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Unforgettable...An African Story
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” -Romans 8:29
“And the LORD...said, “Write the vision, and make it plain... For the vision is yet for an appointed time, wait for it; because it will surely come,” Habakkuk 2:1-3
It was cold that December night. I couldn't sleep. My American wife of three years lay next to me sleeping so peacefully. I longed to have what she had - a good night's rest. This was not the first night I hadn't slept well; in fact, this was going into the sixth month. My two-year old, Matthew, had gotten into the habit of lying on my chest to go to sleep...and this was working for him. But I didn't have a chest to lie on. Counting sheep wasn't working either. Matthew, however, was in never, neverland thanks to my heart beating at a steady pace. My wife; too, was in sleep heaven because of my heart beating at a steady pace with Matthew on it. But I was in a state of confusion...and I was sleepy. It was 1989.
After so many nights of this tossing and turning, I had gotten used to not sleeping. I had counted so many sheep and sung so many lullabies, I couldn't think of any more. I just accepted it to be the way of life for me. But it bothered me that I was not getting enough sleep. So much so, I had thought maybe I should go see a doctor about it, maybe a counselor.
After four years in America, I couldn't blame these sleepless nights on the time differences. In the Congo, where I came from, we lived by twelve-hour days, but here in America, we had twenty-four hour days. Sleep! Sleep! I needed sleep! I prayed for sleep. Finally, I went to sleep. Don't ask me what time it was, I didn't care. God heard my prayer. I went to sleep.
As cold as it was that December night and in the peacefulness of SLEEP, I had a dream. In the dream God woke me up by calling me three times. When He called my name, I saw what seemed like a prophet with little children. The little child beside the prophet had awakened because he heard his father calling him. So he went to his father and said "Did you call me, daddy? Did you call me?” Then I went back to sleep. Shortly after lying back down, I heard somebody call my name again. Once again, I came to my father in the dream and said, "Did you call me, daddy?” And he said, "No, go back to sleep." But it happened again. So I got up and went to the man again and said "Did you call me?" and this time the man said, "Go to sleep, when he calls you this time, say yes Lord, here I am." This time when the Lord called my name, I said, "Yes. Lord, here I am." Then I awakened from the dream. I looked to my wife who was still sleeping. But I was sweating like someone who had been working out in the gym. And I said, "What is this?" but I lay back down and the Lord showed me a big school with children going up and down the steps, happy, happy young folks. Above the school were written the words Technical School.
At that time I was in mechanical engineering training and the Lord spoke to me to do this for the people of Africa; to do this where I came from. That's where I got the vision. I wrote it down. I wrote down the entire experience. But I felt so unequipped, unintelligent and unqualified to do what the Lord had commanded. So I prayed and asked the Lord, "How? I don't have any money and I'm not finished with my own education yet. How can I do it?"
For six months, I fought with this calling upon my life. By mid-1990, I accepted it and said “Yes, Lord.” I still had doubt and uncertainty. I talked and talked, and talked to the Lord. I said, “Lord, if I wanted to serve you, the Congo, Africa would be the best place for me. There I have mastery of the language, the culture, and I know the people. But you are calling me in a foreign land with foreign people, and a foreign culture. How can I communicate with them, so that they understand what you're saying?"
And God said, "Just believe."
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