Namikango Mission

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A Different Kind of Power

Jul 10, 2014

By: Ben Hayes

Presidential elections can be a volatile time in any nation, but here in Africa they seem to particularly be cause for prayer and concern. Malawi has a rather peaceful history compared with other Africa nations, but all the same, many churches here have taken a night to pray together for the peace of this nation during this election month.

As a mission, we had a 24-hour time of prayer earlier this month for the same cause, and have continued weekly to pray for peace in this nation. Votes have been cast for the next president of Malawi, and the suspenseful waiting of the decision finds many Malawians uncertain, not least perhaps the young generation here who will make up the future of the nation. Many non-natives (us included) have received warnings about venturing into the city over the next few days. All of this can lend itself to a tunnel-vision view of what happens when positions of power in this world are being decided.

But something of a different sort of power happened this Friday evening that I was not expecting. We arrived home from a dinner with friends and drove by the church on campus that sits near our house. Beautiful songs coming from the church filled the air as we went inside to put the kids to bed, and then I remembered this was to be a night of prayer that the youth of the church had put on. I decided to join them for a while. The arrival of the cold season along with the rain dripping from the tree-covered, dimly lit walk to the church set the mood for what was about to happen. Whereas there had been loud singing while I was walking, silence had fallen on the 30 something young girls and boys I found inside as I entered the building. . . or what seemed like silence. As I walked from the back of the church the sound of a slow rumble seemed to fill the place. It was one of those moments where one tangibly feels the presence of God. Slowly, as if keeping in step with the rhythm the Spirit had set, the rumble began to grow as these youth simultaneously raised their voices crying out for God to move in this nation. It was the kind of picture you might imagine when you read Isaiah 62:6-7 - "I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem. They will never be silent day or night. You who call on the name of the Lord give yourselves no rest and give Him no rest until He establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth."

I stood transfixed by this otherwise normal group of teenagers and for a brief moment caught a glimpse of what the future of the church would be like if this became the standard: people giving up their weekends, their sleep, refusing to let themselves rest or let God rest until He establishes His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

Needless to say, I returned home with an exhilaration that only God can give, and with a greater desire to want to join in on this work of God's watchmen, praying and waiting for God to move among us and ahead of us as we seek to follow Him. Sometimes it seems as if this is the only thing we can do that really matters.