[notice] International worship and revival movement Jesus Culture visited South Africa in March 2012. Here is what they posted about their SA tour on the official Jesus Culture blog.[/notice]
The trek to South Africa alone is worth remembering. Our team had a series of flights consisting of 3 long legs on the trip to Johannesburg and 4 long legs on the return home. Generally gearing up for these long flight days you hear grumbles from the team knowing they’ll probably sleep little, and spend 25+ hours sitting with nothing more to do than stare at the seat in front of you, but for this trip things started off much different. There was a slight giddiness in each team member and maybe event a bit of spark in the air as we prepared month’s prior for what seemed to be a “long-awaited” trip.
Daily we receive invitations from people in various countries asking us to come host an event in their local city or church, but the one thing that stood out to us was the vast number of them asking us to come to South Africa. It was a LOT of invitations over the course of a few years. We knew that we wanted to take the team there, but fitting such a long trip into our already engulfing schedule had its implications; more time away from families, less time at the office prepping for other upcoming trips, and more jet lag. When we finally decided that we would visit South Africa in 2012 the response from the hungry people in Africa was astounding. If we weren’t already excited to go, we quickly became so when the emails came flooding in all loaded with excitement and readiness.
February 28th came quickly and our team of 17 loaded up in planes in various cities across the US to meet in our first location: Johannesburg, South Africa. The flights themselves seemed much shorter than we remember them being and upon landing we were greeted directly with smiles, hugs, and warm welcomes by everyone we met. It seemed that even those who had no idea what we were there for extended a greeting or nod at us as we all curiously entered into a country rich with revival.
Our first event was a 1-day 3 session conference in Johannesburg with 7,100 people, coming from cities hours away just to take part. Immediately from the first session we could tell there was something different about this trip from the many others around the world. These people would stop at nothing in seeing their country set-free, unchained from addictions and loved unconditionally by a God who just as excited to release such experiences. We taught on healing, living out the supernatural in everyday life, words, of knowledge, and how God wants to use each and every one of them to see His Kingdom inhabit their land. The response was like a sponge soaking up water. When the evening came time to close the event Scott, the speaker for the evening, felt like the Lord wanted to show His love to people and releasing healings and miracles. In that evening alone over 600 people were healed of things from deafness, to scoliosis, to asthma. We stood in awe at the end of the evening overwhelmed with it all. God’s goodness had once again rocked the lives of His people.
We had another 1-day conference in Johannesburg and then we were on our way to Durban for a one night event there. After a much needed rest day for the team we came renewed and expectant of what God had in store for these people. Once again, healings broke out and we left with smiles and love racing through us.
Pressing into God’s presence
From Durban we flew to Port Elizabeth. This city was beautiful to say the least and sadly we had the least amount of time to enjoy it, but the lack of time we had did not squelch what the Lord had in store. From the moment we arrived there were lines of people eagerly waiting to get inside. Although we knew that healings would be a part of the service this event felt a little different. We had 2,100 people cram into a church with no Air Con (or A/C for all Americans) and yet that didn’t stop them from pressing into the presence of God like I’ve haven’t felt in years. When worship started every voice could be heard. From the outside of the building you would think there were no walls because the crowd of people inside were giving everything they had to worship and lift up the name of Jesus. It was beautiful and I know that Jesus sat on His throne smiling down on His people the entire time.
After we left Port Elizabeth we flew to Cape Town for our last event on this tour. We spent a wonderful day off with our team connecting and encouraging one another with the radical testimonies from the week and half that had already gone by. As the event evening approached we couldn’t believe how fast the time had flown by and how much South Africa had taken up home in our hearts. Cape Town was nothing short of spectacular. Each person who entered the doors to the church came with a smile and an open to heart to what God wanted to do in them that evening. We felt that God was really commissioning His people across South Africa to be the revivalists that were needed for a wave of revival to come from the North to the South and from the East to the West. God released so many people from bondage and anchored in each person their identity only found through Him.
When it came time to leave we all knew that something was different. Not only in the people we encountered, the cities we took up home in, but also in ourselves. We saw a hunger and passion unlike any other place we’d been. We saw love expressed through grins, embraces, and the hospitality of the people in South Africa and because of this we leave with a piece of it in our hearts.
Thank you so much to the churches, teams, and individuals who served so graciously to see every event a success. Without you none of this would have been possible and our gratitude is not done justice with those simple words of thanks. South Africa we are blessed to have been part of your country for 2 weeks and we have left changed and inspired to continually seek out Him in our own personal lives. Until we meet again, be blessed in the abundance of all that He has for you!