The Lord had been speaking to me for many years about a black man from Africa who would come to Wisconsin and prophesy about a great revival that would come. One salient feature of this outpouring would be that the youth of this area would be obviously affected. This revival would be so powerful that people all over the world would hear about it. For over twenty years I have been waiting for him.
Last summer, June of 2004, I heard about a prophet from Ghana, Africa named Bernard. I had been told that he was coming to Kingsway Assembly of God in Appleton, to prophesy about a revival here in Wisconsin that would affect the youth. Immediately I knew that he was the man that the Lord had been telling me about.
Through a series of misfortunate events I was unable to hear him preach those two nights in June. However, the second night that he spoke, just before I went to bed I had a vision. Douglas, my husband, was there beside me.
The vision began as most of the visions that I have do, with the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, flying out in front of me with stars in the background. He began flying over what looked like dark black hills. He was flying over hill after hill. When I noticed that the surface of the hills were moving, I looked more closely. I could see that the entire surface was covered with the top of black heads. It was as if we were flying over thousands of people who were standing very close together.
“Are those people?” I asked.
He didn’t respond.
After a moment, in an audible voice, He said, “Feed my people.”
I was shocked. I immediately wondered how I was going to feed all of those people. ‘I have food for maybe 10 of them in my kitchen,’ I thought.
I asked out loud,”How am I supposed to feed these people; there are thousands of them.”
“They are starving,” He said.
As He said that they are starving, this intense and very deep feeling came over me. If I had to describe the feeling ,I would have to say concern and compassion. But it was so deep and serious that I did not recognize it. I have not had that feeling before. I felt their need. It was spiritual as much as it was physical.
“But why are they all black?” I asked after getting my composure.”Feed them all that I have given you. Your gift, your joy, your education, your resources, your love. You are rich.” He said. “Feed them.” At that last command He swooped over their heads and I could sense hope and joy. He was actually hoping that I would do this. Or He was allowing me to feel His hope to help motivate me. I’m not sure, but I could tell that somehow I had a real choice in the matter. I could simply say no and stay here in Wisconsin and ignore the whole thing. But the desire to please Him and the understanding that I could actually say no infused in me an excited joyful resounding YES, as if we were working this out together. It was awesome.
He did not answer.
At that the vision changed. I saw what looked like heavy brush. The back end of a very large animal appeared and it was running away from me. I didn’t recognize it at first. I watched it make its way through the brush and run out of sight.
“Was that an elephant?!?” I asked. As I came to realize that I had just watched an elephant run past me, I began to laugh. My husband asked me what was so funny. I explained to him that all of my life I had this strange desire to see an elephant run in the wild. Somehow I had gotten it into my head that being near such a thing would be exhilarating, quite like a thunder storm can be.
“Is this my elephant?’ I asked, thinking that He was allowing me to see this in a vision.
“You will see this.” He responded. I knew that He meant that I would see this in the natural–a real elephant running past me.
“How?” I asked.
“In Africa.” He responded
“I can’t go to Africa. Douglas will never let me.”
“Douglas, you and the children will go. Elias’ ministry will be launched there.” Elias is my youngest son who can see things spiritually as well. I have been told that Elias will also prophesy. He is seven years old (and very cute by the way).
Douglas asked about the other two children. The Holy Spirit answered and said that both of them will be involved with music. Zeb will play and Sophie will sing and write worship songs. I had a strong sense that the songs that He was saying Sophie will write were to impact people in such a way as to change their incorrect way of thinking, and that these songs will teach theology.
At this point I started to freak out.
“What about their schooling? What about our house and our businesses? What about the fact that I have no clue how to go to Africa, or when???? When are we supposed to go? How are we supposed to go?” I rattled off like a machine gun as Douglas lay there very quiet trying to absorb the enormity of what we were experiencing.
“Nine,” He said.
“Nine!!??!?” I ask.
“When the children are nine?” I asked.
“Daniel nine.” He said.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked totally bewildered.
“Daniel nine. Bernard will explain to you what it means. Bernard will welcome you. Bernard will “facilitate” the going to Africa. He will go with you.”
“What am I supposed to do, just walk up to him and tell him, “Hey, how ya doin’, I’ll be going to Africa with you, and by the way, what does Daniel nine mean to you?”” I was a bit freaked out at the prospect of leaving the country. I have said all of my life that there are three things that I will never be, a teacher, a doctor, and of course a missionary to Africa. Well boy-howdy, things were getting serious fast.
I lay there as the vision ended, trying to absorb the idea of actually leaving the country. It seemed like a fantasy to me. Unbelievable. Foreign (no pun intended).
Douglas simply, quietly said, “He’s gonna have to really work on me to take this one.” He rolled over and fell asleep.
I prayed long and hard about this late into the night. I could feel the sureness of it. I could sense the deep desire to please Him over come the desire to stay safe and sound tucked away in Little Chute. I could feel the need of those people crying out to me, drawing me, changing me. To think that God had blessed me with the things that could actually help them. Then I began to wonder what exactly He would do through me. The past few years have been amazing enough for a life time. But Africa? This somehow seemed grandiose, at the same time doable. I was excited, afraid, freaked out, amazed, thrilled, panicked, leery, hopeful and grateful all at the same time.
Early the next morning when my daughter Sophie crawled into bed with me, I began to tell her about the vision. Elias heard us and rushed in. Zeb came too, before Elias even got under the covers. I explained it in great detail, answering questions as I went through it all. Since the vision in which I was told that I was going to be healed, the children have believed the visions that I have with no doubt. They were curious and inquisitive.
That Christmas I found a puzzle with a number of pictures of different places in Africa for the children and me to do in the evenings. I thought that it would give us some family time to discuss how we felt about going and also to take the opportunity to educate ourselves about the continent. We spoke often about it. I also bought Zeb and Sophie guitars and got them lessons to begin to prepare.
We read and reread Daniel 9 with absolutely no clue of what it could mean to us personally. There was nothing in it that I could find, even a vague reference to the timing and/or way for us to go to Africa. I knew from experience that if I was told that Bernard was the one to explain it, then I would not find out until he did. So we waited.
Another year had passed with no news of Prophet Bernard until Pastor Steve Driessen of The River Church mentioned that he was coming in July of this year to speak at his church. I asked Pastor Steve if there was any way that he could arrange for me to meet with Bernard. I only needed 15 minutes. All that I wanted to know was what Daniel 9 meant and when we would go.
After the afternoon session on the second day that Prophet Bernard spoke, Pastor Steve and I met with him. Bernard began prophesying right away about the gift that God has given me, about the lengthy discerning process of that gift that the elders of my home church were going through, and many other specific things that he could not have known about. One thing that he said the Lord told him just that morning was that I had been given a wealth of spiritual food and that God was calling me to feed the nations.
When he said “feed the nations,” I interrupted him with the entire vision about Africa. He seemed amazed. As the story unfolded, he was getting more and more excited. By the end of it he was actually jumping up and down, in and out of his seat. As I finished the story and asked him what Daniel 9 meant he shook his head indicating that he wasn’t getting anything from the Lord on that.
So I told him that that very morning I was praying again about the Africa vision and the Lord specifically told me that the ministry there would begin in Rwanda. At that Bernard jumped up out of his chair and ran across the room yelling things like, “Oh my Jesus!” and “Oh God, what are you doing here?” When he sat back down, he began to explain that his friend, Darius, who was ministering in Boston, was about to head up a team of people to go to Rwanda and begin a ministry there. He said that Darius’ wife, Mkwaza, had phoned him the day before and had asked him to pray about another person whom they felt needed to be added to their team. Mkwaza felt that he would meet this person in Wisconsin before he flew out to Boston that Thursday.
I was amazed and nervous.
“How am I supposed to just pick up and go to Africa with people I don’t even know? How am I supposed to trust you or him?” I asked Bernard.
He began to tell me about Darius. It was when he said Darius’ name that I could tell he really loved him. I could actually feel trust coming up out of nowhere. I knew that God was up to something supernatural.
The conversation ended with yet another bang (to be told in another newsletter) and Bernard left. I was so stunned by how obviously God set up the whole thing that I just stood there and began to cry. Poor Pastor Steve, he didn’t know what to do. All that I could say was, “I am so freaked out.” It makes me laugh to think about it.
As I drove home I realized that Bernard had never told me what Daniel 9 meant, how it answered my when and how questions. I didn’t think that I would get another chance to speak to him. I thought that if I re-read Daniel chapter 9 and made myself familiar with its content, that I could catch Bernard on the fly and get a quick confirmation. When I opened to the chapter and read the first six words I actually dropped to my knees out of sheer shock.
The text read, “In the first year of Darius…”
‘Wasn’t the friend in Boston heading up the Rwanda ministry named Darius!!?” I thought in desperation.
“The first year of Darius?!!? I had asked the Lord when and how and He was telling me in this amazing way!
In the first year of Darius.
After the last night session Prophet Bernard prophesied over me. It was long. It was amazing. He said many things that the Lord had said to me. When he finished I asked him, “What about Daniel 9?” He simply nodded again. I handed him the Bible and as he read those first six words he lit up like a Christmas tree.
“What!?” He yelled.
“Oh God! Oh my Jesus! What are you doing here?” He yelled.
“Pastor”, he said in a very serious tone of voice, “God is doing something wonderful here. God is doing something very big.”
Pastor Steve nodded, smiling, shining. He always seems to expect God to surprise us. Not me. I was so freaked out that I didn’t sleep for two days.
By September I had not heard from Bernard or Darius. I thought this was odd but I wasn’t too concerned. In early September I had a dream from the Lord. Jeff and Jan Jansen, of Global Fire Ministries, were walking through the hallway of the mall. When I approached them Jeff said, “You are not leaving the country because you have not asked.”
When he said this I knew that the dream was from the Lord and that He was speaking through Jeff. There have been times in the past that the Lord speaks to me through people that I trust. This was the second time He did this with Jeff.
I responded sincerely, “I have not asked because I do not want to go.” I was afraid to see the pain in Rwanda. I was afraid of the dangers. And to be honest, I’m not all that thrilled with the prospect of new bugs to deal with. I wanted to obey God, but all of this seemed a bit extreme. I was quietly reluctant. But God wanted me to want to go.
Then He said, “Ask and I will give you the nations.”
At that my heart began to slam. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the enormity of what was happening spiritually. It was as if a new call had been placed on my life with the passion to go with it. I could feel God’s desire–a piece of it anyway.
“I ask.” I forced out as I dropped to my knees. “I ask.” I cried out again. “I ask.” I said a third time as I woke up.
Three days later Apostle Darius Twagirayesu called. Ten days later he flew into the Appleton airport to meet with us all.
On December 5, 2005 Darius, Douglas and I leave for Rwanda, Africa in the first year of Darius.