AFRICAN CONVENTIONS
IN ZIMBABWE, ZAMBIA, MALAWI, KENYA & UGANDA
APRIL 2004

Leaving home on the 1 April, 2004 at 12.30 pm, I arrived at Harare International Airport, Zimbabwe, about 29 hours later at about 10 am, on the 2 April, 2004. The trip took me via Bangkok, Addis Ababa and Nairobi through long connecting flights. However, I managed to take several naps in-between and arrived in Harare in a fairly good state.

Bro. James Veremu and two members of his assembly received me at the airport. He told me that the meetings were to start that very evening. I was taken to a believing family's home, a farming family whom I had always stayed with whenever I was in Harare.

There were several ministers and believers from other churches present during the meetings. Meetings were held twice a day. Also, I was invited to preach to a sister church which was about an hour's drive away.

Bro. James took me for a visit to the VOG Recording Library in Harare. There the librarian asked me a question: "Why are you such a controversial person?" In replying that it was because I believed in the message of the prophet which pointed me back to the Word and therefore I preached from the Word, he replied: "The Bible needs no further interpretation. It had been interpreted by the prophet, and all mysteries had been revealed."

I asked: "Then why are you a preacher? What's the use of the 5-fold ministry? There's no need for that as everyone can hear for themselves what Bro. Branham spoke on the tapes. And if all mysteries were revealed, tell me what's the mark that God put upon Cain, what's the sin of Ham, and where's the garden of Eden?"

Well, needless to say, the answers from such a man were the same uttered by all Branhamites Ė "just say what the tapes say and what Bro. Branham never taught won't hurt us, we don't need to know about it".

I came to know later in my trip that my books had been seized from one of the churches by some Branhamites and burnt or destroyed. This incident happened just a few years back.

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On the 9 April, 2004, I left for Zambia, arriving in Lusaka airport. The flight was delayed.

I have been in Lusaka before and I did not like the spirit of many of the ministers. I went back this time on account of the leading of the Lord to help a young sincere minister fulfil his desire for my visit there to help his assembly and ministry. Here is his report of the convention:

ZAMBIA CONVENTION REPORT by Andrew C. Phiri
[P. O. Box 32971, Lusaka, Zambia, C. Africa. E-mail: acphiri2003@yahoo.com]

Zambia, located in the southern part of Africa, with Lusaka as its capital city, is one of the countries in which The End Time Message is well spread. Even so, sad but true, Branhamism has penetrated the country. On the other hand there are some who deny being Branhamites and claim to believe in the 5-fold ministry, yet they would follow certain ministers whom they make their absolute. The appalling thing is the instability of many ministers. It is not uncommon for ministers to be swayed by someone from oversees who has the money. The common excuse given is that all who are in the message need to be united. Some ministers who once had sound doctrines have even sold their "birth right" in their pursuit of financial support from other wealthier ministers. There is a dearth of gallant ministers who are able to take a firm stand on the Word even if it means feeding on bread and water. Because of this, Africa has become a dumping place of all trash doctrines especially from Caucasian ministers. Already Zambia has accommodated a lot of false doctrines such as "Two Souls", "Polygamy is okay", "Seven Thunders are seven virtues", "William Brahnam is the Absolute", etc. But I thank God that where ever His elects are He provides security. Had it not been for the 5-fold ministry at work, the whole message world would have been in a complete mess. But God has men today in the ministry, sincere men with no ambition of creating an ism or gaining popularity. God has used them to clear up a lot of misconceptions. Brother Richard L.S. Gan of Singapore is no exception. Looking at how God has conspicuously been using him to clear up a lot of misconceptions and give the Bride of Christ some food to feed on, I strongly felt led to invite him for the 2004 Bible Conference which my local church annually holds. This was to take place from 10th to 12th April, 2004. As this conference would involve an international speaker, I decided to publicise it to the message believers around the country. Even so, as a local church we decided to finance the whole budget so as not to impose the burden on anyone.

No sooner had Bro. Gan confirmed his coming, then preparations began. I got an overwhelming response from all those who were invited. One could not help but notice the great anticipation people had for this conference: It became the "everyday talk" of the believers, especially those who have been blessed by the ministry of Prophetic Revelation. One impressing thing was that people were not just interested to see the man Richard Gan Ė author of Prophetic Revelation books, but a lot could say, "I know that when he comes I will learn a lot of deep things from Godís Word". People could hardly wait for the day of this conference. Also, one could not help but get moved by the commitment of believers towards this conference. Despite the economic crisis in Zambia, poor believers emptied their pockets to give what little they had for the success of this long awaited convention. (About a week before the convention, the money was already enough to meet all the expenses. However we were suddenly caught up in a financial hitch when the administration of the college, where we were supposed to hold our meetings, doubled the amount of the fee we had to pay. Furthermore we were told that we were not allowed to have the people pass the nights at the venue, and that we were also to provide our own chairs. This was really expensive for us. Just to hire the chairs for the number of people we were expecting was unbearable. This made Bro. Gan to come in and pay for the extra expenses. If there is a part I hated, this is it. We greatly appreciate him for that).

One encouraging thing was the positive attitude that the believers had towards this convention. They did not just want a mere outward revival but an inner revival to bring about a renewed attitude towards Godís Word. Believers went on praying and fasting for one month, on and off. Prayers offered were not just for the Lusaka meetings but for other meetings that Bro. Gan had been scheduled to hold in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda and Kenya.

On 9th April, 2004, the day before the convention non-Lusaka residents had already started arriving in good numbers with great anticipation that they would learn the deeper things of God during the three days of the convention. Some believers came by faith without any return fares, believing that what was important was being at the convention. (Indeed, at the end of the meetings believers gave an offering to help pay the fares for those who did not have any.) Lusaka believers did not hesitate to open up their homes to accommodate different believers who had come from far places.

About two weeks before the date of the convention, I had a dream in which I saw Bro. Gan arriving in the evening, not according to schedule. In the dream he was supposed to come some time before 6 p.m. but the schedule changed and he arrived in the evening. This dream came to pass exactly.  Bro. Gan was scheduled to arrive at 5.30 p.m. on 9th April arrived at 7.30 p.m.  Bros. John Kasonde and Chavula and I received Bro. Gan and took him to the cheapest hotel nearest to the venue of the convention. Other hotels were expensive and far from the venue. So Bro. Gan decided on that. The water system in that hotel was bad. Sometimes there was no water. On his first night, Bro. Gan had a bad stay. The mosquitoes entered the room through windows that could not be closed properly. The hotel also did not have good food, so a few sisters had to prepare him his food.

DAY I: APRIL 10, 2004.
By 8 a.m., the hall was already occupied. The meeting started with praise and worship. The atmosphere was filled with praise as the people waited for the preaching of Godís Word. At 10 a.m., I was at the pulpit to welcome all the visitors. Thereafter I introduced the guest speaker and called him up to greet the people. He was to give his first message in the afternoon (second session) on that first day. That morning I gave an introductory message: "Past the Riven Veil" in which I mainly reminded the believers of the need to go deeper into the things of God. I called Bro. Gan to the pulpit at 3 p.m. Just that first message he preached that day was enough to stir up a lot of people to renew their attitude towards Godís Word. I could see some people smile at each other when they heard something that they had never heard before. People were surprised at the way he could bring out certain things in consistency with scriptures that has for a long time confused the Branhamites. That day Bro. Gan taught for 3 hours as was scheduled. At the end of the teaching I went to the pulpit and said, "More is coming tomorrow." After the service my deacons, who were ushering people, said to me, "Pastor, not even one person dosed during the preaching!"  One statement I kept hearing from the people was that Bro. Gan is a true apostle. People could hardly wait for the second day. If time was rubber they certainly would have stretched it.

DAY II: APRIL 11, 2004.
The second day of the convention was an interesting day.  Bro. Gan had a tight schedule. He had to teach for a total of 6 hours, 3 hours in the morning and the other 3 hours in the afternoon. One interesting thing was that one felt like he only
spent 30 minutes listening to the sermon when it had been for 3 hours. On second day more people came and the hall was filled to capacity. It was interesting to see everyone with pen and paper. On this second day the subject was, "The Deep Sleep of Adam". A lot of deep things were taught that space does not allow me to write all the details. What surprised me was that some people with little or no education at all could understand the deep things that were taught. I did not expect that. I can only say that it was nothing but God giving the people skill to understand His Word .

When the people realized that the next day was the last day of the convention, they felt like extending the days of the convention. When the meeting ended on this second day, believers lifted up their voices praising God for this wonderful time He had given them to hear things they had never heard before. The atmosphere was filled with great praise and worship.

DAY III: APRIL 12, 2004.
The last day of the meetings was similarly scheduled for 6 hours in two sessions.  Bro. Gan taught on when Christ died and was resurrected. I have to say that words cannot fully express how believers appreciated the deep teaching he presented on that last day. Unlike the first and the second days, a lot of people complained that the teaching was deep and hard to comprehend, perhaps because of a lack of Bible knowledge. My own church members requested me to teach the same subject on one of our Sunday services. One of the ministers even said that not more than five ministers understood the lesson that day. A lot of ministers got challenged and I heard some of them say, "I will now start studying the Bible hard".

In conclusion, I would like to say that Bro. Ganís simplicity and humbleness stunned a lot of people. From his preaching one could see how the man is sincere and honest with himself. From his words and actions one could see that he has no ambition of creating followers, or an empire, like a lot of other ministers have done. Personally I have found the brother to be one person who knows how to rightly divide the Word of Truth. I believe that his ministry has done a lot for the Bride. Without his ministry, most of the Believers would still have had cracked and shaky foundations. I am not saying this to please the brother. Two things I would not do: one, to exalt a man above what he is and two, to undermine what he is.

To God be all the praise for all the things He did for us during this three days of the convention. My sincere request to Bro. Gan is to visit my country again.

Shalom.

PASTOR ANDREW C. PHIRI
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The following day, 13 April, 2004, together with Bro. John Kasonde, the pastor of a church in Ndola, we boarded a bus that took us northward to his hometown (which is near to the border of the Rep. of Congo) for an evening meeting.

The bus ride took us nearly 4 hours between the two cities. Some buses looked new and appeared comfortable from the outside but it was another thing when one got inside the bus. Many buses were old. Instead of four seats in a row, two on each side with a center aisle, there were five. The aisle was narrow, the seat was small and leg room was barely sufficient to have one stretch his legs. With a big passenger sitting next to a window, the other passenger sitting near the aisle would have a uncomfortable bus ride. During the journey back to Lusaka (on the 15 April, 2004), I was literally sitting on the edge.

With the meeting held in the evening, the little church building was powered by candle light as there was no supply of electricity to that area of the village. As usual the following day saw me preaching in two more meetings. Several ministers and pastors came from other churches outside of Ndola.

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Chipoka in Malawi was my next stop. I flew on the 16 April, 2004 into Lilongwe International Airport and was received by Pastor Tonny M. Nkhandwe and one of his elders and also Pastor Gusto Gadama. We booked a taxi and was driven some two hours eastward to the town of Chipoka. The cost was US$50 to go a distance of about 100 km. As transportation did not come easy, the taxi was chartered to take me back to the airport on the morning of 18 April, 2004 and also to take me from the guest house (where I stayed) to the church (where the meetings were held). All in, the transportation cost was US$150.

I ministered the Word of God in three services − one in the first evening (again candle light was used) and two more on the following day. Mosquitoes were plentiful, more so here than I have seen in the other places where I have been. Throughout the service the believers were just beating the air to rid the irritating humming flying mosquitoes. It is inevitable for one to be bitten by a few. It is not uncommon to see someone down with a malarial fever − not only here, but also in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Uganda. And malaria can be fatal.

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The 18 April, 2004 saw me flying from Lilongwe to Entebbe, Uganda, via Nairobi (Kenya). Arriving at Entebbe Airport at 7 p.m., I was greeted with a truckload of believers, including Bro. Bolahs Onyango, pastor of "The Little Flock Church, Luzira".  It was a joy to see the many familiar faces.

However, the pick-up truck broke down after leaving the airport vicinity. The distance from the airport to my hotel in Bugolobi is about 44 km. There was a lot of misfiring − pop, pop! A mechanic nearby tried to fix the problem but the truck again came to a halt after a half kilometer or so down the road. It was decided that I should get into a "public taxi", a mini-bus (a mini-van rather) that could ferry about a dozen passengers from anywhere along it route. It is commonly called a "matatu". Two brothers accompanied me and my luggage. But the "matatu" also broke down after a few kilometers down the road in similar manner like Bro. Bolahs' truck. We changed to another that took us to Kampala City where we got a taxi to the hotel.  By the time I arrived at the hotel it was 11 p.m. When I got into the bathroom to wash up there was no water, hot or cold. The management had forgotten to turn on the main. It took about 15 minutes before the hot water came. Came it did but it was blackish! But by then I had already "dry-cleaned" just to get into bed.

It was arranged that I should go by land and cross the Uganda-Kenya border into Kenya to Eldoret, a town in Western Kenya, to preach at Lelboinet which is about an hour's drive up the mountain. Bro. Bolahs and I were to leave on the following day but due to the need to see to the repair and security of his truck, we did not proceed until the 20 April, 2004.

Taking the bus to Eldoret took us about 6 hours. Several sections of the highway were badly in need of re-surfacing. There were many potholes and uneven surfaces.

The convention at Lelboinet saw several believers from Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. Branhamism thrives there. Still God has some of His elect there and they will stand for the Word and total separation from unbelief. This is an email from Bro. Hilary Mwangi (above right):

Bro. Gan,

I praise our Lord Jesus Christ for according us journey mercies when traveling back to Kenya and do hope that you arrived safely back in your country.

My sincere thanks to God almighty for good time we shared in the Word of God during your visits - Kenya and Uganda.  You did not raise your voice but I believe others were blessed in the same way as with us (sister Dorothy was happy), with such heavenly presence around us and scriptures & prophecies opening to us.

I would like to make a comment (I wish this could go directly to the Church you pastor).  First to thank your local Church for taking care of God's servant to go around the world - their contribution to the ministry work. May the Lord indeed bless the local assembly, increase each of them and protect them.  In Psalms 126:5-6 they might not have sowed in tears as they gave out to the work of the Lord, but in prayers that the contribution meet it's intended work.  May they receive their portion of blessings and rejoice with us for spiritual enlightenment we received. I equally thank the Lord for I saw a humble, down to earth man of God who mingle and interact with all, with no respect to persons.  I was glad and glorified God to see that like Paul, with all this revelation, humility was evident may God bless you.

I informed my pastor who was very much interested meet you but due to urgent issue that required his attention was unable to come.  Kindly know that he has extended his invitation to you and do request for progress information regarding your hopeful visit to Nairobi.  He is not on email and all future communication is through me - pastor Bolahs and all the others too communicate through my address.

Thank you and God bless you as I continue to pray for you as well us other servants of God,

Bro. Hilary Mwangi
Kenya (EA)
[Email: hilary-mwangi@lwfkenya.org; April 30, 2004]

After two days of meetings, we returned to Kampala. The journey took a little longer as we could only ride in the "matatu" that had short designated routes. We had to catch three different rides before we reached Kampala in the night. (The big buses going to Kampala began their journey from Nairobi via Eldoret and they were usually full.)  Bro. Bolahs and I were accompanied by Pastors Silas and Michael and a sister and brother from Nairobi.

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The convention in Luzira's "Little Flock Church" began on the 24 April, 2004.  Luzira is a little village outside the city of Kampala, Uganda. There were two services on that day and on the day following. There was only one service on the 26 April in the late afternoon as it was a working day but I ministered in the morning at Bro. Lubega's assembly in a town called Mukono. [Read the testimony of Bro. Lubega and wife here.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ministers and believers came from the various churches scattered throughout Uganda. There were also some from the other camps who came to see and to hear what we have concerning the Word of Truth. They came, they saw and they judged for themselves as to the reality of what it is to eat of the sincere Word of the Almighty God.

In all those few days, we had great fellowship.  Most of all, we have the Word of the Lord and unity in the sweet Spirit of Christ.

On the 27 April, 2004, I took off to visit the source of the Nile river. The water of the rivers enter into Lake Victoria and it in turn feeds the Nile. The water flows northwards to feed the Egyptian delta.

Early in the morning, on the 28 April, 2004, I got up at 5 a.m. to leave the hotel for the airport at Entebbe.  Bros. Bolahs, John Mark and Lubega saw me off at the airport. I arrived at Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) to wait some 10 hours for a connecting flight to Bangkok via Mumbai (India) before the final connecting flight to Singapore.

I arrived safely home after some 28 hours on the 29 April, 2004. To God be the glory!

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Dear brother Richard,
I suppose you should now be home having travelled well.
Just to say thank you very much for your recent visit to our church.
You were a great blessing to all of us and i personally had time to be very
close to you and i have found out that you are a very humble servant of God
and you strive to serve the Lord faithfully.
I also observed that it seems your ministry has reached another level and i
think it is high time many people who love the Lord see what the Lord is
doing through the five fold ministry.
Brother Jason has continued to ask how i came to know you and today i have
given him a brief history of how we came in contact with you.
May the Lord bless you very much.I will send a separate appreciation to the
church which has stood with you and kept supporting that humble ministry todate.
Yokefellow,
Bolahs
[Email: May 4, 2004; bolahs@hotmail.com]