rejoice in the wilderness

rejoice || wilderness

a well in the wasteland.

There are times in life where we’re “stuck” in the in-between.

One of the toughest lessons I’ve had to learn, is to actively wait while I’m in the in-between.

As Westerners, we’re conditioned to be time-conscious — not to waste time, but to save it and steward it.

What I’ve learnt is that ACTIVE waiting is very different from PASSIVE waiting.
The in-between is a time for growth.
A time for stewardship, for cultivating, for digging deeper wells.

In the desert, there is no commodity more valuable than water.

When you don’t know what’s next, or even if you know, and you’re waiting for the release, don’t pop up an umbrella and camp out under the palm trees of the oasis.

Now is the time to break through the hard ground, to dig deep, to be filled with Living Water that flows out of your belly.

His promise is that this will bring healing to the Nations.

#runwildlivefree

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17 NIVUK

seed for sowing

“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
“Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.” – 2 Corinthians 9:10

Everything God gives us has two purposes:

  1. seed to sow
  2. 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
14 Later as they were eating, Jesus appeared to the Eleven and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned
Mark 16:14-16

click here if you’d like to give to World Missions.

step by step

I can hardly believe this was a year ago! This popped up on Facebook memories, and when I look at it now, I’m amazed at how things have fallen into place.

Before leaving for AMT in May 2019, I told one of my close friends how I felt that I was living in the prophetic – – things that I had been praying for for more than ten years was literally becoming manifest around me!

If only I could count the amount of times I experienced déjà vu, only to recognise it as something from a dream or a vison I had years before!

It’s not just about living the dream, about adventure or travel or new people groups – – it’s about sharing the Good News of the Gospel with all men from all tribes and all tongues; a Message for all men, for all time!

Philip Smethurst, founder and CEO of Overland Missions once told me, “Run towards people, and you’ll never grow tired!”

So, here I am – – about to start Chapter 4 of this amazing adventure that kicked off a year ago!

run wild || live free || for King and country

in 34 days, I’ll be kicking off one of life’s greatest adventures yet.

I’m filled with excitement and the anticipation of everything God has in store, but I’m also soberly considering the challenges of change that lie ahead.

I’ve moved 8 times in 3 years, and I bet there’s more of that to come.
It’s sad to leave family and friends behind (even if it’s not forever).

the wilderness x the promised land.

And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. [Isa. 52:7.]

Ephesians 6:15 AMPC

wherever it is, and whatever lies before me, it’s for the King, and his country.

be multiplied

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you,” Matthew 6:31-33.

When Overland pioneers into an area, our greatest focus is sharing the Gospel. But the Gospel brings with it promises of physical provision that are extended to all who believe. Much of this more “practical” Biblical wisdom is done by Overland’s Sustain department. “Sustain is founded on the truth we find in 2 Peter 1:3 which says, ‘His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,” says Lauren B., a member of the Sustain team.

Adding grass, leaves, and small twigs to flower beds (here we were planting spinach) counters evaporation and protects young plants.
Sioma, Western Zambia

“We know that through Jesus, God has provided all we need to be reconciled back to the Father. But in observing the world…we often don’t see the abundant life, provided for in every way, which is promised to us! We want to see people come into the understanding that God has made a way for every need we have to be met. Every single one—whether spiritual, emotional, or physical, no exceptions. Our goal in the Sustain department is to see people walking in the fullness of God’s promises in a way that means their lives, their families, and their ministries are provided for.”

Missionaries like Lauren teach sustainability in finances, relationships, spiritual life, and, as well as, sustainable agriculture through Farming God’s Way. “We teach Farming God’s Way because in the places we work, many people are farmers. We don’t teach agriculture because we have some deep-rooted opinion about how people should farm, or because we’re pushing some agenda, or even because we hope they’ll listen to us if they’re better fed. We teach agriculture because God cares about every part of the lives of His people, and His people are farmers. He gave us farming as a gift (Genesis 2:15), to bless us and provide for us, and we know His promises hold true throughout all generations. It’s our joy to proclaim His goodness to His people, to see them reconciled to Him, and to see them step into the abundant life He always intended them to live.”

God’s provision extends to our physical bodies as well—after all, he calls himself “the LORD your Healer” (Exodus 15:26). Through our Life Project, Overland helps to promote the value of life and protect those who can’t protect themselves. Our God is a healer, and he uses us to accomplish that will on the earth. Manon K. of the Life Project puts it this way, “Within the Life Project, we are focused on how we can improve the health situation for the people around us. We help and teach in order to create a good and sustainable health care system.” The Life Project has trained hundreds of workers through their program Helping Babies Breath, which has greatly reduced the mortality rate amongst babies.

In Overland, we seek to minister to each person as a whole. While the spiritual side of ministry is incredibly important, God still cares about the physical needs of His children. He is present with us in the midst of our every-day needs, and through Sustain and the Life Project, we work to be present as well. We have found a way to effectively meet the needs of people and introduce tools for sustainable growth — not only in spirit and soul, but for the body as well.

Here in Sioma, a new community garden is being established where community members will be able to harvest vegetables for relish.
Zambia, Western province.

the simple Gospel

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. 

the Door

There is rest and there is peace
Inside the shade of Your garden

Jesus, you’re the only one for me
there’s no way I’m leaving you
Your the love the way the life the truth
You’re our the door I’m walking through

Your love is the reason that I am here
and I’m running to you cause your all I need

not abandoned

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.

#runwildlivefree

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 purpose of wealth

“The world asks, ‘what does a man own?’ Christ asks, ‘how does he do it?'”

Andrew Murray
1828 – 1917
South African pastor and author
“You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him.” – Deuteronomy 15: 9 – 10

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.

every tribe and tongue

“After these things, I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands.” – Revelation 7:9

How did this great multitude get there?

Someone went, someone was sent, someone was finances, and someone had been praying.

They got there because Jesus died for their sins, and charged His faithful followers to go to the ends of the earth.

Someone plowed. Someone seeded the fertile soil. Someone tended the field. Someone will bring in the harvest.

1 Corinthians 3:6-7

John 4:37-38

Each member of the Body of Christ has a part to play in God’s World Harvest Team.

Some are called to go to the nations and some have a part to play back home — one is not more important than the other. Collectively, we have the power to change the eternal destiny of entire nations.

Muacahona tribe, Angola

Every believer is called to the harvest. The task of world missions is the responsibility of every Christian; there is no one exempt — it is the responsibility of every pastor, the nursery worker, the sound engineer, the worship leader, the child, the mother, and the father.

If we rise up and take responsibility to do something, we would reach our generation.

Take charge of your heart and life, and begin to say, “Here I am Lord, use me.”

Wold Missions cannot be treated as a side-issue because it ultimately involves the destiny of nations, tribes, people and tongues.

There are more than 200 tribes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, most of whom are unreached by the Gospel.

Saints gather at the throne of God. Their praise is not directed at missionaries, financial givers, or anyone who played a part in them getting to heaven.

Revelation 7:9

Regardless of our level of commitment or sacrifice, we are merely doing what is expected of us as co-labourers together with Christ.

All the increase and glory comes from God, and therefore must be returned to Him.

“I will go anywhere, provided it be forward.”

David Livingstone
Pioneer, adventurer, discoverer, and missionary.

All vision is born in our hearts, not by the size of the task or need, but by the love of Him who saved us.

“We are debtors to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure in which we have received it.”

P.F. Bresee
1838-1915
founder of the Church of the Nazarene

vision for the harvest

“We must be global Christians with a global vision, because our God is a global God.”

– John Scott, 1921
British Pastor and Evangelical leader
“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘come to Macedonia hand help us.'”Acts 16:9

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?

Three years ago, my friend Sanet told me, “Aligning yourself with Holy Spirit is more important than aligning yourself with offense,” and it still resonates within me — when we choose to align with Holy Spirit, and allow Him to renew our thoughts and hearts, offense becomes a matter of little importance as we learn to forgive and set free.

In Matthew 14, we read of John the Baptist’s execution.

The disciples brought this news to Jesus, and He withdrew in a boat to a solitary place. Crowds of people followed Him, and when He saw them, He went ashore, had compassion for them, and cured their sick.

Later in the chapter we also read about the miracle where Jesus used a couple loaves and two fish to feed the multitudes.

His cousin had just been murdered, and normally it wouldn’t be too much to ask for a quiet moment alone, but rather than being offended, Jesus was compassionate.

Compassion will propel you beyond your natural resources and your comfort zone; it prompts us to look beyond our own needs and pain, and urges us to respond to the move of Holy Spirit.

thank you for keeping my arms up!

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!

#runwildlivefree

#everytribeandtongue

#untilthewholeworldhears