There is an invisible string that is wrapped around my heart that draws me back to Malawi, Africa. When I first spent time there, I was asked to bring the Word of God to a certain village. It was the middle of a hot afternoon and I had to peddle a bicycle that had a broken seat for 15 km to get there. I was expecting to preach in a building, but instead was led to a tree in the middle of Chiputu Trading Center. Many people were set up to sell their wares. Three ministers from surrounding villages had come to help with the service and as we stood under the tree they started singing.
As their voices carried through the air, people stopped and listened to the songs about Jesus. Many people started to gather around the big tree. I could not understand the words to the songs, but I knew that the crowd understood. At first it was mainly children who threw caution to the wind and gathered around to listen and see the Mazungu ( white man). I had absolutely no idea of what I was going to say as I was prepared to speak to adults. As the crowd grew and the singing drifted through the air,my interpreter leaned over and said, “It is time for you to preach.” So with children crowding around me with no thought of fear and some adults hanging back with enough space to leave if they wanted, I shared a story about God’s love and offered this God to any that wanted to know more.
Hands of children and adults went up everywhere. I later learned that some very important men had come to the front for prayer. In broad day these men had knelt on their knees and asked for prayer. There were too many children to pray for each one, so I had to pray for the whole group. As I was leaving the spot from under the tree, I had children pressing on all sides to get close to me. What happened next became the calling card to my work in Malawi.