|The Bond Family in front of the Adventist Union Headquarters in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.|
Originally, we had planned that I, my wife, Conna, and our two older daughters, Emily Beth and Cheslea, would each preach at our own sites, and our younger two, Taylor and Adriana, would preach tag-team, at the Queen Elizabeth Adventist Children's Home, an orphanage here in Bulawayo. When we arrived, we were told that there were several sites that were without speakers, and Taylor (13) volunteered to take his own adult site.
On Wednesday evening. we met our elders and drivers for each of our sites. Taylor and I would be heading to the same general area on the outskirts of the west side of town. Our driver's name is Comfort, and his name fits him perfectly. He's a gentle giant—calm, gracious, and capable.
|A group of elders and young men from my site. My translator, |
Mkululi (Redeemer) is on the front row with a thumbs up.
I should tell you a bit about my site at this point. My site is not unlike many of the sites around Bulawayo. There is a One-day church at the location, but they've already outgrown the 150 or so people that can fit in a One-day church. They are using it as a Sabbath School facility for the younger population. There is an olympic pool-sized slab that will be the foundation of the church when all is said and done. And that is where my meetings are being held. Under the stars. And open to the wind.
I had a printed version of the notes, but with no moon, and no ambient lights at my site, it was pitch black. I thought, I could use my iPhone as a light source, and just read off of my printed notes. But I quickly found that with the wind blowing, there was no way to hold my microphone, my notes, and an iPhone flashlight to make it all work. My stapled notes were more like a flag, and it was nearly impossible to read from them.
I said a quick prayer, and put the notes down, and started to preach from memory. I was miraculously able to put the slides up on the screen using a "preview" app on James' computer... No notes. Just the basic slides. So with my plan B firmly in place, I started preaching my heart out to the 200 plus guests and visitors attending my meeting. And ya know what? God came through! I was able to preach the entire first sermon from memory, and it went great! I realized that if I could make it through that situation, I could survive anything. It's all been downhill since then.
We are each having a wonderful experience preaching at our individual sites. There has been rain, wind, blowing sand, power outages, generators running out of gas... you name it, it's probably happened... But through it all, God is working, people are responding, and we are being blessed.
Please keep our entire group of more than forty would-be international evangelists in your daily prayers. And pray for the thousands of people who are attending meetings here in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and in Livingston, Zambia!