The first showing of the film occurred that evening. The film was shown outdoors in the town center of Kibwezi. We had an estimated 800 people in attendance. This was a great surprise to us because we had expected a crowd of no more than 300. The film began at 7pm but was cut short at 8:15pm due to rain. We were forced to take measures to protect the equipment from moisture. Also, people were beginning to leave because of the rain. We did, however, cover the amplifier with a blanket and umbrella so that Pastor Maunda could explain God’s plan of salvation and call for anyone wanting to follow Christ to come forward. He then led them in a prayer for salvation. About 70 people responded (not counting the younger children).
Don remembers watching a young boy, perhaps 10 years of age, with his head bowed and eyes closed. As the rain fell on his head and ran down his face, he repeated the sinner’s prayer as led by Pastor Maunda. Tears fell from Don's eyes as well.
We had been specifically praying that the gospel message would reach some of the Muslim population of Kibwezi. The next day, we heard a report from one of the churches that a Muslim man showed up for worship testifying that he had been saved at our meeting the night before. We do not know how many more Muslims had been reached because the rain made the afterfilm follow-up more difficult, but if we heard the testimony of one, we feel certain that there were more. Also, some of the people that our team talked with after the film were very hesitant to give their names which would be typical of Muslims that were concerned about subsequent persecution. Please be in prayer for these new believers.
The second showing of the film occurred on Sunday evening.The film was again shown in the open area in the town center of Kibwezi. We had an estimated 1,700 to 2,000 in attendance. Again, the numbers were a tremendous surprise to us.
During the film, Don was sitting on the ground (there were no chairs or benches provided for anyone) so that he could be close to the projection and audio equipment. This was very near the front so he could not see more than a few hundred of the crowd that had gathered. About half way through the film, he decided to get up and walk around to stretch his legs and to get a better idea of how many were in the audience. He was astounded at what he saw. This large open area, which was much larger than a soccer field and which could hold several thousand, was half full of people. From the rear of the crowd, the sound was not loud, but could still be readily understood, and the screen was small, but could still be easily seen. Don whispered to himself, “Thank you, Jesus. There has to be at least 2,000 people here”. The final estimate was between 1700 and 2000 in attendance that evening.
We stopped the film at the end of the movie, as the film depicted Jesus’ ascension to heaven, and before the film presented the final salvation message. Pastor Maunda, very concisely, summed up the message of salvation, called for those wanting to receive salvation to raise their hands and then led them in a prayer to receive Christ as their savior. Pastor Maunda estimated the response (excluding children) to be about 200 people. We had nowhere near enough altar workers, so we handed out flyers to many of the people explaining how to find Pastor Shadrack Maunda’s church along with meeting times for services and Bible study.
We know that we serve an awesome God and yet He continues to amaze us. We appreciate each of you who prayed for this weekend ministry!
Becky & Don