He was walking down the path on a rampage. And a rampage is probably an understatement.
We saw him from a ways off. Green rubber boots, a big stick and eyes that spit bullets of fire. (No joke. Lol.) We were coming from the soccer field, we'd just had a great time with our Leadership League and we were off to the brothels to meet with some ladies we’re friends with who are working as prostitutes.
The man was a terror, yelling and shouting, we couldn’t understand it at first, all we could see was his aggressive movements that made people literally leap out of the way into the grass to avoid being trampled by him. As he got nearer to us we could finally understand his shouting as he screamed "I'm a solider!! I'm gonna beat you all and then I'm gonna chase you outta here!!! First though," He had now reached us and was infringing on some definite personal boundaries "First, I'm gonna take these white girls for my wives! I'll start with this one." his finger pointed inches away from me.
I had already gently hustled the girls on my team behind us and I tried not to loose ground or give in to fear as the man stood about a foot away from me.
The best moment came next. Calmly yet so very sternly, our Congolese director, Mboto, didn't move a muscle but instead, pulled the soldier’s attention toward him and said "I have a better idea. Fall to your knees and we're going to pray that God gives you a clean mind and a pure heart"
I felt like I was in a movie.
Without even a second of hesitation, the man fell to his knees and cupped his face with his hands.
The presence of God then woosh’d in, shooting from our toes up our legs, through our arms, into our chest and releasing in a giggle that couldn’t be contained. We then all gathered around and began praying for the soldier. After a while when we finished, he stood up and his whole demeanor had changed.
"Thank you! Thank you so much! I'm a soldier and I live on the hill in the barracks. Thank you for praying for me!!"
My jaw literally dropped. ‘You’re kidding right?’
"Do you have a church? You could go to the one on the opposing hill" Mboto smiled.
"Yes! That's a great idea! And here," pulling out a 500 Franc bill "here is my offering that I owe for church! Next month I will tithe at church, but this month—I will give it to the missionaries!"
They chatted a bit and I could only laugh when the man walked away and we turned around to where a widow was sitting behind us and we handed her the 500francs. (About .50cents)
A small line then formed as women came forward for prayer. We started praying for healing for those who had various pains and sicknesses and began a little dance party as pain left their bodies. (remember we're still in the village brothels)
Walking away later, in the light of the setting sun, we literally had to stop and say with a laugh "Wait, what just happened?!?!" It happened so fast and effortlessly- from the man, and the falling on the knees and then the women getting healed….
The simplicity of papa God is so beautiful. The power of our meager yes and his massive heart to show up. Love trumps fear. Always. So stunning.
How sweet it is, just another day, walking in the dirt and stopping for the one in front of us. :)
(Sorry no pictures! Internet is just way. too. slow!)