People are thirsty for us in Gabon

            When I left my wife said she would pray for thousands and thousands to receive him.  I thought she was being overly optimistic.  God has answered her prayer.  First time IC participant, Steve, shared those words at the Victory Rally on the last night in Gabon.  God answered his wife’s prayer and many others.

            The 14 Christian Missionary Alliance (CMA) churches we worked with in Libreville, Gabon really caught the vision of Operation Andrew and were diligent about prayer for their lost friends and setting up appointments for the team to go and share the gospel.  For many teams every visit they made during the week was to a set appointment that the church members had been praying for.  God honored those prayers and had hearts ready to receive the “Good News” of Jesus Christ and respond to His free gift of eternal life. 

            One Gabonese pastor said, My life will not be the same.  I first heard of Operation Andrew several months ago.  I never thought we had friends and neighbors who were just waiting on us to go tell them.  One man said, ‘I saw you go to church, I thought why you not ask me to go, or tell me why you go?’  I confessed and begged forgiveness in tears and then led him to the Lord.”

            Larry, IC Area Strategist for West Africa, did an outstanding job of training the churches at the retreat and Samuel, our national contact, provided excellent leadership in making sure all the pastors and churches were prepared for the project. 

            There were 20 Americans who answered God’s call for laborers to go and work in the Lord’s harvest fields.  “These fields are truly ripe unto harvest,” proclaimed 78 year old Allen who has been on more than 55 international mission trips around the world.  “I am blessed just to be here to witness it.”  Every participant had similar words of praise.

            The truly great thing about working with the national church members is that we are training them how to witness while they go out with us.  It is awesome to then see them take the lead and begin to share and become soul winners.  The excitement and joy on their faces is unforgettable.

            At Alliance Christian Church PK 8, the team of Connie and Stephen were able to share with the 9-16 year olds at the school next to the church building.  Throughout the week, classes of students were brought to the church in groups of 10-30.  These team members were allowed to share their personal testimonies and the Evangecube with the students.  Over 1,000 of the students prayed to receive Jesus as their savior and over 400 seeds were planted.  Many teachers also came to hear the gospel and at least 14 of them responded to the gospel.  Stephen expressed his joy by saying, “It is always great to share in schools and it always gives me goose bumps to be able to hear a large group all pray out loud for salvation.  But after the first two days, we had trained our three interpreters/church members how to use the Evangecube.  So we just sat back and watched as each of them took the lead and were able to share and lead these school children to the Lord.”  Pastor Henri expressed his joy by saying, “This is the first time we have been able to do anything with these children.  Now we have an open door to this school, the youth and their families.”

            Throughout the week American team members were able to share in homes and businesses with no hindrance from the government or other religions.  One night while waiting for their ride back to the hotel a young lady approached Naomi and asked, “How do I get my name on an Operation Andrew card?”  Naomi did not truly understand her real question at first, but then understood she wanted someone to tell her about Jesus.  Naomi realized God had brought a divine appointment to her.  She then shared her testimony, the cube and led the woman in the sinner’s prayer.  Naomi asked how she knew about Operation Andrew, and she said she had been in the church a few weeks earlier and had seen the banner on the wall and wanted someone to put her name on Operation Andrew but didn’t know how to ask.  It was a joyous time seeing them together as tears rolled down both their cheeks.

            Jude, Pastor at Soduco Church where Tim worked shared, “People are thirsty for us.  When we stay inside the church we don’t realize how people outside need the Lord.  We had 155 decisions this week.  This Operation Andrew method is extraordinary and simple.  Many times we overlook our own testimony.  Tim just shared his testimony and used it to tell people what Jesus has done in his life.  This week is a starting point for us.”

            God did an amazing “nature” miracle for us while we were there.  It was the rainy season and it normally rains every day.  The week before we arrived it and had rained from sun up to sun down on three days.  The church members knew the rain would hinder our visitation, so they began fasting and praying asking God to make it rain only at night.  God answered their prayers, and it rained almost every night and almost never rained during the day.  We serve a mighty God! 

            There were 4,645 men, women, boys and girls who indicated they had received Jesus into their hearts as Savior and Lord.  But the victory doesn’t stop there.  As one pastor professed, “The people we live within the quarters are waiting now for follow up.  We can grow at least 30 church members if we don’t forget about them.”  These CMA churches have seen and experienced God’s plan and how they can impact their area.  IC has been invited to do a National to National project and send teams to other areas of Gabon and their neighboring countries to share the gospel.

            Through the work of these 20 laborers, the prayers of the Gabonese believers and our American prayer warriors, the harvest continues in Gabon!

            “The Lord has done this, and it’s marvelous in our eyes” Psalms 118:23.