This morning, as I was having tea with dear high school friends of mine we were talking about missions, nations, farming, business, and life, and got asked: “How do you overcome the challenges of living in a country where you are, for all intents and purposes, an outsider — coming from a different cultural background, having to learn a third and fourth language and having few local friends?”
The truth is: after a while the adventure wears off, living in a tent in the wilderness loses its charm, you long for simple fellowship where your stories, your language, and your culture does not have to be contextualized.
The one thing that is un-negotiable is that you cannot limit your obedience to the call of God on your life to the physical and spiritual challenges you face. And yes — that’s easier said than done.
The minute we start relying on our own capacity — to make friends, to learn the local language, to disciple, to provide, to find practical solutions, we will become exhausted.
When we serve the mission, without serving the vision, we’re not expanding the Kingdom, we’re simply ticking off a To-Do List.
Fulfilling the call of God on our lives may look different from person-to-person, and there’s certainly no guideline or manual on how to do that, other than walking in obedience to Holy Spirit.
— C. G.
So, while the physical (and spiritual) challenges of foreign missions can become overwhelming (even if only for a moment), what drives me is not my own sense of comfort, the familiarity with which I cultivate friendships, the types of food I eat, or the language I worship in.
There are SO many things worth celebrating and testifying about — it certainly isn’t a giant chunk of “suffering for the Lord” — and perhaps fulfilling the mission doesn’t come with a manual, but serving the vision is always rewarding!
The Mission might be to make disciples. But the Vision will lead you to those who have ears that are ready to hear, and hearts that are open to receive.
The Mission might be to develop sustainable agricultural practices. But the Vision is to look at the wilderness and see the harvest when the ground has not yet be worked, and the seed has not yet been sown.
The Mission might be to raise financial partnerships. But the Vision is to walk in faith that God is your source and provider, and that every partnership is an extension of the Kingdom.
The Mission might be to reach those who have not yet had the opportunity to hear the Gospel. The Vision will inspire you to find cultural and physical and spiritual solutions; to do whatever it takes to translate the Kingdom into practical Good News.
All this to say, that being a missionary isn’t one simple thing. It’s not a job description or a title. It’s to be whatever you need to be, wherever you need to be, to show up, to preach the Kingdom, to serve the Vision, and to walk in obedience.
It’s as simple, and as complicated, as that.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin, I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
Have you thought this during a challenging season?
We have all experienced some form of ‘waiting’ in our lives. It can riddle our minds with anxiety, worry, and doubt.
To wait involves a delay to action until something occurs. To be patient involves accepting a delay without becoming angry.
I hear countless stories from family, friends, and strangers about the uncertainty in this current ‘waiting’ season. There is confusion, frustration, anger, pain, and strife. We are longing for consistency with school challenges, daycare options, job security, health concerns; the list goes on.
This is a temporary season of change. Though it may feel it is lasting a long time, remember we are being molded, sharpened, and etched into a new creation. A plant only flourishes after it is first rooted in the ground. So it is that we are seeds of light rooted in the foundation of Jesus Christ. So, do not be discouraged when we grow during sufferings because God is at work for our good and His glory.
Romans 8:18 tells us, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (ESV).
“Time spent in the in-between, a transition from one thing to the next, can often be frustrating, but it is NEVER time that is wasted when it is WAITING, as an act of OBEDIENCE.”
We shall look forward to our future glory that is to come because when Christ returns, we will step into our Heaven-given inheritance. Let us focus beyond the frustrations of this season for God surpasses any struggles we face. God provides splendid liberty and justice for all. Have firm hope in the Holy Spirit who intercedes on our behalf to the Father. For the Spirit shares in our burdens. You are not alone.
Wherever God has you in this season, you are to bloom where you are planted.
I pray you would allow His restorative love to strengthen your heart. Be encouraged that God has a perfect plan for your life. Remain patient, for the best is yet to come.
J’ai lu « Circles in a Forest » à l’âge de huit ans, et quelque part au secondaire, j’ai découvert que ce chef-d’œuvre littéraire avait été écrit en Afrikaans par Dalene Matthee.
Des années plus tard, en tant qu’étudiant en littérature et en pratique du langage, j’ai approfondi l’écriture autochtone, l’écriture coloniale et les idées éphémères que nous partageons de la lecture à la lecture.
Les histoires à plusieurs niveaux sont mes préférées, et alors que nous parcourions les sentiers de VTT à Hartspad Adventure Trails (nous avions l’intention de parcourir la route rouge et avons fini par faire plusieurs boucles de la route bleue à la place) et nous nous sommes un peu perdus, J’ai pensé à la façon dont chaque saison de la vie ajoute aux superpositions des itinéraires que nous voyageons émotionnellement, physiquement, spirituellement.
Nous saluons les étrangers en passant, et ils deviennent amis. Nous devenons plus forts, et parfois nous nous arrêtons pour nous reposer et nous regrouper.
Nous nourrissons nos âmes, nos corps, nos esprits. Et si nous parcourons ces routes assez souvent, un sentiment de familiarité persiste parmi la cime des arbres et le rythme de nos pieds comme ils frappent le sol, un ami tendre la main pour nous aider à surmonter les obstacles, et surtout, un profond… Même parmi les morts, il y a la vie.
I read “Circles in a Forest” as an eight-year-old, and somewhere in high school I discovered that this literary masterpiece was originally authored in Afrikaans by Dalene Matthee.
Years later, as a student of Literature and Language Practice I delved deeper into native writing, colonial writing and the ephemeral insights we share from reading-to-reading.
Multi-layered stories are my favourite, and as we trekked through the MTB-trails at Hartspad Adventure Trails (we intended to hike the red route and ended up doing multiple loops of the blue route instead) and got sort-of-lost, I thought of how each season of life adds to the overlays of the routes we travel emotionally, physically spiritually.
“If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.]”
— Galatians 5:25 AMPC
We greet strangers in passing, and they become friends. We grow stronger, and sometimes we stop to rest and regroup. We feed our souls, our bodies, our minds. And if we travel these routes often enough, a sense of familiarity lingers among the swaying treetops and the rhythm of our feet as they hit the ground, a friend reaching out to help us overcome obstacles, and above all, a deep-set realisation that even among dead things there is life.
As a young believer, I attended the local Every Nation church (an international church family that I still consider to be ‘home’), and I remember Pastor Celeste beginning every sermon she shared with a faith confession:
“This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I can do what it says I can do. I believe it is the Truth. I believe in the power of the spoken Word of God. I will consult it in tribulation. I will speak it in season and out of season. I will use it as reference. I will not be silent. I read it with a wiling heart. I am guided by the Spirit. I will do mighty deeds in the Name of Jesus. The enemy shall flee before me and the Sword in my hand. I will use it to guide and disciple. And I will follow His guidance, step by step.”
Pastor Celeste Nel, Every Nation Faith City
You see, this was not simply a rhyme or empty prayer to declare, but a reminder, a deep-rooted conviction that God is who He says He is, and that I therefore am who He says I am.
As believers, and non-believers or sceptics, one of the issues we most often grapple with is simply this: Who am I? What is my purpose? Why am I here?
I think it was Oswald Chambers who famously said, “We exist to know God and enjoy Him forever,” and though this definitely lays the foundation for doctrinal discussion, I think Who Is God and therefore, Who Am I, are questions that can be answered in this: by knowing who He truly is, we discover who we truly are.
“In the Kingdom, function does not determine purpose. Understanding your purpose will determine how you function.”
It’s been 16 years since I embarked on this faith journey: having a relationship with God, and not simply living under the yoke of religion, and though there is still SO MUCH MORE to discover and learn, one of the things that has been integral to my relationship with God is learning and understanding His character, the I AM of which Scripture speaks.
Understanding who God is, and understanding why he created Man in His image and likeness, unlocks our Identity, purpose, authority here on earth, and adds a deeper level of intimacy of our relationship with Him.
Hardus, one of the students who attend our virtual Bible study shared this testimony with our group last week, and I asked whether he would be willing to share it with the world.
As you watch this video, may you be encouraged that He is the God who is who He says He is, who can do what He says He can do — who created you in His image and likeness!
Ons was op Ekspedisie in Simwatachela Chiefdom in Zambië. Ekspedisies is Evangelie-uitreike van twee weke lank, waar ons met die DAF-vragmotor in die bos kamp met basiese toerusting. Ons het ongeveer 7 ure lank gery om in Mafuta village uit te kom waar ons net buite die dorpie gekamp het. Ons was hier om met die plaaslike kerke te werk, van huis-tot-huis te besoek en die Evangelie te deel.
Ekspedisies is opwindend! Tydens huis-tot-huis besoeke hoor baie mense die Evangelie vir die eerste keer. Zambië staan bekend as ‘n Christelike nasie, maar die werklikheid is dat die kerke gebuk gaan onder valse godsdiens en leerstellings, en die goeie nuus van die Koninkryk was nog nooit gepreek nie. Verhoudinge met plaaslike leiers en pastore is een van die grootste geleenthede om hulle uit die Woord te bemoedig. By baie van hierdie bos-kerke waar ons aan doen, vind ons dat die hoof pastoor of leeraar nie eers ‘n Bybel besit nie, en wanneer hulle wel ‘n Bybel besit, is dit gewoonlik nie in een van die stamtale wat in daardie spesifieke area gepraat word nie.
Na Bybelstudie (ons het 14h00 by die skool ontmoet), kom ons terug kamp toe om aandete voor te berei voor die nag-vergadering (wat om 19h00 sou begin).
Ek was besig om aandete voor te berei toe Kati en Trenton vra of ons nog 5 gaste vir aandete kon akkommodeer.
Ek was weliswaar huiwerig om ja te sê. Ons het ordentlike porsiegroottes vir elke maaltyd uitgewerk, maar aangesien ons span meestal bestaan uit jong mans (wat die eet soos kommandowurms), is daar raar tweedeporsies of oorskied.
Kati het gevra, “Kan ons meer mense voer?” En ek het gesê: “Miskien. As ons nou begin bid. ”
Ek het onmiddellik gevoel hoe die Heilige Gees my berispe vir my selfsug.
Ons was moeg en honger, en ons het ‘n bietjie span tyd nodig gehad voordat ons na die nag-byeenkoms sou gaan, en nou het ons 5 ekstra gaste en verskeie kinders wat opgedaag het, wat verwag om gevoed te word, en ons span tyd sou opneem.
Die Heilige Gees het my herinner aan hierdie gedeelte uit Hebreërs 13: 2 – “Moenie vergeet of verwaarloos of weier om gasvryheid aan vreemdelinge uit te reik nie (in die broederskap) – vriendelik, hartlik en genadig, deel die gemak van u huis en doen u deel vrygewig ], want daardeur het sommige engele vermaak sonder om dit te weet. ”
Ons gaste het al die pad van ‘n naburige dorp af gestap — 13km. Hulle het almal hierheen geloop om die Bybelstudie by te woon, en hulle wou vir die nag-byeenkoms bly. Hulle het so ver gestap omdat die Boodskap wat ons gebring het vir hulle belangrik was om te hoor!
Tog was ons bekommerd dat ons hulle nie sou kon voed nie, en dat ons eie gemak sou ly? Belaglik, nie waar nie?
Ek het my herinner aan die offer wat ‘n jong seuntjie na Jesus gebring het toe vyfduisend mans (en baie vroue en kinders) bymekaar was om Hom te hoor preek. Dit was ‘n eenvoudige offer: vyf brode en twee visse. En dit het die menigtes gevoed.
Hoe moet ons die Gees voed as ons nie die liggaam voed nie, en vice versa?
Ons Westerse skeptisisme het daartoe gelei dat ons hoër heinings gebou het in plaas van langer etenstafels. Ons is bang dat as ons een aand vyf besoekers en ‘n paar kinders voed, dat die hele village die volgende aand by die voorstoep sal regstaan en aalmoese en kos verwag.
Ja, ons wil nie ‘n ingesteldheid of ‘n verwagting van afhanklikheid skep nie, maar is ons so selfsugtig dat ons nie kan deel wat ons het met diegene wat dit nodig het nie?
Ons het gisteraand ontbytburritos vir aandete gehad, en nadat ons gaste, bedieningsvennote en die hele span bedien is, en elkeen ‘n tweede keer kos gekry het, was daar nog ‘n burritos oor wat ek toe aan die kinders buite ons kamp gegee het.
Hoe sal ons ooit God se voorsiening kan uitput?
Matteus 6 sê dat ons nie hoef te bekommer oor wat ons sal eet of drink of dra nie, dat môre vir homself sal sorg. Dit is egter wat ons daaglikse lewe vul: ons werk hard sodat ons geld kan spaar om meer dinge te koop en meer plekke te gaan en vooruit te beplan en beter dinge te kan bekostig. En hoewel daar niks verkeerd daarmee is om spaarsamige rentmeesters te wees nie, is ek verbaas dat hierdie mense wat in modderhuise woon, omring deur bosse aan alle kante, wat 7 jaar laas ‘n goeie oes gehad het, deel wat hulle het met ‘n hele gemeenskap, hulle kla nie of hou nie terug wanneer hulle hul nshema moet deel met Westerlinge wat dink dat dit aaklig smaak sonder sout of sous nie.
Maar hier is diegene wat die minste het, die gewilligste om te deel.
Nadat ek byna 40 mense op ‘n 25-porsie begroting gevoed het, was ek herinner aan hierdie gedeelte van Kolossense (hier onder).
Laat ons ALTYD gereed wees om te bedien, te dien, te deel, ‘n antwoord te gee vir die hoop op Christus wat binne ons is!
“Wees ernstig en ongeduldig en standvastig in u gebed [lewe], wees [albei] waaksaam en bedoel [met u danksegging] met danksegging. En bid terselfdertyd ook vir ons, dat God vir ons ‘n deur kan oopmaak vir die Woord (die Evangelie), om die verborgenheid rakende Christus (die Messias) te verkondig op grond waarvan ek in die gevangenis is; Dat ek dit volledig kan verkondig en dit duidelik maak [praat met vrymoedigheid en openbaar daardie raaisel], net soos my plig. Gedra julle verstandig [leef verstandig en met oordeelkundigheid] in jul verhouding met die buite-wêreld (nie-Christene), maak die beste van die tyd gebruik en benut (koop op) die geleentheid. Laat u toespraak te alle tye genadig wees (aangenaam en oorweldigend), gekruid [soos dit was] met sout, [sodat u nooit kan verloor nie] om te weet hoe u iemand moet antwoord [wat ‘n vraag aan u stel] . “ – Kolossense 4: 2-6
We were out on Expedition in Simwatachela Chiefdom in Zambia. A bare-bones two-week ministry trip in which we drove 7 hours with the DAF truck and set up camp in the bush just outside Mafuta village. We were here to work with the local churches, visit from home-to-home, and share the Gospel.
Expeditions are exciting! During home-to-home visits, many people hear the Gospel for the first time. Zambia is known as a Christian nation, but the reality is that its churches are weighed down by false religion and doctrine, and the Kingdom has never been preached. Building relationships with local leaders and pastors is one of the greatest opportunities to encourage them from the Word.
After Bible Study (we met at the school at 14h00), we came back to camp to prepare dinner before the night meeting (which was scheduled to start at 19h00).
I was halfway into preparing dinner when Kati and Trenton asked whether we could accommodate 5 more guests for dinner.
Admittedly, I was reluctant to say yes. We had worked out decent portion sizes for each meal, but since our team is made up of mostly college-age young men (who eat their weight’s worth), there are hardly any seconds or leftovers.
Kati asked, “can we feed more people?” And I said, “Maybe. If we start praying now.”
I immediately felt convicted by Holy Spirit for my own selfishness.
We were tired and hungry, and we needed some team time before heading into the night meeting, and now we had 5 extra people, and multiple kids, who had shown up, expected to be fed, and would impose on our team time.
Holy Spirit reminded me of this passage from Hebrews 13:2 — “Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers [in the brotherhood–being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Our guests were from a village 13km away. They had all walked here to attend the Bible Study, and they wanted to stay for the night meeting.
Yet, we were worried that we wouldn’t be able to feed them, and that our own comfort would suffer? Ridiculous, right?
I was reminded of the offering a young boy brought to Jesus as five thousand men (and many women and children) were gathered to hear Him teach. It was a simple offering: five loaves, and two fish. And it fed the multitudes.
How are we to feed the Spirit, if we do not feed the flesh, and vice versa?
Our Western scepticism has lead us to build taller fences in stead of longer dinner tables. We’re afraid that, if we feed five visitors and some kids the one evening, that the next evening, the whole village will line up at the doorstep, expecting handouts and food.
Yes, we don’t want to create a mindset or an expectation for dependency, but are we so selfish that we cannot share what we have with those who need it?
We had breakfast burritos for dinner last night, and after our guests, ministry partners and entire team had been served, and EVERYONE had a second helping, there were still some left, which I then gave to the kids standing around outside our camp.
Who are we to think that we can ever out-give God?
Matthew 6 says that we are not to worry about what we will eat or drink or wear, that tomorrow will take care of itself. Yet, this is what consumes our day-to-day: we work hard so that we can save money to buy more things and go more places and plan ahead and afford better stuff. And, though there’s nothing wrong with being frugal stewards, I’m amazed that these people, who live in mud houses, surrounded by bush on every side, who haven’t had a good harvest in 7 years, who share what they have with an entire community, do not grumble or complain or hold back when they have to share their nshema with Westerners who think it tastes terrible without salt or relish.
Yet, here, those who have the least are most eager to share.
As I was feeding nearly 40 people on a 25-person budget, I was reminded of this passage from Colossians (here below).
Let us ALWAYS be ready to minister, to serve, to share, to give an answer for the Hope of Christ that is within us!
“Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life], being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving. And at the same time pray for us also, that God may open a door to us for the Word (the Gospel), to proclaim the mystery concerning Christ (the Messiah) on account of which I am in prison; That I may proclaim it fully and make it clear [speak boldly and unfold that mystery], as is my duty. Behave yourselves wisely [living prudently and with discretion] in your relations with those of the outside world (the non-Christians), making the very most of the time and seizing (buying up) the opportunity. Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned [as it were] with salt, [so that you may never be at a loss] to know how you ought to answer anyone [who puts a question to you].” — Colossians 4:2-6
I felt like spending the day in bed. And I did have a good lie-in.
But then I got up, ate grapefruit, and went for a run. While the run didn’t exactly go according to plan (I have become very unfit during Lockdown 🙈 and Garmin has had a bug that has kept Connect from functioning), I ran a PB on 1km and a new fastest mile.
This morning when I asked a friend of mine what he was doing, he responded, “Building character,” I later came to understand that he was watching The Karate Kid.
It reminded me of the parable of the talents, found in Matthew 25 — not because running is such a noble or holy pursuit, but because 9 times out of 10, God opens the door for ministry simply because we have been faithful to show up, even if we didn’t feel like it.
“His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys.”
As carriers of this Message, as ambassadors of the Kingdom, we don’t have to seek out ministry — it’s right there with every person you speak to, whether in church or in a grocery store or via Zoom.
Being faithful to show up, to build character, spending time in the Word, and drawing on His presence — these are the things that build strength and stamina to do whatever it takes to be Ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven.
When you hear Holy Spirit tell you to step up and show up, may you have the courage to boldly proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom!
May you be faithful to show up, doing and serving in that ministry to which you have been called.
May you build spiritual and physical muscle and stamina, to do whatever it takes to reach the one.
May you rest well and deep, being refreshed by Holy Spirit, and may you then continue torun wild with this Great Message, so that all men from every tribe and every tongue maylive free!
We try to save time, to make time, to stop wasting time, to find time, to be on time, to be in time.
We connect time to our understanding of wealth, to our sense of accomplishment, and we connect it to our sense of failure.
I’m reminded of that sinner on the cross next to Jesus. At the last moment, his destiny was changed.
There still is time.
Our happiness is not intrinsic to time-things. You’re not too old to start something new, or to make a career change. It’s not too late to forgive or make your peace. You’ve not wasted time — you’ve learned valuable lessons.
He is faithful to complete the Good Work He started within you.
And that takes time. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be honest. Be kind. Work diligently. Grow from failure. Keep dancing.
I’m turning 30 in a couple of months, and though there are things I might’ve approached differently if I had a do-over, I’m thankful for every sun spot and wrinkle and gray hair because it’s evidence of BEING ALIVE.
2020 has been weird, but let’s not let the past hold us back from what the future may hold.
2020 has been weird, but let’s not let that keep us from living LIFE.
“I shall not die but live, and shall declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the Lord.”
— Psalm 118:17
About a week ago my sister, who is 8 months pregnant, was in a car accident. In this video I share their testimony, and some encouragement about the rhythm of life, our purpose in the Kingdom, and the fellowship of believers.
“In the Kingdom, function does not determine purpose. Understanding purpose will determine how we function. This is the Gospel of Identity.”
— Cornelia Grace.
Our testimony will ALWAYS be LIFE and not death — let this be our declaration: God is the Author of Life!
Hartspad is an Afrikaans word meaning “path of the heart”.
Today I got to spend some wonderful hours outside, and did the first trail run (and honestly, first outdoor anything) since lockdown began in May!
I did a combination of walking with Marietjie and Felicity, and jogging back-and-forth, and it was lovely!
The winter scenery was exquisite, and I look forward to getting back on the trails soon!
Hartspad Adventure trails are hiker/runner/MTB friendly, with route markers clearly indicating the trails and difficulty (especially for MTB) along a beautiful course. I was very impressed with the route layout and the visible signage. Keeping fit and healthy is conducive to mental health, and today’s adventures certainly brought a measure of balance!
When I started using #runwildlivefree in 2018, it was because of a life-altering adventure I said yes to — stepping out in faith, and acting in obedience to the call of God on my life.
May you be greatly and abundantly blessed! May you see beauty in every season, and may He be your Source in all things!
May your heart be lead on paths of righteousness. May you be filled and refreshed by Holy Spirit. May you be guided by Him in all things. And may you have the courage to step into the Great Unknown, to pioneer the things that He has called you to!
Love in Christ, Cornelia 🇨🇩🤍🙌🏻
“THE SPIRIT of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound, [Rom. 10:15.] To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, [Matt. 11:2-6; Luke 4:18, 19; 7:22.] To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion–to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit–that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” — Isaiah 61:1-3 AMPC
« Jésus dit: « Père, pardonne-leur, ils ne savent pas ce qu’ils font. » Les soldats tirent au sort pour savoir qui aura ses vêtements. Puis ils les partagent entre eux. »
Bonne Nouvelle selon Luc 23:34
Trahi par des amis, accusé bien qu’innocent, torturé jusqu’à être cloué sur la croix – les injustices que Jésus a souffert ne pouvaient pas être pires. Et en plus de cela les gens autour de lui se moquent de lui et l’humilient. Dévêtu, Jésus est mourant sur la croix avec ses blessures. Il y a personne pour lui offrir de la compassion. Bien au contraire, les personnes présentes cherchent à le briser avec des paroles accusatrices et ignobles. Tous les yeux sont rivés sur lui.
“While they were nailing Jesus to the cross, he prayed over and over, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” The soldiers, after they crucified him, gambled over his clothing.”
Lorsque Jésus ouvre enfin sa bouche pour répondre, personne ne s’attendait à ces paroles : « Père, pardonne-leur ! ». Ce que Jésus a enseigné dans son sermon sur la montagne à propos d’aimer ses ennemis, ces paroles sont démontrées avec la manière la plus incroyable.
Je trouve difficile de ne pas rétorquer et de ne pas me défendre, alors que je me sens victime d’une injustice. Bien sûr, je sais que dans le fond c’est pour mon bien que Jésus me demande de pardonner. Lorsque je porte une rancune à l’égard des autres, avant tout cela pèse mon cœur, mes pensées et mon âme. Jésus nous montre comment être libres de ces fardeaux. Je souhaite être guidé par cet exemple bien plus que par les choses négatives dans ma vie.
Tourne ton regard vers ton cœur. Qui est responsable pour les plus grandes blessures dans ta vie ? Qui est la personne envers qui tu as de la rancune ? Pour en être libéré, commence à prier pour cette personne pendant trois minutes. Le ressentiment ne va peut-être pas disparaître immédiatement, mais persévère dans la prière et laisse-toi inspirer par le manière que Jésus a de prier pour ses ennemis. Voilà où se trouve le premier pas vers la liberté.
“Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.”
— Romans 5:3-5 AMPC
As always, I invite you to let me know how I can pray for you!
I am still here, writing from my home town in South Africa, and here not much has changed since our nation-wide lockdown has been instituted. Yes, some provinces have started phasing out the lockdown restrictions, but in many ways, we are still where we were before.
I am so thankful for technology that helps us to stay connected internationally, but I am excitedly looking forward to a day when we can once again connect face-to-face!
Despite the limiting physical circumstances, MPD preparations are well under way, and language learning and life is going well. While being in lockdown, I have kept in touch with my team (spread out across Zambia and USA, since they had to evacuate DRC before the borders closed down), who are also in various phases of quarantine. While Jessy and I are fundraising through MPD, and learning French, Julie, Darrin and Sherrill are on Rapid 14.
Julie has been able to serve in the local clinic as a Midwife. She has shared some incredibly encouraging stories, and I encourage you to follow these testimonies on social media — whether on their personal profiles, or through Overland Missions.
We all anticipate the day when we will be together in DRC, advancing the Kingdom and sharing the Word of God. For now, we remain faithful in doing what we can do to prepare for post-pandemic ministry, and await communication from Overland Missions’ leadership as well as that of the various countries in which we are currently waiting out the quarantine restrictions.
In recent video meetings, our founder and president, Phillip Smethurst (CEO), predicted that many African nations (South Africa included) may take longer to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic because of the lack of medical resources and facilities that will be able to manage the influx of patients.
I spoke to some friends at Kalene Hill Hospital in Northwest Zambia (right on the border between DRC, Angola, and Zambia), and they have reported that they are only now receiving many patients who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. These areas are so remote that they are only now catching up with the global exposure to the virus. Unfortunately, people living in these remote and rural areas often don’t have access to health care (health care is in limited supply in most African countries), and generally don’t have good immune systems due to harsh physical conditions and malnutrition. However, our team gladly serves these communities, not only with humanitarian care, but with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
As far as DRC is concerned, a report was sent to our team which projected that cases for COVID-19 will peak in September. It is expected that South Africa’s borders will also remain closed until then, though limited travel in-country will be allowed. However, the guestimation that the borders might not be open to foreigners or international travel, means that things are still uncertain. We pray that things will stabilize and return to normal as soon as possible.
Even during this time, we’ve heard testimonies from our team on the ground who have shared that even though they are under lockdown, ministry continues through their disciples in the villages.
The plans and purposes of the Lord are never stopped or hindered, or even delayed by anything in this world.
I have been considering that Paul (who is, in my opinion, one of the greatest missionaries) wrote two thirds of the New Testament from prison. Our ability to go out and see other people face-to-face might be limited by lockdown, but the Good News is never locked in.
My co-workers in an Unnamed North African Country, have shared how in the midst of Ramadan, they have been able to share plates of food and snacks with their neighbours (they leave it on neighbours’ doorsteps and communicate from further down the hall). Now that they have been living in-country form some time, doing language training and discipleship, they are able to add encouraging notes to these food packages, sharing Scripture and greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, and it has opened further doors to ministry in this closed country.
We all pray and are expectant to see increase and abundance when we are able to return to the ministries we’ve been assigned to, because we know that God is continually revealing more of Himself. He still heals. He still restores. He still pours out His Spirit. There’s no bad report that can undo what God is doing in the nations. He’s always doing something new, and brining dead things to life.
As always, I invite you to share any prayer requests — you can reach me via email, social media, or WhatsApp.
Love in Christ,Cornelia
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
This morning I’d like to share an excerpt from Capturing the heart of God for the Nations with you!
It is still true today that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few (Matthew 9:37-38). Today, as we ride out the effects and affects of Covid-19, I ask you to orient yourself to the harvest that lies beyond.
While our ability to go out, and preach that the Kingdom is at hand may be limited right now, we can prepare for the harvest that is yet in the field, praying and asking God to send laborers into His harvest.
Moreover, won’t you be as bold to ask if He wants to send you as one of those laborers?
Love in Christ, Cornelia 🇨🇩
OUR MISSIONS RESPONSIBILITY
And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
The torch for world missions began with the primitive Church. In obedience to the supreme commission entrusted to them, these early apostles were dispersed throughout the nations, eventually dying as martyrs because their message of Christ would be unacceptable to the religionists and the lost of their day. One of the major figures in launching world missions was the Apostle Paul, whose missionary journeys took him from Antioch into all of Asia and then to Rome toward the end of his life. Through the obedience and passion of these firebrands, the gospel fires blazed in many nations.
From generation to generation there has always been a remnant that has remained loyal and passionate to continue to grow the Church and pursue the lost. These determined followers loved not their lives unto death and sacrificially went to the regions beyond. This fire of God for the nations must once again be kindled in our hearts.
In his book, The Passion for Souls, Oswald Smith wrote about Dr. Alexander Duff:
“Dr. Alexander Duff, that great veteran missionary to India, returned to Scotland to die, and as he stood before the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, he made his appeal, but there was no response. In the midst of his appeal he fainted and was carried off the platform. The doctor bent over him and examined his heart. Presently he opened his eyes. “Where am I?” he cried. “Where am I?” “Lie still,” said the doctor. “Your heart is very weak.” “But,” exclaimed the old warrior, “I must finish my appeal. Take me back. Take me back. I haven’t finished my appeal yet.” “Lie still,” said the doctor again, “You are too weak to go back.”
But the aged missionary struggled to his feet, his determination overcoming his weakness; and with the doctor on one side and the moderator on the other side, the old white-haired warrior was led again to the platform, and as he mounted the pulpit the Apostle Paul, whose missionary journeys took him from Antioch into all of Asia and then to Rome toward the end of his life. Through the obedience and passion of these firebrands, the gospel fires blazed in many nations.
“When Queen Victoria calls for volunteers for India,” he exclaimed, “hundreds of young men respond; but when King Jesus calls, no one goes.” Then he paused. Again he spoke. “Is it true,” he asked, “that Scotland has no more sons to give for India?” Again he paused. “Very well,” he concluded, “if Scotland has no more young men to send to India, then, old and decrepit though I am, I will go back, and even though I cannot preach, I can lie down on the shores of the Ganges and die, in order to let the peoples of India know that there is at least one man in Scotland who cares enough for their souls to give his life for them.” In a moment young men, all over the assembly, sprang to their feet, crying out, “I’ll go! I’ll go! I’ll go!”
For years handfuls of people have gone, prayed, and given to the harvest, but most today remain disconnected from this call. Many Christians will give more money to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks than they give to missions. Some will spend thousands of dollars to keep their pets healthy and strong while giving next to nothing for the sake of world missions. Their out-of-balance lives and their misplaced priorities need to be addressed.
Without a vision the people perish… Without a vision the people will not carry the gospel torch.
In developing nations, missionary zeal burns white-hot, with believers carrying the gospel torch despite their meager resources. There are nations being visited by the same Holy Spirit that blasted into the upper room and transformed a handful of trembling disciples into world-changing, dynamic soul-winners. Asia is experiencing tremendous church growth, with thousands coming to Christ each day. In Africa, believers boldly carry the gospel torch on trains and buses, and in the markets you will always find at least one zealous Christian busy about the Father’s business.
Anyone who has ever taken a short-term missions trip to a Third World nation has been impacted by the success of the gospel, as thousands are seen responding to the message of life. This gospel must be preached to all nations before the return of the Lord Jesus. We need to see the lost reached in the nations but also those all around us.
Every Christian should carry the gospel torch in this nation and to the ends of the earth through intercession, generous missionary offerings, and short-term missions trips. Some believers may even end up being called into a long-term missionary lifestyle.
“Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist.”
Oswald J. Smith, 1889-1986, Canadian missionary statesman and pastor
— Dr Leon Van Rooyen; Capturing the heart of God for the Nations
So, while we are all facing physical restictions in some form, we look toward the future with expectation; eagerly waiting for the go-ahead so that we can run to those who have not heard, who have not seen, so that every tribe and every tongue may come to know Him!
I know that for many of you, this season of quarantine or lockdown has taken a heavy toll on your emotional wellbeing, but I want to encourage you with this text that I recently sent to a friend: nothing you lay down in pursuit of the kingdom will ever make you less than what He created you to be. Sacrifice isn’t meant to be easy. But it’s not without reward.
Therefore, whatever sacrifice you make, or whatever challenge you face, may you endure it for the joy set before you, so that He might be made known, so that His Name may be glorified, and that all might taste and see that He is good!
Today many buildings where the Church gather are empty — and so we also celebrate the empty tomb! He is risen! 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻
Mag die krag van Heilige Gees wat Jesus uit die dood opgewek het, vandag en elke dag in jou en deur jou werk om te getuig dat Hy leef!
May the resurrection power of Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, work in you and through you, today and every day, to testify that He is alive!
Que le pouvoir de résurrection du Saint Esprit qui a élevé Jésus des morts, travaille en vous et par vous, aujourd’hui et tous les jours, pour témoigner qu’il est vivant !
Mag die liefde van Vader, wat Sy Seun gegee het om namens ons met die aanklag en prys van sonde af te reken, saam getuig: tetelestai — dit is volbring!
May the Father’s love, who gave His Son to settle the accusation and price of the debt of sin against us, testify: tetelestai — it is finished!
Que l’amour du Père, qui a donné à Son fils pour régler l’accusation et le prix de la dette du péché contre nous, témoigne: Teteelastai, c’est fini!
Mag die Woord, wat die dood oorwin het, lewendig en kragtig in jou werk; jou daaraan herinner dat jy vir Hom, en deur Hom geskep is, dat Hy jou afvaardig om saam met Hom te regeer, en dat Hy weer terug sal kom.
May the Word, that defeated death, work in you with power and might, reminding you that you are created by Him and for Him, that He has ordained you to rule with Him, and that He will return.
Que la Parole, qui a vaincu la mort, travaille en toi avec le pouvoir et la puissance, te rappelant que tu es créé par Lui et pour Lui, qu’Il t’a ordonné de diriger avec Lui et qu’Il reviendra.
“Mais il leur dit: « N’ayez pas peur! Vous cherchez Jésus de Nazareth, celui qu’on a cloué sur une croix. Il s’est réveillé de la mort, il n’est pas ici. Voici l’endroit où on l’avait mis.”
I am not fond of inefficiency, but if a job takes time getting done in order to do it well, that’s just fine — because to carry the message of Christ is to do whatever it takes.
Worldwide, people are experiencing some form of quarantine. Here in South Africa, where I am currently doing MPD, our lockdown period has been extended to the end of April. While that presents some challenges with travel plans and timelines (no less than to anyone else), I aim to use this time to train my spirit and body to be a well-equipped carrier of the message of Christ.
Overland Missions’ vision is to reach remote and unreached people groups from all nations with the Gospel of Christ.
Often times, this means walking over rough terrain where there are few to no roads. It means covering long treks with 4×4 vehicles to camp in the bush. It means learning a foreign language so that you can communicate the Gospel accurately and effectively. It means sitting down for hours with one person to answer their questions and navigate cultural barriers.
No sacrifice you ever make in pursuit of the Kingdom will ever make you poor.
While this life is filled with adventure and travel, new experiences and breathtaking. scenery, our hearts are always after the ONE.
So, while I am not allowed outside, I run in circles — if that’s what it takes — to train my body to be strong and fit so that I might be a good steward of the gift of the Spirit. I study French so that I am better able to communicate to the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo — though French is not at all representative of the colourful scope of languages and peoples we are privileged to serve! I study the Word, so that this great Message of the Gospel of Identity, might be engrained in every aspect of my being — so that, whatever it takes, the Kingdom might be expanded and His Name be made known to every tribe, and every tongue!
This is the job: to run wild, so that all might live free.
“I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture. The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep. [Ps. 23.]”
The Hebraic Passover was celebrated on Wednesday evening and today is Good Friday! Whichever day you choose to celebrate, may you be reminded of the Lamb that was slain, who conquered death, who rose again, and who sits at the right hand of the Father! It is finished!
The chief end of man is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.
May this be what you call to remembrance: you were made for Him, and by Him, in His likeness. He paid the price for death so that you might have life and have it in abundance!
This morning I took a few minutes to catch up with global Overland Missions staff, and read through a couple newsletters.
As more and more countries are implementing quarantine measures in response to COVID-19, I want to encourage you that being at home does not mean you are ineffective in ministry.
Personally, this quarantine has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster — I had specific plans and dates in place which would structure ministry and life. Like many others, such as yourselves, multiple plans have been restructured or temporarilyplaced on hold.
However, I diligently work towards improving my French vocabulary (a slow but steady progress) so that I might be more effective in reaching the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. And spending time in the Word to be better equipped in life and ministry. 🇨🇩
Here is a fun little video about what language learning looks like for our global team, and what this looks like across nations.
As some encouragement, I wanted to share some newsletters with you from fellow Overland missionaries — ministry often does not look like you expect it to.
Be faithful in the assignment before you, and obedient to the call of God in your life, and then these in-between moments become ministry in itself!
I’d like to share this update on the worldwide COVID-19 situation from Overland Missions‘ CEO — Philip Smethurst.
As missionaries who work in the foreign field among vulnerable people groups, who are remotely situated and not regularly exposed to the outside world, our international teams consider the risk this superbug presents to isolated communities with low immunity.
This past week, around 80 missionaries (kiddos included), with a mish-mash of 12 vehicles, representing 7 nations where the Good News of the Gospel is proclaimef, came together for Overland Missions’ annual African Staff conference.
What an uplifting an encouraging time to hear team members share on the Cost of Discipleship, to receive pastoral ministry, to cast vision, and to fellowship with team members who are also friends and family!
2020 will be a great year — what a privilege it is to labour in the Kingdom alongside giants such as these!
I just wanted to share this nugget with you! one morning I came into the kitchen to find kids’ church in gull swing — these kids live in foreign countries with their parents where they participate and share the Gospel with unreached and neglected people groups.
In Angola, the Mucubal are one of many nomadic tribes in the southern parts of Namibe — they have NEVER heard the Gospel before and have no written language.
Currently, 3 missionary families live and work full-time to reach these beautiful people, using a micture of English, Portuguese and Kuvale to tell parables and Bible stories to these remote people groups.
In this video, one of the Angolan missionary kids shares the story of Noah — these young missionaries are Spirit-filled and ready to witness the Love of God to the Nations!
What an incredible honour it is to work in the kingdom alongside World Changers like you!
I’ve been back in South Africa for just over a week and a half now (after coming back from the One Tribe Conference in the States), and it has been such a blessed time of fellowship with family and new friends.
I will be making my way to Mozambique within the next week to meet up with other staff from Overland Missions on assignment from 14 different countries, where we will come together for ministry, strategy and fellowship. I am especially looking forward to meeting up with my amazing DRC team!
Thank you for keeping up all in your prayers as we (as a team) will travel a combined 25000km over land to reach Mozambique.
Without your partnership, the mobilization for this mission would be considerably harder to achieve.
Thank you for your generous giving — your time, your finances, your prayers — our victory is your victory!
This year, I am specifically setting aside allocated time on a weekly basis to pray for you — my partners! Please feel free to update me with prayer requests ay any given time! I’d love to hear testimonies too!
I’d like to share this short testimony (one of several!) from my last day in the States:
I was visiting Universal Studio (a theme park in Florida) on the last day before flying out, and I had ordered an Lyft to take me back to my hotel that evening. Since my phone was not on roaming, I had to confirm my ride while I still had WiFi coverage. Somehow, someone accepted my ride request before I knew what was happening, and I had less than a minute to get there!
For the sake of context — Lyft charges a cover fee for cancellations to compensate the driver for their time if you miss your ride. So, if I missed this ride, I’d pay $5, and have to come back to where I (currently) was so that I could have WiFi again.
Fortunately I was wearing track shoes, and I made a dash for it! (A couple security guards looked at me with suspicion/interest, but I didn’t stop to explain that I hadn’t stolen anything.)
Needless to say, by the time I made it to the parking lot, which was 5 flights of stairs, and about an 800m sprint away, I couldn’t find my ride. It was dark, and they had temporary barricades to channel traffic, which added to the confusion.
I was dashing around like a madwoman when I resolved to pay the cancellation fee, and order another ride, when I saw someone wave from about 200m away.
It was Vonel, my driver!
What an amazing appointment this was!
Vonel is Haitian, but he’s been living in the States for nearly a year now, working as a Lyft/Uber driver. He speaks fairly good English, but I was able to speak to him in a mixture of French and Creole and we had a wonderful conversation.
I shared the Gospel with him, and by the end of the evening, he rededicated his life to the Lord.
What started out to be a chaotic run ended up being a divine encounter.
I couldn’t help but think of Acts 8:29 when Philip ran to catch the Ethiopian riding on his chariot.
Sometimes, the most profound ministry opportunities arise when we simply go about life — Jesus said, “as you go, proclaim that the Kingdom is at hand.” (Matthew 10:7)
And this is the simple Gospel, the message of the Kingdom — that God has come near, through Jesus Christ, to reconcile man to God.
“Eternal life means to know and experience you as the only true God, and to know and experience Jesus Christ, as the Son whom you have sent.” John 17:3 TPT
I pray that this story encourages you — that you will share the Gospel as you go; that Holy Spirit will open your eyes to ministry opportunities; that you will boldly proclaim this Good News — even if you nearly miss your ride and have to make a dash for it.
May the grace of God keep you and sustain you! Blessings 🇨🇩💜cornelia