week 2)

5/29—6/4

Sunday marked the first of a three-day event in Manyama, northwestern Zambia. The team arrived at Bethel Mission Church where two local churches came together for a combined total of 180-200 in each meeting. Following some of the most beautiful acapella music imaginable, Michael began the service with his Kingdom of God teaching, which was followed by Peter and a message intended to share the teaching’s application.

With teaching and preaching concluded, it was time for ministry of a different nature—prophetic ministry followed by a time of healing. (The team usually ministers in this order to prevent chaos. People are genuinely interested in hearing the prophetic words that are spoken over members of the congregation, but once healings begin to manifest, things can quickly become chaotic.) It was during the prophetic time that Michael called for the man he’d seen in his vision the night before during prayer time. Michael called but there was no response. After a moment, thinking that perhaps the vision was for another day, the crowd erupted in applause as the aging man rose to his feet. Sitting near the back of the church, he made his way forward. Not to belabor the prophetic element, everything was just as the Spirit had revealed the night before. Words of revelation and encouragement poured over the man, to which he acknowledged the validity and accuracy at the conclusion of his time of ministry. In all, seventeen people received prophetic words—all of which confirmed their accuracy—and 57 received and demonstrated their healings when healings were commanded in mass from the front of the church. (When the crowd is too large for individual laying on of hands, and when the Spirit leads, mass healing is usually spoken over the assembly. This practice was first put into action at a meeting in Nepal three years earlier and is recorded as a blog post.)

As an added note, this was the first meeting and first year that mass healings were regularly videoed. In this particular meeting, with the sunlight waning and the absence of electricity, the video slowly erupts in applause and then shouts of joy as silhouetted figures frantically wave their hands in demonstration of each individual’s manifested healing. It is a remarkable sight to behold!

Some wondered how Monday could top Sunday’s meeting. Harrison brought an application message to the Kingdom of God theme shared the previous day. Happy then spoke on the authority Christians have over healing. Among the initial 125 in attendance, there were 11 prophetic words in the morning and a number of healings in the afternoon.

One notable event should be mentioned. A woman brought her “rebellious son” forward for prayer. As Peter began to pray for the son, the mother instantly shot backward, landing on a number of children sitting nearby. Laying there, manifesting odd behavior, several in the church whisked her away to another room where they prayed for her deliverance. The children were unharmed—only startled (along with most of the team).

By the close of the day, many others had joined the meeting. With the light of day failing, the service was closed with a second day of mass healing via the spoken command. Around 120 receiving healing in this manner.

Tuesday marked the third and final day of ministry in Manyama. Happy had already departed for home, leaving at sunrise, and everyone else was scheduled to leave that afternoon. What was initially looking like an epilog was about to explode into something very different. Peter brought a message to a gathering of about 150 in attendance, which was followed by an extraordinary time of prophetic and healing ministry. Michael declared, “There’s a woman here that has a secret that no one knows and she’s unable to have intimacy because of it.” No one came forward until a lady—who was sobbing so loudly that she had become a distraction—approached the team and whispered, “I am HIV positive and I’ve told no one. Because of this, I can’t be intimate.” The team ministered to her and we trust God will act accordingly. A blind elderly woman who’d endured a failed surgery to restore her sight, came forward for prayer. Not only did God prophetically address some special areas of concern that only the woman knew, but he completely healed her from blindness—all of which was captured on video. A young boy of about 3 years of age, carried on his mother’s back, was prayed for. As the boy could not stand on his own, his mother held him up while the team prayed for his healing. Nothing happened at that moment. Only after the service concluded in another 15-20 minutes, did Michael see the child running—that’s “running”—outside the church, causing many to gather around. Again, that too was videoed.

Wednesday was a day of travel back to Solwezi and a small measure of rest. Peter began his preparation to return to America, leaving Harrison, Michael, and Stephen to minister the final week. Before his departure, Peter ministered one last time in Ndola.

On Thursday, at the Bethel Mission Church in Solwezi, Harrison and Michael ministered to a gathering of 33 church members. Following the message, there were healings and prophetic utterances as the team had come to expect, but two prophecies in particular stood out. In each case, the individuals were called forward; both of which received explicit words containing details of specific and recent events in their lives, and what God desired to come of those events. The first, a young man who was seeking his place in ministry, had been coaxed by two friends to join them in a ministry scheme with the goal of ministering Christ for money. The Spirit shared details and explicitly warned the individual not to take part. (The young man’s wide-eyed expression was caught on video; a testimony to the word’s accuracy in its own right.) Next, an older man was called forward. God assured him he would be given wisdom to deal with his burden for younger men who were going astray. The Spirit then spoke of a particular young man he would reach by describing the teenager; how he would often hang his head and move things around with his foot in a particular manner. As it turned out, the individual was his son. At the service’s conclusion, both men stood and testified to the accuracy of their words and how they were encouraged.

Friday saw a continuation of ministry in Bethel Mission Church. Harrison brought the message to an attendance of 57 and Michael prophesied to four individuals.

On Saturday, the remaining team ministered one final time at Bethel Mission Church. With 51 in attendance, Michael taught and then conducted a question and answer session. Four individuals received prophetic utterances.

That evening, at Cruswell’s home where the missionaries had been staying, there was a time of prayer for the family. Harriet, who had had bad knees, was healed of her affliction; something she was willing to demonstrate.

The next morning (Sunday), the team conducted its final service at Bethel Mission Church. Thirteen of the 177 souls present prayed to receive salvation. The congregation was then asked if there were any who were in need of healing to which many raised their hands. As is common in a large group situation, healing was commanded in the name of Jesus. All but six of the 66 who indicated their need for healing were healed. The six were then called to come forward to have hands laid on them. All were healed, though a single case of Malaria could not immediately be confirmed.

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Powerful Ministry in Northwestern Zambia, Summer 2016 (Week 1)

For years, whenever the core team of IPICM has travelled afar to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with other cultures, there has been something of a price to pay. Although sometimes aimed directly against the team members themselves, in more recent years, family members have often received what can only be described as the brunt of Satan’s wrath. The ongoing record is far too lengthy to be discussed here. But as it happened, this year proved to be little different from years past. For example, three members of Harrison’s family, in three different parts of the country, visited hospital emergency rooms the week before the team’s departure. That same week, Michael’s parents each received disparaging health diagnoses and his sister was quickly scheduled for major surgery. And these were only the beginnings of what both men were forced to endure while on the mission field. It might also be noted that in the two weeks that followed their returns home, Harrison’s problems continued with his “car from hell,” while Michael’s father was hospitalized twice in the same week that Michael himself was treated for pneumonia. Just a coincidence? (Michael’s father passed away five weeks following his return.)

What has always stood out to those forced to put up with the enemy’s tactics, is something of a silver lining. We know the enemy of the faith would never work so hard if he didn’t have so much to lose. We at IPICM freely admit, our goal is to plunder the kingdom of darkness. What you are about to read is evidence of that goal’s partial fulfillment.

5/23—5/28

By Monday evening, the team of three—Dr. Michael Lanier, Harrison Hunter, and Peter Valenzuela—begun their journey, resulting with their meeting up in New Jersey. Harrison and Peter flew from Arizona, whereas Michael departed from Texas. Harrison’s daughter, Kellee, was kind enough to pick up the team from the airport at late-night intervals. By daybreak, the three men launched out on what was to be a memorable trek. First, they had to hasten to catch a bus in Weehawken—in the rain, dragging their bags in tote—to take them to the Port Authority hub. Nearly missing their stop—which they would have missed had it not been for an observant fellow passenger—they travelled to New York where they then hooked up with the subway system. The goal was to make it to JFK Airport in time for their morning flight. The greatest concern was for potential delays associated with the morning commute and then a potentially long wait at TSA security. But God’s grace was with the team, as it made the jaunt without incident. Even TSA was virtually empty, though it had been in the news for weeks for having as much as two hour waits at many major airports.

Tuesday was spent in the air between New York and Johannesburg, South Africa. The flight, though long (15 hours over the Atlantic Ocean), was uneventful and very tiring.

By Wednesday afternoon, the team had made its way from Johannesburg to the town of Ndola, in northwestern Zambia. I’ll pause to share a bit of humor. Not knowing exactly what to expect when flying into Zambia, as it was expected to be different from the normal border crossing, the team followed the precise instructions for entry as stated on the official Zambian Embassy website. However, the tree men quickly learned that nothing on the site seemed to apply. Passports were stamped without need for visa applications, yellow fever card, etc. When Michael inquired as to why our visa forms were not needed as stated in the websites conflicting info, “Misinformation!” was the only response offered. Okay. In hindsight, it’s better to have what’s requested and not need it than . . . .

Stephen Kaindu—who would serve as the team’s host for the next three weeks—met the men at the airport. After a bit of brief business (buying food and phones), the team made its way to a local guest house were everyone began their adjustment to African time; preparing for the immanent “jet lag” ordeal.

Thursday was slated for the first day of ministry. The team had been asked to bring a devotion to a gathering of teachers at a nearby school. As is often the case in Africa, Michael and Harrison—the latter designated to speak—arrived late and were given just three minutes to present a word. Not a good start, but they managed their assignment. The rest of the day was given to some much needed rest. The team was also joined by our Malawian friend and partner, Happy Gondwe, who travelled a grueling trek by bus to join the team in northwestern Zambia.

On Friday, the full team ministered at Bethel Mission Church, in Ndola. Michael taught the first of several lessons on the Kingdom of God, with Harrison following-up with the application and Peter sharing that Jesus is “the unchanging miracle worker.” Those in attendance numbered 123, with one individual praying for salvation. The meeting marked the first of a three-week long series of prophetic and healing services.

Saturday was a travel day. The team rented a car to take them first to Solwezi and later to Manyama; the team was scheduled to minister at the latter for the next three days. The drive was truly an eye opening event. The men travelled for an unrelenting eight hours down a highway that was sometimes wide enough for a single vehicle, and sometimes nothing more than a dirt road. The journey was rough but not entirely unexpected. No one complained. When the team finally arrived in the sleep town of Manyama, the sun was already nearing the end of its day. The men setup home in the Washi Washi Guest House, where a meal, bath, bed, and some much needed rest were welcomed by all.

At this point, one additional note should be added. The three men, along with their African partners, met for prayer before turning in for the night. During prayer time, Michael received a vision that the team would minister to a tall, slim, aging man with greying hair and beard on the next day. The man is “distraught, in despair, and hopeless” came the accompanying words. Although no one truly knew the magnitude of what to expect the coming morning, Michael shared that he believed the team was about to embark on some of the most powerful meetings they would experience over the course of the coming three weeks. Little did he know just how true his words would be.

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