January 31, 2011

The power of visitation

I know as a pastor theologically and practically of the importance of visitation to peoples homes in ministry, but yesterday I really experienced a unique manifestation of it. There has been a guy in our church that I have been wanting to visit for a while, maybe 6 months, but something always got in the way. This past Sunday as he was leaving the church, I said to to him, "This week will be the week." Little did I know that God would confirm that. Yesterday as I was in town checking the status of our car under repairs, who do you think I saw on my way to the bus. You guessed it, Fred! I love it when that happens. We are in a city of 3 million people and you run into a church member who you have been thinking of visiting. I thought of Hebrews 4:7 that today if you will hear His voice harden not your hearts. God was telling me that Fred needs a visit so I said lets change the plans and go to your house. Fred agreed and we were on our way. As we walked I was asking him about his plans for going to Bible school and he said he sent a letter to our Bible School director, Pr. Nelson. Well guess who we run into on our way to the bus, yup, Pr. Nelson. We talked for a few minutes and then on our way. As we dropped off at the bus stop and were on our way to Fred's house, guess who we meet along the way! You got it - Kenneth, another church member, who was visiting a relative (By the way Fred lives pretty close to the church). We arrived at Fred's house, met his daughter, and mother; and we had a blessed time of fellowship. As it was time to leave, Fred accompanied me to the bus stop as is common here in Zambia to "push" someone home. On the way guess who we met. Man your good! Yup... another member, Bernard, who has a small business by the bus stop selling cookies and shoe polish (a winning combination - you always get hungry shining shoes). Bernard was so excited to have us visit his workplace and Fred was visiting with me so he was encouraged. It was incredible. As I got on the bus I felt like I was traversing the streets of Jerusalem in the first century, praising God for the power of visitation not only in church members lives but my own.

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