In the summer of 2003, I served on a six member Baptist mission team on route to Malawi, South Africa. Our mission was to preach the word of God in the Churches, markets, villages, public schools, and in the African bush. Our team members were Pastor Ronnie White and his wife Carolyn of Washington Street Baptist Church, Hobart OK. and Bryan Gould of Hobart. The other members from Altus First Baptist were Marjorie Porter, Martha Becerra, and I.
While evangelizing in Malawi, we witnessed thousands of people pray the sinner’s prayer. People were getting saved just about everywhere we went. It was a very exciting experience to see that many people hungry for God. We brought back many powerful testimonies of how God moved during that mission. There is one particular event that happened on that mission that has always left me in awe of God. It happened on the last day of the mission. We had stayed in a resort on Lake Malawi during our last week in Africa. On the last morning as we were getting ready to go back to Lilongwe, we were tying down our luggage on the top of the van. As I was bringing my last bag out of my room, I was stopped by a young Malawian named Nixon, who cleaned my room each morning, and his friend. Nixon asked me for my address so we could write one another. Nixon asked me what our team had been doing during our stay in his country. I explained that we were preaching the good news about the one true God who will one-day judge the world and how the people of Malawi can know Him through His Son Jesus. He looked at me with an awkward look as if he had never heard the story.
While I was hurriedly loading my bag, Nixon and the young man with him started talking to our driver and interpreter, Charles Malekano. After their conversation, Charles came over to me and said, "These two men want to hear the good news," I asked Charles if we had enough time and he said, "Yes." I shared Christ with them both as Charles skillfully interpreted. The two men accepted Christ with a childlike faith. After leading them through the sinner’s prayer, I gave them each a Gideon New Testament and explained our responsibility as new believers. I told them the importance of prayer and daily repentance, scriptural Baptism, reading and obeying the word of God every day, attending and becoming a member of a local church. As an act of thankfulness, I told them to go and tell others what God had done for them that day. As soon as I let those last words out of my mouth, they looked at each other with what seemed to be urgency and immediately took off running. I and the other team members finished loading the van, which took no more than ten minutes. As I looked around to see if we had forgotten anything, I noticed a group of Malawians, who were hotel staff members, approaching us. There was one man who was probably a foot taller than the others coming toward us. I greeted him with a handshake and asked if I could help him. He asked if I had any more Gideon Bibles that they could have. I gave them the last two Bibles in my possession. The tall man introduced himself as the hotel manager and said that Nixon mentioned the good news about Jesus. The manager asked us if we could please tell the whole staff about the good news. I asked him if they wanted me to share right there. The manager said, "Oh no, we have a place of honor set up on the beach waiting for you." As our team walked through the corridor, we could see several people setting up chairs on the beach. We followed the workers as everyone sat down. Charles introduced the team, one at a time, and then Bryan Gould preached the good news about Jesus. Charles led about 18 of the staff to Jesus. As I stood in awe of what God did in just minutes before our departure, we were truly witnessing a miracle. I believe Nixon and his friend must have run to tell all the staff about Jesus with such excitement that everyone had to know first hand about this Jesus. Maybe it was the look on his face or a tear in his eye that got their attention. I believe they truly saw a man set on fire by Jesus Christ. I hope and pray that we will all have that same fire that Nixon had that day as all the hotel staff were saved. Don’t You?