By Mommy Emily

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your entire spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” 1 Thess. 5:24

Her name is Mrs. Nibbles. 

I open her cage, slip in some lettuce from the garden, and she waddles out of her nest of hay — her brown and white fur tufted at the edges. She quickly grabs the snack and retreats back into her cozy home. She’s the third Guinea pig we’ve owned, but not once had I thought about “Guinea” being in her name until I first traveled to Sierra Leone. It was then that Pastor Sonnel told me Guinea pigs were a delicacy, not pets, and they were imported, along with western vehicles, from the neighbouring country of Guinea, a bilingual country skirting the Atlantic Ocean. (As an aside, I also learned these adorable rodents originate from Peru — nowhere near their nameplace.)

Predominantly Muslim, Guinea is comprised of 24 ethnic groups, and French is the main language spoken.

It’s February of 2021. I know the Lord has told us to enter Guinea — in the same way He asked us to enter India and Kenya, in spite of COVID. And so I ask Him, as He’s done before, to take me there in the Spirit — to help me pray, to show me the place that I can’t currently travel to, and to give me a glimpse of the man He’s calling us to partner with.

I bow prostrate on the carpet of my living room floor one snowy evening, far from the tropical heat of west Africa. It’s been nearly two years of “journeying in the Spirit” for me, while the Lord has taken our African pastors who are on the ground into countries we’ve never visited, to find men we’ve never met. 

And once again, the Lord is faithful to give me a glimpse. Here’s how my journal reads:

“Tonight Jesus has taken me into Guinea! I was on a motorbike on a long highway and I saw many palms and the ocean, and a woman with a baby on her back was somehow leading me. She kept looking back at me and smiling.

“Then we turned off into these villages with interesting looking huts, and there was a man preaching, surrounded by many children. He was so vivacious, carrying a Bible under his arm, and he was full of smiles and laughs. He had started up so many things but was waiting for the Lord to bring someone to cause these things to flourish — like he had the framework and was just in need of some help. He had a lot of young men who were part of his team and he was a great leader. He spoke English and French and was very intelligent, like he had come from the city to work here but had been here for a long time.

“When he sat down he began to tell Bible stories to the children and then a young man who was part of his team came and asked him something.

“He was older — I feel like his children are all grown? His wife appeared, so beautiful and gentle, and he stopped everything to lovingly greet her. He will be very easy to work with.”

Meanwhile, we continue to pray, and then I ask Pastor Sonnel of Sierra Leone and Pastor David Zawu of Liberia if they will go, in faith, into the heart of Guinea to find both this older man and the younger one. They agree with great joy — Pastor Sonnel having journeyed in faith three years ago to find Pastor Zawu in Liberia.

Following is Pastor Sonnel’s transcribed account of their journey into Guinea, late June:

“God put Mamou (Guinea) on my heart; I’d been to that place on my way to Ghana, and then after praying, a friend of mine told me he was from Mamou and gave me two phone numbers for contacts there.

“Pastor Zawu and I spent much time in prayer and again felt we should go to Mamou. Meanwhile, I was on the drip because I had Typhoid and Malaria, but we went. I was led, while I was in the van taxi, to start talking about the trip, and a lady in the taxi who was over middle age said she lived at the border (of Sierra Leone and Guinea) and to stay with her so we would be able to leave early for Mamou. She ran a little guest house, so we stayed there, had a bath, and then set off for Guinea in the morning. We met a vehicle and left at 12 pm to go to Mamou — we had to go through the city of Kindia first, which was so far; I was tempted to stop at Kindia but (here he laughed) — the Lord’s will — no one can stand against it.

“So we set off and about 30 minutes into the journey we had a breakdown, so from 1 pm until 8 pm we didn’t leave, but thank God it didn’t rain, for if it had rained it would have disturbed us so much. 

“We left, finally, at 8 pm for Kindia, and there were so many checkpoints, each asking for money. That night we passed the night in the vehicle until 6 am. We reached Mamou, and I called the first of the numbers I had been given — the man’s sister, to no avail — and then I called the second number, and a young man picked, but it took him awhile to come get us because he didn’t know us. So we waited at a park in our dirty clothing until 9 am. We felt like refugees. 

“Meanwhile, we saw a man at the park, and asked him if he knew any pastors, and he said he knew a pastor that stayed at the police station. So we called the police station and we talked with the pastor, saying we had come to Mamou to complement the work the pastors were doing there. It took him a while but finally he understood we wanted to meet with the chairman of the pastoral council. 

“The young man picked us up and drove us to the police station, where we talked with the pastor some more, and he booked an appointment for us to meet with the pastoral council and the chairman. We came to the meeting and there were four of them, one of them a senior pastor (the chairman) working in Guinea through Assemblies of God. He is a seasoned man of God who’s committed and holds a great reputation in Mamou; he’s a Togolese — Pastor Daba is his name. We are trusting God in the future to work with him (the Spirit of God was ministering that to me). 

“We told him we were there to see how we could come alongside and support someone who had the heart to work for the Lord. We were so tactful on that point, and they said someone else at first, but then they came up with another young man — they called him their “son” whom they’d groomed, and said his name was Frank. 

“When they mentioned Frank’s name, I felt such peace and I was so eager to meet him. So they tried to reach him and his wife to no avail. They spoke highly of him and said he’s so strong spiritually and ready to sacrifice for the Lord.

“We went home and then finally they brought Frank to us and as soon as I saw him, I felt peace, without even hearing his testimony.

“He told us he’d started the work and God was using him so mightily even though he’d suffered great persecutions and he’d lost his mother and brother. At one point he was suffering so badly he left the ministry but he heard God audibly telling him to return, and so he did. He speaks English and French and is very vibrant. I believe he’s the one God has been preparing for this wonderful task.”

Pastor Francois Haba is his name. Rev. Wandjog Daba is the older gentleman, from the country of Togo — a missionary serving his tenure alongside Frank in the region of Mamou, Guinea. 

God answered our prayers, and He also made us an answer to the prayers of Pastor Francois, as he shared with me through text,  

“Oh Mom, HE (JESUS CHRIST) said to me in 2013, I will take care of you Frank. Since that day I was serving my GOD, preaching the KINGDOM (Matthew 6:33, and 1 Corinthians 1:30). It was not easy to find food, sleeping outside, and … now you are about to confirm what GOD said to me in 2013 (I will take care of you). So Mom, I thank God for you in Jesus Christ’s Name.”

One of Frank’s greatest desires has been to go to Bible School. He had started, years ago, but was unable to finish due to his brother getting sick. Since meeting this faithful young man, the Lord has already allowed us to send Pastor Francois funds for a laptop and printer, and the PDFs for the Harvestime theological training. He’s also helped us provide Francois with a motorbike, enabling him to travel to remote villages like Dogomain to encourage and train up the pastor there, who is continuously harassed by local Muslims and in desperate need of a church building.

I believe, now, it was Pastor Francois’ wife leading me in the vision back in February. Francois is newly married, and she is pregnant. And I believe it was Pastor Daba whom she led us to, a man of great integrity who has fathered Pastor Francois in the faith. 

The Lord’s ways are beyond ours. He alone can lead us, in dreams and visions, to a young man who had clung to Jesus’ promise that one day, help would come. We lean on the Lord through His Spirit as the early church did, and we see again and again that He is faithful to fulfill His promises to all His people. 

In these dark and difficult days, we pray that you will also press into His presence and believe in His promise to care for you, dear Lulu family — even if it takes eight years for the Lord’s answer to come like it did for Pastor Francois. God is never late. He is working in unseen ways, and when the time is right, He will move. Like Pastor Sonnel said, “The Lord’s will — no one can stand against it.”

Amen. May we believe, receive, and rejoice.