I have eagerly been waiting for the opportunity to return as a sector missionary to DR Congo with Overland Missions, and it is finally here! I am leaving in SEVEN DAYS!
We often find ourselves in in-between seasons, and for me, the in-between was from October 2019, shortly after my return from Zambia when my father passed away, through Lockdown, until now. One of the toughest lessons I’ve had to learn is to actively wait while I’m in the in-between.
As you may know, at the end of 2019, I received a new assignment to work with Overland Missions’ team in the Democratic Republic of Congo to pioneer the Gospel to unreached people in remote locations.
During the worldwide lockdown of 2020, our faithful team of Congolaise missionaries and ministry partners worked with zeal to expand the Kingdom and to share the Good News of the Gospel with their fellow Congolaise people. I have shared many of their testimonies— and the victories in which you share — over the past months. It’s a celebration of God at work in the Nations!
it’s moving day
Over the next three months, I’ll be joining our Overland Missions team in our NEW HOME — Kolwezi, where we’ve got a full ministry schedule!
Teaching Bible studies in the villages
Hosting Leadership Meetings in Mpande, Kapalowe, Kolwezi, and Likasi
Doing First Aid training and Trauma Prayer Counselling with Julie in the clinics
A SECOND Expedition to follow-up on the first Expedition that our Zambian team hosted in August
Hosting Farming God’s Way Conferences
Preaching (this also counts toward the Bachelor of Theology that I am currently pursuing while working full-time)
Doing various recon missions around Kolwezi
And — one of the ministry highlights I am personally looking forward to meeting Emperor Mwant Yavwa on my birthday!
4 vehicles 6 motorbikes 32 people
At the end of July and into the beginning of August, the Expedition Division partnered with the DR Congo team to run our first ever DR Congo expedition.
Two of our expedition leaders took on the challenge of this trip into this unfamiliar and difficult nation. A huge part of the expedition was that instead of bringing westerners with them, they brought a group of our full-time time, Zambian staff! For many of our Zambian missionaries, it was their first time doing international ministry.
What an amazing expedition filled with powerful testimonies, cross-cultural leadership, miracles, and expansion!
Through your faithful partnership in finances, prayer, and support this ministry can grow, bear fruit, and share in the joy of the harvest!
As always, a grand THANK YOU to each of you! I’m so blessed by your encouragement and prayer as our team continues to believe in a great move of God here in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, and my home country, South Africa!
Because of you, and your support in every way, we can participate in the mission — to see the sick healed, the oppressed set free, the dead raised, and the Good News proclaimed to those who are without hope.
Thank you for sowing into this team, and specifically into my life! Because of your commitment, remote communities are reached with the Gospel of the Kingdom — thank you for being a part of that!
Thank you to all of you who sow and continue sowing into my life and the lives of others who are growing in Christ, receiving Christ, and are sent out by Christ.
I love each one of you and am so excited for what the Lord is doing and going to do through your lives as well. Giving it all might require finances, time, and sacrifice, but it’s worth it. He is worth it. The greatest gift was given when Jesus laid His own life down for us. Everything else falls short. He deserves eternal glory!
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.
He promises that this will bring healing to the Nations.
“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
I know that for many this season has held a lot of challenges in personal health as well as the loss of family members and friends, but I want to encourage you that HE WHO HAS PROMISED IS FAITHFUL —
“Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!” — Psalm 46:10 AMPC
In Hebrew the “be still” that’s spoken of in this verse is the word RAPHA which means “comfort; healing.”
To be still is not a passive action — it’s the salvation and healing that God works on our behalf.
As we walk through difficult seasons, may we hold on to His RAPHA — He is the Lord that heals, who has brought healing to sickness and disease by His stripes, and who keeps us, and covers us.
“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. [Matt. 8:17.]
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” — Isaiah 53:4-5 AMPC
Luke 19tells the story of Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector who was very rich. Jesus was passing through Jericho, and Zacchaeus strained over the crowds to see Him as he passed, but because he was little in stature, he was not able to push through the crowd. Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed into a sycamore tree to see Him as he passed that way.
When Jesus passed the tree, He looked up and spoke to Zacchaeus, saying, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must remain at your house.” When the people saw Jesus speaking to the tax collector, they murmured and spoke among one another, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I gave half my possessions to the poor. And if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I will repay them four times as much.” Then Jesus said to him,” Today salvation has come to this house because he is also a son of Abraham. For the Son of man has come to seek and save that which was lost.”
for the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost
Zacchaeus was not the only one to benefit from Jesus’ visit to his house. Society had pushed him out, but Jesus proved that he shared in the inheritance of the sons of Abraham — the blessing of salvation! Zacchaeus climbed that tree to see Jesus, but Jesus knew him before he came to him — He came to seek and save the lost!
So, do we, like Zacchaeus have access to Abraham’s blessing? YES — through Jesus Christ! He is the promised seed of Abraham for the Jews, but also FOR THE NATIONS. The true sons of Abraham are those who believe. All who believe are also blessed in Him. Therefore, let us believe the right things about God so that we can live the right things about God — HIS PROMISES CHANGES OUR CIRCUMSTANCES, AND HIS WORD DICTATES OUR REALITY.
Perhaps this is the season for climbing trees? Let us do whatever it takes to see Him; to seek Him. To carry the mandate He has set before us — to seek and save the lost.
In a recent conversation with a friend, we were discussing how we, as believers, often fail to love people well because we have made up our minds that some are more deserving of grace than others. Scripture reminds us that we are saved by grace through faith — there is nothing we can do in our own power that will make us any more, or any less, deserving of His love and redemption. It is BECAUSE of HIM that we are now completely different — made new!Let us strive to love people despite their journeys, but also BECAUSE of their journeys!
“Seven years ago today, I arrived in Congo for the first time. I had no idea how it would change the trajectory of my life. God truly planted something deep within my soul, and asked me to trust Him, even as nothing made sense; and the challenges appeared a bit overwhelming. It has been such a journey, and my faith has grown exponentially as I have seen God faithfully sustain me. He gives me such peace and joy when all the circumstances fiercely contradict that such things are possible. I have seen answers to prayer and breakthroughs that keep me believing in hope against hope that God’s promises are true, and that He is more than able! This crazy place feels like home now. I am so thankful for the dear friends and ministry partners that I’m blessed to do live with, and looking forward to all that God has in the years ahead!”
— Julie Engeman
Zambian Expedition to DR Congo
This August, we are hosting our FIRST EVER Expedition team in DRC! We are incredibly excited and expectant for the Kingdom to advance. Expeditions are the front-line evangelical movement in Overland Missions.
The purpose of an Expedition is to bring the Gospel and build relationships with some of the most remote and neglected people on earth.
This week we are doing a reconnaissance trip to Mwandingusha (and the hydroelectric plant) in preparation for ministry and the Expedition team arriving the first week of August. Julie says, “We found such kindred spirits and incredible hospitality during this very dusty trip. It’s always a joy to meet with believers from very different cultures, languages and denominations, unifying with one purpose.”
I am to return to DRC in late September/ early October for three months. While in DR Congo, Julie and I will be heading up ministry in Likasi and the surrounding chiefdoms, as the rest of our Overland Missionaries will be returning to their home countries for fur low. In order to make this sustainable, I need to raise $350 per month. If you would like to partner and make this possible, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
as of July, I am enrolled in a Bachelor’s of Theology! I’m very excited to pursue academics again after a 5-year break — and I’m expectant of the work of God and the applied knowledge in life and ministry.
Here in South Africa, Ministry is moving forward — I host multiple Bible Studies each week, and this is a great opportunity for the nations to come together. On Thursdays, we have a virtual Bible study with Believers joining from Ghana, Malawi, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States — how lovely is it when the Nations come together to worship!
I am also teaching a weekly French class that helps me refresh my French vocabulary and grammar, and also serves as a great opportunity to expand cultural knowledge. French is the lingua franca in DR Congo, and we use it to communicate, preach, and teach on a daily basis.
you are part of this team
As always, a grand THANK YOU to each of you! I’m so blessed by your encouragement and prayer as our team continues to believe in a great move of God here in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, and my home country, South Africa!
Because of you, your support in every way, we can participate in the mission — to see the sick healed, the oppressed set free, the dead raised, the Good News proclaimed to those who are without hope.
Thank you for sowing into this team, and specifically into my life! Because of your commitment, remote communities are reached with the Gospel of the Kingdom — thank you for being a part of that!
Thank you to all of you who sow and continue sowing into my life and the lives of others who are growing in Christ, receiving Christ, and are sent out by Christ. I love each one of you and am so excited for what the Lord is doing and going to do through your lives as well. Giving it all might require finances, time, and sacrifice, but it’s worth it.He is worth it. The greatest gift was given when Jesus laid His own life down for us. Everything else falls short. He deserves eternal glory!
2021 a commencé en beauté ! Je suis tellement submergé par votre générosité et votre amour ! Je suis extrêmement fier de faire partie de cette merveilleuse équipe — Overland Missions — pendant cette saison et cette année ! En une année où une grande partie du monde s’est arrêtée, l’Évangile du Royaume a continué à avancer !
Ces derniers mois ont été remplis de tant de choses ! J’ai été tellement excité de partager cette mise à jour avec vous, et de plus en plus de choses ont continué à être ajoutées, alors le voici : la bobine de faits saillants !
« Peu importe les nombreuses promesses que Dieu a faites, elles sont « oui » dans le Christ, et c’est pourquoi, bien que Lui l’Amen soit parlé par nous à la gloire de Dieu »
— 2 Corinthiens 1:20 [TPT]
N’est-ce pas là un merveilleux rappel que celui qui a promis est fidèle ? Son cœur a toujours été d’avoir une relation avec nous — sa création. Alors que nous allons vers les nations pour partager ce message — qu’Il s’est approché, que Dieu s’est fait homme pour payer le prix ultime de la liberté en notre nom, pour nous réconcilier avec le Père — nous pouvons tenir la promesse que Sa Parole ne reviendra pas nulle, pas dans notre propre vie, ni dans la vie de ceux que nous sommes incroyablement privilégiés de servir. En Jésus, chaque Écriture est accomplie, et en Lui, nous avons l’espérance de la gloire !
En janvier, après avoir été cloué au sol pendant une année complète, en raison des restrictions liées à la COVID-19, j’ai pu me rendre à Rapid 14, le siège social de Overland Missions en Zambie, pour me joindre à des missionnaires de partout en Afrique pour notre conférence annuelle du personnel. Il s’agit d’un moment fort annuel, alors que les missionnaires et les membres de l’équipe des bases environnantes se rassemblent pour un temps de communion, d’encouragement et pour se préparer à retourner sur le terrain en feu !
Voyager à l’étranger pendant une pandémie internationale est certainement une affaire colorée ! Après avoir obtenu un résultat négatif au test de la COVID-19, j’étais prêt à réserver mon billet d’avion pour Lusaka, où je rencontrerais mes coéquipiers de la RDC. Sherrill, Saviour et Julie ont fait leur chemin vers la Zambie par bus. Nous avions arrangé de se retrouver dans la capitale, puis prendre une navette pour Livingstone.
Comme la plupart de mes plans de voyage dépendaient d’un résultat de test négatif, les choses sont tombées en place tout à coup quand j’ai su avec certitude que j’étais libre de voyager! Juste au moment où le cyclone tropical Eloise est arrivé en Afrique du Sud, mon ami Ruan a accepté de me déposer à l’aéroport. Il nous restait encore 180 km à parcourir pour arriver en ville à l’arrière de sa moto jaune avec un pack complet, et il commençait à pleuvoir !
Pendant les restrictions de confinement de niveau 4 en Afrique du Sud, nous avions un couvre-feu imposé par le gouvernement qui signifiait que personne n’était autorisé à sortir de son lieu de résidence personnel entre 21 h 00 et 05 h 00. Il a fallu de la planification créative pour voyager entre les provinces et les villes, mais pour faire court, je me suis rendu à l’aéroport (et à mon vol) à temps !
Le Dr Leon van Rooyen dit : « Heureux les flexibles, car ils resteront dans le ministère. »
La conférence fut un moment merveilleux de communion, de communauté et de remplissage avec l’Esprit Saint. Je suis reconnaissant de faire partie d’une équipe de foi dynamique qui est bibliquement centrée sur tout ce qu’ils font, et d’appartenir à une tribu si incroyable.
langue et la traduction
J’ai récemment eu le privilège de traduire la proposition officielle de formation de l’aumônerie de l’anglais vers le français pour la présenter à l’empereur Mwaant Yaav, souverain de l’empire de Lunda en République démocratique du Congo.
Jessy et moi suivons activement une formation linguistique en français afin de maîtriser la conversation une fois que nous aurons atteint la base en RDC.
Deux des outils les plus importants dans le ministère autochtone sont : 1) le leadership local et 2) la compétence linguistique.
La formation de l’aumônerie est une initiative de formation intensive et intégrée qui a débuté en Zambie et s’est étendue depuis à d’autres pays africains. L’objectif est de fournir à chaque chef, en tant que représentant des dirigeants traditionnels des nations, un conseiller spirituel. Nous appelons ces conseillers spirituels aumôniers. Dans les Écritures, nous trouvons de nombreux exemples d’hommes et de femmes qui ont agi comme conseillers auprès des dirigeants — Daniel à Nebuchadnezzar, David à Saul, Joseph à Potiphar. Et, bien sûr, alimenté par le Saint-Esprit.
Ce document, c’est-à-dire la proposition d’élargir la formation de l’aumônerie en RD Congo, est l’une des nombreuses portes qui ont ouvert la porte au ministère pour aller de l’avant, et au Royaume pour avancer en atteignant les cœurs et les esprits des dirigeants traditionnels et gouvernementaux. Dieu fait un chemin pour que l’Évangile brise les contraintes politiques et rompe les chaînes de l’esclavage historique.
témoignages de RD Congo
Notre équipe continue à animer le cours de théologie biblique en français avec notre équipe congolaise 2 jours par semaine. Les membres de l’équipe travaillent chaque semaine dans plusieurs villages éloignés, parcourant des motos dans la boue et la pluie pour partager l’Évangile, et font le suivi des études bibliques fondamentales. L’équipe de Overland travaillant à Zanzibar, qui sont des locuteurs swahilis, a pu animer une excellente formation vidéo sur les clés des relations et de l’évangélisation avec les musulmans, basée sur leurs ans d’expérience et la marche de l’Esprit dans l’amour. Nous sommes reconnaissants de la sagesse qu’ils ont partagée avec notre équipe !
Un chef appelé Christelle (un de nos membres de l’équipe congolaise) quand sa femme était très malade. Sa femme était inconsciente et ils craignaient qu’elle soit sur le point de mourir. Christelle a prié au téléphone pour la femme du chef et elle s’est réveillée ! Elle a pu bientôt manger et boire à nouveau ! Le chef était incroyablement reconnaissant pour la foi et les prières de notre équipe.
Nous avons vu Dieu répondre à nos prières en posant les mains sur les malades, et Dieu a apporté la guérison miraculeuse à de mauvais genoux et le dos, ainsi les yeux presque aveugles d’une vieille femme ont été restaurés! Un homme était un alcoolique (avec tout le brokenness associé à ceci) quand il est venu à une réunion. Après avoir entendu parler de l’amour de Dieu pour lui au cours de nos études bibliques, il dit : « Ma vie a changé ce jour-là, et je n’ai plus bu. »
vous faites partie de cette équipe
Comme toujours, un grand MERCI à chacun d’entre vous ! Je suis tellement béni par vos encouragements et vos prières alors que notre équipe continue de croire en un grand mouvement de Dieu ici en République démocratique du Congo, en Zambie et dans mon pays d’origine, l’Afrique du Sud !
Grâce à votre soutien, nous pouvons participer à la mission — voir les malades guéris, les opprimés libérés, les morts ressuscités, la Bonne Nouvelle annoncée à ceux qui sont sans espérance.
Merci de semer dans cette équipe, et en particulier dans ma vie ! Grâce à votre engagement, des communautés éloignées sont atteintes par l’Évangile du Royaume — merci d’en faire partie !
2021 has started off with a bang! I am so overwhelmed by your generosity and love! I am extremely proud to be part of this wonderful team — Overland Missions — during this season, and during this year! In a year when much of the world came to a standstill, the Gospel of the Kingdom continued to move forward!
These past couple of months have been packed with so many things! I’ve been so excited to share this update with you, and more and more things kept being added, so here it is — the highlight reel!
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so though him the ‘Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God”
— 2 Corinthians 1:20 [TPT]
Isn’t this scripture a wonderful reminder that He who has promised is faithful? His heart has always been to have relationship with us — His creation. As we go to the nations to share this message — that He has come near, that God became man to pay the ultimate price for freedom on our behalf, to reconcile us to the Father — we can hold on to the promise that His Word will not return void; not in our own lives, nor in the lives of those we are so incredibly privileged to serve. In Jesus every Scripture is fulfilled, and in Him, we have the hope of glory!
In January, after being grounded for a full year, due to Covid-19 restrictions, I was able to travel to Rapid 14, Overland Missions’ headquarters in Zambia, to join missionaries from all over Africa for our annual staff conference. This is a yearly highlight as missionaries and team members from outlying bases come together for a time of fellowship, encouragement, and getting equipped to return to the field on fire!
Travelling internationally during an international pandemic is certainly a colourful affair! After getting a negative Covid-19 test result, I was ready to book my plane ticket to Lusaka where I would meet up with my teammates from DRC. Sherrill, Savour and Julie made their way down to Zambia via bus. We had arranged to meet up in the capital, and then catch a shuttle to Livingstone. Life is always better in team!
Since most of my travel plans were dependent on a negative test result, things fell in place quite suddenly when I knew for sure that I was free to travel! Just as Tropical Cyclone Eloise rolled into South Africa, my friend Ruan agreed to drop me off at the airport. We had another 180 km to go in order to make it to the city on the back of his yellow motorbike with a full pack, and it had just started to rain!
During Level 4 Lockdown Restrictions in South Africa, we had government enforced curfew which meant that no one was allowed out of their personal place of residence between 21h00 and 05h00. This took some creative planning to travel between provinces and cities, but long story short — I made it to the airport (and my flight) on time!
Dr Leon van Rooyen famously says, “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall remain in ministry.”
The conference was a wonderful time of fellowship, community, and infilling with the Holy Spirit. I am thankful to be part of a dynamic faith-filled team that is Biblically centred in everything they do, and such an incredible tribe to belong to.
language and translation
I recently had the privilege of translating the official Chaplaincy Training proposal document from English to French to present to Emperor Mwaant Yaav, ruler of the Lunda Empire in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Jessy and I are actively pursuing language training in French in order to be conversationally proficient once we touch base in DRC.
Two of the most important tools in indigenous ministry are, 1) local leadership and 2) language proficiency.
The Chaplaincy Training is an intensive, integrated training initiative that started in Zambia and has since expanded to other African nations. The goal is to provide every Chief as representative of the traditional leadership in the nations with a spiritual Counsellor. We call these spiritual counsellors Chaplains. In Scripture, we find many examples of men and women who acted as advisors to leaders — Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar, David to Saul, Joseph to Potiphar. And, of course, fuelled by the Holy Spirit.
This document, that is the proposal for expanded Chaplaincy Training in DR Congo, is one of many doors that opened for ministry to move forward, and the Kingdom to advance by reaching the hearts and minds of traditional, and governmental leadership. God is making a way for the Gospel to break through political constraints, and break the chains of historical slavery.
testimonies from DR Congo
Our team continues to facilitate the Biblical theology course in French with our Congolese team 2 days a week. The team ministers in several remote villages on a weekly basis, riding motorcycles through the mud and rain to share the Gospel, and follow up with foundational Bible studies. The Overland team working in Zanzibar, who are Swahili speakers, were able to facilitate a great video training on Keys to Relationships and Evangelism with Muslims — based on their years of experience and walking by the Spirit in love. We are thankful for the wisdom they shared with our team!
A chief called Christelle (one of our Congolaise team members) when his wife was very sick. His wife was unconscious and they feared she was near death. Christelle prayed for the chief’s wife over the phone and she woke up! She was soon able to eat and drink again! The chief was incredibly thankful for the faith and prayers of our team.
We have seen God answer our prayers as we laid hands on the sick, and God brought miraculous healing to bad knees and backs, as well an old woman’s nearly blind eyes were restored! One man was an alcoholic (with all the brokenness associated with this) when he came to a meeting. After hearing of God’s love for him during our Bible studies, he says, “my life was changed on that day, and I have not drunk again.”
you are part of this team
As always, a grand THANK YOU to each of you! I’m so blessed by your encouragement and prayer as our team continues to believe for a great move of God here in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, and my home country, South Africa!
Because of you, your support in every way, we are able to participate in the mission — to see the sick healed, the oppressed set free, the dead raised, the Good News proclaimed to those who are without hope.
Thank you for sowing into this team, and specifically into my life! Because of your commitment, remote communities are reached with the Gospel of the Kingdom — thank you for being a part of that!
Please let me know how I can be praying for you! We are better together!
When Paul wrote this passage he was in chains, having suffered multiple beatings, stonings, starvation, and FELT persecution.
His suffering went far beyond people saying mean things on social media or spreading rumors.
It wasn’t a motivational quote he uttered as he posted a selfie at the top of a mountain.
“I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty. My heart overflows with joy when I think of how you showed your love to me by your financial support of my ministry.For even though you have so little, you still continue to help me at every opportunity. I’m not telling you this because I’m in need, for I have learned to be satisfied in any circumstance.You’ve so graciously provided for my essential needs during this season of difficulty.”
— Philippians 4:10-14
May this be your anthem in times of trial but also in times of victory — that God strengthens and supplies you in every circumstance!
fair warning:before reading through this post, you might want to find a warm beverage and somewhere comfortable to sit down in.
As someone with a background in languages, communication, and language practice, the concept of numbers, and more specifically the mathematical side of things, are of little interest to me. However, I find it fascinating that letters, or linguistic concepts are often represented by numerical values.
When I studied sociolinguistics back in the day, as part of my (second) undergrad degree in Language and Literature, I was intrigued to find that an alternative name for language, is code — a neutral term which denotes language, or a variety of language, and within the discipline of code switching specifically refers to the hybridization of language by mixing the elements of two languages into the same sentence or clause.
Simply put, this simply means that two independent forms of code may be used together to form a single (or plural) form of communication to a (potentially) mixed audience.
Ask any South African if they do this, and the answer will, ten to one, be YES. With 11 official languages, most South Africans are bilingual, at the very least, and with such a diverse cultural and linguistic makeup, one often finds yourself engulfed in a conversation that may, for instance, switch around between Afrikaans, English, Zulu, or any other combination of local languages. This phenomenon (code switching) is of course not singularly applicable to the South African context.
In one of my earlier posts, I shared how thirty is not just a number, and that’s why I’m providing this rather extensive background regarding sociolinguistics and numbers.
The Book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Old Testament, and the fourth of five books in the Torah. The Hebrew name for Numbers is BEMIDBAR (Bəmiḏbar), and means “In the Wilderness” or “In the Desert”, and contains the stories of the Hebrews passage from Egypt to the Promised Land.
thirty is not just a number
In the Biblical context, the number 30 is representative of dedication to a specific task or calling
Aronic priests were dedicated to serving in the temple at 30 years of age — Numbers 4:3
John the Baptist (of priestly descent through Zechariah) began his ministry at age 30
the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in caves near Qumran, and of all the scrolls discovered since 1947, 30 copies of the Psalms have been identified
God promised Abraham that He would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if at least 30 righteous men could be found
King David was 30 years old when he began to reign over Israel — 2 Samuel 5:4
in 30AD the New Testament church was born. It started in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost when God’s Spirit initially came on 120 individuals, and after Peter preached, an additional 3000 people came to believe the Gospel of the Kingdom — Acts 2
The book of numbers marks the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land, and can be (roughly) divided into three main parts and two road trip parts.
Sinai → Numbers 1-20
Reed Sea → travel: Numbers 20-12
Paran → Numbers 13-19
travel: Numbers 20-21
Moab → Numbers 22-36
Built the Tabernacle
Moses received the Ten Commandments
formed a covenant with God after coming out of Egypt
Sent 12 spies to Canaan
of the 12 spies, only TWO came back with a positive report → even after EVERYTHING that God has promised to them, the challenges that lay ahead seemed overwhelming and because of their fear, an ENTIRE GENERATION missed out on their inheritance
King Balak reigns over Moab, and freaks out at the amount of foreigners travelling through his land, so he hires a sorcerer named Balaam to curse the Israelites.
Balaam tries to curse the Israelites on three different occasions, but ends up blessing them instead.
This prophesy from Balaam points directly to the birth of Jesus in the New Testament → all New Testament promises are fulfilled in Jesus, and is also connected to God’s promise to Abraham to bless all nations through him and his family
not a job description
I was 16 years old when I first knew that I wanted to (officially or unofficially) spend my life telling others about Jesus. Of course, I had to finish High School, and after that, I spent 7 years studying, and then worked in the corporate world all while being involved in some form of ministry and outreach.
And finally, after praying about an opportunity to do full-time ministry for more than 10 years, I met Overland Missions, and immediately knew that this was where God wanted to me to be next! I have been involved (officially and unofficially, full-time and part-time) in missions and ministry since 2006, and for the first time since I felt God call me toward sharing the Kingdom in the nations, did I feel as if someone was using the same language as me when talking about ministry, and missions in particular.
You cannot be a missionary without being a visionary — truly, it is so much more than a job description. Fulfilling the call of God on our lives may look different from person-to-person, and there’s certainly no guideline or manual on how to do that, other than walking in obedience to Holy Spirit.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin, I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord. ” — Ezekiel 37:5
In the Biblical context, the number 30 is representative of dedication to a specific task or calling. I recently celebrated my 30th birthday, and with consideration of Numbers, and the significance it holds from a scriptural perspective, in conjunction with the call of God on my life, and the incredible job I get to do on the daily (it’s not only a job, but a fulfilment of years’ worth of praying and dreaming), I am in awe of the extraordinary manner in which the seasons of my life have come together through God’s divine working.
I may not know the exact details of what the next 30 years may hold, but I know that the Kingdom will always be a part of it. For now, at least, I am looking forward to joining our Overland Missions team in the Democratic Republic of Congo where our full-time missionaries and ministry partners pioneer the Gospel to remote and forgotten people.
The Great Commission is not only a calling that applies to a “chosen few” to serve as foreign missionaries, but to every believer — whether in vocation or in lifestyle. Moving forward, 30 is not just a number, it’s not only a transition of seasons, or a journey that progresses through the wilderness to the promised land, but it is an undertaking to pioneer the Kingdom to those who have never heard the Good News of Jesus Christ.
This year, despite having to leave DRC for many months, and travel restrictions in the wake of COVID-19, our team along with our fiery ministry partners in Haut Katanga province, have moved mountains to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, to train and equip new believers with the Word, and have set their communities ablaze with the power of the Gospel and the working of the Holy Spirit.
Of course, ministry is not only about the numbers — how many souls were saved, healed, delivered, how many baptisms, of the amount of kilometres you travelled to reach the people you are ministering to. But without you, and your partnership, these numbers would look very different. Whatever season you’re in, or whatever ‘number you’re on’ — we’d love to include you in the work and ministry we do here in the Democratic republic of Congo and beyond!
We are continuing to grow our team, and there is room for you! To find out how you can become part of Overland Missions’ international team, CLICK HERE to sign up for Advanced Missions Training.
Your partnership and generosity is so very needed, and greatly appreciated! By generously giving yourfinances, prayer, time, and resources we are able to be the boots on the ground, and you are an extension of our ministry — every testimony we celebrate is an inheritance you share in!
If you would like to know more about how you can join our team, or have specific questions — I am available on social media as Cornelia Grace, and you are more than welcome to reach out to me at email@example.com or LinkedIn — I would be delighted to get connected with you!
3 “I thank my God every time I think of you! 4 I always pray with joy, whenever I pray for you all, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 Of this I’m convinced: the one who began a good work in you will thoroughly complete it by the day of King Jesus.”
Friends! Family! Kingdom Partners! This update has been a long time coming, and I’m writing it from the stoep of Overland Missions’ logistical base in Zambia, Rapid 14, overlooking the Zambezi gorge.
Rain has just started to sift down, and in the distance I can hear the rumble of the Zambezi as it pushes over the rugged boulders that lay in the gorge. The previous time I was here, in August 2019, the Victoria Falls were nearly completely dried up, with mere trickles making their way over the magnificent cliff face. It was a wonder and beauty to behold in its own right, but I am thankful that once again the surrounding landscape is filled with buzzing bees, and chirping birds, and the rumble of the cloud that thunders.
It has been a while since I last sent out a full update, but I wanted this newsletter to focus specifically on thanksgiving.
This morning when we had our team devotion, Lilly shared how gratitude changes the way we lean into the Father.
Gratitude and thanksgiving can become such forced things when we say, “Thank you, Lord, for A, B and C,” and they’re often hard words to say out loud — to God and to other people. But when, in the moment, we simply appreciate the simple things, that is, in my view, a response of gratitude and thanksgiving. Gratitude might be reflected in big things like healing, financial breakthrough, or a restored relationship. But it can also be small things, like a finch’s nest dangling on a branch after a heavy storm, a warm cup of coffee, or the steady confidence of a friend.
This past year has held many challenges — each unique in their own way — but one of the things I have TRULY come to appreciate and be thankful for, is for a tribe, and a team of family, friends, and Kingdom Partners who are able to keep my arms up in the midst of a battle.
I often find it hard to be emotionally vulnerable or transparent, especially within a faith context, because I have somehow convinced myself that I have to maintain an impenetrable facade of faith in the face of opposition as an answer to the challenges of life. It might be from trauma and wounds in my past, and I am working through those things now that I am able to recognise and name them, but I think it’s important to remember that though we are human, and we DO experience emotion (and that it’s totally valid to feel all the things), it’s important to align our experience of things with the Truth of the Word. In the moment it might be hard, to recognise and call out the lies, especially when we’re facing anxiety, uncertainty, or confusion, but it’s in those moments where things seem most overwhelming to recognise that the Truth of the Word is able to cover those things — however real they might be — and that His grace is sufficient in all things.
As I was reading through Philippians 1:3-5 I was filled with gratitude as I realised that Paul’s words to the Philippian believers were echoing in my heart as well.
I am immensely blessed that you (yes, you reading this update) are an extension of EVERY victory in the Kingdom. Your generous financial partnership, prayers, support, and involvement is a mobilisation of the Gospel to the nations, to unreached people groups where the Good News set slaves free, bringing hope in stead of despair, bringing life where there was death, and peace where there was hurt.
Yes, of course it’s not always easy going. It takes a LOT of hard work, many hours on the road, and personal effort. But the destination isn’t a place, it’s the people, and that’s why we go.
I am often asked why I don’t simply stay in South Africa (my home country) to preach the Gospel there, because it would be easier and there (in South Africa) are also people who do not yet believe. And yes — that’s true. It would be easier.
I didn’t sign up because I thought it would be easy. I signed up because HE IS WORTHY.
As believers in a Western context we often forget that many years ago (however many that may be) a foreign missionary had come to our nation, our people, and learnt our languages to tell us about the Good News. It might seem far away from where we’re standing now, but someone still had to do it, and has done it. And because tht someone has gone, we’ve had the opportunity to hear the Gospel.
I was 16 years old when I first knew FOR SURE that I wanted to spend my life telling others about God. Not because I don’t agree with different world views or cultural practices, or spiritual convictions — but because I know that the God I serve is Living and Powerful, that He is able to break the chains of bondage, that He is able to heal and restore, to give Life, and Life in abundance — and being a missionary to a foreign nation, I have a front-row seat to bear witness to exactly that happen in individual lives. It’s not glamorous. Some days are really hard. But other days are great. And it’s still 100% worth it, even if only ONE person came to know Him.
Through your prayers, support, and financial partnership, I am able to live out the call of God on my life. In the same way, I pray for each of you — and I hope that I am able to do more too — that the good work that God has started within you will bear much fruit. I pray for each of your personal lives, for your relationships, work environment, personal growth, financial growth (even in the midst of a global pandemic), your walk of faith, and healing and wellbeing. Not because it is expected, but as a symbiotic relationship within the Body of Christ, we are called to support one another however we can — sharing in joy and in misery, and contending for the Truth of the Word to be made manifest in our lives.
And on that note, I want to share some of the global Overland Missions’ team victories. In a year where the world seemed to come to a standstill, the Gospel still moved forward.
Overland Missions mobilised 350 full-time staff across 14 nations
148.809 square miles (385.4135 km²) were covered with the Gospel — that’s roughly the size of Japan
On the continent of Africa, 200 missionaries across 7 nations, strived to do whatever it takes so that no person is left without the life-giving Gospel of Jesus Christ (Mozambique, Angola, North Afica, DR Congo, Zanzibar, Zambia)
Ministry expanded into the United States, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Brazil
You can read the full report, with specific details on the DR Congo team on p7, in the 2020 End of Year Report.
Thank you to all of you who sow and continue sowing into my life and the lives of others who are growing in Christ, receiving Christ, and are sent out by Christ. I love each and every one of you and am so excited for what the Lord is doing and going to do through your lives as well.
Giving it all might require finances, time, and sacrifice, but it’s worth it. He is worth it. The greatest gift was given when Jesus laid His own life down for us. Everything else falls short. He deserves eternal glory!
I want to encourage you all to live in the here and now. It’s important to have vision for the future, but let’s remember to practice gratitude. The Kingdom of God is eternal and we all have a part that we can play. That moment of when we stand before God’s throne, we will hear “Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the Joy of your Lord.” – Matthew 25:23
That’s the update for now, from the stoep of Rapid 14’s Main Center, and as I wait out the next 4 days of quarentine before our conference kicks off, I wish you grace and peace that surpasses human understanding.
Until the whole world hears!
Follow @c_rnelia on Instagram and/or Facebook for daily stories from this side of the globe.
There are so many things I could say to describe this past week of fellowship at Overland Missions’ R14 base, but I’ll stick to this: He keeps His covenant to a thousand generations – Deuteronomy 7:9
But because the Lord loves you and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know, recognize, and understand therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, Who keeps covenant and steadfast love and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations,
Relationships are fluid, but covenant is eternal.
This past week I soaked up some quality team time (with quarentine and social distancing protocols in place) at our annual African Staff Conference.
So many good Words were spoken, but Liezl (pastoral care team and veteran missionary to Zambia) brought such a powerful message in saying that covenant is always relational – with God and other people, and that it’s the interwoven nature of covenant that protects us and keeps us upright when we have to weather storms.
Californian redwoods grow more than 110m in hight, and they’re 1000s of years old, yet it’s not the depth of their roots that keep them upright, but the fact that they are surrounded by other trees like them.
In covenant we have the opportunity to grow and walk together in times of growth, and in times of pruning. In covenant love covers our shortcomings and encourages us to be conformed to the likeness of Christ in who’s image we were created.
I find it extremely difficult to be transparent and vulnerable, especially when I feel something particularly deep. Yet it is within family, and team, that we are healed from isolation and hurt. And I guess after a year of being separated from the team (thanks, Rona) this week has been tiger balm.
Covenant is meant to strengthen our lives, and our lives are meant to be sown.
So, let us be seeds that are buried to die to ourselves, to grow into trees that’ll bring healing to the Nations.
Most people understand ‘missions’ as the intentional evangelical efforts of an individual, organisation, or church who is purposed to spread the Gospel. Yet, there are many misconceptions, or myths surrounding missions. Here is (one) perspective on things we often miss.
Interestingly, the word “missionary” is never found in the Bible. In Scripture, the disciples were commissioned by Jesus and sent out as Apostles to the Nations. An Apostle, (from Greek apostolos, “person sent”), is tasked with the mission of preaching the Kingdom, and making disciples.
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Yet as always, Satan lurks in the shadows, plotting against the Spirit’s work and lashing out “because he knows that his time is short” (Revelation 12:12). He has already lost, but his disinformation continues, and sometimes we get caught believing lies about God’s mission to all nations. It is hard work to sift through what the Spirit is really doing in the world: myths persist.
The way out is to shed light on some of the most common myths Christians today believe.
the chosen frozen
In Acts 4:13, we find evidence that the apostles were ordinary men. However, it was evident that they had been with Jesus. “The Call” is simple. What makes it complicated is our response to the calling.
Interpreting God’s calling on our lives is hard. When I first started out as a Believer, I kept a journal in which I wrote down all the things I’ve felt God speak to me about. So many of those things have come into fulfilment over the last 20 years, but wow — I’ve needed help to interpret God’s will and his call on my life. And you do too, regardless of your vocation. We were made to walk in relationship with God, and with other Believers. Being a Believer, or a missionary (Apostle, to use the Scriptural term), can be tough, and none of us should be left to figure it our on our own. Overland Missions has a popular saying that goes, “Never go alone.” It speaks of partnership with Holy Spirit, and with other Believers. There is such blessing and covering in partnership and covenant. The New Testament places a lot of emphasis on the fellowship of Believers, on the community of faith. When we’re isolated from other Believers, we can easily mistake our personal abilities and callings and head out believing we’re doing God’s work. Within community, there is shared wisdom, unity, and room to make mistakes and grow with a safety net of people who encourage you and keep you accountable in your walk with God.
Consider the church of Antioch, who sent Barnabas and Saul (a community/ church entrusting and sending out Apostles with a specific task), already proven leaders, and confirmed their apostolic call by laying hands on them (Acts 13:1–3). The church should send missionaries out “in a manner worthy of God” (3 John 6), which includes confirming our call and preparing us to go. Having great preparation and confirmation doesn’t mean everything will go smoothly, but it does set us up for success over the long term.
Advanced Mission Training is Overland Mission’s three-month program to spiritually and practically equip people for the mission field.
good news only
Will people give to me or my organization if it seems we are ineffective? Expectations fuelled by snippets from the lives of missionaries have fed the temptation to think that missions reporting must always be positive. It’s the modern conundrum to instant gratification: Expectation vs Reality. The truth is, even though there are many victories that we celebrate as individuals, and as a global team, there are challenges too — flat tires and sleepless nights, tribal conflict and relational challenges.
“Thousands of people were saved,” “Hundreds of churches were planted,” — these are the things we typically celebrate in newsletters and End Of Year Reports, but as reporters from the field, being transparent in the face of challenge creates trust, and does not necessarily mean negative growth. Some of the best honest newsletters from Overland Missions’ team are by the Killoughs from Angola and the Pienaars from Zambia.
Transparency and an honest answer to “How are you?” also applies to those who support missionaries — sharing your peaks and valleys with those who partner with you in prayer, and who support you in your walk of faith, helps us to grow in covenant. We are better together.
Social media has created a false expectation that everything is always awesome. And it often it. But make it a focus, as an exercise, to live this week as you normally would and then turn it into a newsletter. Think about what you would emphasize and what you would leave out. That is pretty much how a missions update is compiled.
you’re doing it wrong
It’s so easy to be critical from a distance rather than supportive in proximity. People often ask me what I do in day-to-day ministry. The truth is — I never have the same day twice. In the physical world, and often in the spiritual world too, there are no presets of manuals for what we do — the heart of Overland Missions is to pioneer the Gospel to unreached people in remote locations. That means to till hardened soil in order to sow seeds of faith, and for every nation, every people group, and every culture, that process of tilling and sowing and tending may look different.
If you want to know what day-to-day missions looks like — join us on the field, or sign up for an Expedition here — we’ll take you to the Nations.
Of course, we should hold up the Bible as the lens to understand how people are approaching the mission, and we should not shy away from trying to bring reformation to mission practices. But before we do, let’s consider Paul, who rejoiced simply because “Christ is proclaimed,” despite poor motives (Philippians 1:18). Let’s consider how much we know about places far away, and then tread carefully as we push back.
Every Spirit-filled believer is equipped to do whatever it takes to share the Good news of the Kingdom. Missionaries aren’t super spiritual simply because they serve on a foreign field. Every problem that occurs in your local church also occurs on the mission field.
Being equipped and skilled in your work, no matter your vocation, is always a credit, but God isn’t looking for those who have the highest qualifications or the most “know how” — what weighs far more is your ability to sign up and show up. To be teachable, serviceable, available — these are the things that contribute to longevity in ministry.
Have you even gone fishing? Instinctively we want to cast as far as possible, believing that the bigger, better fish must be further out.
Some think this is what foreign missions means. There is a false belief that there is a greater harvest the further you travel from your home country. The truth is that many people are unreached because they are remotely located. They are hard to get to because these tribes are isolated, and rough terrain has to be crossed to get to them. And while Overland Missions pioneers the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the most remote people and tribes in the most forgotten places on earth, it does not mean that where you are right now — in your home town, in your current vocation, and in your home church, there isn’t a mission field to be harvested.
Overland Missions’ strategy
step 1: reconnaissance
Pioneer remote areas in order to identify villages with limited or no Gospel presence.
step 2: expeditions
Evangelize unreached villages spearheading long term ministry.
step 3: sector management
Disciple new believers and identify potential indigenous leadership while also identifying felt-needs and bringing humanitarian aid.
step 4: indigenous leadership
Train indigenous leaders to reach surrounding villages with the support of expeditions.
Missionaries “come home” for furloughs or forever. We can imagine that missionaries will love the chance to visit family, partners, and old friends again. But for many, home assignments can be stressful.
Imagine that you have a young family and have been gone for five years. (The same can be true for unmarried people on the mission field.) You have just made friends and adjusted to the culture, and you/your kids are in routine-ish (because, let’s be honest — life on the mission field rarely sticks to the program). And then you pull out for six to twelve months in order to live on the road.
The problem can feel more acute, however, when missionaries return permanently (for whatever reason). They commonly hear, “Aren’t you glad to be home?” and the answer is rarely a resounding “Yes!”
Of course, there is a lot to love about being closer to family, but there are more significant reasons why it is hard. Some missionaries find themselves facing reverse culture shock, unable to navigate the culture they grew up in. Friends and family have changed in the time they have been gone. Kids are not happy to leave their friends “back home.” Relationships don’t make sense, and work doesn’t feel as meaningful.
A friend who used to be a missionary in Uganda once said to me, “In Uganda I was in charge of multimillion dollar projects and led many people to Christ, but now that I am back in the U.S., I have to ask permission whether I can put napkins on the table at a men’s prayer breakfast.” Returning is often painful, disorienting, and numbing.
missions without myths
We have been given a mandate that cannot be ignored. We are to send or go. But we also are to be aware of how myths shape our worship and practice. Our attitudes can be misinformed. Our actions can be immature.
Exposing these myths is not intended to put a damper on a passion for the nations, or quench a desire to go out for the sake of the name, or cause you to be hesitant to obey Jesus. It’s about seeing the world as it is in order to better serve God’s global people that he is calling to himself.
I am often asked how I navigate life between my assignment and my home country, and the best way for me to tell you is to show you!
So, if you’d like to go, let’s get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org
Friends! Family! Kingdom Partners! It’s been a while since I last posted a video update, so here’s a couple titbits of the last few months, and some insight into the transition of seasons!
Some interesting facts about the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) that I forgot to mention in the video:
French pronunciation: République démocratique du Congo, under colonial Belgian rule it was called Zaire.
DR Congo is the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, the second largest country in Africa (second to Algeria), and the 11th largest country in the world!
DR Congo is home to more than 200 ethnic groups, and the estimated population is around 48 million people — that’s 48 million reasons to share the Gospel of the Kingdom!
Official language: French (a dialect called Belgique)
Approximately 242 languages are spoken, but only 4 are officially recognized: Lingala, Kikongo, Swahili and Tshiluba
DR Congo is one of the most mineral rich countries in Africa (which gave rise to the scramble for Africa under colonialism, and continues to be a major area of exploitation from the West) with cobalt, copper and diamonds being amongst the major commodities.
Last year, after returning from Zambia, spending a few short days with my family, leading my dad’s funeral, helping to plan my sister’s wedding, getting a visa to the United States, and a whirlwind of other life events that were thrown into the mix, I went to visit my good friend Sanet where the picture on the left was taken. You can read all about those adventures here.
Now I’m a year older (and hopefully wiser) and as determined to share the Good News of the Kingdom with all men from every nation and every tribe and every tongue — for it is the Good News unto Salvation, and its power is eternal.
This, friends, is what Moses saw when God showed him the Promised Land. It’s extremely hazy, I know, but to the left you’ll notice the Dead Sea, toward the middle lies the Jordan, and directly opposite, the land overflowing with milk and honey.
My first impression was probably the same as yours — how can this be paradise? However , over the next few weeks I discovered that there are many treasures to be found in the Promised Land.
If crossing the wilderness has taught me anything, it is to be uncompromisingly obedient to God, and to fully trust in, and rely on Him to show you the path to take.
— C. G
Abraham, Moses, Joshua — they’re some of my favourites from the Old Testament.
How often does it happen that we hold on to the promises, and not the Promise Keeper?
Whatever wilderness you’re in, and whatever challenges lie ahead, I hope you have the courage to step out in obedience to whatever He calls you to.
May you see beyond the haze and the desolation of the wilderness, and may you see the promise hidden in the unknown.
Just keep your eyes open, my love.
“AND MOSES went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is opposite Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land–from Gilead to Dan, And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah to the western [Mediterranean] sea, And the South (the Negeb) and the plain, that is, the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palm Trees, as far as Zoar. And the Lord said to him, This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, I will give it to your descendants. I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.” — Deuteronomy 34:1-4
I read “Circles in a Forest” as a 8yo, and somewhere in high school I discovered that this literary masterpiece was originally authored in Afrikaans by Dalene Matthee.
Years later, as a student of Literature and Language Practice I delved deeper into native writing, colonial writing and the ephemeral insights we share from reading-to-reading.
Multi-layered stories are my favourite, and as we trekked through the MTB-trails at Hartspad Adventure Trails (we intended to hike the red route and ended up doing multiple loops of the blue route instead) and got sort-of-lost, I thought of how each season of life adds to the overlays of the routes we travel emotionally, physically spiritually.
“If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.]”
— Galatians 5:25 AMPC
We greet strangers in passing, and they become friends. We grow stronger, and sometimes we stop to rest and regroup. We feed our souls, our bodies, our minds. And if we travel these routes often enough, a sense of familiarity lingers among the swaying treetops and the rhythm of our feet as they hit the ground, a friend reaching out to help us overcome obstacles, and above all, a deep-set realisation that even among dead things there is life.
This morning, as I was having tea with dear high school friends of mine we were talking about missions, nations, farming, business, and life, and got asked: “How do you overcome the challenges of living in a country where you are, for all intents and purposes, an outsider — coming from a different cultural background, having to learn a third and fourth language and having few local friends?”
The truth is: after a while the adventure wears off, living in a tent in the wilderness loses its charm, you long for simple fellowship where your stories, your language, and your culture does not have to be contextualized.
The one thing that is un-negotiable is that you cannot limit your obedience to the call of God on your life to the physical and spiritual challenges you face. And yes — that’s easier said than done.
The minute we start relying on our own capacity — to make friends, to learn the local language, to disciple, to provide, to find practical solutions, we will become exhausted.
When we serve the mission, without serving the vision, we’re not expanding the Kingdom, we’re simply ticking off a To-Do List.
Fulfilling the call of God on our lives may look different from person-to-person, and there’s certainly no guideline or manual on how to do that, other than walking in obedience to Holy Spirit.
— C. G.
So, while the physical (and spiritual) challenges of foreign missions can become overwhelming (even if only for a moment), what drives me is not my own sense of comfort, the familiarity with which I cultivate friendships, the types of food I eat, or the language I worship in.
There are SO many things worth celebrating and testifying about — it certainly isn’t a giant chunk of “suffering for the Lord” — and perhaps fulfilling the mission doesn’t come with a manual, but serving the vision is always rewarding!
The Mission might be to make disciples. But the Vision will lead you to those who have ears that are ready to hear, and hearts that are open to receive.
The Mission might be to develop sustainable agricultural practices. But the Vision is to look at the wilderness and see the harvest when the ground has not yet be worked, and the seed has not yet been sown.
The Mission might be to raise financial partnerships. But the Vision is to walk in faith that God is your source and provider, and that every partnership is an extension of the Kingdom.
The Mission might be to reach those who have not yet had the opportunity to hear the Gospel. The Vision will inspire you to find cultural and physical and spiritual solutions; to do whatever it takes to translate the Kingdom into practical Good News.
All this to say, that being a missionary isn’t one simple thing. It’s not a job description or a title. It’s to be whatever you need to be, wherever you need to be, to show up, to preach the Kingdom, to serve the Vision, and to walk in obedience.
It’s as simple, and as complicated, as that.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin, I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
As a young believer, I attended the local Every Nation church (an international church family that I still consider to be ‘home’), and I remember Pastor Celeste beginning every sermon she shared with a faith confession:
“This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I can do what it says I can do. I believe it is the Truth. I believe in the power of the spoken Word of God. I will consult it in tribulation. I will speak it in season and out of season. I will use it as reference. I will not be silent. I read it with a wiling heart. I am guided by the Spirit. I will do mighty deeds in the Name of Jesus. The enemy shall flee before me and the Sword in my hand. I will use it to guide and disciple. And I will follow His guidance, step by step.”
Pastor Celeste Nel, Every Nation Faith City
You see, this was not simply a rhyme or empty prayer to declare, but a reminder, a deep-rooted conviction that God is who He says He is, and that I therefore am who He says I am.
As believers, and non-believers or sceptics, one of the issues we most often grapple with is simply this: Who am I? What is my purpose? Why am I here?
I think it was Oswald Chambers who famously said, “We exist to know God and enjoy Him forever,” and though this definitely lays the foundation for doctrinal discussion, I think Who Is God and therefore, Who Am I, are questions that can be answered in this: by knowing who He truly is, we discover who we truly are.
“In the Kingdom, function does not determine purpose. Understanding your purpose will determine how you function.”
It’s been 16 years since I embarked on this faith journey: having a relationship with God, and not simply living under the yoke of religion, and though there is still SO MUCH MORE to discover and learn, one of the things that has been integral to my relationship with God is learning and understanding His character, the I AM of which Scripture speaks.
Understanding who God is, and understanding why he created Man in His image and likeness, unlocks our Identity, purpose, authority here on earth, and adds a deeper level of intimacy of our relationship with Him.
Hardus, one of the students who attend our virtual Bible study shared this testimony with our group last week, and I asked whether he would be willing to share it with the world.
As you watch this video, may you be encouraged that He is the God who is who He says He is, who can do what He says He can do — who created you in His image and likeness!
Ons was op Ekspedisie in Simwatachela Chiefdom in Zambië. Ekspedisies is Evangelie-uitreike van twee weke lank, waar ons met die DAF-vragmotor in die bos kamp met basiese toerusting. Ons het ongeveer 7 ure lank gery om in Mafuta village uit te kom waar ons net buite die dorpie gekamp het. Ons was hier om met die plaaslike kerke te werk, van huis-tot-huis te besoek en die Evangelie te deel.
Ekspedisies is opwindend! Tydens huis-tot-huis besoeke hoor baie mense die Evangelie vir die eerste keer. Zambië staan bekend as ‘n Christelike nasie, maar die werklikheid is dat die kerke gebuk gaan onder valse godsdiens en leerstellings, en die goeie nuus van die Koninkryk was nog nooit gepreek nie. Verhoudinge met plaaslike leiers en pastore is een van die grootste geleenthede om hulle uit die Woord te bemoedig. By baie van hierdie bos-kerke waar ons aan doen, vind ons dat die hoof pastoor of leeraar nie eers ‘n Bybel besit nie, en wanneer hulle wel ‘n Bybel besit, is dit gewoonlik nie in een van die stamtale wat in daardie spesifieke area gepraat word nie.
Na Bybelstudie (ons het 14h00 by die skool ontmoet), kom ons terug kamp toe om aandete voor te berei voor die nag-vergadering (wat om 19h00 sou begin).
Ek was besig om aandete voor te berei toe Kati en Trenton vra of ons nog 5 gaste vir aandete kon akkommodeer.
Ek was weliswaar huiwerig om ja te sê. Ons het ordentlike porsiegroottes vir elke maaltyd uitgewerk, maar aangesien ons span meestal bestaan uit jong mans (wat die eet soos kommandowurms), is daar raar tweedeporsies of oorskied.
Kati het gevra, “Kan ons meer mense voer?” En ek het gesê: “Miskien. As ons nou begin bid. ”
Ek het onmiddellik gevoel hoe die Heilige Gees my berispe vir my selfsug.
Ons was moeg en honger, en ons het ‘n bietjie span tyd nodig gehad voordat ons na die nag-byeenkoms sou gaan, en nou het ons 5 ekstra gaste en verskeie kinders wat opgedaag het, wat verwag om gevoed te word, en ons span tyd sou opneem.
Die Heilige Gees het my herinner aan hierdie gedeelte uit Hebreërs 13: 2 – “Moenie vergeet of verwaarloos of weier om gasvryheid aan vreemdelinge uit te reik nie (in die broederskap) – vriendelik, hartlik en genadig, deel die gemak van u huis en doen u deel vrygewig ], want daardeur het sommige engele vermaak sonder om dit te weet. ”
Ons gaste het al die pad van ‘n naburige dorp af gestap — 13km. Hulle het almal hierheen geloop om die Bybelstudie by te woon, en hulle wou vir die nag-byeenkoms bly. Hulle het so ver gestap omdat die Boodskap wat ons gebring het vir hulle belangrik was om te hoor!
Tog was ons bekommerd dat ons hulle nie sou kon voed nie, en dat ons eie gemak sou ly? Belaglik, nie waar nie?
Ek het my herinner aan die offer wat ‘n jong seuntjie na Jesus gebring het toe vyfduisend mans (en baie vroue en kinders) bymekaar was om Hom te hoor preek. Dit was ‘n eenvoudige offer: vyf brode en twee visse. En dit het die menigtes gevoed.
Hoe moet ons die Gees voed as ons nie die liggaam voed nie, en vice versa?
Ons Westerse skeptisisme het daartoe gelei dat ons hoër heinings gebou het in plaas van langer etenstafels. Ons is bang dat as ons een aand vyf besoekers en ‘n paar kinders voed, dat die hele village die volgende aand by die voorstoep sal regstaan en aalmoese en kos verwag.
Ja, ons wil nie ‘n ingesteldheid of ‘n verwagting van afhanklikheid skep nie, maar is ons so selfsugtig dat ons nie kan deel wat ons het met diegene wat dit nodig het nie?
Ons het gisteraand ontbytburritos vir aandete gehad, en nadat ons gaste, bedieningsvennote en die hele span bedien is, en elkeen ‘n tweede keer kos gekry het, was daar nog ‘n burritos oor wat ek toe aan die kinders buite ons kamp gegee het.
Hoe sal ons ooit God se voorsiening kan uitput?
Matteus 6 sê dat ons nie hoef te bekommer oor wat ons sal eet of drink of dra nie, dat môre vir homself sal sorg. Dit is egter wat ons daaglikse lewe vul: ons werk hard sodat ons geld kan spaar om meer dinge te koop en meer plekke te gaan en vooruit te beplan en beter dinge te kan bekostig. En hoewel daar niks verkeerd daarmee is om spaarsamige rentmeesters te wees nie, is ek verbaas dat hierdie mense wat in modderhuise woon, omring deur bosse aan alle kante, wat 7 jaar laas ‘n goeie oes gehad het, deel wat hulle het met ‘n hele gemeenskap, hulle kla nie of hou nie terug wanneer hulle hul nshema moet deel met Westerlinge wat dink dat dit aaklig smaak sonder sout of sous nie.
Maar hier is diegene wat die minste het, die gewilligste om te deel.
Nadat ek byna 40 mense op ‘n 25-porsie begroting gevoed het, was ek herinner aan hierdie gedeelte van Kolossense (hier onder).
Laat ons ALTYD gereed wees om te bedien, te dien, te deel, ‘n antwoord te gee vir die hoop op Christus wat binne ons is!
“Wees ernstig en ongeduldig en standvastig in u gebed [lewe], wees [albei] waaksaam en bedoel [met u danksegging] met danksegging. En bid terselfdertyd ook vir ons, dat God vir ons ‘n deur kan oopmaak vir die Woord (die Evangelie), om die verborgenheid rakende Christus (die Messias) te verkondig op grond waarvan ek in die gevangenis is; Dat ek dit volledig kan verkondig en dit duidelik maak [praat met vrymoedigheid en openbaar daardie raaisel], net soos my plig. Gedra julle verstandig [leef verstandig en met oordeelkundigheid] in jul verhouding met die buite-wêreld (nie-Christene), maak die beste van die tyd gebruik en benut (koop op) die geleentheid. Laat u toespraak te alle tye genadig wees (aangenaam en oorweldigend), gekruid [soos dit was] met sout, [sodat u nooit kan verloor nie] om te weet hoe u iemand moet antwoord [wat ‘n vraag aan u stel] . “ – Kolossense 4: 2-6
We were out on Expedition in Simwatachela Chiefdom in Zambia. A bare-bones two-week ministry trip in which we drove 7 hours with the DAF truck and set up camp in the bush just outside Mafuta village. We were here to work with the local churches, visit from home-to-home, and share the Gospel.
Expeditions are exciting! During home-to-home visits, many people hear the Gospel for the first time. Zambia is known as a Christian nation, but the reality is that its churches are weighed down by false religion and doctrine, and the Kingdom has never been preached. Building relationships with local leaders and pastors is one of the greatest opportunities to encourage them from the Word.
After Bible Study (we met at the school at 14h00), we came back to camp to prepare dinner before the night meeting (which was scheduled to start at 19h00).
I was halfway into preparing dinner when Kati and Trenton asked whether we could accommodate 5 more guests for dinner.
Admittedly, I was reluctant to say yes. We had worked out decent portion sizes for each meal, but since our team is made up of mostly college-age young men (who eat their weight’s worth), there are hardly any seconds or leftovers.
Kati asked, “can we feed more people?” And I said, “Maybe. If we start praying now.”
I immediately felt convicted by Holy Spirit for my own selfishness.
We were tired and hungry, and we needed some team time before heading into the night meeting, and now we had 5 extra people, and multiple kids, who had shown up, expected to be fed, and would impose on our team time.
Holy Spirit reminded me of this passage from Hebrews 13:2 — “Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers [in the brotherhood–being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Our guests were from a village 13km away. They had all walked here to attend the Bible Study, and they wanted to stay for the night meeting.
Yet, we were worried that we wouldn’t be able to feed them, and that our own comfort would suffer? Ridiculous, right?
I was reminded of the offering a young boy brought to Jesus as five thousand men (and many women and children) were gathered to hear Him teach. It was a simple offering: five loaves, and two fish. And it fed the multitudes.
How are we to feed the Spirit, if we do not feed the flesh, and vice versa?
Our Western scepticism has lead us to build taller fences in stead of longer dinner tables. We’re afraid that, if we feed five visitors and some kids the one evening, that the next evening, the whole village will line up at the doorstep, expecting handouts and food.
Yes, we don’t want to create a mindset or an expectation for dependency, but are we so selfish that we cannot share what we have with those who need it?
We had breakfast burritos for dinner last night, and after our guests, ministry partners and entire team had been served, and EVERYONE had a second helping, there were still some left, which I then gave to the kids standing around outside our camp.
Who are we to think that we can ever out-give God?
Matthew 6 says that we are not to worry about what we will eat or drink or wear, that tomorrow will take care of itself. Yet, this is what consumes our day-to-day: we work hard so that we can save money to buy more things and go more places and plan ahead and afford better stuff. And, though there’s nothing wrong with being frugal stewards, I’m amazed that these people, who live in mud houses, surrounded by bush on every side, who haven’t had a good harvest in 7 years, who share what they have with an entire community, do not grumble or complain or hold back when they have to share their nshema with Westerners who think it tastes terrible without salt or relish.
Yet, here, those who have the least are most eager to share.
As I was feeding nearly 40 people on a 25-person budget, I was reminded of this passage from Colossians (here below).
Let us ALWAYS be ready to minister, to serve, to share, to give an answer for the Hope of Christ that is within us!
“Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life], being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving. And at the same time pray for us also, that God may open a door to us for the Word (the Gospel), to proclaim the mystery concerning Christ (the Messiah) on account of which I am in prison; That I may proclaim it fully and make it clear [speak boldly and unfold that mystery], as is my duty. Behave yourselves wisely [living prudently and with discretion] in your relations with those of the outside world (the non-Christians), making the very most of the time and seizing (buying up) the opportunity. Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned [as it were] with salt, [so that you may never be at a loss] to know how you ought to answer anyone [who puts a question to you].” — Colossians 4:2-6
I felt like spending the day in bed. And I did have a good lie-in.
But then I got up, ate grapefruit, and went for a run. While the run didn’t exactly go according to plan (I have become very unfit during Lockdown 🙈 and Garmin has had a bug that has kept Connect from functioning), I ran a PB on 1km and a new fastest mile.
This morning when I asked a friend of mine what he was doing, he responded, “Building character,” I later came to understand that he was watching The Karate Kid.
It reminded me of the parable of the talents, found in Matthew 25 — not because running is such a noble or holy pursuit, but because 9 times out of 10, God opens the door for ministry simply because we have been faithful to show up, even if we didn’t feel like it.
“His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys.”
As carriers of this Message, as ambassadors of the Kingdom, we don’t have to seek out ministry — it’s right there with every person you speak to, whether in church or in a grocery store or via Zoom.
Being faithful to show up, to build character, spending time in the Word, and drawing on His presence — these are the things that build strength and stamina to do whatever it takes to be Ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven.
When you hear Holy Spirit tell you to step up and show up, may you have the courage to boldly proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom!
May you be faithful to show up, doing and serving in that ministry to which you have been called.
May you build spiritual and physical muscle and stamina, to do whatever it takes to reach the one.
May you rest well and deep, being refreshed by Holy Spirit, and may you then continue torun wild with this Great Message, so that all men from every tribe and every tongue maylive free!
We try to save time, to make time, to stop wasting time, to find time, to be on time, to be in time.
We connect time to our understanding of wealth, to our sense of accomplishment, and we connect it to our sense of failure.
I’m reminded of that sinner on the cross next to Jesus. At the last moment, his destiny was changed.
There still is time.
Our happiness is not intrinsic to time-things. You’re not too old to start something new, or to make a career change. It’s not too late to forgive or make your peace. You’ve not wasted time — you’ve learned valuable lessons.
He is faithful to complete the Good Work He started within you.
And that takes time. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be honest. Be kind. Work diligently. Grow from failure. Keep dancing.
I’m turning 30 in a couple of months, and though there are things I might’ve approached differently if I had a do-over, I’m thankful for every sun spot and wrinkle and gray hair because it’s evidence of BEING ALIVE.
2020 has been weird, but let’s not let the past hold us back from what the future may hold.
2020 has been weird, but let’s not let that keep us from living LIFE.
“I shall not die but live, and shall declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the Lord.”
— Psalm 118:17
About a week ago my sister, who is 8 months pregnant, was in a car accident. In this video I share their testimony, and some encouragement about the rhythm of life, our purpose in the Kingdom, and the fellowship of believers.
“In the Kingdom, function does not determine purpose. Understanding purpose will determine how we function. This is the Gospel of Identity.”
— Cornelia Grace.
Our testimony will ALWAYS be LIFE and not death — let this be our declaration: God is the Author of Life!
« Jésus dit: « Père, pardonne-leur, ils ne savent pas ce qu’ils font. » Les soldats tirent au sort pour savoir qui aura ses vêtements. Puis ils les partagent entre eux. »
Bonne Nouvelle selon Luc 23:34
Trahi par des amis, accusé bien qu’innocent, torturé jusqu’à être cloué sur la croix – les injustices que Jésus a souffert ne pouvaient pas être pires. Et en plus de cela les gens autour de lui se moquent de lui et l’humilient. Dévêtu, Jésus est mourant sur la croix avec ses blessures. Il y a personne pour lui offrir de la compassion. Bien au contraire, les personnes présentes cherchent à le briser avec des paroles accusatrices et ignobles. Tous les yeux sont rivés sur lui.
“While they were nailing Jesus to the cross, he prayed over and over, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” The soldiers, after they crucified him, gambled over his clothing.”
Lorsque Jésus ouvre enfin sa bouche pour répondre, personne ne s’attendait à ces paroles : « Père, pardonne-leur ! ». Ce que Jésus a enseigné dans son sermon sur la montagne à propos d’aimer ses ennemis, ces paroles sont démontrées avec la manière la plus incroyable.
Je trouve difficile de ne pas rétorquer et de ne pas me défendre, alors que je me sens victime d’une injustice. Bien sûr, je sais que dans le fond c’est pour mon bien que Jésus me demande de pardonner. Lorsque je porte une rancune à l’égard des autres, avant tout cela pèse mon cœur, mes pensées et mon âme. Jésus nous montre comment être libres de ces fardeaux. Je souhaite être guidé par cet exemple bien plus que par les choses négatives dans ma vie.
Tourne ton regard vers ton cœur. Qui est responsable pour les plus grandes blessures dans ta vie ? Qui est la personne envers qui tu as de la rancune ? Pour en être libéré, commence à prier pour cette personne pendant trois minutes. Le ressentiment ne va peut-être pas disparaître immédiatement, mais persévère dans la prière et laisse-toi inspirer par le manière que Jésus a de prier pour ses ennemis. Voilà où se trouve le premier pas vers la liberté.
“Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.”
— Romans 5:3-5 AMPC
As always, I invite you to let me know how I can pray for you!
I am still here, writing from my home town in South Africa, and here not much has changed since our nation-wide lockdown has been instituted. Yes, some provinces have started phasing out the lockdown restrictions, but in many ways, we are still where we were before.
I am so thankful for technology that helps us to stay connected internationally, but I am excitedly looking forward to a day when we can once again connect face-to-face!
Despite the limiting physical circumstances, MPD preparations are well under way, and language learning and life is going well. While being in lockdown, I have kept in touch with my team (spread out across Zambia and USA, since they had to evacuate DRC before the borders closed down), who are also in various phases of quarantine. While Jessy and I are fundraising through MPD, and learning French, Julie, Darrin and Sherrill are on Rapid 14.
Julie has been able to serve in the local clinic as a Midwife. She has shared some incredibly encouraging stories, and I encourage you to follow these testimonies on social media — whether on their personal profiles, or through Overland Missions.
We all anticipate the day when we will be together in DRC, advancing the Kingdom and sharing the Word of God. For now, we remain faithful in doing what we can do to prepare for post-pandemic ministry, and await communication from Overland Missions’ leadership as well as that of the various countries in which we are currently waiting out the quarantine restrictions.
In recent video meetings, our founder and president, Phillip Smethurst (CEO), predicted that many African nations (South Africa included) may take longer to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic because of the lack of medical resources and facilities that will be able to manage the influx of patients.
I spoke to some friends at Kalene Hill Hospital in Northwest Zambia (right on the border between DRC, Angola, and Zambia), and they have reported that they are only now receiving many patients who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. These areas are so remote that they are only now catching up with the global exposure to the virus. Unfortunately, people living in these remote and rural areas often don’t have access to health care (health care is in limited supply in most African countries), and generally don’t have good immune systems due to harsh physical conditions and malnutrition. However, our team gladly serves these communities, not only with humanitarian care, but with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
As far as DRC is concerned, a report was sent to our team which projected that cases for COVID-19 will peak in September. It is expected that South Africa’s borders will also remain closed until then, though limited travel in-country will be allowed. However, the guestimation that the borders might not be open to foreigners or international travel, means that things are still uncertain. We pray that things will stabilize and return to normal as soon as possible.
Even during this time, we’ve heard testimonies from our team on the ground who have shared that even though they are under lockdown, ministry continues through their disciples in the villages.
The plans and purposes of the Lord are never stopped or hindered, or even delayed by anything in this world.
I have been considering that Paul (who is, in my opinion, one of the greatest missionaries) wrote two thirds of the New Testament from prison. Our ability to go out and see other people face-to-face might be limited by lockdown, but the Good News is never locked in.
My co-workers in an Unnamed North African Country, have shared how in the midst of Ramadan, they have been able to share plates of food and snacks with their neighbours (they leave it on neighbours’ doorsteps and communicate from further down the hall). Now that they have been living in-country form some time, doing language training and discipleship, they are able to add encouraging notes to these food packages, sharing Scripture and greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, and it has opened further doors to ministry in this closed country.
We all pray and are expectant to see increase and abundance when we are able to return to the ministries we’ve been assigned to, because we know that God is continually revealing more of Himself. He still heals. He still restores. He still pours out His Spirit. There’s no bad report that can undo what God is doing in the nations. He’s always doing something new, and brining dead things to life.
As always, I invite you to share any prayer requests — you can reach me via email, social media, or WhatsApp.
Love in Christ,Cornelia
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
This morning I’d like to share an excerpt from Capturing the heart of God for the Nations with you!
It is still true today that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few (Matthew 9:37-38). Today, as we ride out the effects and affects of Covid-19, I ask you to orient yourself to the harvest that lies beyond.
While our ability to go out, and preach that the Kingdom is at hand may be limited right now, we can prepare for the harvest that is yet in the field, praying and asking God to send laborers into His harvest.
Moreover, won’t you be as bold to ask if He wants to send you as one of those laborers?
Love in Christ, Cornelia 🇨🇩
OUR MISSIONS RESPONSIBILITY
And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
The torch for world missions began with the primitive Church. In obedience to the supreme commission entrusted to them, these early apostles were dispersed throughout the nations, eventually dying as martyrs because their message of Christ would be unacceptable to the religionists and the lost of their day. One of the major figures in launching world missions was the Apostle Paul, whose missionary journeys took him from Antioch into all of Asia and then to Rome toward the end of his life. Through the obedience and passion of these firebrands, the gospel fires blazed in many nations.
From generation to generation there has always been a remnant that has remained loyal and passionate to continue to grow the Church and pursue the lost. These determined followers loved not their lives unto death and sacrificially went to the regions beyond. This fire of God for the nations must once again be kindled in our hearts.
In his book, The Passion for Souls, Oswald Smith wrote about Dr. Alexander Duff:
“Dr. Alexander Duff, that great veteran missionary to India, returned to Scotland to die, and as he stood before the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, he made his appeal, but there was no response. In the midst of his appeal he fainted and was carried off the platform. The doctor bent over him and examined his heart. Presently he opened his eyes. “Where am I?” he cried. “Where am I?” “Lie still,” said the doctor. “Your heart is very weak.” “But,” exclaimed the old warrior, “I must finish my appeal. Take me back. Take me back. I haven’t finished my appeal yet.” “Lie still,” said the doctor again, “You are too weak to go back.”
But the aged missionary struggled to his feet, his determination overcoming his weakness; and with the doctor on one side and the moderator on the other side, the old white-haired warrior was led again to the platform, and as he mounted the pulpit the Apostle Paul, whose missionary journeys took him from Antioch into all of Asia and then to Rome toward the end of his life. Through the obedience and passion of these firebrands, the gospel fires blazed in many nations.
“When Queen Victoria calls for volunteers for India,” he exclaimed, “hundreds of young men respond; but when King Jesus calls, no one goes.” Then he paused. Again he spoke. “Is it true,” he asked, “that Scotland has no more sons to give for India?” Again he paused. “Very well,” he concluded, “if Scotland has no more young men to send to India, then, old and decrepit though I am, I will go back, and even though I cannot preach, I can lie down on the shores of the Ganges and die, in order to let the peoples of India know that there is at least one man in Scotland who cares enough for their souls to give his life for them.” In a moment young men, all over the assembly, sprang to their feet, crying out, “I’ll go! I’ll go! I’ll go!”
For years handfuls of people have gone, prayed, and given to the harvest, but most today remain disconnected from this call. Many Christians will give more money to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks than they give to missions. Some will spend thousands of dollars to keep their pets healthy and strong while giving next to nothing for the sake of world missions. Their out-of-balance lives and their misplaced priorities need to be addressed.
Without a vision the people perish… Without a vision the people will not carry the gospel torch.
In developing nations, missionary zeal burns white-hot, with believers carrying the gospel torch despite their meager resources. There are nations being visited by the same Holy Spirit that blasted into the upper room and transformed a handful of trembling disciples into world-changing, dynamic soul-winners. Asia is experiencing tremendous church growth, with thousands coming to Christ each day. In Africa, believers boldly carry the gospel torch on trains and buses, and in the markets you will always find at least one zealous Christian busy about the Father’s business.
Anyone who has ever taken a short-term missions trip to a Third World nation has been impacted by the success of the gospel, as thousands are seen responding to the message of life. This gospel must be preached to all nations before the return of the Lord Jesus. We need to see the lost reached in the nations but also those all around us.
Every Christian should carry the gospel torch in this nation and to the ends of the earth through intercession, generous missionary offerings, and short-term missions trips. Some believers may even end up being called into a long-term missionary lifestyle.
“Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist.”
Oswald J. Smith, 1889-1986, Canadian missionary statesman and pastor
— Dr Leon Van Rooyen; Capturing the heart of God for the Nations
So, while we are all facing physical restictions in some form, we look toward the future with expectation; eagerly waiting for the go-ahead so that we can run to those who have not heard, who have not seen, so that every tribe and every tongue may come to know Him!
I know that for many of you, this season of quarantine or lockdown has taken a heavy toll on your emotional wellbeing, but I want to encourage you with this text that I recently sent to a friend: nothing you lay down in pursuit of the kingdom will ever make you less than what He created you to be. Sacrifice isn’t meant to be easy. But it’s not without reward.
Therefore, whatever sacrifice you make, or whatever challenge you face, may you endure it for the joy set before you, so that He might be made known, so that His Name may be glorified, and that all might taste and see that He is good!
Today many buildings where the Church gather are empty — and so we also celebrate the empty tomb! He is risen! 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻
Mag die krag van Heilige Gees wat Jesus uit die dood opgewek het, vandag en elke dag in jou en deur jou werk om te getuig dat Hy leef!
May the resurrection power of Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, work in you and through you, today and every day, to testify that He is alive!
Que le pouvoir de résurrection du Saint Esprit qui a élevé Jésus des morts, travaille en vous et par vous, aujourd’hui et tous les jours, pour témoigner qu’il est vivant !
Mag die liefde van Vader, wat Sy Seun gegee het om namens ons met die aanklag en prys van sonde af te reken, saam getuig: tetelestai — dit is volbring!
May the Father’s love, who gave His Son to settle the accusation and price of the debt of sin against us, testify: tetelestai — it is finished!
Que l’amour du Père, qui a donné à Son fils pour régler l’accusation et le prix de la dette du péché contre nous, témoigne: Teteelastai, c’est fini!
Mag die Woord, wat die dood oorwin het, lewendig en kragtig in jou werk; jou daaraan herinner dat jy vir Hom, en deur Hom geskep is, dat Hy jou afvaardig om saam met Hom te regeer, en dat Hy weer terug sal kom.
May the Word, that defeated death, work in you with power and might, reminding you that you are created by Him and for Him, that He has ordained you to rule with Him, and that He will return.
Que la Parole, qui a vaincu la mort, travaille en toi avec le pouvoir et la puissance, te rappelant que tu es créé par Lui et pour Lui, qu’Il t’a ordonné de diriger avec Lui et qu’Il reviendra.
“Mais il leur dit: « N’ayez pas peur! Vous cherchez Jésus de Nazareth, celui qu’on a cloué sur une croix. Il s’est réveillé de la mort, il n’est pas ici. Voici l’endroit où on l’avait mis.”
I am not fond of inefficiency, but if a job takes time getting done in order to do it well, that’s just fine — because to carry the message of Christ is to do whatever it takes.
Worldwide, people are experiencing some form of quarantine. Here in South Africa, where I am currently doing MPD, our lockdown period has been extended to the end of April. While that presents some challenges with travel plans and timelines (no less than to anyone else), I aim to use this time to train my spirit and body to be a well-equipped carrier of the message of Christ.
Overland Missions’ vision is to reach remote and unreached people groups from all nations with the Gospel of Christ.
Often times, this means walking over rough terrain where there are few to no roads. It means covering long treks with 4×4 vehicles to camp in the bush. It means learning a foreign language so that you can communicate the Gospel accurately and effectively. It means sitting down for hours with one person to answer their questions and navigate cultural barriers.
No sacrifice you ever make in pursuit of the Kingdom will ever make you poor.
While this life is filled with adventure and travel, new experiences and breathtaking. scenery, our hearts are always after the ONE.
So, while I am not allowed outside, I run in circles — if that’s what it takes — to train my body to be strong and fit so that I might be a good steward of the gift of the Spirit. I study French so that I am better able to communicate to the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo — though French is not at all representative of the colourful scope of languages and peoples we are privileged to serve! I study the Word, so that this great Message of the Gospel of Identity, might be engrained in every aspect of my being — so that, whatever it takes, the Kingdom might be expanded and His Name be made known to every tribe, and every tongue!
This is the job: to run wild, so that all might live free.
“I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture. The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep. [Ps. 23.]”
This morning I took a few minutes to catch up with global Overland Missions staff, and read through a couple newsletters.
As more and more countries are implementing quarantine measures in response to COVID-19, I want to encourage you that being at home does not mean you are ineffective in ministry.
Personally, this quarantine has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster — I had specific plans and dates in place which would structure ministry and life. Like many others, such as yourselves, multiple plans have been restructured or temporarilyplaced on hold.
However, I diligently work towards improving my French vocabulary (a slow but steady progress) so that I might be more effective in reaching the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. And spending time in the Word to be better equipped in life and ministry. 🇨🇩
Here is a fun little video about what language learning looks like for our global team, and what this looks like across nations.
As some encouragement, I wanted to share some newsletters with you from fellow Overland missionaries — ministry often does not look like you expect it to.
Be faithful in the assignment before you, and obedient to the call of God in your life, and then these in-between moments become ministry in itself!
I’d like to share this update on the worldwide COVID-19 situation from Overland Missions‘ CEO — Philip Smethurst.
As missionaries who work in the foreign field among vulnerable people groups, who are remotely situated and not regularly exposed to the outside world, our international teams consider the risk this superbug presents to isolated communities with low immunity.
This past week, around 80 missionaries (kiddos included), with a mish-mash of 12 vehicles, representing 7 nations where the Good News of the Gospel is proclaimef, came together for Overland Missions’ annual African Staff conference.
What an uplifting an encouraging time to hear team members share on the Cost of Discipleship, to receive pastoral ministry, to cast vision, and to fellowship with team members who are also friends and family!
2020 will be a great year — what a privilege it is to labour in the Kingdom alongside giants such as these!
I just wanted to share this nugget with you! one morning I came into the kitchen to find kids’ church in gull swing — these kids live in foreign countries with their parents where they participate and share the Gospel with unreached and neglected people groups.
In Angola, the Mucubal are one of many nomadic tribes in the southern parts of Namibe — they have NEVER heard the Gospel before and have no written language.
Currently, 3 missionary families live and work full-time to reach these beautiful people, using a micture of English, Portuguese and Kuvale to tell parables and Bible stories to these remote people groups.
In this video, one of the Angolan missionary kids shares the story of Noah — these young missionaries are Spirit-filled and ready to witness the Love of God to the Nations!
What an incredible honour it is to work in the kingdom alongside World Changers like you!
I’ve been back in South Africa for just over a week and a half now (after coming back from the One Tribe Conference in the States), and it has been such a blessed time of fellowship with family and new friends.
I will be making my way to Mozambique within the next week to meet up with other staff from Overland Missions on assignment from 14 different countries, where we will come together for ministry, strategy and fellowship. I am especially looking forward to meeting up with my amazing DRC team!
Thank you for keeping up all in your prayers as we (as a team) will travel a combined 25000km over land to reach Mozambique.
Without your partnership, the mobilization for this mission would be considerably harder to achieve.
Thank you for your generous giving — your time, your finances, your prayers — our victory is your victory!
This year, I am specifically setting aside allocated time on a weekly basis to pray for you — my partners! Please feel free to update me with prayer requests ay any given time! I’d love to hear testimonies too!
I’d like to share this short testimony (one of several!) from my last day in the States:
I was visiting Universal Studio (a theme park in Florida) on the last day before flying out, and I had ordered an Lyft to take me back to my hotel that evening. Since my phone was not on roaming, I had to confirm my ride while I still had WiFi coverage. Somehow, someone accepted my ride request before I knew what was happening, and I had less than a minute to get there!
For the sake of context — Lyft charges a cover fee for cancellations to compensate the driver for their time if you miss your ride. So, if I missed this ride, I’d pay $5, and have to come back to where I (currently) was so that I could have WiFi again.
Fortunately I was wearing track shoes, and I made a dash for it! (A couple security guards looked at me with suspicion/interest, but I didn’t stop to explain that I hadn’t stolen anything.)
Needless to say, by the time I made it to the parking lot, which was 5 flights of stairs, and about an 800m sprint away, I couldn’t find my ride. It was dark, and they had temporary barricades to channel traffic, which added to the confusion.
I was dashing around like a madwoman when I resolved to pay the cancellation fee, and order another ride, when I saw someone wave from about 200m away.
It was Vonel, my driver!
What an amazing appointment this was!
Vonel is Haitian, but he’s been living in the States for nearly a year now, working as a Lyft/Uber driver. He speaks fairly good English, but I was able to speak to him in a mixture of French and Creole and we had a wonderful conversation.
I shared the Gospel with him, and by the end of the evening, he rededicated his life to the Lord.
What started out to be a chaotic run ended up being a divine encounter.
I couldn’t help but think of Acts 8:29 when Philip ran to catch the Ethiopian riding on his chariot.
Sometimes, the most profound ministry opportunities arise when we simply go about life — Jesus said, “as you go, proclaim that the Kingdom is at hand.” (Matthew 10:7)
And this is the simple Gospel, the message of the Kingdom — that God has come near, through Jesus Christ, to reconcile man to God.
“Eternal life means to know and experience you as the only true God, and to know and experience Jesus Christ, as the Son whom you have sent.” John 17:3 TPT
I pray that this story encourages you — that you will share the Gospel as you go; that Holy Spirit will open your eyes to ministry opportunities; that you will boldly proclaim this Good News — even if you nearly miss your ride and have to make a dash for it.
May the grace of God keep you and sustain you! Blessings 🇨🇩💜cornelia
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.
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.
I thought I’d give you a quick non-comprehensive overview of life and prayer requests:
– I’m currently in the United States 🇺🇸, FL, where I attended Overland Missions’ ONE TRIBE conference. It was a wonderful time of drawing together with missionaries from all over the world to hear from different speakers (most of whom are on Overland Missions’ board of directors) such as Dr. Leon van Rooyen, Dr. Rodney Howard Brown, Jake Schwertfeger, and founder and CEO of Overland Missions, Dr. Phillip Smethurst. You can watch these sessions by tuning in to Overland Missions on YouTube or follow one of the links that I posted early in January.
– this past week I was able to spend some good team time with around 113 of the nearly 200 fulltime missionaries that serve Overland Missions. What a spectacular time of celebrating together the Work of God in the nations, building team, and casting vision! Some of the places we visited are epi-centres for Voodoo and witchcraft, yet we found people who are hungry for Truth and Love, who are willing and ready to receive the Gospel. Turks and Caicos Islands🇹🇨 Dominican Republic 🇩🇴
– this week I’ll be doing MPD training as part of launching into career missions. MPD is an abbreviation for Ministry Partnership Development, which basically means building a team of partners — spiritual, financial, relational, and functional (in só many ways) that support fulltime missionaries out in the field. You are receiving these messages and updates as a part of that team! What an incredible honour it is to run with you. If you have not yet received a personal invitation from me to share more about the plans and vision I have for the Democratic Republic of Congo, and how you can be a part of that, let me know! I would love to share more about that in person!
– I didn’t have network coverage while I was out at sea this past week, and earlier this morning I received news that my cousin’s two year old daughter was killed in a tragic accident on Thursday. Please keep my family in your prayers during this time.
– I will (DV) be in the States until the end of the month, and then I’ll make my way over to Mozambique 🇲🇿 to meet up with the wonderful DRC team! I would appreciate prayers for travel mercies and safety.
– while out at sea I picked up a cold and I’d love for you to stand in agreement for healing since my sore throat is a bothersome impediment to the speaking engagements I have this coming week.
– today, as we took a walk to the Indian River, which separates Cocoa and Merritt Island, I saw a horseshoe crab burrow in the shallow water, we also had the opportunity to pray with and lead a young man to Christ, and had a wonderful time of worship at sunset.
You are such a treasured and valued part of my team! Your financial support, your prayers, your time, and your partnership, mobilises me to run to the nations with the Good News of the Gospel. Thank you for linking arms with me, to carry this Message to those who have never heard it before.
If there is any particular way that I can pray for you and support you, please let me know!
I’m currently working my way through The God Ask, by Steve Shadrach.
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.
Jésus a dit : “Et moi, je prierai le Père, et il vous donnera un autre consolateur, afin qu’il demeure éternellement avec vous, l’Esprit de vérité, que le monde ne peut recevoir, parce qu’il ne le voit point et ne le connaît point ; mais vous, vous le connaissez, car il demeure avec vous, et il sera en vous.”Jean 14.16-17
Jésus a envoyé le Saint-Esprit pour qu’il soit éternellement avec nous. Il demeure avec vous et il est en vous.
L’Esprit Saint désire être…
Votre confident. Il est Dieu le Saint-Esprit. Vous pouvez lui parler, lui faire connaître vos craintes, vos questions ou vos sujets de reconnaissance. Il vous connaît parfaitement et il vous aime.
Votre consolateur. Il peut vous consoler et ranimer votre âme. Sa présence est comme un baume bienfaisant sur une plaie.
Votre conseiller. Il veut vous diriger et vous donner la sagesse. Écoutez-le car il désire vous parler personnellement.
Le Saint-Esprit est là, tout près de vous et en vous. Soyez ouvert(e) à Sa personne. Expérimentez Sa présence miraculeuse en ce jour.
Jour 2: Écoutez la voix du Saint-Esprit
À plusieurs reprises dans la Bible, on peut voir Dieu s’adresser à son peuple, notamment par la voix de ses prophètes.
Ésaïe a annoncé la venue de Jésus et a prophétisé sur l’œuvre salvatrice que notre Dieu accomplirait des centaines d’années plus tard. Le prophète nous livre une information capitale sur Jésus : “L’Esprit du Seigneur est sans cesse avec lui, l’Esprit qui donne sagesse et discernement, aptitude à décider et vaillance…” (Lire Ésaïe 11.2.)
Autrement dit, Jésus serait toujours inspiré par le Saint-Esprit, et toujours sensible à sa voix. D’ailleurs, ce que nous lisons dans les Évangiles nous le confirme : chaque action de Jésus et chaque décision qu’il a prise sur Terre étaient parfaites et divinement inspirées.
Le Saint-Esprit habite en vous (lire 1 Corinthiens 3.16), le saviez-vous…? Il est votre ami, votre fidèle conseiller. Et il vous parle, croyez-le…! Laissez-moi vous donner ce petit conseil, si vous “entendez une voix dans votre tête”, si une pensée traverse votre esprit, comme une flèche acérée. Cette voix…
Vous apporte-t-elle la paix…?
Vous inspire-t-elle la solution à vos problèmes…?
Alors, c’est certainement le Saint-Esprit qui vous parle…!
Au contraire, si “cette voix” vous accable, vous fait douter, vous attriste, soyez certain(e) que c’est l’ennemi de votre âme qui vous parle… sans oublier vos propres pensées, bien sûr, parfois négatives.
Et si vous décidiez d’être plus sensible, réceptif(ve) et attentif(ve) à la voix du Saint-Esprit…? Il ne demande qu’à communiquer avec vous pour vous conduire vers la victoire, vous éviter des embûches et vous apprendre tout sur le cœur du Père…
Recevez de lui “sagesse et discernement, aptitude à décider et vaillance”, alors que nous prions ensemble : “Saint-Esprit, j’ouvre mon cœur et je fais silence… afin de recevoir les directives du Père… Je veux t’écouter et me laisser guider par toi, dans tous les domaines de ma vie. Au nom de Jésus, amen.”
Toute la journée, et tous les jours, restez attentif(ve), car le Saint-Esprit désire communiquer avec vous…!
« Vous êtes le temple de Dieu, et l’Esprit de Dieu habite en vous. Vous ne savez donc pas cela? »
Première lettre aux Corinthiens 3:16 PDV2017
Jour 3: Invitez le Saint-Esprit dès le matin
Un matin, durant mon temps de prière et de méditation, alors que j’étais au calme, une colombe est venue se poser près de moi. Cette douce “apparition” m’a fait réfléchir une fois encore sur l’importance de la méditation. Pourquoi…? Parce que c’est là où TOUT peut arriver. Où Dieu vient nous rencontrer pour nous parler.
Parfois, nous n’y prêtons pas attention, ce que souligne Job ici : “Dieu parle cependant, tantôt d’une manière, tantôt d’une autre, et l’on n’y fait pas attention.” (Lire Job 33.14.) Et ce matin-là, il a utilisé un moyen stupéfiant et inattendu : cette colombe.
Dans la Parole de Dieu, la colombe est un symbole fort qui représente le Saint-Esprit. Lors du baptême de Jésus, l’Esprit de Dieu se manifeste sous la forme d’une colombe. Le Saint-Esprit est la personne de la Trinité qui est constamment avec vous, à vos côtés. C’est Dieu qui vous accompagne, qui vous parle, qui vous réconforte.
Quand le Saint-Esprit descend sur vous, vous pouvez alors entendre ce qu’il a à vous dire, pour garder précieusement ses paroles et les noter dans votre journal intime.
En ce jour, je vous encourage à :
Inviter le Saint-Esprit à se révéler à vous
Laisser la colombe de l’Esprit se poser sur votre vie,
Lui remettre ce qui vous semble lourd,
Vous laisser envahir par sa paix surnaturelle.
Je vous invite à prier maintenant : “Seigneur Jésus, que ton Esprit Saint me guide chaque jour dans tes voies et me transforme à ton image jusqu’à ton retour. Je te remercie d’avoir fait de moi ton enfant bien-aimé. Dans le nom de Jésus, amen.”
Que l’Esprit de Dieu vous accompagne tout au long de votre vie…!
Jour 4: L’Esprit Saint désire vous métamorphoser !
Saviez-vous que le Saint-Esprit désire vous transformer ? La Bible dit :
“Ne vous conformez pas au monde actuel, mais soyez transformés par le renouvellement de l’intelligence afin de discerner quelle est la volonté de Dieu, ce qui est bon, agréable et parfait.” (Romains 12.2)
Le mot grec “transformé” est (en grec) “metamorphoo” qui a donné en Français “métamorphose”. L’Esprit Saint peut et veut vous métamorphoser c’est à dire vous transformer puissamment.
Alors que vous méditez la Parole de Dieu, par exemple au travers de “Un Miracle Chaque Jour”, que vous priez, que vous chantez des louanges, l’Esprit de Dieu se met à l’œuvre dans votre vie.
Si vous laissez le Saint-Esprit renouveler votre intelligence, vous allez voir et vivre des choses extraordinaires.
Comme le dit le Pasteur Paul Goulet : “Le Saint-Esprit impacte votre intelligence, votre intelligence impacte vos émotions, vos émotions impactent vos choix, vos choix impactent vos actions et vos actions impactent votre destinée.” Tout commence avec l’Esprit de Dieu. Même dans la Bible, regardez dans Genèse 1.
Demandez au Saint-Esprit de toucher votre intelligence aujourd’hui. Demandez lui de vous parler en ce jour. Il va tout transformer, tout métamorphoser.
Jour 5: Voici le miracle de l’Esprit Saint
“Vous recevrez une puissance, le Saint-Esprit survenant sur vous…” (Actes 1:8) La Pentecôte est une fête qui célèbre la venue du Saint-Esprit sur les apôtres de Jésus-Christ et les personnes qui étaient présentes avec eux. La Pentecôte est arrivée cinquante jours après la Pâques (d’où le nom penta – 50). Le récit est rapporté par le livre des Actes des Apôtres. Cette fête tire son origine de la fête juive de Chavouot, la fête des moissons ou fête de la récolte.
Le jour de la Pentecôte a vraiment donné naissance à la première “mega church” de l’histoire de l’église. Ce jour là, 3000 personnes environ ont reçu Jésus comme sauveur et se sont fait baptiser. C’est un de mes passages préférés de l’écriture : 3000 en 1 jour. Ça c’est un beau miracle !
Le Saint-Esprit peut faire ce que nous ne pouvons absolument pas faire. Il peut souffler, enflammer, multiplier, distribuer des dons extraordinaires. Le jour de la Pentecôte, le miraculeux de Dieu s’est manifesté. Les disciples ont commencé à parler dans des langues inconnues pour eux, mais connues pour tous ceux qui visitaient Jérusalem pour Chavouot. Quel miracle !
Voici ma prière pour vous : Qu’aujourd’hui le Saint-Esprit souffle sur votre vie et qu’un miracle se produise pour vous et par vous!
Jour 6: Et si vous vous laissiez conduire par l’Esprit Saint ?
De toutes les voix que vous pourriez entendre, celle du Saint-Esprit est sans nul doute la plus douce et la plus forte, la plus céleste et la plus profonde.
Lorsque l’Esprit de Dieu vous parle, cela transcende tout ce que vous êtes, tout ce que vous avez connu.
La voix du Seigneur est la plus aimante et ses voies sont les plus sages.
Se mettre à l’écoute de Jésus c’est choisir la meilleure des voies, prendre les meilleures décisions.
Le Saint-Esprit vous parle, il vous parle même tous les jours :
Par des rêves
Par vos lectures quotidiennes
Par des prédications
Par un(e) ami(e)
Lorsque vous écoutez le Saint-Esprit, c’est alors que vous vivez le miracle, que vos limites humaines volent en éclats parce que vous recevez la sagesse du Dieu Très Haut, son conseil et ses directives.
Ma prière et mon invitation sont que vous puissiez écouter et obéir à la douce voix de Celui qui vous aime, de Celui qui vous a vu(e) naître et désire votre bonheur et votre épanouissement plus que tout.
Jour 7: Viens Saint-Esprit, viens !
“Que ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel.” C’est ce que Jésus nous enseigne dans Matthieu 6.10. Savez-vous que c’est l’Esprit Saint qui amène le ciel sur la terre ? Il est la plus belle expression du ciel, puisqu’il est Dieu lui-même. Il est aussi au cœur d’une promesse de Jésus qui dit : “Vous recevrez une puissance, le Saint-Esprit survenant sur vous.” (Lire Actes 1.8.)
C’est le désir de Dieu de vous remplir de son Esprit. Nous pouvons lire ceci dans Jean 20.22 : “Après ces paroles, il souffla sur eux et leur dit : Recevez l’Esprit Saint.”
Vous vous demandez peut-être comment l’Esprit Saint se manifeste lorsqu’il vient sur les enfants de Dieu…? Il le fait de différentes manières.
D’ailleurs, les apôtres racontent ici sa descente extraordinaire le jour de la Pentecôte :
“Tout à coup il vint du ciel un bruit comme celui d’un vent violent, qui remplit toute la maison où ils étaient assis. Des langues qui semblaient de feu leur apparurent, séparées les unes des autres, et elles se posèrent sur chacun d’eux. Ils furent tous remplis du Saint-Esprit et se mirent à parler en d’autres langues, comme l’Esprit leur donnait de s’exprimer.” (Lire Actes 2.2-4.)
Voulez-vous expérimenter maintenant le souffle de l’Esprit Saint sur votre vie ? Je souhaite qu’il vous touche intensément.
Après ces paroles, il souffle sur eux et il leur dit: « Recevez l’Esprit Saint. »
— Bonne Nouvelle selon Jean 20:22 PDV2017
Invitez-le très simplement :
Remerciez-le d’avoir fait de vous son temple.
Demandez-lui de descendre sur vous, avec vos propres mots.
Demandez-lui de vous remplir de sa présence, de vous renouveler, de vous rafraîchir.
Puis, concentrez-vous sur la présence de l’Esprit de Dieu.
Que votre esprit reste connecté avec l’Esprit du Dieu vivant…!
« Tout à coup un bruit vient du ciel. C’est comme le souffle d’un violent coup de vent. Le bruit remplit toute la maison où ils sont assis. »
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!
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.
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…
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.
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.
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)