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.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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:
CONVENTION REPORT by Andrew C. Phiri
[P. O. Box 32971, Lusaka, Zambia, C. Africa. E-mail: email@example.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.
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
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
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
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".
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.
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.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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
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.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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
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):
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
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
firstname.lastname@example.org; April 30, 2004]
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