Many years ago, I was ministering in the little country of Malawi, located in the heart of Africa. Oh, I have such wonderful memories of this beautiful land, its sight, smells and smiling people. The mountains, valleys, farmlands, markets, and other attractions added to the hospitality and kindness of the people.
Lake Malawi is a jewel. The water is clear and blue. I loved snorkeling there, and feasted my eyes on the tropical fish dancing among the crevices of rugged rocks of the shore and islands. The sandy beaches were spotless, and the sun welcoming.
These moments were the little rewards the Lord gave me, (and later to Heidi, when she joined me,) after much strenuous labor among the people.
We preached in the dust and mud, from town to town, village to village, sleeping in mud huts, in our two-man tent (we pitched our little tent in the huts, which helped keep us from the annoying mosquitos, rats and other critters.)
The story I am about to tell happened long before Heidi and I were together. I was just a young evangelist, roughing it, and preaching the Gospel all around the world.
On this occasion, I did what I did everywhere – if I was not preaching in a church, I was preaching in the open air, with no microphone or sound system. We would often gather under a large Mango tree or two, which provided wonderful shade.
My ministry was simple: I would preach the Gospel, and then pray for the sick. Jesus said, “And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:7-8, NKJV.)
The Bible says, “Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick” (Luke 9:1-2, NKJV.)
This power to heal and deliver the sick and the afflicted is still available to us today. Why? Because Jesus is still in the healing business! And He does not change. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8, NKJV.)
JOEL'S NEWEST BOOK: