circles in a forest

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.

Pour certains, il s’agit simplement de cercles dans une forêt.
Pour moi, c’est le rythme d’une saison.

Si nous vivons selon l’Esprit Saint, marchons aussi selon l’Esprit. [Si par le Saint-Esprit nous avons notre vie en Dieu, avançons dans la ligne, notre conduite est contrôlée par l’Esprit.]

— Galates 5:25
Gospel & Grit

kringe in ‘n bos

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.

Hartspad Adventure Trails has many short route options for trail runs, hiking, or MTB. Its family-friendly environment creates a lively atmosphere over weekends when friends and family escape the bane of city life and lockdown for some fresh air, fellowship, and wholesome refreshments. The café offers a variety of baked treats, light meals, and Toro’s coffee bar is a main attraction.

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.

To some this is simply circles in a forest.
To me this is the rhythm of a season.

#runwildlivefree

Gospel & Grit

He is who He says He is

I am who He says I am

Hardus shares his testimony about a revelation he had: God is who He says He is!

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.”

C.G.

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.

One of the most transformational books I ever read (aside from the Bible) was Such a Great Salvation, alternatively known as The Gospel Of Identity by Mike Petzer.

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.

Ever since Lockdown was enforced on 26 March this year, our weekly student Bible study has moved online. We are currently working our way through The Gospel Of Identity. These are some of the wonderful students who tune in for virtual Bible study on Monday evenings.

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!

#runwildlivefree

Life, not death!

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!

#runwildlivefree‬‬

producing hope

Dear team — friends, family, kingdom partners, co-labourers, mountain movers!

I truly appreciate each of you!
I know that, for many, these are strange times and I want to encourage you that there is grace for that — grace for figuring out a rhythm to life.

Here is an incredibly encouraging message from our Director of International Operations, Jessi Schwertfeger:

https://open.spotify.com/episode/0EKabZe9chF3B4NUtqcdgI?si=O9g_g398R3eNIY_RUnoA2g

Or find it here:

https://podcasts.apple.com/za/podcast/gospel-grit/id1484215436?i=1000473699330

“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!

Love in Christ,
Cornelia
🇨🇩💜🌻

#runwildlivefree

locked down but not locked in

Bonjour ! J’espère que vous-avez très bien ?

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.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic I have been applying my time toward language learning (yes, I studied French at university, but I am a little rusty, and I am slowly but surely building up my religious vocabulary), spending time in the Word, and reaching out to partners, family and friends via video calls.

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!

This morning, I rediscovered a post from May 2019 — a testimony from our first expedition in Sekute, Zambia.

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

#runwildlivefree

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. 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.

Romans 5 : 3-5

preparing for post-pandemic ministry

Friends! Family! Kingdom Partners!

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
🇨🇩

#runwildlivefree

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.

Acts 19:10

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!

the tomb is empty

Friends! Family! Kingdom Partners!

Today many buildings where the Church gather are empty — and so we also celebrate the empty tomb! He is risen!
🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

“And he said to them, Do not be amazed and terrified; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. [Ps. 16:10.]”
‭‭Mark‬ ‭16:6‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

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.”

Bonne Nouvelle selon Marc‬ ‭16:6‬ ‭PDV2017‬‬

May you be greatly and abundantly blessed!
🙌🏻🤍🇨🇩

#runwildlivefree

whatever it takes — quarantine circles

I really dislike running in circles.


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.]”

John‬ ‭10:9-11‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

#runwildlivefree

the only Friday that is called Good

Friends! Family! Kingdom Partners!

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!

There will be no mourning, there will be no crying

He wipes every tear and stops us all from dying

From every tribe and every nation and every climate

A beautiful tapestry with God as the designer

Until I see His face, amazing grace is my reminder

This is the power of the cross though we’re lost he can find us.

He’s the good shepherd, the Priest, the Cornerstone

The greatest servant and the king sitting on the throne.

Lecrae

#runwildlivefree

Blessings to you and your family ! 🤍🇨🇩


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sHCyHqBkIqI

good news in-between the Good News

Friends! Family! Kingdom Partners!

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 temporarily placed 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.

Language learning is an essential part of reaching remote people groups — it is not only about words, but cultures and mindsets. What a wonderful part of ministry this is!

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!

The Harts
https://mailchi.mp/41b4e1e0a658/our-harts-in-zambia-march-2020

The Lopezes
https://mailchi.mp/64f1d0f811e4/latest-among-crazy-virus-news-martin-and-richelle

The Krenzes
https://reachingtheneglected.wordpress.com/2020/04/04/were-in-this-together/

The Myszkas
https://us2.campaign-archive.com/?u=2c2a48bf5802791583470aa79&id=0f10009e9b

The Kiloughs
http://www.thisglobaljourney.com

The Pienaars
https://mailchi.mp/28ca926a3edb/shelter-in-place

The Phelps’
https://mailchi.mp/045c13344a03/omstandigheden

The Larsons
https://mailchi.mp/38f48cbd72a2/march-update?e=ed3a959f0c

2018/19 end of year report

For Christ, we communicate
the Gospel emphasizing the new
creation to forgotten people groups
in order to transform the most
remote places on earth, by making
disciples and developing leaders.
Team in Timor-Leste

from the CEO

2018 will be most remembered for three things: we graduated the largest AMT classes so far; our full-time team nearing 200; and the Kalene Hill mission in Central Africa coming under our administration. These were just a few highlights for our team in 2018.

Since it began in 2007, we have never graduated as many students from Advanced Mission Training (AMT) in a single year as we did in 2018. Fifty-one students attended our two AMT courses this year, and thirty one joined our full-time staff. With this increase in staff from the trainings, our team is nearing 200 and is positioned to grow more in future years with the addition of a third AMT class running in 2019 at our Mozambique base.

Another highlight of 2018 was our new administration of Kalene Hill. Receiving Kalene Mission into our administration was a big deal for me personally. Kalene was founded by Pentecostal missionaries out of the Welsh Revival in the early 1900s, becoming a hub for many great endeavors into Central Africa over the last century. Britain valued the land so much that they included it in the British colonial territories, calling it the “Finger of God.” As we agreed to take Kalene, I felt it was like a changing of the guard in Britain.

We feel so humbled that God would allow us to continue that work, which was founded by great men and women of God, who gave their lives and were buried there. The team experienced wins all over the world.

We expanded in Brazil with the purchase of two house boats on the Amazon River. We accomplished a successful reconnaissance of Malawi, with a strategy approved for full-time staff to launch. Our Congo team was awarded five-year visas in Katanga province, DR Congo. Land has been given and paperwork approved for new bases in Zambezi and Mwunilunga in Northwest Zambia, and building has begun. We finished the repairs of the base in Mozambique, and we are also excited to have missionaries living in an undisclosed country in South East Asia.

At the end of 2018, Overland has an established presence in Zambia, Angola, DR Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique, Morocco, the Middle East, Cambodia, South East Asia, Brazil, the UK, Holland, and the United States. In addition, our short-term teams are visiting several other nations.

Next year, we will be registering our organization in Malawi and pioneering into Mauritius, Madagascar, and Panama. As we near 200 staff, continue to grow our AMT program, and see the Lord’s blessing, our influence and the power of the Gospel will continue to spread to the most unreached people in the world.

Philip and Sharon Smethurst; CEO and Founders

sector management: DR Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of those African nations that stirs the imagination. The DRC lies at the heart of the continent, encompassing an area approximately 1/3 the size of the continental United States.

The Congo is a land full of biodiversity and natural beauty. The second largest rain forest in the world dominates the landscape, covering over 50% of the country. With a population of 84 million people and 56% of them living in rural areas, it is easy to see the need for the Gospel in the remote areas of this nation. Overland Missions has been working for almost a decade, attempting to establish a base in DR Congo.

Last year, that dream became a reality when our team established a base in the southeastern city of Likasi. That first year taught our team the importance of building local relationships and our glaring need for language training. The DRC is a country with approximately 242 tribal languages. As a team, we decided that the first part of 2018 must be spent in language school. This training has given us a solid foundation of French. In September of 2018, we returned to Congo.

During the limited time we have been in the DRC, we have focused on relationships. Due to the long history of political and social unrest in the country, many people are suspicious of outsiders. This suspicion raises many barriers that have to be navigated and overcome by building sincere, trusting relationships. Our team has focused on nurturing the relationships that we began last year. These include government, church, tribal, and civil leaders. Ministry here is about laying a strong foundation for the future. The people are receptive to teaching, and we believe the truth which we are ministering will result in future open doors for God’s glory.

click HERE to see the End Of Year Report

sector management: Mozambique

Our Mozambique team established a legal ministry presence within Inhambane province, allowing us to officially minister the Gospel to Mozambicans. After great government resistance, the aftermath of a cyclone and ministry setbacks in 2017, the first months of our year were set on rebuilding. We rebuilt our base, re-established our ministry paperwork, and welcomed our first 3-week expedition.

Perseverance has been our closest friend and the faithfulness of God our anchor. He has established our feet throughout the year, and the fruit of our labor has been proven sweet. While we have yet to establish our sector presence, we have established strong relationships with a local pastor and church body, and have jumped quickly into routine ministry alongside them. These relationships have opened several doors, many of which we explored on our first expedition.

Most locations have few or no churches established, and are heavily oppressed by witchcraft. In just a few weeks, the Gospel was shared in areas like Linga Linga where people now live free from bad dreams and night terrors. After we left, many in the village came together to start their own church. Why? “We no longer suffer at night with bad dreams. Since you prayed for us, we can sleep. The message you brought had to be true! What else can we do now but start a church in the name of your God?” We look forward to returning to Linga Linga and raising local leaders through discipleship.“Perseverance has been our closest friend & the faithfulness of God our anchor.

give me this island

I’m currently working my way through The God Ask, by Steve Shadrach.

We best honour God by agreeing with Him about the Truth. If He says it, it’s true.

In one of the illustrations on asking in faith, the author shares a story about Emperor Napoleon who after a long and particularly brutal battle, conquered a highly prized Mediterranean island.

Afterward, while he and his generals were sitting, drinking, savoring the victory, a young officer approached Napoleon. When the revered general asked the man what he wanted, he replied, “Sir, give me this island.”

The soldier’s answer to Napoleon’s question prompts the other generals to break out in laughter, mocking him for this ridiculous request. That is until Napoleon asks for pen and paper.

To their amazement, Napoleon wrote out a deed to the island, signed it, and handed it to the lowly, bold, soldier. “How could you do that?” one of the generals asked — knowing how costly the hard-won island had been obtained. “What made this man worthy to receive a great island after we fought so hard to win it?”

Napoleon replied, “I gave him this island because he honoured me by the magnitude of his request.”

One of the notions I’ve recently been stewing over is the idea that we best honour God by agreeing with Him about the Truth. If He says it, it’s true.

May we run the race in such a manner that we honour Him with the magnitude of our requests — our prayers and our lives that reflect Him as He truly is.

#runwildlivefree

“What is the cause of your conflicts and quarrels with each other? Doesn’t the battle begin inside of you as you fight to have your own way and fulfill your own desires? You jealously want what others have so you begin to see yourself as better than others. You scheme with envy and harm others to selfishly obtain what you crave—that’s why you quarrel and fight. And all the time you don’t obtain what you want because you won’t ask God for it! And if you ask, you won’t receive it for you’re asking with corrupt motives, seeking only to fulfill your own selfish desires.”
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— James (Jacob)‬ ‭4:1-3‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Divine Appointments

On our first Expedition to Sekute, Vanessa met up with some locals at one of the churches they were ministering at. This is her testimony of Divine Appointments, and how chance-exchanges lead to powerful transformation.

If you’re interested in full-time missions as a career, check out http://www.overlandmissions.com, and sign up for Advanced Missions Training, or join us on Expedition.

Lord, remember me

A couple years ago, I was waiting at the doctor’s office when 3 men in hand- and foot cuffs were ushered into the waiting room.

I assumed they had to be suspected of, or convicted of violent crime because they were under the surveillance of six prison guards. Two guards were assigned to each man, and they arrived separately.

As I sat there, thinking about the thieves that hung next to Jesus on the cross, I was reminded of the one thief’s cry for Salvation, his sincere repentance, and Jesus’s promise of redemption.

“One of the criminals who was suspended kept up a railing at Him, saying, Are You not the Christ (the Messiah)? Rescue Yourself and us [from death]! But the other one reproved him, saying, Do you not even fear God, seeing you yourself are under the same sentence of condemnation and suffering the same penalty? And we indeed suffer it justly, receiving the due reward of our actions; but this Man has done nothing out of the way [nothing strange or eccentric or perverse or unreasonable]. Then he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingly glory! And He answered him, Truly I tell you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Luke‬ ‭23:39-43‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

It’s so easy for us to judge those around us. These men did not look any different from the other people in the room. If weren’t for the fact that their clinking chains echoed through the hallways, they would probably not even have caught my attention.

As I mulled over the two thieve’s diverging reactions to Jesus and the fact that He was willingly crucified, I was overcome, anew, with a realization of the immensity of God’s Grace — the ministry of reconciliation!

“But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him].”

2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:18‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

People are not in need of powerful sermons or public protests. They don’t need “turn or burn” appeals.

That’s not the heart of the Gospel — which is the ministry of reconciliation, the declaration that the Kingdom of God has come near.

The world’s need is simply this — unconditional love.

Surely it’s not easy — especially when we feel like some are not deserving of love.

But, if one sinner repents because He recognized God for Whom He is, and received forgiveness, are we not to share this GOOD NEWS with every man?

The Gospel is the Good News of reconciliation for all men from every tribe and every tongue and every nation for all time.

CG

The love with which you love shapes your legacy. So, share the Good News. Make disciples. Impact generations.

2 Corinthians 5:18

what is a [missionary]?

What’s a missionary?

If your answer is something along the lines of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” or “Mormons”, and you’re not aware of the evangelical commission of the Apostles, found in Acts, then this is a good kick-off to transform your thinking.

Listen to this amazing vision by founder and CEO of Overland Missions, Philip Smethurst.

Apostles are pioneers, breaking the hard ground of unbelief.

Apostles aren’t humanitarian activists. They are ministers of the Gospel, they are paramedics, they are builders, they are innovators, they are entrepreneurs — the Gospel is a wholistic answer to every humanitarian issue in the history of mankind.

It’s a fundamental human right for men from every tribe and every tongue, from all nations, for all times to have access to the Gospel.

And THIS is the mandate of the Apostle.

#runwildlivefree

sit down, [son]

One of the most central issues within the [modern] church, that seems to pop up every now and then is the question:

Should women be allowed to preach?

Essentially, this question does not relate to the official platform of ‘preacher’ as it relates to pastor or whatever official title you’d like to slap on to the formal structure of [church] ministry. Rather, the question is this — are women supposed to publicly speak out about the Gospel?

One would think that, within the modern era, this question is finite, and also redundant. Yet, it’s something that constantly pops up in church discussions, social media, and feminist campaigns. Personally, I’m not an advocate for feminism. I’m an advocate for the Gospel, and that intrinsically implies equality. Perhaps we’ll have a discussion about this another time?

Part of the recent uproar was caused by criticism toward Christian Author, Beth Moore, and others who were told to ‘go home’.

Nijay Gupta recently wrote this brilliant commentary as Paul, in an open letter to the church:

An Open Letter from the Apostle Paul to John MacArthur Regarding Beth Moore

I think it’s important, when interpreting Scripture, to consider the context in which, and for which it was written. It is impossible to fully understand Scripture, especially in the New Testament where letters were written to specific churches [new Believers that were birthed out of the Apostolic mandate that followed the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2] without also considering these words from Hebrews 4:12:

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12, KJV:

I am, by no means, a Theologist or a Bible Guru, but from what I read, and see, and understand, the Word — all of it — is relevant and active to the here and now.

When reading Scripture that is culturally-specific, I think it’s important to consider that culture is such a diverse notion. It’s not something that is easily defined, and it’s even harder to transfer. But, when interpreting Scripture, we should be wary to not fall back under legalism. Christ said that He didn’t come to abolish the Law [the Levitical Law of Moses, as found in the Torah], but to fulfil it. Therefore, under the New Covenant, we are governed by the Spirit, and not the Law.

Does this mean that Scripture is no longer relevant? Absolutely not! It does mean, however, that we should interpret Scripture and its cultural notions through the Holy Spirit. There is an argument to be made, of course, that this is very subjective, and again — let’s be careful not to enforce the opinion of man on Scripture and call it Gospel — but, Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, and therefore is an agent on behalf of Man to intercede before the Father, and to reveal the will of God to the hearts and minds of Man.

Feminism aside, if you look at Scripture, you’ll find that, aside from the 12 disciples, there was a crowd of people who followed Jesus as he ministered. The vast majority were women.

Should women be allowed to preach? Absolutely.

Because the Great Commission, and the whole Scripture, is for Believers.

It’s not Elitist. It’s not meant for Scholars. It’s not culture-specific or culture-exclusive. It’s not language-specific. It’s not age-specific. it’s not race-specific. It’s not gender-specific.

Are you called to preach?

If you consider yourself to be a Believer — yes.

A minister of the Gospel is not a preacher, a bishop, a pastor a prophet — titles and job descriptions that [the church] has slapped on to formal structures to try and make sense of [the church]. Being a minister of the Gospel means to be like John 3:8 says, to be led by the Spirit, to be obedient to the whole Scripture, to preach the Good News of the Gospel, to be a witness to the Nations.

And if you happen to be a woman, does this disqualify you? No. I say — rise up and preach!

AN OPEN LETTER FROM THE APOSTLE PAUL TO JOHN MACARTHUR (RE: BETH MOORE)

John, I appreciate the love you have for the Lord and the passion you have for the church. I know that you think that the world would be a better place if women did as they were told and “stayed home.” But I need to tell you that you are damaging my ministry with these notions. The great gospel mission cannot impact the world in the ways God has planned if you hold back the kingdom’s servants. “The fields are ripe and the work is great,” Jesus used to say. Women have played such a crucial role in my apostolic mission, I could not operate without their wisdom, partnership and leadership.

They can’t go home, there is simply too much at stake.

Euodia and Syntyche (Phillipians 4:2-3) can’t go home. Sometimes these women don’t get along, but they have been leaders in evangelism and outreach and have worked alongside me to fight for the faith. They have to journey beyond their doorsteps to do this work.

Junia can’t go home, John. Sorry, she is in prison (again) because of her work for the gospel out there in the world (Romans 16:7). In fact, the other apostles have some pretty amazing things to say about her ministry.

Phoebe can’t go home, John. She went to Rome—actually, I sent her there (Rom 16:1-2). I sent her with my letter to the Romans and also to provide ministry support there. 

It might provide a little comfort to you that I sent Nympha to her home in Lycus Valley (Colossians 4:15); not to do domestic duties (she has servants for that), but to be the house church leader and patroness. 

John, we must part with any sentimental or nostalgic notions of womanhood where women sweep and cook while the men do the “real work” of ministry. I wish you could meet with the women who contend alongside me as co-workers of the gospel mission: they are gifted, wise, and brave (when was the last time you were in prison?). 

John, I know you care about the gospel, and we can’t do the work with one hand tied behind our backs. The gospel of Jesus Christ is just too important. Let the Phoebes, Junias, Euodias, Syntyches, and Nymphas do their work—and you do yours too.

Grace to you, John, and let others also know you are a grace-filled believer as well (remember: grace is generosity mixed with love out of the compassion of Christ) 

Paul, slave of Jesus Christ

Lucien

This morning Facebook reminded me of this seemingly simple event that took place two years ago — my conversation with Lucien.

As a teenager and student, I faithfully kept journals, but nowadays (especially trying to minimize weight while travelling often), I keep my thoughts and memoirs digitally. So, when I read over this ‘inscription’, I could not help but be amazed at the way God strategically line things up to work together for good.

Two years ago I was having a conversation on mangled French in a parking lot, and now I’m preparing to move to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and make it my home. Set your mind on the things of the Kingdom, look for Him, and all these things will be added — He is not slow in remembering His promises.

“So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God’s kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.”
Matthew 6:33‭-‬34 TPT

I quickly popped into Checkers because I needed milk, cat litter, and strawberries (I blame my friend Sanet for the craving). Most of the car guards at Checkers are Congolese and though I often greet them, it’s usually no more than a polite hi and bye.

Today however, I spoke to Lucien.
We had a quick chat about the heat, where he grew up near Kinshasa, how long he has been in South Africa for, and he complimented me on my native-sounding French accent.

I laugh at this now, because I realise that — without speaking it aloud — God has heard my prayer. I’ve been looking for ways to practice speaking French on a regular basis, and in one morning I hung out with Mariëtte and Arno (see previous post) who are emigrating to Canada soon, and Lucien — with plenty French-speaking opportunity.

While I was drinking my Crazy Chai Latté I noticed the inscription on Esthé’s glasses: LOOK FOR HIM.

Seek and you shall find. God is not far away, apathetic or angry. He is near us — in our hearts and minds, through the Holy Spirit, and He knows exactly what we need. Our simplest prayers are pleasing to Him.

Recherchez d’abord le royaume et la justice de Dieu, et tout cela vous sera donné en plus.

Matthieu 6:33 S21

judge not

We’ve assimilated into a culture that declares, “don’t judge” — perhaps in reference to MATTHEW 7:2.

However, practicing DISCERNMENT is a Biblical mandate.

When we look at outward appearances or practice judgement over other people’s lifestyles or choices, we’re not discerning, or even judging, we are condemning.

Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if we looked at other people the way God looks at them?

I’m not saying we should be apathetic toward injustice, or tolerant of discriminatory behaviour, but I urge you to consider this:

Even those who act dishonourably, are deserving of honour.

So, do not look at outward appearances, but consider, as God does, the conditions of the heart.

Practice compassion and not comparison.
Love without small print.
Honour without prejudice.

1 Samuel 17:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7 AMPC

https://bible.com/bible/8/1sa.16.7.AMPC

For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.
Matthew 7:2 AMPC

https://bible.com/bible/8/mat.7.2.AMPC

BUT [as for] you, teach what is fitting and becoming to sound (wholesome) doctrine [the character and right living that identify true Christians].
Titus 2:1 AMPC

https://bible.com/bible/8/tit.2.1.AMPC

advanced mission training

spiritually and practically equipping missionaries
Advanced Mission Training

3-MONTH TRAINING

AMT is the gateway to enter into a career in missions with Overland Missions. It is a course designed to equip people with the tools to take the Gospel anywhere in the world and make a sustainable impact. The class consists of 17 subjects that are a mixture of classroom learning and practical field exercises. For three months you will live fully immersed in a missions style environment with full-time missionaries. You will be part of a team of 20-30 people who are of like mind and faith and are all there to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You will experience a unique and challenging missionary training course that will prepare you to handle

any road…any load…any time.  

Course overview

Spend three-months submerged in a mission style environment. This course is split between nine weeks of classes and three weeks of expeditions. The curriculum is the following: Wilderness First Responder (WFR), 4X4 Driving and Recovery, Missionary Theology, Come Back Alive Survival Course, GPS Navigation, Bush Cooking, Ministry Ethics, Preaching, Sector Management Development, Cross Cultural Communication, The Gospel of Identity, Expedition and Mission Training, Vehicle Mechanics, Workshop, Leadership, and Final Presentation: Sector Research Project. 

Course Dates

Mozambique 2020: March 10 – June 1

Zambia 2020: May 12 – August 10    |     August 25 – November 23

https://www.overlandmissions.com/apply

FAQ

Who can apply for AMT?

Anyone who believes Jesus is Lord and has an interest in full-time missions. 

Is there an age limit?

The minimum age requirement is 18 years old.  

Are married couples or families welcomed?

Yes. We certainly encourage couples and small families to engage in AMT. There are many couples and families involved in AMT and within Overland Missions’ staff. Special couples/family rates are offered for AMT.

More questions? Contact us