This post was originally written in January 2008 and accidentally deleted. We’ve had some recent inquiries into our work in Zambia that prompted me (Kim) to re-read some of the history. This January 2008 update is referred to in the Spring 2008 update, which made me realize that it wasn’t there. That is why I am re-publishing it now.
“Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?”
For those of you looking for them, we’re sorry to not have given any updates during our time in Zambia over the last week. We have been unable to get onto our Integrity account the entire time we have been in Africa. That is where we have saved most of our e-mail addresses, so many that we want to send this to are not on this initial distribution list. We were still able to create a wide distribution list because we desire to share this testimony freely and transparently with as many as possible, but feel free to forward this to any others you know will be interested and have been praying. We have been delayed 24 hours in our return to the States and are writing this from Johannesberg. There is much testimony in the Lord taking care of us during this delay, but that is a digression from the true testimony that we wish to share.
“The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
We are so very grateful for all those who have been praying for us, our team, and For Hearts and Souls’ work in Zambia and our relationship with Pastor Edward and Barbra Mwansa, who are overseeing the orphanage work in Zambia that we started together in 2003. Many may not know that our relationship with the Mwansa’s, a couple we have known, loved, trusted, and worked with since we met them in 2001, had deteriorated to a crisis point and our work together in Zambia had been threatened. Many had confided in both us and the Mwansa’s that they did not know if the relationship was healable.
“With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
I (Kim) have written about experiencing spiritual battles in FHAS’ work before, but I do not think we have ever experienced such a massive battle. If any of you have ever read any Frank Peretti books, you know he has incredible fictional descriptions of the angels and demons that are behind the scenes as human events play out. I can just visualize the angels and demons that have been at war…and I can also visualize the demons slinking away defeated from this particular battle.
The Bible gives specific insight into the battles in the heavenlies in, among other places, the book of Daniel in chapter 10. An angel appears to give Daniel a vision. He tells him in verse 12 that “from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael [the archangel], one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia [demons].” He ends in verses 20 and 21 saying “Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold the prince of Greece is about to come….Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince.” We do not presume to compare ourselves to Daniel. We do believe, however, that a huge battle was going on in the heavenlies regarding the work in Zambia.
Jesus talks of the devil in John 8:44 saying he “does not stand in truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Satan had been speaking many lies that we had sadly come to believe about each other. We needed heavenly intervention to clear up the deception.
In 2 Kings chapter 6 the prophet Elisha had enraged the king of Aram. The king had sent horses and chariots and a great army to surround the city where Elisha was. When Elisha’s servant discovered this and said to Elisha in verse 15 “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” Elisha answered in verse 16 “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Verse 17 says “Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” The Lord opened our eyes so that we could see on this trip.
We arrived in Kitwe on Thursday evening with our team of nine. This team came in obedience to some amazingly specific testimonies of the call of the Lord on their lives and in faith that reconciliation would occur and the work would continue. Our entire team spent all of Friday with the Mwansa’s touring all the ministry sites their Sarah Rose Foundation is involved in in Kitwe (Sarah Rose is the Foundation founded by Pastor Edward and Barbra in 2005 in honor of their late daughter). These include Silent Voices, a crisis pregnancy center that Barbra founded in the 1990s and the reason we first met and visited with the Mwansa’s in 2001 (we were on the board of Silent Voices in San Diego, a ministry founded by Sharon Pearce with the support of Horizon Christian Fellowship); Nehemiah’s Boys’ Ranch, a ministry for street boys that is supported in large part by Heart of the Bride; and Mimi’s House and Betsey’s House, the two orphan homes that For Hearts and Souls have been specifically involved with. We were also grateful on this trip to have met Bob and Candace Walker and their nine children who are full-time missionaries there on behalf of Heart of the Bride.
We agreed to meet on Saturday morning with just us and the Mwansa’s, with Pastor Greenwell Simutowe serving as our mediator. Pastor Simutowe is a very good friend of Pastor Edward’s from Bible College that we have come to love as well. Pastor Edward introduced Kirk to him in 2003 and since that time Pastor Simutowe has been administrating the For Hearts and Souls’ fund that sends orphans to school in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. He visited us in our home in October 2006 and began his role as intermediary and was able to move our relationship forward enough that the FHAS work in Zambia continued to be funded and Pastor Edward agreed to meet with us in an attempt at reconciliation. I am so blessed for Pastor Simutowe that he was able to play this role. He played it with wisdom and was able to see two men (and their wives) that he loves very much reconcile. This outcome was nothing short of miraculous!
We met for over six hours without a break. Pastor Edward’s brother joined us about halfway through and offered much wise thought and counsel as well. There was confusion, miscommunication, and hurt dating back to 2004 that we had to painfully sort through. Pastor Simutowe was so wise that I think he sat quiet for several hours before he even spoke. He let us talk and figuratively wrestle with one another. There was a point where all four of us thought there was no way out. I even looked at Pastor Simutowe thinking “do something or this is all over!” But he sat and let the Spirit work and there came a breaking point where the tension dissipated and understanding and forgiveness came! I tell you it was absolutely palpable in the room! All four of us were able to confess sins to each other and ask each other for forgiveness. We were able to end with prayer, hugs, and confessions of love for one another…and with a clear direction for a new way forward in our work together, with For Hearts and Souls and the Sarah Rose Foundation in partnership.
Pastor Simutowe had told us a Zambian proverb: when the giants wrestle, only the grass is injured. He said Edward and Kirk were the giants and the orphans were the grass. He said now the giants can walk on a path together and the grass will no longer get hurt.
One of our team members had shared with us Isaiah 43:18, that I opened this e-mail with, on our first night together. We read it at the end of our six hours together. The NIV translation says the Lord will do something new and “do you not perceive it?” We all could perceive it as we stood in that room together. I cannot describe the weight lifted from all of our shoulders and the burdens removed from our hearts! Kirk was invited to preach at Church on the Rock (pastored by Edward) on Sunday morning and was able to publicly ask for forgiveness from the church body for any hurts he personally might have caused. There was much joy and rejoicing on this day of worship. We were able to spend the rest of our time in Kitwe planning about our future work together.
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
The evening after this miraculous outcome one of our team members prayed that she had actually been glad for the conflict and the evidence of Satan’s attack because it confirmed to her that the Lord has big plans in Kitwe!
We also have talked about the power of this reconciliation between us and the Mwansa’s in tangibly demonstrating the work Christ came to earth to accomplish. He came to reconcile us to our Father in heaven by our accepting Jesus’ death and resurrection as payment for our sins which should separate us from God our Father.
In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus gives us a powerful promise and warning: “if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” We are grateful to the Lord for His forgiveness of us and for the power of forgiveness in our human relationships that allows us to walk in His will with peace and lightness of heart.
So, we resubmit the work to the Lord and we beseech Him to open the floodgates of provision to care for His orphans. The Lord has been faithful. Most of you know that the policy of For Hearts and Souls is never to seek man for maney but always to seek our Father in heaven. We pray you know the desire of our heart never to seek credit for this, but the testimony is that the amount of money that the Lord has laid upon His people’s hearts to contribute to FHAS for the work in Zambia since the first house opened in July 2003 is easily over $250,000 (our accounts are always open; we desire to be transparent). We only report that as a desire to testify to the amazing provision and greatness of God. There are currently 35 orphans at Mimi’s House and 10 former street girls and 4 of their babies at Betsey’s House, a total of 49 children entrusted to us. We trust that He will continue to provide according to His will and only for His glory.
We thank you for your prayers…and we ask that you continue to pray for the orphans and for all those who remain in Kitwe to continue the work, including the Mwansa’s and all the Zambians who represent Sarah Rose Foundation and Church on the Rock. Pray for the 6 who have stayed in Kitwe on the part of For Hearts and Souls: Gloria Gunning, a nurse who will be there for 3 more weeks; Kirk’s mom Judy Milhoan, who serves as FHAS’ accountant and who will be there for a month; Cameron Sweeney, who served there last year for 3 months and will be there for another month this time; Richard Lamb, FHAS current leader on the ground, and his wife Tae, a nurse, who will be there 2 months; and Tara Rabe, who is serving on the part of Youth with a Mission for a full 6 months. Pray for the Walkers and for Karen, a full-time missionary teacher serving their family. Pray for all the ministries involved and those who represent and support them, including the Sarah Rose Foundation, Church on the Rock, Silent Voices, Heart of the Bride, and For Hearts and Souls…and all others who contribute and support and serve who I have failed to name. We pray we can continue to work together in peace and cooperation as we seek to do the will of the Lord and glorify Him.
“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
To God be the glory, truly great things He has done!
Humbled, rejoicing, in peace, and excited about what is to come,
In the great and mighty name of Jesus,
Kim & Kirk Milhoan