Its now been six years since I attended the Africa East Field Leadership Conference on the campus of African Nazarene University. I taught ten sessions on ?Walking the Leadership Higher Ground, on the theme of Spiritual Leadership. We finished up our sessions at 1:00 pm on Thursday and transitioned into the Holiness Convention that afternoon. That night, weary in body we were energized by the Spirit. A man I will call Ezekiel had come to Kenya from the Horn of Africa. He told his story how God had called him to leave his comfortable life in Kenya to reach people with the gospel in war-ravaged Sudan. When God called him to go, he gathered his family together to tell them of Gods call. They discussed whether to sell the family cow. In Africa, if you own a cow you will never go hungry. His family agreed. The cow was sold and with the proceeds Ezekiel and his family headed to the Sudan. Where should I begin? he asked the Lord. Drive east until you see no more vehicles. As Ezekiel spoke that night it had been eighteen months. God had used him to plant 433 churches. The Miracle Movement in the Horn of Africa had begun.
Ezekiel had reached the half-century mark in his life and this man who had planted 433 churches was asking himself, What else can I do? Are you kidding me? I thought. His answer was to spend himself gathering souls for heaven to join the celebration awaiting us in heaven. The Spirit burned that question into the hearts of those of us in the audience. Spontaneously, as I recall now, scores of pastors made their way to the altar asking God, What else do you want me to do in my life and ministry? The picture of African pastors kneeling to surrender all and be empowered to go and spend their lives in Kingdom expansion overwhelmed me. The picture of their beautiful feet reminded me of Romans 10:15. Testimonies erupted. A young woman who had sung a special told how she had fled from Rwanda after the 1994 Genocide. Her country had the smell of death. Human remains were everywhere. When she asked God What else can I do? he said, Go back and sow a seed of love and peace. She wrote a song about it.
Another pastor told of how he fled from the Horn of Africa to avoid being killed. He had settled in Kenya and was living a comfortable life. With tears and great emotion in answer to the question, What else can I do? he said, Lord, if you want me to go back to Ethiopia, Ill go. (I cant help but wonder if he is one of at least 30 martyred Nazarenes). Dr. Larry McKain (founder of New Church Specialties) was there and deeply moved. He was the first to respond at the altar. He testified that American values are so messed up. We try our best to work and save for retirement, as if thats the greatest goal in life. (Africans pray they can have a cow!) Then he said, I want to be part of a worldwide church planting movement in my lifetime. I was 60 years old at the time and I wrote in my travel journal, On this day, with at most, the last quarter of a century of my life before me, I want to use it as a true servant, giving back to pastors and proclaiming Scriptural holiness. God takes us at our word, and since that time, God has allowed me to teach 100s of pastors and leaders on spiritual leadership in Africa, Guyana, Belize, Haiti, and on my own Southern Florida District. To God be the glory! What else might He be asking you to do with the remainder of your life?
Out of that Africa experience I began to hunger for not simply a church planting movement, but a movement of the Spirit that would result in a great awakening in the American church. 200 African brothers and sisters covenanted to pray with me. How amazing it would be to see it start in Southern Florida; move up the eastern seaboard; then across the Midwest to the Northwest; and down the west coast. I am not alone in my desire to see a revival starting in the Church of the Nazarene that spreads as rapidly as the miracle church planting movement in Africa. Its happening in answer to prayer and fasting and intercession. Reports come to me weekly of awakening movements in local churches. The question is, Do you long for a Great Awakening? Perhaps, the question today is, What else can I do to make it happen? Make an altar. Ask God. Hes always specific with His plans for us.
Dr. David F. Nixon
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