We have just won perhaps the biggest victory in our ministry
, but the victory came differently than what we expected and with the most savage confrontation we have ever faced. It came through the back door
. We held a crusade in Dar in 1999 and had over 100,000 in attendance the last day. We also did a conference then. After the conference 150 major bishops and religious leaders put a full page ad in a major paper in Tanzania condemning us for our teachings, which was nothing but pure Bible doctrine, and declared that if we ever came back they would destroy us. The Holy Spirit quickened us to 'shake the dust' off our feet. We had not been back to Dar for over ten years. Two years ago we received what we thought was a credible invitation to come back to Dar for another crusade, and sensed this was God's will. We have worked for many months preparing this crusade and everything seemed to be lining up. We never had so many pastors who said they were going to work with us. Because of an investigation going on over the robbery we had a year ago August and other attempts to stop our ministry in Africa, the Central Intelligence of Kenya and Tanzania were very vigilant about us going to Tanzania. In fact, since we have been in Africa on this trip, there was an attempted kidnap on us which was foiled by our security. Central Intelligence discovered that several notable ministers and politicians from America had gone to Tanzania trying to abort our crusade. A huge battle had been fought on a high governmental level, but we finally got a green light from the Tanzanian government to come.
After arriving, things started appearing odd. Because of this, in addition to our advertising we decided to put the crusade live on 2 major radio stations, one national and the other reaching 8 provinces
. We were stunned at the small crowd on the first night of the crusade, although there was a good response to accept Christ and some good miracles. The second night the crowd didn't grow much. This didn't add up since so many denominations and pastors had committed to work with us. In fact, hardly any pastors showed up to the crusade.
When Celeste and I returned to our hotel room that evening, we were horrified at what we saw. Our room had been violently broken into; the room was torn up; and the safe had been torn out of the wall and stolen. In our safe was a large amount of cash we were going to use to pay our crusade bills; all of our credit and debit cards; our passports; billfolds, and other personal valuables.
The police said it was a professional job. It was just like a year before in Narok, Kenya. It became evident that this robbery was planned by the same people who hit us in Narok last year. We had been studied by the criminals and they came when they knew we would be at the crusade. This put us in a terrible predicament: no money to pay crusade bills or to live; no credit or debit cards to access funds; no passports, no identification. Without i.d. we couldn't even get money wired to us. It looked like we were finished.
Despite this we continued the crusade believing God to do something. We asked our hosts to advance us funds and we would wire money to their account, but they ignored our requests. The hotel however, moved us to the Presidential Suite, with no extra charge. You can't curse what God has blessed.
On the last day Sunday, when normally the field would be packed, we only had a few thousand. Yet those coming were accepting Christ and a 5 year old boy who was almost completely blind from birth received his sight along with other great miracles. The crusade was set up in a field in the middle of a community that was 80% Muslim. We were now standing against all odds and realized we had been double crossed by the pastors. It was apparent that the world renown religious leaders who had gone ahead of us had been successful in poisoning the pastors against us with words and money. But the amazing thing was, the bishops and pastors put on a face like they were for us, yet we discovered that hardly any churches had announced the crusade and didn't cancel their services to attend. We learned the bishops intentionally set us up and sabotaged the crusade. This along with the robbery was intended to be a death blow to our ministry; publicly humiliate us; take the heart out of us, drive us out of Africa, and to discourage our partners.
Most of the bishops and pastors were just standing back watching to see what was going to happen to us. It was very traumatic, especially to Celeste. We were going through similar things as the Apostle Paul experienced in the Book of Acts. The Pentecostal bishops had formally joined in an Interfaith Forum
with the Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans and Muslims
. The bishops had been given a lot of money to join. It was great spiritual whoredom.
Despite all this, we decided to have the minister's conference anyway, but now I really wasn't expecting many to come. The night before the conference, the hotel where we were to have the conference greatly raised the rate for the hall without forewarning us. It was black mail. Take it or leave it. We had no choice but to go ahead. To our total shock, over 700 pastors from all over Tanzania showed up
. They had heard about the conference in on the radio.
The syndicate that is out to destroy our ministry in Africa consists of different famous preachers. They have declared war against us over doctrine.
The doctrinal issues vary some among them, but here are the major areas of dispute that they teach: Jesus death on the Cross does not pay for sins; the blood does not atone; you don't have to confess your sins to be saved; man is a god; we are equal with God and Christ; we are the incarnation of God as much as Jesus Christ; one of them openly opposes Fundamentalist Christianity which believes in the Virgin birth, the Blood Atonement, the bodily resurrection, the divinity of Christ, the inerrancy of the scriptures; the Ten Commandments; some are defending homosexuality; and some are against the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. One of them teaches that 'God plans everything that happens to you; even your sins you commit and your divorce'. Some of them teach to be healed; get the anointing; or get a miracle, you must 'sow your seed' first. Saying the blessings of God can be bought is racketeering in Christ's name
and is making God's house a 'den of thieves'. These are doctrines of devils. This is not Christianity! We are not going to lay down and let these blasphemies destroy Christ's bride. Central Intelligence has also discovered that our plane crash in Africa was no accident, but sabotage.
We shifted strategy and put the 2 day conference on two radio stations in Tanzania, prime time during rush hour: 4-5 p.m. and 6-7 p.m. and again in the mornings over a six day period. One station was national radio station and the other covers 8 regions of Tanzania. This way even if the pastors didn't come, we would jump the fence and go straight to the people. Incredibly, the response to the conference from the pastors and the whole population of Tanzania was amazing. God turned most of the pastors around and they said they are going to boldly fight for biblical truth and drive these and false doctrines out of Tanzania.
Many reports started coming in that many families all over the country were kneeling by their radios and praying and accepting Christ. Workers followed home people who accepted the Lord at the crusade, and whole families were accepting Christ. Including the crusade which was broadcast at prime time along with the conference, we were on the radio hot for 30 prime time hours. Now, because of such deep treachery against us, instead of preaching to a packed field, we saturated the Gospel to millions, to the whole nation.
What the devil intended for evil God turned for good. If you are blocked from winning one way, do it another way. To God be the glory! We left Tanzania with all bills paid! Our experience was similar to when Jesus' walked on earth. The Pharisees fought Jesus and thought they had won when He was nailed to the cross, but at the end of the day He rose from the dead and won the greatest victory of all for mankind. We're licking our wounds and recovering, but at the same time we are rejoicing at perhaps one of the greatest victories for the Kingdom of God our ministry has ever seen. Romans 8:37-39 "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Thanks for standing with us and for your support.
From the Fields,
Loren and Celeste Davis
NOTE: Get a copy of our e-book online at www.lorendavis.com, 'The Loren and Celeste Story, Africa
'. As unbelievable as the stories may seem, they are all true.
P.S. Click here if you want to plant
a special gift for the work here in Africa