Hello dear friends and family!
It’s been a while since I wrote some personal news and updates to you, so I’m taking this opportunity, as we close off November and enter into the last few weeks of 2019, to share some recent news and developments.
First off, I’d like to yell a massive THANK YOU to each of you for your continued support and prayers that carries me by the grace of Christ! I am truly thankful for each of you, and the amazing team I am surrounded with! Thank you for joining me on this uncharted adventure as I go to the Nations to declare the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel. Your support on every level enables me to run wild so that others might live free. THANK YOU! #runwildlivefree
Testimony from Kalene Hill, Northwest Zambia
I want to kick off this post with a testimony my teammate, David (Kalene Hill base, Northwest Zambia) shared with me last night:
I found this testimony very encouraging because we often try to make ministry more complicated than it is. When Jesus commissioned His followers to go to the nations, He simply commanded them to fulfil the ministry of reconciliation — the proclamation (preaching) that the Kingdom is at hand, that God has come near (Immanuel) to man. This is what ‘ministry’ is — to know WHO He is, and who He as made YOU to be, as His kingdom ambassador. Ministry does not require special training or skills or an extroverted personality or three years of Bible school. It requires an obedient worshipper. That’s it. May you be encouraged to step out in faith, and in ministry, at every opportunity as the Holy Spirit empowers you to fulfil the calling of God on your life.
As many of you know, I spent my birthday (6 November) in the Western Cape visiting a friend, and took this opportunity to spend quality time with God, breathe in different air, and refresh after the crasiness that followed my dad’s passing in September.
On that note, I want to dive into a bit of a personal testimony.
Let’s go fly a kite!
I grew up in a church home (a.k.a a home in which we went to church and Sunday School, and we did all the right things, and even meant them with a good deal of sincerity and reverence), but it wasn’t until later, when I hit my teenage years, that I discovered that a relationship with God was a real and tangible possibility.
I had always deeply loved God — I remember walking around in the mountains at the back of our house on the farm singing made-up songs to Him as a young child — but I would compare this love to the kind of affection a dog gives its owner. Sincere in as many ways as possible, but you kind of just expect a pat on the head, “good girl,” and then go about business as usual.
Though this church home was perfect form the outside, it was wrecked on the inside, and it caused me to doubt the validity of this so-called ‘Christian’ lifestyle we were signed up to live. When I looked at church folks, I often noticed double standards, and I simply couldn’t reconcile what I read bout God in the Bible to the way these ‘believers’ lived. And if I couldn’t trust them to teach me about God, perhaps I couldn’t trust God?
My parents’ divorce fuelled my distrust in God. I still loved Him — no doubt about it, but I didn’t feel like I could trust Him. How could I trust a God whom I couldn’t see when I couldn’t trust a father whom I could see?
I was about 14 years old when I told my mum very candidly that I saw no value in going to church because Sunday after Sunday was filled with sugar-coated preaching, hypocritical believers, and shallow commitment.
I have to add though that this is something you’ll find wherever you look — not only in church!
Nonetheless, as I told my mum, I loved God and I still wanted to serve Him, but I wasn’t going to church because it didn’t help me. My mum, in her astonishing wisdom said, “Sissy, you’re welcome to seek after God and go wherever you hear Him speak to you.”
In my desperation to find a true and trustworthy God, I went to every church and youth meeting I could find — every denomination was tested until finally, I decided to draw a line in the sand.
Now, I need to jump back to a couple years earlier, I was 8 years old at the time, to a conference I attended with my mum entitled, ‘The Gifts of the Holy Spirit.’ Now, I have to preface this by saying that, as an 8-year old who went to Sunday School in a traditional church, all I knew about the Holy Spirit was that it was part of the Trinity, and that it appeared in the form of a dove when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River. I didn’t understand this baptism either, because the Dutch Reformed church does not believe in the baptism of believers (regardless of age or size) through emersion, but in child ‘baptism’, which is essentially just a couple drops of water on the forehead.
At this conference, one of the ministers asked who would like to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and I of course had no idea what this foreign concept meant. I later told one of the men who was laying hands on people that I saw a picture of a tree standing on a hill with multi-coloured ribbons tied to its branches that floated in the breeze. He told me that this was called ‘a vision’ and that it was one of the ways in which God spoke to people.
What? God could SPEAK to PEOPLE? Ordinary people? Even children? And not just the minister? I was blown away!
So, fast-forward to 8 years later as a nearly-16-year-old me was drawing the line in the sand. I had done everything I knew to do to be a good person. But it just wasn’t good enough. I was rebellious since I distrusted authority, and I gave everyone a hard time — if you could not justify WHY you believed something, and simply told me “Because,” I had no time to waste on you. (Don’t worry — I soon repented and God taught me a couple things about humility since!)
I was in my room one evening when I yelled at God (well, the ceiling really, because I wasn’t convinced that God was listening, ) — “God! If you’re real, SHOW UP!”
In that very instant, Holy Spirit showed me that exact picture I saw 8 years ago — the tree on the hill with multi-coloured ribbons that floated in the breeze. I KNEW that this wasn’t something that I had made up or imagined, thought about, or even remembered, and I was convinced that God was real, that Holy Spirit did indeed speak to me, and that a relationship with Him was not only a possibility, but a real and true reality.
It was then that I started walking in relationship with God, and kicked off a journey of healing, forgiveness and growth — one that I’m still on!
This journey ultimately brought me to one of the biggest challenges of my new-found faith: forgiving my dad and building relationship with him. To be honest, it was an up-hill battle for the most part. I won’t go into all the details, but I can honestly say that God worked miracles in my heart and life, and that of my dad, and the last six years or so we had a truly wonderful relationship.
When my father passed away on September 14th, 2019, I could truly say that I held no regrets, and even in this earthly loss, I saw God’s faithfulness be made manifest.
Soon after this ceiling-yelling-salvation I went on holiday with my dad. We bought a kite together, and we flew it at the beach. I didn’t go on holiday with him a lot, and so, the kite found its way to storage, and it wasn’t until I packed up his house after his passing that I came across it again. So, this past birthday, the first birthday on which (both) parents didn’t phone me at the crack of dawn to sing happy birthday (it’s a family tradition and it often involves a cat-choir), I took my our kite down to the beach and flew it for the first time in many years.
We look forward by looking back
The one thing these past few months have taught me, in coming back from AMT in Zambia, and preparing to head to DRC fulltime (EEEEK! Can’t wait to share more about this in the near future!), is that we see the future by looking at the past.
Yes, I know that sounds like some (weird) quote by Rafiki (the blue-faced baboon from The Lion King), but it’s very scriptural when you consider that the entire Old Testament was a prophesy of the New Testament, and that the New Testament is therefore a fulfilment of the Old Testament.
What I mean by this, is that looking back often provides us with the perspective we need to recognize God’s steadfast faithfulness in every season. God does not change. His Word is ALWAYS true. He is not slow in remembering His promises. When we step out in faith and walk in obedience, He is sure to fulfil His Word since He has already equipped us with everything we need to live a life of holiness and godliness through the Holy Spirit.
This is my prayer for you too, as we close off November and enter the last few weeks of 2019 — that you may look back and recognize God’s hand in your life — how He guides and sustains you, how He provides, how He heals, how He teaches, how He gives favour and grace, and above all, how He loves.
One Tribe Missions Conference
I am also very excited to announce that I’ll be leaving for the United States at the end of December. I would appreciate your prayers for this month-long trip!
While in the States, I’ll attend the Overland Missions One Tribe Missions Conference in Florida. You can tune in by live-streaming the event (the link is available on Overland Missions’ Facebook page or http://www.overlandmissions.com), and join more than 200 missionaries from all over the world in the Overland Missions family as they share testimonies, and cast vision for 2020!
During this time I’ll also attend a seminar or partnership development which will help me to launch into the Democratic Republic of Congo with Overland Missions, starting 2020! I am BEYOND excited to share more about this soon — so, stay tuned!
Goodbye for now
And on that note, goodbye for now!
Grace and peace be to you by the abundance of the Holy Spirit that works in you and through you to make the Word manifest in the nations!Blessings, Cornelia
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.
A while ago, I read a quote by Charles Spurgeon that was something along the lines of, “If ever you come across a piece of Scripture you can’t face, read it until you can.”
This simple statement changed the way I read Scripture.
You see, there are many passages I avoid — no, not drawn-out lineages, rules for the building of the temple, or ‘scary’ things I don’t understand — but passages that CONVICT me.
It’s often easier to avoid the things from Scripture that convict us, rather than to work through them, asking Holy Spirit for fresh revelation, and fresh grace so that we might continually grow in relationship with Him.
You don’t have to be a Scholar to read and understand Scripture. If teenage fishermen were entrusted with this Message, and we have the Holy Spirit, it shouldn’t be hard to read, understand, and apply the FULL teaching we have through Scripture.
Nowadays, we have various options available to us — beautiful hardcopy, leather bound editions in many languages, or digital easily-accessed apps which give us the Bible on multiple devices. But this is not how Scripture started out.
Most of the New Testament was written as letters to new believers to the many new churches that were found across the world. The Old Testament is made up of chronicles, stories, laws, prophesies, et cetera!
There is so much more to the Word than black and white (and red!) letters which provides us with a manual to living a God-filled life.
The Word is living and powerful and active!
When you’re offended by something, view this as the perfect opportunity for God to renew your thinking, for Holy Spirit to establish a new heart within you, for you to grow into the likeness of Christ. Don’t change Scripture to fit your convictions. But align your convictions to the Truth of the Word so that you might discover and grow in the fullness of all that God is, and who He is in you and through you!
There are a lot of people these days who are “cherry picking” scriptures which support their lifestyle choices, while they often ignore the context, as a whole, from which those scriptures are drawn.
This first verse here in Romans 8 is one of those scriptures. For, these people assume they are “in Christ Jesus” merely because they made a profession of faith in Christ, or merely because they made some acknowledgment as to who he is as the Lord, the Christ, the Son of God. Or, perhaps it was because they repeated some words after someone in a prayer where they were then congratulated that they are now in God’s family.
But, is that all there is to it to be “in Christ”? Or, is there more to it?
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life…
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In the busy season, Rapid14 is home to over 100 missionaries, AMT students, and expedition members.
Nomads, Missionaries, World Changers, Expats — terms we use to describe some aspect of what it means to live in a culture, a country or a nation that is not native to you. Kids grow up in multi-lingual and multi-cultural environments, and we often have to learn new languages.
We adapt to the ‘difference’ between this new ‘home’ and wherever we grew up. It might be something as insignificant as not having network coverage when you’re out in the bush, or it might be something ‘big’ like living within a 7-hour drive from your nearest grocery store.
So, what makes Home, ‘home’? I believe the answer is TEAM, and by team I mean family. In Overland Missions we are surrounded by a network of amazing people who provide spiritual, physical, emotional and real-time support. No matter where you are in the world, you’ll never be ‘alone’.
When I was very young, my understanding of ‘a missionary’ was based on the cork board with the world map at the back of the church. In some obscure little corner, there would be a picture of an unknown farce, ID-photo sized, and a red ribbon connecting the picture to some remote area on the world map. And then, once a year, there would be a special offering to help out the poor missionary who’s probably living under a bush, starving, in some Unknown Country.
This is not what HOME is to missionaries, though.
Rapid 14 is the headquarters for Overland Missions in Africa and all the work that happens on this beautiful continent.
It is here where Expedition trucks are built, torn apart, and re-built. It is the admin office that’s in constant communication with America to make sure there are enough funds ready to get the work done. It’s the dining room that feeds thousands every year. It’s the 5-star view that attracts government officials and local friends daily. And yet, it is so much more!
It’s the place that’s quiet enough to hear God speaking nations into your heart, yet loud enough to often hear singing from across the property. It’s a place where mothers homeschool their children; where couples fall in love and start their life together; and where friendship looks more like family.
It’s where words like “can’t” and “won’t” are replaced with “let’s make a plan.” Rapid 14 has seen birthday parties stop to pray for a friend in need and prayer meetings break out into dance parties. There are barefoot children growing up together, countless meals eaten together, and tears and laughter exchanged-together. It’s a place that takes seriously the words “go into all the world, preach the gospel and make disciples” and makes dreams a reality.
Rapid 14 is the home that welcomes and refreshes weary travellers and sends them out again ready to win the nations for Christ.
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.
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
A year ago, I climbed Masada, walked through Jericho, and ate icecream in the blistering humidity that Israel calls autumn.
More than anything else, I became vividly aware that Scripture is alive — in and around me, as it is reflected off this harsh landscapes with its hidden treasures of milk and honey.
God’s Word is alive and working and is sharper than a double-edged sword. It cuts all the way into us, where the soul and the spirit are joined, to the center of our joints and bones. And it judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts.Hebrews 4:12
I’m growing increasingly appreciative of the Jewish people, their stubbornness, their devotion, and the richness of their journey as a people and a nation.
everywhere I go, I’m wrapped in Scripture, and more than ever, I am convinced that the Word is God, that the Word is living and active, that the Word is made manifest in us and through us, and that it is impossible to live life without Him.
to me, it’s not so much about following in Jesus’s footprints, as it is the realisation that Holy Spirit inside us is the Hope of Glory.
So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).Romans 10:17
spiritually and practically equipping missionaries
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.
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.
Mozambique 2020: March 10 – June 1
Zambia 2020: May 12 – August 10 | August 25 – November 23
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
“I was once young, and now I am old, but not once have I been witness to God’s failure to supply my need when I had first given for the furtherance of His work. He has never failed in His promise, so I cannot fail in my service to Him.”William Carey
1761-1834; British missionary to India
Everything God gives us has two purposes:
- seed to sow
- food to eat
God provides us with seed. We are to plant this seed where God directs us. It is foolishness to expect a harvest where no seed has been sown. You only receive when you give.
In the right environment, a small seed has the potential to become a powerful tree. We see this in Isaiah 55:10-11 explains this, illustrating that when God’s Word enters our hearts, the seed of faith brings us to Salvation; and now that we are saved, we are to share the Good News of Salvation with others so that they too might know their Saviour.
We are not called to be consumers, but farmers.
Every truth and endowment that God has given you is for your benefit, but it is also destined to bless others.
As Believers, we often think that giving is limited to tithing — if that, and rarely do we give as if we serve a God whom we cannot out-give. He is able to supply abundantly according to our every need, yet we often live as if we’re not convinced that He will.
Be willing to share what God has given you — finances, skill, time, resources, relationships.
“I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you.”Acts 20:20
Freely you have received, now freely give — this is the heart of Missions.
GIVE: your prayers, your material resources, the Message of the Good News, your giftings and anointing.
“Heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”Matthew 10:8-9
click here if you’d like to give to World Missions.
I never thought that when I started ministering to a tribe with no knowledge of Jesus Christ or Christian theology, my own understanding of the gospel would be so deepened. There’s no need in ministry here to dig and strive for a new concept to teach every few days, as even the most basic concepts are brand new. Even recently, when I made the statement, “Jesus is the son of God,” the response of my disciple who was translating was, “That’s too complicated—they don’t know what God is.”
And so, for the past two years, I’ve been teaching the most simple, most profound thing I could; God, who created everything, loves you and became human to be near to you. He died in your place so he could give you his life and fill you with his very own spirit.
The more I’ve taught this, the more I don’t want to teach anything else. Even my personal growth with the Lord has become less about what new things I’m learning, and more about how much I actually believe in the redemptive work of Jesus’ life and death.
In Luke chapter 4, Jesus reads the scroll from the prophet Isaiah (specifically what we now call chapter 61) about the spirit of the Lord being on him to preach good news to the poor, liberty for captives, sight to the blind, and so on. Then he sits down and gives what may be the simplest sermon ever spoken: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
These nine words, simple as they are, have a profound effect on everything we know. This statement breathes life to the beautiful, hopeful words of Isaiah 61. Good news has come for the poor. Sight is available to the blind. Freedom is available to the oppressed. Joy and beauty are available to those whose lives are in ashes. Redemption isn’t something we hope for, but instead something we trust in. When we simply teach the story of God’s redemption, we’re not avoiding or ignoring the hardships of life; we’re actually unleashing the potential for true, genuine transformation, which can only come through the power of Christ.
I’m praying for the Nations of Africa today.
Northern Africa and the Middle East has been at the center of persecution for many years, and yet, many new believers turn to Christ as Lord and Saviour.
one of the largest threats to the Western Church is lukewarm faith.
persecution is one of the best things that can happen to a family of believers.
the harvest is plenty, but the labourers are few.
perhaps this is the time for which you’ve been called.
For you have been granted [the privilege] for Christ’s sake not only to believe in (adhere to, rely on, and trust in) Him, but also to suffer in His behalf.Philippians 1:29
“The world asks, ‘what does a man own?’ Christ asks, ‘how does he do it?'”Andrew Murray
1828 – 1917
South African pastor and author
When Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt, they left with all the wealth of Egypt and disappeared into the desert with it. Why did God place a great wealth into the hands of a people who would have nowhere to spend it?
Moses knew the answer to this question, but his brother Aaron did not.
The purpose of the wealth was to build God a tabernacle so that He could dwell among His people in the wilderness. When Moses went up the mountain for 40 days, the people grew restless, and urged Aaron to provide leadership. Because he lacked vision and understanding of wealth, Aaron instructed them to bring their gold, and they made a golden calf to worship.
If we don’t understand the purpose of wealth, Christian leaders today also run the risk of building idols. So, what is the purpose of wealth? We are blessed to be a blessing, not to squander it on ourselves.
We can build larger churches, but without fervor for the lost, they simply become temples to Man’s glory, rather than places to disciple the incoming harvest of souls.
“We must be global Christians with a global vision, because our God is a global God.”– John Scott, 1921
British Pastor and Evangelical leader
Recognizing God’s appeal in this vision, Paul’s ministry took a drastic turn and he went to Macedonia.
Vision turns us toward the purposes of God, and for some, this heavenly touch will activate us into reaching the nations.
Vision is defined as the ability to see into the realm of the Spirir and thus be awakened as to what God has implanted in you for your life and ministry.
Without vision it is unlikely that we, as creatures of habit, will change course.
When we hear God’s appeal for labourers to go into His vineyards, our lives are changed to live sacrificially so that His vision can be fulfilled.
Paul was thrown in jail because he cast a demon out of a young woman, but he found great solace in the knowledge that he had been faithful to that which God called Him to.
All Christians agree that the Great Commission should be a priority, but few regard this as a personal mandate. Although you may give mental assent to the Great Commission, you will never accept it as a personal responsibility without vision.
Vision without corresponding action will cause frustration, and destiny will be denied. One man said that he would rather die doing the will of God, than live outside of His plan. When someone asked Hellen Keller what was worse than being blind, she said, “to have sight but no vision.”
Do you have a dream?
Do you have sight but no vision?
There is a Macedonian call coming to the hearts of those that are hungry for God.
It is the cry of the neglected, the abused, the sick, and the broken.
Nations are calling. Will you hear and respond?
With only four more days to go (the countdown is set to midnight!) before I leave for Zambia, I am INCREDIBLY excited for all that lies ahead!
You may not know me long enough to know the journey that God put me on to get me here: to this day, in this place, but it’s been a journey of more than 10 years!
This morning I was reading through Philippians, and it struck me anew how Paul interceded for the new Believers, how he eagerly hoped to be able to join them in person.
These sentiments are found throughout all of his letters. He takes special care to mention those who labour with him – Timothy, Aquila, Priscilla, and many others – honouring them for the work they do in the Kingdom. And he always points the church to Christ.
What a legacy!
One of the children’s stories that I finished up yesterday was about the Damascus road encounter (Acts 9).
I am constantly amazed that God specifically chose Saul to work among the gentiles, because his reputation was so well-known, and that made his testimony all the more believable.
In the end, God doesn’t care how amazing we think we are, or how skilled or able. He is simply looking for someone who is willing to take up his cross, to lay down his life — simply so that others might receive Life.
Like a drink offering, being poured out on the altar, nothing is worth more than honouring Him.
The first words God spoke after he called Paul was, “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” (Acts 9:15-16)
This morning, as I’m quite literally closing the books, I’d like to thank the hundreds of people who have journeyed with me over the years, sowing into the Kingdom, speaking God into my life, partnering in prayer, giving financially, interceding, weeding, watering, and harvesting.
I am incredibly honoured by each of you!
I cannot begin to call you all by name, but know that, I am deeply humbled by each of you keeping my arms up!
May you receive the crown of honour for your faithful work!
I promise — I do more than run around and take unstable videos of things.
This is a summary of yesterday’s jaunt.
The mud was kindly supplied by hurricane Kenneth.
For the past few days, we’ve had the loveliest showers and I’m so excited to see rivers and dams filling up.
South Africa has been suffering under extended drought for the past 4 years, and as a water scarce country surface water is not nearly enough to maintain the continually increasing demand for water for humans, animals and crops.
Large parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal have been flooded, and even now Hurricane Kenneth is ripping through northern Mozambique and the lower end of Tanzania.
Infrastructure is completely destroyed, taking with it the meager crops that was left over after hurricane Idai ripped through the country, less than a month ago.
So many precious people lost their lives, many lost loved ones, and many still lost their homes and livelihood.
I remain confident that, even in the destruction, there will be testimony of God’s faithfulness and His abundance.
My friends, these are the signs of the times!
The harvest is ready, but the labourers are few!
Therefore, pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send out more labourers into the fields!
Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).
A year ago, I took this picture after a much needed rainstorm had passed. I walked through the garden, praying.
At the time, I had just resigned from my fulltime job, I had packed up my house and put everything in storage, and I was living in a friend’s guest room — waiting to hear from God about the next step I should take.
But surely God has heard. He has listened to my voice in prayer. Psalms 66:19
At the time, I had been walking around with a sense of dissatisfaction. Not because I was unhappy, per sé, but because there was an element of unfulfillment that had managed to weave itself into different areas of my life.
For many years, I had been praying, trusting, holding on to His promises, and even reminding Him about the pages and pages filled with prophetic words that I had written down through the years. From where I stood, I had done everything I could to be faithful, to be obedient, to fight the good fight, to run the race with endurance.
I was unsatisfied in my relationship with Him, feeling that church and worship had reached a plateau; that I wasn’t being released into the things I felt called to do. I was unsatisfied because, to a large extent, my friends and spiritual family did not understand why I was frustrated with the lack of momentum.
I felt like a racehorse, chewing at the bit as it was reigned in to keep the vegetable cart it was pulling from bucking and falling over. Why was I stuck in this in-between?
In January of 2018, God told me to enlarge my tents, and as I felt the buildup of this increase take place, my frustration with the external lack of growth increased.
I had a choice to make: do my own thing because I was convinced this is what I felt God had said, or honour my leaders in obedience, submitting to the authority which God had appointed.
In February of 2018, God told me to throw the net out to the other side, and within 24h I had resigned, gave notice for the apartment I was renting, and stepped into the Mission I had been praying about for more than 10 years.
I was, and still am, determined to be uncompromisingly obedient, to trust Him with every step, knowing that He is the hope that anchors my soul.
In this in-between season, I had been praying about a bunch of things, asking Him to give me a clear answer about What Comes Next, now that I had taken the plunge into the Great Unknown.
Isn’t it true that we sometimes go through seasons where things seem to be dreary and stale, where nothing seems to move forward and where breakthrough seems like a desert mirage? Distant and unattainable.
There are some specific things that I’ve been praying about for some time, and the Lord’s response is simply this: SHAMMAH. THE LORD IS HERE. HE HEARS.
A good friend recently shared this nugget of wisdom with me:“If Sarah had a son at 30, it would’ve been normal. If she had a son at 50, people would’ve thought it’s great and look how well she takes care of herself! But she had a son at 99, and the only One to receive glory from that is God.”
There are SO MANY examples from Scripture where people sought the Lord, crying out to Him.
There are AS MANY examples from Scripture where God answers prayer.
He knows our every thought, our every desire, our every prayer — even those we don’t know ourselves, or those we dare not whisper aloud.
He knows the depths of Man’s heart. He loves us all the same. And He is GOOD.
He is FAITHFUL.
He is not slow in remembering His PROMISES.
When the time is right, He will make it happen.
A year ago, I was chomping at the bit. But now that I look back I’m astounded by His faithfulness! Every day I get to live my dream: to run wild, live free; to share the Good News of the Gospel with men from every tribe and tongue. Indeed, my tents have been enlarged!
You see, whatever we’re praying for, even things that we’ve placed on the back burner because they seem to go unnoticed before God, ALL OF THAT is working for His glory!
Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.
Whatever breakthrough you’re trusting Him for, know this — THE LORD HEARS.
Hold on to the Promise Keeper and not simply the promises.
He is faithful.
It’s for His glory.
Seven months ago, I took this picture in Nazareth. “Nothing good comes from Nazareth,” the words rang through my head, as I considered the notion of Good Friday.
As an oldest child, I’ve often considered the significance of Passover — not because I fear death, but because I realize how desperately I fall short in my own efforts.
He died so that we could live. In Him there is Life, and Life in abundance!
Sin came into the world in the garden of Eden, when Adam failed to see that he was already like God, created in His image.
The price for Salvation was claimed in the garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus willingly offered himself as Sacrifice in our stead so that Identity could be restored, reconciling us as Sons to the Father.
Today, we can live in that freedom, when we believe in our hearts, and confess with our mouths, that Jesus is Lord — the Son of God — and we shall inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, as co-heirs with Christ.
tetelestai: the debt has been paid in full; it is finished