a season for climbing trees

Luke 19 tells 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.

Reece is an Expedition Leader.
Right now, Overland Missionaries are gathered in Zambia for Revival Week — Reece is praying and interceding for the Democratic Republic of Congo. He and our International Operations Team will be leading a Zambian expedition out to DRC in the next couple of weeks! We’re so excited to take the kingdom by force! Please join us in praying for this expedition! #runwildlivefree

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.

“The Son of Man came 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.

“All we see of someone at any moment is a snapshot of their life, there in riches or poverty, in joy or despair. Snapshots don’t show the millions of decisions that led to that moment. “ – R. Bach

The purpose of an Expedition is to bring the Gospel and build relationships with some of the most remote and neglected people on earth.

Expeditions focus primarily on evangelism and discipleship as you preach and build the local church over two weeks. Investing a small portion of your time is the greatest way to impact their lives and advance the Kingdom in these regions.

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.”

Greetings from the Kaongas!

what’s next?

  • 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 cornelia@overlandmissions.com
  • 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!

to donate to our department, go to http://www.overlandmissions.com/ donate and use personal code 3282 as a reference in your payment. thank you very much! | pour faire un don à notre ministère, allez à http://www.overlandmissions.com/ donnez et utilisez le code personnel 3282 comme référence dans votre paiement. merci beaucoup!

yes and amen

Dearest Friends! Family! Kingdom Partners!

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!

African Staff Conference

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!

180 km to go in cyclone rain? We do whatever it takes. Thank you for dropping me off at the airport, Ruan!

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.

In February, I had an opportunity to share about Overland Missions and the advancement of the Kingdom in DRC, Zambia and beyond on a local radio station here in South Africa.

testimonies from DR Congo

Farming God’s Way, Mpande. Three days of Scripture and agriculture, knit together to sow hope for change.

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!

We invested in helmets (and carried them in backpacks and duffle bags across the border) because we ride motorcycles for 90% of our ministry. Is it the safest way to travel? Nope, but right now it’s the only mode of transportation we have to carry the gospel to remote villages.

Taking calculated risks means we do our best to keep our team going for as long and as far as possible — because we carry the love and power of Christ in us. And there are too many people who still have never heard this Good News! After the conference our team tried to return to Congo. Julie received a message that the rebels were fighting with soldiers in a city we needed to pass through to get home. So she spent 17 extra hours on a bus and returned to our R14 base in Zambia until there was peace again.

God never promised us a life free from difficulty, but he has promised to never leave us or forsake us. We’re thankful to be back with our team, and tomorrow we head back out to the villages — because once you have received the revelation of God’s redeeming love, it’s impossible to keep it to yourself.

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.

“Working in a nation that isn’t the country of your passport makes you realize all the injustice taking place in the world. People make you pay more than a normal price just because you are a foreigner or damage your motorbike and demand you pay them. Even in a neighbouring African country I’m a foreigner.

But the beauty is, there’s no challenge, trial or difficulty that can stop our sharing the Gospel. God loves his people so much, regardless of where they are from or which culture they were brought up in.

One soul is worth all we have to reach and tell them about the deep love of God and the reconciliation available to them right now,” — Saviour, missionary in DR Congo.

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!

Much love, Cornelia

Please let me know how I can be praying for you! We are better together!

If you would like to give to our mission work, please click here. You can use 3282 as my staff code in the reference.
welcome to 2021! here are some important updates about my future newsletters and where you can find them!

numbers

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.

the Hebrew alphabet

In Hebrew, for instance, each alphabet letter has a numerical value. Which brings me to the book of NUMBERS.

thirty is not just a number

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
  • Jesus began to publicly preach the Gospel of the Kingdom at age 30 — Luke 3:23
  • 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

numbers

The Hebrew word for “Numbers” is BEMIDBAR, and translates to “In the Wilderness”

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.

  1. Sinai → Numbers 1-20
    • Reed Sea → travel: Numbers 20-12
  2. Paran → Numbers 13-19
    • travel: Numbers 20-21
  3. Moab → Numbers 22-36

Sinai

  • Built the Tabernacle
  • Moses received the Ten Commandments
  • formed a covenant with God after coming out of Egypt

Paran

  • 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

Moab

God uses Balaam to bless His people
  • 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.
  • Balaam prophesies that “Out of Israel will rise a victorious King,”
  • 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.

take the Kingdom by force

And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize — a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion].

Matthew 11:12 [AMP]

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!

Our team in the Democratic Republic of Congo are bringing the GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM to these beautiful people!
Our ministry partners have set their communities on fire with the Gospel, and we’re expanding ministry into the rural areas!
#runwildlivefree

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 your finances, 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 cornelia@overlandmissions.com or LinkedIn — I would be delighted to get connected with you!

Catch up on some highlights of these past couple of weeks of ministry and events in DR CONGO and beyond — with a special feature from my teammate Jessy!
I also have some wonderful testimonies to share from some of our Congolese disciples, and I’m working on translating them from French to English!
Your generous prayers, finances, time, and support is an extension of all that Overland Missions’ DR CONGO team does in the Kingdom.
Every victory and testimony is a victory and testimony that YOU get to share in!
We love you, and appreciate you!
#runwildlivefree

I thank my God every time I think of you!

“I thank my God every time I think of you! I always pray with joy, whenever I pray for you all, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. Of this I’m convinced: the one who began a good work in you will thoroughly complete it by the day of King Jesus.”

Philippians 1:3-5

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.

not a bad view for writing a newsletter

It has been a while since I last sent out a full update, but I wanted this newsletter to focus specifically on thanksgiving.

Sarah Wilson

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.

a 2min video update of the last couple of days’ travelling from South Africa > Lusaka, Zambia > Rapid 14

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.

give this great song a listen — “I thank God”

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.

All this to say that I am truly thankful for your partnership in the Gospel — because ministry is not one directional.

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!

#runwildlivefree

Follow @c_rnelia on Instagram and/or Facebook for daily stories from this side of the globe.

we are trees

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

Life is better in team, and my team is pretty fantastic

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,

Deuteronomy 7:8‭-‬9

Relationships are fluid, but covenant is eternal.

Liezl Pienaar

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.

Proverbs 18:1
2 Timothy 2:7
Romans 6:6
John 13:34

#runwildlivefree

Vision vs Mission

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?”

Sioma, Western Zambia.

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.

The turn-off to Rapid 14, Livingstone, Zambia

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.”

— Ezekiel 37:5

vyf brode en twee visse

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 geleenthede om verhoudings te bou en die Evangelie een-tot-een 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. ”

Eenvoudige gemeenskapsvergaderings lyk dikwels so: in die skadu van ‘n boom, ons deel die Woord en bou ons verhoudings.

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.

Ekspedisie in Simwatachela Chiefdom, Zambië

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

a simple offering

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.

Expetitions are bare-bones opportunities to build relationships and share the Gospel one-on-one.

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.

Simple fellowship meetings often look like this — gathered in the shade of a tree we share the Word and build relationships.

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

producing hope

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

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

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

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

Or find it here:

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

“Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.

And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.

Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.”

‭‭— Romans‬ ‭5:3-5‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

As always, I invite you to let me know how I can pray for you!

Love in Christ,
Cornelia
🇨🇩💜🌻

#runwildlivefree

Marching on

Friends! Family! Kingdom partners!

Here’s an update on the past few weeks’ events in February, spilling into March!

Marching on
I saw this post online earlier, and OH! What a privilege it is to be a labourer in this harvest!

Thank you for labouring with me in the Nations so that every man from every tribe and every tongue may hear the Good News of the Gospel!

#runwildlivefree

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

from the CEO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philip and Sharon Smethurst; CEO and Founders

sector management: DR Congo

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

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

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

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

click HERE to see the End Of Year Report

sector management: Mozambique

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

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

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

2018/19 end of year report

Annie

This is Annie.

She’s practically part of the furniture here on Rapid 14. Not only is she a PHENOMENAL cook, but she is also a super patient teacher — training the AMT students how the kitchen is run, and an absolute powerhouse.

This is her wonderful testimony.

a Father’s love

This is Jackson. Not only is he a close friend, but he’s an all-round amazing person. He’s on his way to Sioma to minister full-time in Western Zambia. Please DM me, should you want to find out how you can support him in ministry!

this beautiful [home]

In the busy season, Rapid14 is home to over 100 missionaries, AMT students, and expedition members.

The Main Centre on Rapid 14 is an all-in-one dining hall, church, living room, recreational centre, and sometimes, classroom.

It overlooks the gorgeous cliffs of Rapid 14, the fourteenth rapid from the Victoria Falls, and many missionaries working in the continent of Africa, and other parts of the world where Overland Missions are based, call this HOME.

Jessi Schwertfeger, co-Director of International Operations, recently shared this amazing story regarding ‘home’ on Overland Missions’ first-ever official podcast: click HERE to give it a listen!

This is home

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.

For Overland Missions’s family, ‘home’ begins on Rapid 14.

Home means team, and team means family

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!

Prayer Point offers a quiet look-out over the rapids. Far below, one often see rafters passing through the rapids. And, if you’re fortunate enough, Marty (our first zebra!) will join you for some quiet time.

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.

advanced mission training

spiritually and practically equipping missionaries
Advanced Mission Training

3-MONTH TRAINING

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

any road…any load…any time.  

Course overview

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

Course Dates

Mozambique 2020: March 10 – June 1

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

https://www.overlandmissions.com/apply

FAQ

Who can apply for AMT?

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

Is there an age limit?

The minimum age requirement is 18 years old.  

Are married couples or families welcomed?

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

More questions? Contact us

thank you for keeping my arms up!

With only four more days to go (the countdown is set to midnight!) before I leave for Zambia, I am INCREDIBLY excited for all that lies ahead!

You may not know me long enough to know the journey that God put me on to get me here: to this day, in this place, but it’s been a journey of more than 10 years!

This morning I was reading through Philippians, and it struck me anew how Paul interceded for the new Believers, how he eagerly hoped to be able to join them in person.

These sentiments are found throughout all of his letters. He takes special care to mention those who labour with him – Timothy, Aquila, Priscilla, and many others – honouring them for the work they do in the Kingdom. And he always points the church to Christ.

What a legacy!

One of the children’s stories that I finished up yesterday was about the Damascus road encounter (Acts 9).

I am constantly amazed that God specifically chose Saul to work among the gentiles, because his reputation was so well-known, and that made his testimony all the more believable.

In the end, God doesn’t care how amazing we think we are, or how skilled or able. He is simply looking for someone who is willing to take up his cross, to lay down his life — simply so that others might receive Life.

Like a drink offering, being poured out on the altar, nothing is worth more than honouring Him.

The first words God spoke after he called Paul was, “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” (Acts 9:15-16)

This morning, as I’m quite literally closing the books, I’d like to thank the hundreds of people who have journeyed with me over the years, sowing into the Kingdom, speaking God into my life, partnering in prayer, giving financially, interceding, weeding, watering, and harvesting.

I am incredibly honoured by each of you!

I cannot begin to call you all by name, but know that, I am deeply humbled by each of you keeping my arms up!

May you receive the crown of honour for your faithful work!

#runwildlivefree

#everytribeandtongue

#untilthewholeworldhears

I promise — I do more than run around and take unstable videos of things.

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This is a summary of yesterday’s jaunt.
The mud was kindly supplied by hurricane Kenneth.

For the past few days, we’ve had the loveliest showers and I’m so excited to see rivers and dams filling up.

South Africa has been suffering under extended drought for the past 4 years, and as a water scarce country surface water is not nearly enough to maintain the continually increasing demand for water for humans, animals and crops.

Large parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal have been flooded, and even now Hurricane Kenneth is ripping through northern Mozambique and the lower end of Tanzania.

Infrastructure is completely destroyed, taking with it the meager crops that was left over after hurricane Idai ripped through the country, less than a month ago.

So many precious people lost their lives, many lost loved ones, and many still lost their homes and livelihood.

I remain confident that, even in the destruction, there will be testimony of God’s faithfulness and His abundance.

My friends, these are the signs of the times!
The harvest is ready, but the labourers are few!

Therefore, pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send out more labourers into the fields!

Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).

Matthew 28:19‭-‬20

#runwildlivefree
#everytribeandtongue
#untilthewholeworldhears

kenneth

the Lord has heard

A year ago, I took this picture after a much needed rainstorm had passed. I walked through the garden, praying.

At the time, I had just resigned from my fulltime job, I had packed up my house and put everything in storage, and I was living in a friend’s guest room — waiting to hear from God about the next step I should take.

But surely God has heard. He has listened to my voice in prayer. Psalms 66:19

At the time, I had been walking around with a sense of dissatisfaction. Not because I was unhappy, per sé, but because there was an element of unfulfillment that had managed to weave itself into different areas of my life.

For many years, I had been praying, trusting, holding on to His promises, and even reminding Him about the pages and pages filled with prophetic words that I had written down through the years. From where I stood, I had done everything I could to be faithful, to be obedient, to fight the good fight, to run the race with endurance.

I was unsatisfied in my relationship with Him, feeling that church and worship had reached a plateau; that I wasn’t being released into the things I felt called to do. I was unsatisfied because, to a large extent, my friends and spiritual family did not understand why I was frustrated with the lack of momentum.

I felt like a racehorse, chewing at the bit as it was reigned in to keep the vegetable cart it was pulling from bucking and falling over. Why was I stuck in this in-between?

In January of 2018, God told me to enlarge my tents, and as I felt the buildup of this increase take place, my frustration with the external lack of growth increased.

I had a choice to make: do my own thing because I was convinced this is what I felt God had said, or honour my leaders in obedience, submitting to the authority which God had appointed.

In February of 2018, God told me to throw the net out to the other side, and within 24h I had resigned, gave notice for the apartment I was renting, and stepped into the Mission I had been praying about for more than 10 years.

I was, and still am, determined to be uncompromisingly obedient, to trust Him with every step, knowing that He is the hope that anchors my soul.

In this in-between season, I had been praying about a bunch of things, asking Him to give me a clear answer about What Comes Next, now that I had taken the plunge into the Great Unknown.

Isn’t it true that we sometimes go through seasons where things seem to be dreary and stale, where nothing seems to move forward and where breakthrough seems like a desert mirage? Distant and unattainable.

There are some specific things that I’ve been praying about for some time, and the Lord’s response is simply this: SHAMMAH. THE LORD IS HERE. HE HEARS.

A good friend recently shared this nugget of wisdom with me:“If Sarah had a son at 30, it would’ve been normal. If she had a son at 50, people would’ve thought it’s great and look how well she takes care of herself! But she had a son at 99, and the only One to receive glory from that is God.”

There are SO MANY examples from Scripture where people sought the Lord, crying out to Him.

There are AS MANY examples from Scripture where God answers prayer.

He knows our every thought, our every desire, our every prayer — even those we don’t know ourselves, or those we dare not whisper aloud.

He knows the depths of Man’s heart. He loves us all the same. And He is GOOD.

He is FAITHFUL.

He is not slow in remembering His PROMISES.

When the time is right, He will make it happen.

A year ago, I was chomping at the bit. But now that I look back I’m astounded by His faithfulness! Every day I get to live my dream: to run wild, live free; to share the Good News of the Gospel with men from every tribe and tongue. Indeed, my tents have been enlarged!

You see, whatever we’re praying for, even things that we’ve placed on the back burner because they seem to go unnoticed before God, ALL OF THAT is working for His glory!

If it were possible out of Man’s effort, Man would receive the glory and recognition. But, those things that are impossible for Man, are possible for God!

Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.
Ephesians 3:20

Whatever breakthrough you’re trusting Him for, know this — THE LORD HEARS.

Hold on to the Promise Keeper and not simply the promises.

He is faithful.

It’s for His glory.

He hears.

#scenesfrommylife
#evenifyoudont
#thisislove
#shammah

for all men

I refuse to be ashamed of sharing the wonderful message of God’s liberating power unleashed in us through Christ! For I am thrilled to preach that everyone who believes is saved—the Jew first, and then people everywhere!

Romans 1:16

The Gospel is the Good News of Salvation for all men of all tribes and all Nations for all times.

I took this picture on April 4th 2018 in Mpatamatu, central Zambia. We were on our way back to town after ministering in the villages.

We were looking for a bucket to carry water in, when we came across a small settlement between some mango trees. It was the chief’s house.

Though none of us spoke any Bemba, and they spoke little English, we prayed for the chief who had backache, and his son, whom we suspected had Malaria.

When we went back the next day, the boy, who was unable to lift up his head the day before, came running down the road to meet us, excitedly telling us that his father’s back was healed.

He is the God of supernatural. When we trust Him, and obey Him to go where He sends us, lives are changed and hearts are restored.

#runwildlivefree

#everytribeandtongue

pray for the harvest

In Matthew 24, Jesus tells us which signs to look for in the last days — the last days before He returns.

Rather than joining the conspiracy on When the End of the Age will take place, I labour to share the Good News of Salvation with as many people as possible. With 28 days to go before leaving for Zambia, I’m spending some extra time in preparation for the work to which He has called me.

As ministry partner in the Kingdom, you’re making it possible for others to go to the most remote places on earth, to reach those who have never had the opportunity to hear the Truth about Him!

In Luke 10:2, Jesus tells us that the harvest is ready, but that there are not enough labourers to bring in this mighty harvest. He also says we should pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out more labourers into the fields!

what a wonderful privilege it is to be a labourer in His Kingdom!

Won’t you join me in praying for the harvest today?

  • that Believers all over the world will wake up to the call for labourers
  • that Believers will be witnesses and Kingdom Ambassadors in every area of everyday life
  • that those who suffer persecution will stand strong and hold on to God
  • that Believers will no longer be trapped in lukewarm religion, but that they will be drawn in to relationship with the Father

💕🌻 Until the whole world hears!

If you have any prayer requests, feel free to send them through — I am always happy to stand in faith with you!

#runwildlivefree

#everytribeandtongue

Thank you to each of you sending personal messages of encouragement and support. I truly appreciate every message!

One of the ways we express love is by showing compassion.There are multiple verses from Scripture that attribute compassion to God’s character. As much as He is Love, and Good, and King, and Just, and Kind, and Fair, He is compassionate — slow to become angry, and abundant in mercy.

Compassion is deeper than sympathy in that it urges us to take action.

Compassion

Merriam-Webster’s definition of Compassion.

Here are the Scriptures we’ll be looking at in this Devotional:

Compassion will propel you beyond your natural resources to access heaven’s resources; prompting you to look beyond your own needs, desires, and pain, as it urges you to respond to the move and unction of Holy Spirit.

Compassion has power because it’s God’s own power that is at work in us, and through us. Compassion calls you out of the boat, beyond your self-imposed limitations, beyond your comfort zone, into the uncharted waters where the glory of God dwells.

We must ask God to revive a heart of COMPASSION within us — to feel what He feels, to see through His eyes, and to respond with His heart, and His love.

This is the heart of missions.

#runwildlivefree

a heart of compassion

40 days

In the Bible, there are multiple instances where 40 days refer to a period of significance.

  • During the great flood, rain fell for 40 days and 40 nights. [Genesis 4:7]
  • The spies Moses sent out to Canaan explored the country across the Jordan for 40 days. [Numbers 13:2,25]
  • The Hebrew people lived in the wilderness for 40 years before entering the Promised Land. [Numbers 32:13]
  • Goliath challenged the Hebrew army twice a day for 40 days before he was defeated by David. [1 Samuel 17:16]
  • Before starting His ministry, Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights in the Judean desert. [Matthew 4:2; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2]
  • A period of 40 days passed from Jesus’s resurrection to His ascension. [Acts 1:3]

A year ago today, I headed to Zambia for the first time! In 40 days‘ time, I’ll be back!

Earlier, I was telling my mum and some friends how this is probably the most daunting, but also the most exciting season of my life to date.

Ten years of prayers, dreams, and prophecies are being fulfilled in front of my eyes — what an incredible honour and privilege it is to be a partner and a servant; working alongside Holy Spirit in the harvest fields of the world!

any road.
any load.
any time.

He is faithful!

#runwildlivefree
#everytribeandtongue

For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking Him as Lord] will be saved. [Joel 2:32.] But how are people to call upon Him Whom they have not believed [in Whom they have no faith, on Whom they have no reliance]? And how are they to believe in Him [adhere to, trust in, and rely upon Him] of Whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men [be expected to] preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings! [How welcome is the coming of those who preach the good news of His good things!] [Isa. 52:7.]

Romans 10:13‭-‬15

May you have the courage to brave the Wilderness in order to gain the Promised Land.

The harvest is ready, but the labourers are few! Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers!

go fish

A year ago today, I packed my household contents on a friend’s truck and a trailer, and moved for the 6th (what would later be the 8th) time in 3 years, leaving behind my desk job and a life of predictability and security, to set off on the greatest adventure yet!

I remember being completely fascinated by the pictures from my Children’s Bible when my mum used to read to me as a kid.

Jesus multiplying fish and bread.
Jesus healing the sick.
Jesus teaching His disciples.

I’m reminded of the time the disciples were fishing all night, without catching a single thing. Jesus tells them to throw the net out to the other side of the boat. They’re like, “Whaaaaat? We just spent the entire night doing just that!” But, when they act in obedience, they haul in the motherload.

I think one of he biggest lessons of Life with Jesus is to be obedient. David also said (more than once!), OBEDIENCE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SACRIFICE.

This time last year was probably one of the most uncertain times I’ve ever gone through — I had no plan, and no backup-plan, but I was determined to walk in obedience.

Those last few weeks contained sooooo many challenges, and I felt a bit like those disciples who are tired and worn out after a night at sea.

In obedience, I threw the net out to the other side even if it didn’t make any sense in the here and now.

My friend Hugo reminded me, “if you walk in obedience miracles will follow.”

Tonight I’m looking back at this sunset drive-by shot from a year ago, and I’m thankful for friends who go the (extra) distance. For parents and a sibling who support me. For far-away friends that uplift and affirm, and point towards the Truth. And above all, looking to Jesus — to keep from sinking.

A year later, I not only get to do my Dream Job while working in the Kingdom as a fisher of men, I’ve travelled all over, met wonderful people. made meaningful connections, and delved deeper into my relationship with God.

I recently spoke to my friend David about ministry, and especially Healing, and I’ve become increasingly aware that your revelation and your ministry has to come from a place of intimacy with God.

Isn’t it wonderful that He keeps drawing us closer, inviting us to live face-to-face with Him, to breathe His life through the Spirit and to share in worship through fellowship?

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].

Hebrews 4:16

When we have nothing else to fall back on, except God, it often forces us to dig deeper into Him; to hold on to the Promise Maker, and not only His promises.

Even now, I’m standing in front of challenges, but I am confident in His faithful love that upholds and sustains me, even when the waves crash over this little boat.

I pray you’ll be brave enough to step out onto the waves — keep your eyes on Him!

When you step out in faith, and walk in obedience, God provides — He is faithful!

#runwildlivefree

Hi everyone!🙋🏻💕

Here is the latest news!

💕🌻

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I also just wanted to share an update on the fundraising process. 😊

Over the last couple of days, various payments have been made, and I cannot thank you enough!

It is not only your financial contribution, but your prayers and support, that are making a GIGANTIC impact on the kingdom.

THANK YOU to each and every one joining me in partnership in serving the Kingdom!

Final payment for AMT is due on March 7th, and departure for Zambia is in 71 days!

If you would like to make a donation directly to Overland Missions to support me, you can follow this link:

https://www.overlandmissions.com/donate/

There is a PayPal link for South African contributions (they do the Rand x Dollar conversion for you) to make it a little simpler.

Add my name, CORNELIA VAN BILJON to the memo line as reference.

Thank you for your encouraging messages and support, and every dollar that has been contributed so far! Your partnership is incredibly valuable!

💜💙

I am beyond excited for all that lies ahead, and God is already moving in great ways!

If you have any prayer requests or would like to contact me, do not hesitate to reach out!

You can reach me on the website,
via email,
or WhatsApp.

I look forward to sharing more with you soon!

#everytribeandtongue
#runwildlivefree

T-minus 71 days to AMT

there is no fear in love

As humans, we tend to measure our potential response to threat or danger according to extremities. We spiral into Worst Case Scenarios, plotting outcomes for events that may never happen.

1 John 4:18 says that perfect love banishes the existence of fear. In other words, when we know and understand the love of God the Father, the Personification of Love who gave his Son to us as a gift of love, we come to experience the safety and protection that exists within love.

We are set free from the strain of fear, knowing that He who loves perfectly has already overcome the world.

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]. We love Him, because He first loved us.

1 John 4:18‭-‬19

Rapid 14

During the summer holiday of 2018, I visited Liezl and Arthur at their home in Livingstone, Zambia. I met this lovely family in 2016, when they were visiting my home church in South Africa.

I remember being excited by the way they spoke about Kingdom and ministry and travel, and we kept in touch.

It was during this visit to Zambia, my second trip to Zambia with in a year, that God started speaking to me about strategic relationships.

Liezl and I, overlooking Rapid 14 on the Zambezi river.

I’ve been involved in short-term missions since 2010, and for two years, I headed Every Nation Faith City‘s local outreach programs. Mid-2018, I felt the release to quit my day-job, so to speak, and set off in obedience to the call God placed on my life.

In May 2019, I’ll be part of a team of missionaries from all over the world, who’ll attend the Advanced Missions Training on Overland Mission’s Logistical base in Livingstone, Zambia.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10216254978635429&type=3

I feel that AMT (Advanced Missions Training) is an important steppingstone for the next season, and especially toward my heart for the Gospel in Africa.


Romans 10:14-15  (AMP)
14 But how will people call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how will they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher (messenger)?  15 And how will they preach unless they are commissioned  and sent [for that purpose]? Just as it is written  and forever remains written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”

You can contribute by partnering with me in prayer, or contributing financially. The total cost for AMT is $6000 (six thousand USD), which includes all expenses such as travel and accommodation for the time I’ll be training in Zambia.

Would you please prayerfully consider making a contribution as partner in the Kingdom?


To join me in Kingdom partnership, you can donate to Overland Missions, and reference my name, or contact me directly, and I’ll provide any information needed.

However God leads you to respond, please know that I have deep appreciation for your partnership and support!


I look forward to sharing more exciting news with you soon!

May you be greatly and abundantly blessed!


by the word of their testimony

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Revelation 12:11 (KJV)

Testimony is a pretty powerful thing. The Hebrew word is Touwdah. It means attestation, confirmation, prophetic injunction attestation, to solemnly affirm, to confirm belief.

Over the past two days I watched two films that really touched my heart. Both films are based on true stories. I’ll try not to ruin it for you, so take the time off and watch them for yourself.

The first movie (Finding a Family) is about a kid (Alex) who works his butt of to get into Harvard. Alex’s mother was in a serious car accident, and, as a result of a series of unfortunate circumstances, Alex eventually ends up in foster care, moving from one home to the next.

The second movie (Clancy) is about a kid who runs away from home and ends up living on the street with a War Veteran. The beginning of the movie might seem real dumb (I was tempted to fall asleep), but I urge you to watch up to the end. I guarantee reward.

It was this movie — Clancy– that had (and still has) me in tears.

Clancy is a girl of about 8 years old, and she was introduced to Jesus by her grandmother. While living on the street with Nick (the veteran), she continues praying for her mum (who is in rehab) and tells Nick about Jesus — despite the fact that he is irritated by her and does not want anything to do with God or church, other than using their facilities. One night, as they celebrate their joint first birthday party, Clancy gives Nick a Book containing everything he ever needs to know — and then she shares the Gospel with him.

You know, I was just ripped apart by her sincere love for Nick and the honest manner in which she testified. There’s this one part where Clancy explains why bad stuff happens. She figures most people see death as the worst possible thing that could happen to you, but that once you know Who you’re with when you die, it’s really not such a big deal after all.

By the end of the movie, Nick speaks to one of his friends — a county police officer– who asks him what made him pull his life together. You know what Nick’s response was? He said “someone convinced me that God doesn’t hate me.”

The Message translation of 1 John 5:11 says, “This is the testimony in essence: God gave us eternal life; the life is in his Son.”

You’ve probably heard of John 3:16. It says that God loved the world (insert your name, ’cause it’s really about you) so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to bail you out. He literally sacrificed His Best of Everything, to win you back. He gave his Son as ransom for your life. If that is not the personification of love — then what is?

John 15:13 says the best way to prove your love is to die for a friend.

I’m completely dumbstruck by the fact that even though we were sinners, literally bums living off of the gutter, dirty, unworthy, despicable, unholy, (multiplied every other adjective you can think of), not deserving of honour or sacrifice — Father’s love is still so unconditional that He chose to pay the price in any case.

You know, I think we try to complicate testimony by translating it to sermon.

Romans 13 verse 10 says “You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.”

Testimony is in essence, sharing love. It’s sharing Love. Giving account of God’s work in your life is an opportunity for the other party to connect with, and experience, God for themselves. To encounter Love.

If you go by the standard set up in Revelation 12 verse 11, the two most powerful weapons we have is Jesus’s sacrifice — the Personification of LOVE — and the testimony thereof.

This morning I had coffee with Lynzi, and I shared about the fact that if I had to devote my life to ONE singular significant cause that would be everything and the only thing that I ever did — it would be to have people encounter God. That certainly is the singular thing that changed my life, let alone my approach to God and a relationship with Him.

Johnathan Helser’s song, I’ve seen I Am, just about sums it all up.

I grew up in a traditional church where people really had a sincere love for God, but what I never quite got was what God was all about. Looking back now, I cannot understand how I was able to live, for so long, with a “ritual” christianity that taught me about the fear of God and laid good spiritual foundations in my life, but never introduced me to the Person behind the church. I don’t know whether this makes any sense to you at all, but maybe you’ve had a similar experience. You know — it’s really not about going to church. Afterall, the Church is a body, not a building. You can go to church (the building) as often and as much as you like, and attend home cell and have Bible study groups, but unless you get to know God, and meet Him Face-to-face, you’ll never get to understand the full FULLNESS of being in relationship with LOVE.

My greatest wish is that YOU might get to know Him intimately. That you might see Him Face-to-face. That you might discover the great and glorious mysteries that surround Him. And ultimately, that you might learn your destiny and purpose and identity because you know Him.

Getting back to the testimony thing, in my first ever blog post, I shared how starting this blog was really just an act of obedience, and it still is. I’m not some super christian who has sky-high super-amazing-faith all year round. But what I do know, is that I have a testimony, and that’s why I share it.

Testimony has this amazing ability to multitask.

It glorifies God, it reminds you about the amazing stuff He did and does and most assuredly will do, and it stirs up faith.

John 5 verse 9 says, “If we take human testimony at face value, how much more should we be reassured when God gives testimony as he does here, testifying concerning his Son.”

I challenge you to share testimony.
You know — it’s really not a sermon. Clancy changed Nick’s life by drawing up the Bible in six pages full of childlike doodles. Maybe you’re called to be the next Bill Johnson or Benny Hinn, I don’t know. But maybe the fact that you tell your roommate about the money God supernaturally provided, or about the lady that got healed in the check-out queue, or the dream you had the night before, can change their life.
Maybe you have to draw the Bible on the back of a cereal box, or maybe your words are the only Bible some people may ever “read”. The fact remains that TESTIMONY is how we overcome.
1 Peter 5 verse 9 says (Message translation) we’re called to speak out on God’s behalf, and to tell others of the night-and-day difference that He made for us.
So, here’s what I challenge you to do: open our mouth.

Get on Twitter. Or Facebook. Or write a blog. Share your testimony.

You probably won’t have to make a film out of your life, or write a song, but if that’s what is needed — then do it!
You know, in my experience, the Gospel is just so much more real when it’s an account and not a story or a sermon.