Harold and Alice Berry, 1978

The man of fire

HAROLD BERRY WAS awakened at midnight. Jesus was speaking to him. “I will be round about you as a wall of fire. I will not put a brick wall around you for the walls of Jericho fell down with a mighty crash; I will not put mountains around you as they can be walked over; I will not put a literal wall of fire around you but I will be the Fire”.

That was how my dad received his call to the Congo as a 22-year-old young man.

My name is Lilian. I am the youngest daughter of Harold and Alice Berry and was born on the mission field in the Congo. I remember waking up in the night in Congo, hearing Dad pray for doors and windows and a roof for our new house. Soon after that I left for boarding school with my sisters. When we returned at the end of the term (nearly five months later) the house was built. Jesus the Man of Fire had provided all our needs. He heals, restores and saves.

In 1960, as happened with many missionaries, my parents had to flee for their lives. They left with only a small suitcase. As she ran out the door, my mother managed to pick up a set of photo slides that represented their life’s work in the Congo. We never returned. Later under divine instruction they relocated to South Africa to make a home for their three daughters, joining World Outreach International in 1968. Over time, news would trickle in from the Congo where many missionaries had returned and the work of God was thriving.

In May 2013 Abe and I were invited to a conference in Pretoria, South Africa. Abe was asked to speak on the subject of sustainable development in missions and I was asked to speak on God’s healing power today. As the day progressed, the leaders of the conference kept referring to a big surprise that they had arranged for me. Eventually they called me to the platform and introduced me to a delegation of about 50 Congolese pastors who were all eagerly waiting to meet me. Many of these men had known my parents and had worked alongside them on the mission field. One elderly gentleman told me how he remembered me as a baby girl and another reminded me that we had played together as children. It was such a moving experience to have my past catch up with me like this. We spent some time together and they told us how the churches that my Dad and Mom had planted had now exploded into thousands of churches.

The Man of Fire is still sweeping the harvest into His presence. He will baptise you with the Holy Ghost and Fire.

Lilian de Fin


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