Monday, October 6, 2008

Apostle Paul Gitwaza Preaching in Mulenge

Apostle Paul Gitwaza Pointing to Mulenge's New Direction and Vision
Recognizing Pioneer Rev Makombe Recognizing Pioneer Rev Kajabika

The following is a part of the Mulenge trip narrative Report by Mr Daniel Walters from Colorado, USA, a member of Zion Temple Conference delagates to Mulenge. It goes like this: It was a very slow and bumpy ride but we arrived at Kavumu Airport right at 2:00 PM. The plane was already there sitting on the runway – a 14 passenger Russian-made plane – 9Q-CUB. We got out of the vehicles and entered the shack to show our passports and get clearance to depart.
At first everything seemed routine. But then all of sudden there was a commotion and another man walked in and out of the shack and stomped off. Everything was now halted. The story was that he wanted an official document describing our mission and noting all the participants, since there were so many from other countries.
It was a ridiculous request. We all had our visas which should grant us access to travel inside DR Congo but they were being impossible. Hours passed, and we knew this was not good for the pilot who had rearranged his schedule to accommodate us, and this delay was obviously costing him money. Alexis was not able to help because the officers holding us back were police, and not soldiers.
Negotiations went on and on. There was talk of money, in fact there were all kinds of talk, in 3 different languages (Swahili, French, and Lingala), but we were not going to be allowed to fly to the home village of most of our group, even after obtaining visas.
Then all of a sudden we were told to walk out onto the tarmac and board the plane. Most of us had boarded but Apostle was not with us. We looked out the window and noticed that he was still at the shack. The pilot was beginning to get anxious. He came aboard from the passenger entrance and greeted us very courteously, and then informed us that as the clock ticked, the door of our opportunity to take off for Mulenge was closing. He said that in 30 minutes he would not be able to take off in time to get us to Mulenge and himself back to Goma.
Thirty minutes later he came aboard and said that in another thirty minutes there would not be enough daylight remaining to take us to Mulenge and get him back to Bukavu. Thirty minutes later he came back aboard and told us that he was soon taking off for Goma and would see, assuming we eventually get clearance to fly to Mulenge, if he could fit us into his already full schedule for the next day.
Then there was a mad dash to see if the officers would release us to go to Goma, where we were sure we would be released to continue our journey. After 15 minutes we got word we were released to go to Goma. Finally, after 3 hours of negotiating we were leaving Bukavu – going in the wrong direction – but we knew in the Spirit it was right.
Arriving at Goma felt so good. We were met by leadership of Zion Temple in Gisenyi and taxied off to Le Nyira Hotel. The streets were amazingly bad, gray and dirty. Just across the wall was Gisenyi in Rwanda, a landscape that we knew to be completely different. We arrived at our hotel and again, just inside the wall was a lush garden of plants, trees and grass. We checked into our rooms, which were old but nice, each with its own bathroom.
After getting settled we sat with Apostle's Father for dinner. We hadn't eaten since breakfast and it was now around 6:30 PM.
Apostle went out to the patio outside the lobby/dining area, and people started showing up to meet with him. He was beginning to gather and tell about the issue and create a strategy for our release. He was meeting with about 8 people, 5 of whom were military. Alexis was with them, along with Ephraim.
The next morning we discovered that Apostle Paul had been meeting with high ranking Congolese military officials who were from the area of Mulenge! That night they developed a strategy and began working it out.
August 14, 2008
The next morning all issues had been cleared for travel, and the same pilot from the day before was scheduled to take us to Mulenge at 11:00 AM.
We had started out on Blessing day (Ex: Tuesday) to get to Mulenge, and now it was Silence Day morning (Thursday), but we were excited to be on our way. It was only a 50 minute flight. We would be there by noon.
Everything did go smoothly. Everything was seemingly lining up. We were on our way, flying back south over Lake Kivu and then into the mountains. The flight was quick and our spirits were high. As we approached Mulenge those who knew, pointed it out. And then we were on approach to the landing strip and all of a sudden the pilot made a hard banking turn to the left and was circling the strip to come in at it from the other direction. We came down quickly and we were there. As we were taxiing to a stop we looked out at all the people and snapped some photos. It was amazing – they had had no word from us, and we were two days late and there were still many, many people there on the top of the hill in the middle of nowhere to greet us.
We disembarked the plane and were met by hundreds of people, in their best. Most of the men had round-top felt hats on. There were so many hugs. Apostle Paul and his father were swarmed. It was an amazing sight.
Eventually everyone was gathered together and Apostle was called upon to address the crowd. He spoke for a few minutes and then we were whisked off across the field to a compound of a few huts several hundred yards away. It was Apostle's cousin's house, and we were seated inside and visitors came by for greetings, hugs, and photos. After an hour or so a Jeep Waggoner arrived to take a number of us off to where we were staying. It had to make several trips to get us all there. It was only about 10 minutes away across hills without paths at times.
We arrived at a compound with an L shaped house. It was like two houses butted together. Each had a sitting room and multiple bedrooms, and a bathing area. The sitting room was good size with two small sofas, some chairs and a coffee table. The bedrooms were just a bit bigger than the bed, with no room to walk around in them. Basically you open the door and fall into bed. But it was probably the only house in the village with bedrooms.
After getting settled in and having some tea we walked a couple hundred yards to the top of the hill to address all those who had now been waiting for us since Blessing Day including Apostle Paul's brothers, Ruben Kajabika (the Bishop of Zion Temple Burundi) and Pastor Azarias Hakizimana from Zion Temple Kigali, along with the Rutonda assistant pastor from Zion Burundi, Butoto Nahum and Nana, his wife from Bujumbura, Burundi. Now the delegation was complete and the atmosphere was thick with anticipation. A crowd had assembled and we heard one estimate that there were between three and four thousand that first afternoon (the next day the numbers had increased dramatically).
Apostle Paul spoke about how the Conference came about. The Lord had begun to speak into him from the passage in Galatians chapter 2, regarding the return of the Apostle Paul of the Bible, to Jerusalem:
1. Apostle Paul had received revelation about the situation back home (in Jerusalem) and like Nehemiah, was called to returned to rebuild the walls;
2. Like the apostle Paul of the Bible, Apostle had heard about the trials and tribulations the saints had gone through, and were being sent to comfort them;
3. Like the apostle Paul, he was returning home after 14 years, to testify about the grace that was given him;
4. And the Lord added the time when Mary and Joseph also returned to Jerusalem, looking for Jesus. They couldn't find him anywhere until finally they looked in the Temple. Apostle Paul was called to return to Mulenge to challenge them to return to the Lord Jesus who is not found in denominations, but in His holy Temple, which is His body, the Church!
It was a very intimate opening as Apostle's heart was knitted to theirs. Their son had come home, having gone out from them and traveled far, establishing the ministry the Lord had given him in a dozen nations on several continents, and had come home as a prophet sent by the Lord to restore what had been lost in the land where he had his beginning.
After the service we walked back down the path to the houses and noticed something unexpected – light in the sitting area! Both houses had a solar panel that during the day charged a large truck battery. And the battery powered a taillight bulb from a car dangling from two wires in the ceiling. So we had a 12v bulb in the ceiling of the sitting room of each dwelling – very nice!
We had a nice time of visiting, eating, singing, and then finally planning the agenda of the next day. Around 10:00 or so, a few of us straggled off to bed while the rest continued to enjoy the atmosphere.

To be continued...
Watch out for Part two

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