One summer I was asked to go to Zimbabwe, Africa with Charles Ndifon. I brought a drummer, Ben Cantelon and a bass player, my son Josh, to help me with the music. Playing music for Africans is so much fun. They tend to feel music in ways that most white folks do not. We loved playing for the nightly crowds and also learning the different African musical grooves. North Americans make music groove on ‘2 & 4’ while Africans groove on ‘1 & 3’. It was great to see the crowds dancing to the music and worshipping God with their own African flavour.
One of the surprises on this trip was how cold it was during our outside meetings. I had forgotten how high the elevation was in Zimbabwe. In the evenings we could see our breathe as we sang and played outdoors. I did not bring any warm clothes so I needed to buy a warm jacket.
One day our team visited a local market and I asked an African lady if I could try on the jacket hanging on the wall of her stall. As I was putting the jacket on, I felt something rub against my right knuckle. You can imagine my huge shock when a large rat jumped out of the jacket sleeve and went scurrying along the market floor! I screamed and threw the jacket into the air! It totally freaked me out!
The whole market soon erupted into laughter! I quickly retreated and went outside and began telling my story to the rest of the team. Within a few minutes the little African merchant brought the jacket outside and asked me if I still wanted to buy it. I told her, thanks, but no thanks!
That trip was memorable in so many ways. I had travelled in Zimbabwe before, when it was called Rhodesia. Unfortunately, the country has gone a little downhill since the first time I visited. I had brought two other friends, Paul and Bonnie Weetman, from Canada. They were not used to African standards in hotels. The lack of cleanliness and broken fixtures in our older hotel was not working for them. So they moved to a bed and breakfast.
It was a good move for them until they asked for a fire to be built in their room because of the cold evenings. They had a fireplace in their room but their young African maid had grown up in a hut where they placed the fire in the middle of the hut. She was not really familiar with fireplaces. So you can imagine their surprise when they came back to their room to find it full of smoke. Not good! They soon moved back to our hotel. 🙂
At the end of our meetings, we would ask if people wanted to be prayed for. One evening in particular, there were about three thousand people at an outdoor venue. At the end of the evening there were hundreds who wanted to be prayed for, so we asked the people to stand in multiple lines. Each of us stood at the front of a line and prayed with dozens of people.
One young man came forward in my line with his family for prayer. As soon as I went to pray for him, he fell to the ground, fast asleep. I was totally shocked! His family was quite concerned and indicated that this happened anytime someone prayed for him. I had no idea what to do!?
Fortunately another member of the team, Everton Weekes, had the spiritual gift of discerning of spirits. He recognized that this young man had an evil spirit that caused this reaction. Everton quickly cast the demon out of the young man who suddenly awoke and was set free. For me, it was a quick education into spiritual realms that I had no idea about.
Question: Have you ever had an encounter with an evil spirit? Do you have any wild stories from a trip to Africa?
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