I deliberately did not set myself any expectations for what I was going to find in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe. I just wanted to arrive there and allow the place, the people and God to have an effect on me.
The team (Keith Dolding, Bob House, Peter Jones and I) arrived at Harare airport after a 24 hour journey. After we had purchased our visas and passed through customs we were met by Apostle Marko Adonai and his friend. We were loaded into a people carrier and set off on the 3 hour journey to the Joy Centre, Kwekwe. During the journey two huge tyres rolled off a lorry, out of the dark, straight into our path! Thank God that Marko’s friend was alert and managed to avoid them. When we arrived at the Joy Centre we were greeted by Naomi, Marko’s wife. After a short break we enjoyed some lovely food.
The next day, Thursday, was a day off, a chance to recover from the long journey. During the day we met two Zambians who were to be part of the preaching team: Pastor Joseph Malyangu from Livingstone and Bishop Leonard Chellah from Lusaka. The final member of the preaching team was Pastor Elias Mambo, who has recently moved from Cape Town to Harare.
Friday morning was set aside as a Leaders’ meeting. All four of the team from the UK preached and there was such anointing that all sermons flowed together. Those of us from the UK had a feeling that God was going to do great things.
On Friday afternoon Bob, Peter, Naomi and myself went into the city to do some shopping and get something to eat. There was such a change in prosperity, even from when Bob was last in Zimbabwe; there were now cafes, the shelves in the supermarket were filled and one of the supermarkets had had a facelift. After we had finished shopping Naomi took me to the local traditional market to get some vegetables. I was sure I was being laughed at by some of the stall holders because of what I was wearing!
Friday evening was when the conference started. The praise and worship was amazing, the people worshipped both with their voices and with their bodies; they danced their hearts out. Peter and Keith preached and a time of ministry followed. There were encouraging signs of God starting to move.
Pastor Mambo started the preaching on Saturday morning. He told us that God had allowed him to meet President Mugabe. He is the only journalist from an independent Zimbabwean newspaper ever to interview the president and one of the few independent journalists not to be arrested.
On Saturday evening Keith introduced everyone to fire tunnels and that resulted in an amazing move of God. There were so many people meeting with God in a new way, and afterwards people were queuing to give their testimonies on video.
On Sunday morning I talked about the Hillsong kids song ‘Jesus is my superhero’ as part of my sermon. After I finished Bob taught everyone the chorus to the song, complete with actions. Bob preached after me and then invited people forward for ministry. Again God was present and again people were touched by God, some were drunk in the Spirit, including me. Pastor Cephas, who was leading the meeting, was unable to continue as he was so overcome by the presence of God.
It would take too much time and space to share everything that happened at the conference. The simple truth is that God was present and brought with Him the renewal that we have been experiencing throughout the Barnabas network.For me, it has been an amazing, life changing experience. I met loving, welcoming people with an honouring spirit and a hunger to meet with God. My testimony is that I met with God afresh. He has led me to be more reliant on Him, which is great and has made me feel freer than I have ever done before.